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Shopping

Photo: Chris Shields

Clifton Park Center Route 146, Clifton Park, 383-0059. www.shop-cliftonparkcenter.com. The reinvented Clifton Country Mall is now part indoor mall, part open-air plaza. Anchored by Marshalls Homegoods, Boscov’s, and JCPenney.

Colonie Center Central Avenue and Wolf Road, Colonie, 459-9020. www.shopcoloniecenter.com. Continued renovations are redefining the smaller of Albany’s major malls as an upscale shopping center. Boasting the largest Macy’s this side of New York City, the only Christmas Tree Shop upstate, Boscov’s, Sears, the Gap and other typical retail chains. This fall, the mall welcomes L.L Bean, Sephora, Barnes & Noble, and a new Regal Cinemas Multiplex.

Crossgates Commons Washington Avenue Extension, Albany. Nirvana for the big-box-shopping crazed. Among the mainstays are Home Depot, Circuit City, PetSmart, Michael’s, Old Navy, and Wal-Mart.

Crossgates Mall 120 Washington Ave. Extension, Guilderland, 869-9565. www.shopcrossgates.com. It’s big, big, big—the biggest mall in the region, in fact. Now features more stores than we want to count (around 230), restaurants and services, plus an 18-screen Regal movie complex. Macy’s, JC Penney and Burlington Coat Factory are among the department stores anchoring the behemoth. You’ll also find Borders, Pottery Barn, H&M, FYE, and Best Buy.

Delaware Avenue Delmar. A suburban stretch offering strip-mall fare at Delaware Plaza, including a Fashion Bug, Payless Shoes, FYE and Friar Tuck Book Shop. At the Four Corners (where Kenwood Avenue intersects Delaware), a collection of boutiques offers children’s clothes, books, gifts, jewelry, gourmet foods and more.

Downtown Troy With new shops opening around every turn, downtown Troy has truly begun to realize its potential. Some of our favorites: Hummingbird Designs (handcrafted jewelry), Counties of Ireland (authentic Irish gifts and clothing), and Aurora’s Willow Creek (Specializing in Victorian and Czechoslovakian jewelry). Don’t forget to explore River Street, which has redefined itself as Troy’s Antique District. There you’ll find the likes of Bournebrook Antique Center, its 12,000 square feet filled with eclectic treasures by 38 dealers; Living Room, where classic antiques meet contemporary design; and Wachina Trading Co., where you can find everything from sculls and statuary to parking meters and pachinko machines.

Downtown Saratoga Springs Saratoga may not have old-time prices, but it still has that old-time downtown feeling, with one of the area’s classiest collections of boutiques and shops. Don’t miss the off-price Saratoga Shoe Depot and the hot footwear selection at Saratoga Soles. Check out Elevate Cycles for bikes, snowboards and related accessories, and Soavé Faire Fine Arts for discount art supplies. There are even a couple of stores downtown that will satisfy your cravings for the true shopping-mall experience: Borders Books and Music, the Gap, Banana Republic, Starbucks and Eddie Bauer have all graced Broadway with their chain-store presences. And where else in the Capital Region can you buy a Vespa?

Jay Street Schenectady. A little retail paradise in the middle of the Electric City: A handful of gift shops flank a common area that has been closed to traffic. The Open Door Bookstore holds court at one end, and don’t forget to hop across the street to check out Proctor’s Arcade, where there are a few sweet gift shops and a sheet-music store.

Lark Street/Lower Central Avenue Albany. An oasis of specialty shops, restaurants and bars. There’s something for everyone at the secondhand, antique, record, book and gift shops that line these several blocks. Don’t miss Romeo’s Gifts, Cheeky Tiki Monkey, Elissa Halloran Designs, and the Lark Street Flower Market. Also, pop into Flamingo’s, a store packed to the gills with retro kitsch treasures. Among the storefronts on Central Avenue are Earthworld, for all your comic needs, and a Central Avenue fixture: The Honest Weight Food Co-op, a must for the organic food connoisseur.

Latham Circle Mall Routes 9 and 7, Latham, 785-8363. Features standard mall fare, plus a multiscreen cineplex. The mall’s anchor stores are JCPenney and Burlington Coat Factory.

Manchester Center, Vt. Routes 7A and 11/30, Manchester, Vt. www.manchesterdesigneroutlets.com. A veritable outlet town nestled amid the Green Mountains. Plenty of upscale, outlet-priced retail therapy at every turn. And the added bonus: clothing is tax-free.

Mohawk Commons State Street and Balltown Road, Niskayuna. Built over the former site of Mohawk Mall, this big-box supercenter hosts a number of stores, including Target, Barnes & Noble, Lowe’s and Marshalls.

Northway Mall Central Avenue and Wolf Road, Colonie. Mega strip-mall featuring Target, Marshalls, Linens-N-Things, an Eddie Bauer outlet and Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts, among others.

Prime Outlets at Lee Route 20 East, Lee, Mass., (413) 243-8186. www.primeoutlets.com. Outlet shopping just across the state line, without the hefty New York State sales tax. Among the stores, you’ll find J. Crew, the Gap, Bass, and Jones New York.

Rotterdam Square 93 West Campbell Road (I-890 Exit 2), Rotterdam, 374-3713. www.rotterdam mall.com. Featuring most of the usual retail chains, anchored by Sears, T.J.Maxx, Macy’s and Kmart. The mall also boasts a six-screen Loews cineplex.

Route 9, Latham With Hoffman’s Playland and miles of high-end strip-malls, this area offers just about everything you could want from suburbia. On the northern end of this stretch is Latham Farms—a mega plaza with a big ’ol Wal-Mart, PetSmart, Sam’s Club, Staples, CompUSA and more. Across Route 9, Price Chopper Plaza offers A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts, Bon Ton, and Marshalls. At Latham Retail Center, just west of Latham Circle, you’ll find Target, Babies R’ Us, and Sports Authority.

Stuyvesant Plaza Western Avenue and Fuller Road, Guilderland, 482-8986. www.stuyvesantplaza.com. An upscale strip mall featuring some distinctive (and pricier) clothing stores, including Circles, Ann Taylor and Casual Set. The plaza is also home to the Book House, the area’s largest locally owned bookstore; Hippo’s, a haven for home-electronics connoisseurs; Stuyvesant Photo, expert retailers of new and used photography equipment; 10,000 Villages, a not-for-profit store filled with exotic, affordable, fair-trade furnishings and gifts; and much more.

Sutton’s Marketplace Route 9, Queensbury, 798-1188. www.suttons marketplace.com. An eclectic spot where you’ll find everything from sophisticated women’s designer clothes, baked goods, and gifts, to a furniture emporium and a “toy cottage.”

Upper Union Street Schenectady. The other area of significant retail concentration in the Electric City. Clothing, jewelry, gifts, cards and fast food are all available.

Wilton Mall Route 50, Saratoga Springs, 583-2138. www.wiltonmall.com. Old Navy, Dick’s Clothing and Sporting Goods, Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M and Aeropostale are among the features of this complex, which also boasts old faithfuls JCPenney and Se ars. And when you’re done shopping, you can catch a flick at the eight-screen movie theater.

Wolf Road Colonie. A gauntlet for the shopping crazed. If you can get past Colonie Center, watch out . . . what lies in store (pun intended) is a shopaholic’s paradise. To name a few: Barnes & Noble; Bed, Bath & Beyond; Pier I Imports and Borders Books & Music.

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