I've lived in the Southern Tier for ten years and am a bit ashamed to admit that up until this last summer, I'd never set foot inside Destiny USA.

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I grew up in the mall heydays - the 80s and 90s when going to the mall was an actual event. Like, it was planned out in advance. Outfits were laid out, hours were spent on hair and makeup, and a specific spot was designated for meeting up with friends.

My mall days, however, we not filled with go-karting or a rope course, or a visit to a comedy club. I grew up in Albany and the most exciting thing we had at Crossgates was a talking moose head outside a now-defunct restaurant and at Rotterdam Square, it was a carousel in the food court.

I think I hesitated to go to Destiny USA because I'd heard so much about all that is in it that I thought I would feel overwhelmed but was surprised to discover that once I set foot inside, everything was laid out so well that I didn't feel that it was overcrowded or that I was being slapped in the face with over-stimulation.

If you think Destiny USA is huge, you'd be right. As a matter of fact, the mall is the largest in the entire state of New York and is the eighth largest mall in the entire United States.

Originally called Carousel Center, construction began on the behemoth mall in 1987 and three years later, in 1990, the doors were finally opened. With six stories that hold over 225 stores, more than 30 restaurants, a cinema, and several entertainment options including a ropes course, Destiny USA packs something for everyone into 2,400,000.

Oh, and about the zip code thing? It's true. Destiny USA is so massive that it has its own zip code and while it's no longer there, an actual post office used to be located near the food court. How about that?!?

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