Review of Crabtree Valley Mall

Crabtree Valley Mall’s Upper Deck. Many flock to Crabtree Valley Mall on the weekends to both shop and entertain themselves. (Photo Courtesy of Chris Pharr)

Malls have always been a social gathering spot, especially for high school students. Crabtree Valley Mall is one of the largest gathering places for teens in Raleigh, and a center for both work and play for many Leesville students. 

But, Is it really all it’s cracked up to be? How is it during the holidays?

First of all, I’d like to state my appreciation for Crabtree Valley Mall’s convenient layout. The way the shops are organized, especially with tons of helpful map kiosks, always made my recent visits a breeze, as I could navigate myself to any store I wanted in minutes. Always have an idea about which stores you want to visit beforehand, as the hustle and bustle of the mall’s crowded walkways can throw a wrench in any on-the-fly shop decisions.

Crabtree has a wide variety of different shops, with a little something for everyone. Crabtree has a diverse array of clothing stores, such as Macy’s, Belk, H&M and tons of other stores. I could walk into the mall and easily shop for a multitude of occasions. Clothing outfits in Crabtree tend to run a bit limited in their stock though, so the stores are much better enjoyed as an outing rather than a place to buy event-specific clothes on a time crunch. Either way, Crabtree has a clothing store to fit anyone’s interest and anyone’s fashion.

 Besides just clothing stores, Crabtree has a ton of other interesting stores like the Brick & Mortar LEGO store, Earthbound Trading Co, and Flashback.  Whenever you visit Crabtree Valley Mall, you’re bound to find something new and engaging.

For those who like to support local, small businesses, Crabtree luckily has a vast amount of those as well. Unleashed, Lyons General Store, and Niche & Dime are some of the best local businesses they have to offer. If those stores don’t appeal, Crabtree still has several other locally-owned stores for you to pursue, with a variety of different specialties.

When you’re tired of shopping, Crabtree has a respectable variety of different dining options. The food court has any fast-food establishment you’d expect; McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, etc. However, the best food comes from Crabtree’s larger establishments. Crabtree Ale House, Flemings’ and Kanki are among Crabtree’s best sit-down restaurants. Kanki is a personal favorite, as their teppanyaki dishes (which they cook in front of you) make for an extremely entertaining dining experience.

If there was any major gripe with Crabtree, it would be its abysmal parking on the weekends. As Crabtree is the largest mall in the area, tons of people flock to it on their days off. When visiting, expect the parking situation to be a nightmare. If you’re not lucky enough to nab a parking spot outside of Macy’s, expect to slog through Crabtree’s parking decks looking for any semblance of a convenient parking space. 

During the holiday season, Crabtree does an excellent job setting up a wholesome Christmas atmosphere. With holiday songs ringing through the buildings, and Christmas decorations hanging from every wall and ceiling. A Crabtree visit around the holidays is an essential part of embracing yourself in Raleigh;s winter season.

Besides the atmosphere, Crabtree hosts a variety of Christmas events as well. Gift wrappings, child/pet photos with Santa Claus, and other store-exclusive events make for tons of possible fun holiday outings. While during the holiday season, make sure to check out the Salvation Army’s angel tree, which helps provide gifts to needy children worldwide for the holidays.

Even with its massive crowds (which are to be expected), Crabtree Valley Mall makes for an amazing shopping and dining experience. Crabtree Valley Mall is an outing I’d recommend to any friend group, couple, or even solo shopper.


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