Shopping and South Florida are almost synonymous with one another. The Miami area in particular is now on par with the shopping of Fifth Avenue and Beverly Hills. Visitors come in from all over the world to take in some of the stores that we have to offer. (Many of my friends from South and Central America tell me that they make special trips to Miami JUST to go shopping!) We’ve narrowed it down the top five shopping destinations in South Florida…just don’t forget your Black AmEx.
1 Bal Harbour Shops
The Bal Harbor shops were first opened in 1965 at a time when upscale stores were not the norm and open-air luxury shopping malls were practically nonexistent. At the time, many designer boutiques such as Cartier, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton and Prada could only be found in Paris or New York City. Inside the enclosed, open-air shops, you’ll find marble fountains with colorful fish, glass elevators, unique sculptures and jungle-like greenery, anchored by my two favorite department stores, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.
9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour, 305.866.0311; www.balharbourshops.com
2 The Village of Merrick Park
The Village of Merrick Park is truly a shopper’s paradise. When you’re there, you don’t even feel like you’re in a mall, more like a luxury neighborhood. Here you will find stores like Jimmy Choo, La Perla, Burberry, Donald J. Pliner and Gucci. They also have weekly events and live music that make it an all-around joyful shopping experience.
358 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables, 305.529.0200; www.villageofmerrickpark.com
3 Miracle Mile
The famed Miracle Mile in Coral Gables is known the world over for being the destination for bridal boutiques. You can literally find dozens of shops that will help you put together your special day. Whether you’re about to be married or not, the shops here are worth checking out.
4 Collins Avenue
When most people think of shopping in South Beach, they instinctively think of Lincoln Road. And while the bustling strip of stores, restaurants and entertainment is certainly a destination, I prefer venturing a little off course down to Collins Avenue. The strip of Collins between about Sixth Street and 13th Street is also filled with shops. The difference is — fewer tourists, less crowds and better high-end stores. There you can find Intermix, Barney’s Co-op, Curve, The Webster and more.
5 Town Center at Boca Raton
Town Center is the largest mall in Palm Beach County, and the second largest in all of South Florida. After three decades, it has become one of the best indoor shopping malls. Anchor department stores include Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, while specialty stores include Bvlgari, Montblanc, Swarovski and CH Carolina Herrera. Another reason to visit this particular mall – next week, the first-ever U.S. location of Ulysse Nardin will open.