Sure, a mall's a great place to bust out the wallet, and shopping is a favorite activity for many tourists. But today's savvy travelers may include a memorable shopping experience, something more than what they might find at home, when planning their trips to new cities. And that's the key to the places featured here: They are true destinations, with attractions such as music and comedy performances, art exhibits or theme parks. These malls — some indoor, some outdoor, some a little of both — make for a entertaining trip, even if you don't buy a thing.

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NorthPark Center, Dallas, Texas

Dallas is known as a cultural center in the Southwest, and NorthPark reflects the values of the art-loving community there. It's like an art museum: It regularly displays art by top 20th-century artists (think Andy Warhol and Frank Stella, to start), and hosts part of the Dallas International Film Festival every spring.

Pearl Street Mall, Boulder, Colorado

This mountain town's pedestrian mall hosts event after event, including a three-day autumn festival that showcases local food and microbrews and more than 30 artisan booths — all timed for Boulder's next-to-perfect fall weather. One of the nation's best independent bookstores, Boulder Book Store, hosts readings by local and nationally acclaimed authors. On fall Friday nights, join in the Pearl Street Stampedes, giant rallies featuring the Golden Buffalo Marching Band and cheering on the University of Colorado football team.