Published: February 2011
The Pavilions @ Port Orange  

There is nothing like NEW! New cars. New socks, new shoes… New is so fresh and exciting. I got lucky when I happened upon a new open-aired mall, The Pavilions at Port Orange (Florida). The concept of the open air mall is not new, but the revitalization is making a comeback and this east central Florida community built a nice one.

While I shopped in Belks, I witnessed moms maneuvering babies in their strollers and dads holding purses outside of dressing rooms waiting patiently for their wives, all of them with I’ve just experienced new smiles on their faces.

Then I went into a home decorator’s paradise, Marshalls Home Goods store. This store offers everything to, from and in between bath and bedroom. Who knew there could be that many placemats out there? Hmmm, all these placemats made me hungry.

First, though I detoured into Hibbett’s Sports. This sporting franchise is family owned and is a great resource for athletes. Female athletes are well served in this establishment too. What a refreshing sight it was to see pink tags mixed among the athletic equipment. I am told that this company sponsors local parks and recreation sports. Kudos, Hibbett’s Sports for getting involved locally! I for one made a few purchases and will be back. Now food…

I strolled along the storefronts past the fountains where people sat enjoying their smoothies from Healthy Café on my way to Gabbie’s for some pizza. I had eaten at Gabbie’s family’s restaurant, Alfredo’s, and was looking forward to trying her food as I suspected it would be just as good. The crust of the pizza was crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. The sauce was the perfect blend of tomato acid and Italian spices. The cheese and peperoni are, well, as perfect as NEW!

There are lots of other promising stores to be explored, and I know I will return. Ultra Beauty is a massive beauty mall within a mall. The Trendy Room and Loraine’s Fashion Jewelry are also on my list as revisits as I can’t resist a good boutique. Located right off of I-95 at exit 256, it is an easy detour to stretch your legs and get your NEW fix in. Until then check out The Pavilions at Port Orange’s website for a full listing of all their stores and restaurants. Happy shopping!