Scenes from the Altamonte Mall
You may think the mall is dead, and depending on the specific mall you may be right. However studies are showing that you shouldn’t be so quick to write-off the brick and mortar experience, that is, if you actually make it an EXPERIENCE.
As a Florida resident who has self-diagnosed herself with heat rage; I think open-air centers are quite possibly the worst modern shopping development because if I’m hot and sweaty, my shopping trip is getting cut very short and my spending turns to scrolling online sales in my PJs at home.
While some people need exciting summer jaunts to make all their friends jealous, all I need in the summer is air conditioning and food.
*ENTER: THE MALLS OF OUR YOUTH*
Just like in the Gilmore Girls episode, Scene in a Mall; with a good friend (or your mom) in tow, window shopping and a food court smorgasbord isn’t beneath any of us, not even Emily Gilmore.
So, where have I been “hanging” out for the past few months when I feel guilt pangs for using Amazon?
Laugh if you will, but on a Saturday afternoon when the dependable thick, swampy, suffocating air and 4 o’clock mini hurricanes are enough to make you just stay home and Netflix the day away, the mall has been a place that actually got me to leave the house.
It’s not just me, Bloomberg Business reports that Gen Z actually enjoys shopping malls, so much so that they look for deals on their smartphones and Instagramable experiences to capture.
You may ask, why the Altamonte Mall? Because frankly there isn’t much real shopping for me to do in the Millenia Mall (although I’m partial to their food court), and I’m just not going to fight the tourists or the parking at the Florida Mall.
So Altamonte it is, and these are my favorite spots.
Did you know that you could stroll the mall with a wine slushie in hand? This alone had me sold on taking my time cruising the second level. This spot seems to double as one of those paint night places, but I was here strictly for a grab and go piña colada wine slushie. If you bring it back for a refill, you get a dollar off your next cup.
The Altamonte food court has much to be desired, but iSpice moved in, and I’m nothing if not woefully adventurous when trying mall Indian food.
Would absolutely eat again! I love Indian food, and local spots that I enjoy can get very pricey real quick. This is a great fast casual option!
As far as food court eats go, I’m not going to recommend a snack here, but I will say that if a wine slushie isn’t your thing, you can get a boba slushie, or maybe even a thai iced tea here. Pictured below is the watermelon slush with boba.
This Japanese retailer is my new favorite addition to the mall. It’s a global retailer known for selling “life supplies with aesthetic beauty”. Life supplies is a good way to describe the stores merchandise as it spans health and beauty, technology, home goods, wearable accessories, stationery, and more. The store isn’t huge, so selections of those items are limited to just a few different skus, but so well curated that you are surely to find something. It definitely lends itself to those whose aesthetic is more minimalist, but there is still plenty of color and patterns to find in some items. They don’t use plastic bags here, so either bring your own reusable bag, or pay for a paper bag.
I’ve been borderline obsessed with Boxlunch for a few years when they first opened in the Florida Mall. Due to the fact that I don’t ever make the trip to the Florida Mall, I became an online shopper because they have such great pop culture merchandise. Well, they now have a shop in the Altamonte Mall.
If you have a friend that is obsessed with a tv show, movie, video game, or Disney character, chances are Boxlunch has multiple options for a great gift. I’ve been able to purchase different items from Daria shirts, The Gilmore Girls socks, The Office mugs, Marvel movie merch, and more. It’s just a fun shop to find a very unnecessary treat yourself item. They also have a social cause, providing meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks with the purchases you make.
While I don’t shop at Forever 21, Riley Rose is their beauty-focused sister store. In this bright shop, laced with pink trim and photo ops, you will realize just how huge the beauty industry is across the globe while eyeing products you’ve never heard of but now want. I’ve been able to find some Korean skin products here that I’ve never seen sold anywhere else locally.
If all the beauty and skin products overwhelm you, head to the back of the store for a colorful menagerie of accessories and goods.
HUDSON VIDEO GAMES
If makeup and notebooks aren’t exactly how you treat yourself, Florida company Hudson Video Games has a location in the Altamonte Mall. You can buy and sell games here, but in the back they have a gaming area. The monthly calendar board shows you what events and tournaments are taking place. Add this to another spot to play in the A/C.
At this point you’ve either rolled your eyes at this post, or I’ve triggered some nostalgia in you and you are planning a mall trip of your own (DO NOT go to the West Oaks Mall).
Just remember, no trip to the mall is complete without an Auntie Anne’s pretzel and seeing if anyone at the Cinnabon counter looks like Saul Goodman.
All items mentioned or shown in the post were paid for personally. No one from the mall or the individual tenants asked me to create a post focused on driving traffic to the Altamonte Mall. NOT SPONSORED. Just MY LIFE.