Updated: Aug 21, 2019
To some of us it’s the place to go to drain our wallet after a painful break-up. To others, it’s the only way to entertain our kids who won’t stop crying. Some of us only go once in a while when there are those huge discounts on a Black Friday. Whatever the reason, shopping malls are the essential parts of any touristic city, including Miami. Here is a quick guide to some of the most stylish shopping malls in MIAMI.
LINCOLN ROAD MALL
Crowded and chaotic at every hour and only ten blocks away from the South Beach, Lincoln Road is considered South Florida’s premier outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment destination. The pedestrian-only promenade has many restaurants and stores lined up. Clothing stores such as ZARA, Gap, Forever 21, Athleta and Nike are open daily from 10 am to 11 pm every day. The excellent variety of restaurants includes Havana 1957 with Cuban specialties, Shake Shack burgers, Molto Pizza and Booze, Meat Market with gourmet steaks and so on. Numerous sidewalk tables are perfectly suitable for people-watching and happy-hours with discounted drinks.
Nestled near the Biscayne Bay and the marina, Bayside Marketplace is the number-one touristic attraction in downtown Miami. It was opened in 1987 during a major real estate boom, but its popularity increased dramatically as it was frequently featured on the TV series Miami Vice. Today, Bayside Marketplace has over 120 stores, daily concerts, restaurants and bars. Last but not least, it is the departure point of cruises, fishing boats and speed boats that you can join to enjoy picturesque views of the waterfront area.
SHOPS AT MIDTOWN MIAMI
If you want to get away from Downtown Miami, Midtown Miami is district that has developed in the last decade. Built in 2005, Shops at Midtown Miami is a multi-purpose urban complex with apartments and offices above shops and stores. You might be disappointed if you came here to satisfy your inner shopping maniac, but the enormous collection of dining options compensates for it. Restaurant chains such as Spanish 100 Montaditos, American Five Guys, Brazilian Giraffas and many more are located here, presenting the best selection of Spanish cuisine. Since the mall is very popular amongst white-collars, many restaurants offer free parking Monday through Friday between 12-3 pm.
BAL HARBOUR SHOPS
An article about Miami cannot be complete without the mention of celebrities. The open-air mall Bal Harbour Shops is a regular destination for many celebrities from Jennifer Lopez and the Kardashians. We can’t blame them, because all the big-buck labels such as Prada, Gucci, Chanel, Versace and Bulgari are located in this two-story building. Once the site of World War II army barracks, this high-fashion shopping center has been named the world’s most productive shopping center. As a consequence, Bal Harbour is the first stop for many distinguished designers to display their new collections.
BRICKELL CITY CENTRE
Although the previous items on the list are on high demand, none of them existed before Brickell City Centre, which is the first shopping mall established in Downtown Miami. To this day, it still maintains a status as a mall that boasts Miami’s top-ranked restaurants. The major highlights of the mall are Pubbelly Sushi, Tacology and Luke’s Lobster. In the fashion department, it is home to high-end world-renowned brands from Victoria’s Secret to Saks Fifth Avenue stores as well as newer and lesser-known foreign brands. Luxury movie theaters and Italian food halls are huge bonus elements. A recent gem is Mexico’s CMX Cinema that allows you to combine fine-dining experience and movie-watching. What more can you ask for!
Just outside Miami, there are two of the largest malls in the United States. Aventura Mall is the largest not only in Miami, but also in Florida and the third largest in the US. The mall consists of over 300 stores from Apple to Gucci, from H&M to Microsoft, From Burberry to Adidas and many more. Inside the large Treats Food Hall, there are over 50 restaurants while the art section boasts galleries and exhibitions. Overall, Aventura Mall is a representation of a distinct life style, not just a regular shopping mall.
Following Aventura Mall, Sawgrass Mill is the second largest mall in Florida, the eleventh largest in the US and the largest single-story outlet in the country. It was estimated that it expanded four times its original size back in 1990. Its vast territory prompted a division into three parts. The main mall consists of avenues, where the fashion brands are located. The Oasis at Sawgrass mills is more of a outdoors entertainment area and an amusement park. The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Mills has numerous shops and restaurants. Cheesecake Factory and California Pizza Kitchen are two sole reasons for visiting this mall.
THE SHOPS AT SUNSET PLACE
This outdoor shopping mall is a bigger entertainment component than a shopping component. The enormous entertainment center called GameTime (the only one in Miami) is the biggest factor with an arcade-games center that will make you feel like you are in Japan, game tournaments, family-friendly restaurants and more. As if that wasn’t enough, a bowling alley was added in 2008, followed by a 24-screen cinema by AMC Entertainment. The fact that it is very close to South Miami Station makes it much more accessible than many other malls in Miami. After all, who wouldn’t want to go to a shopping mall without having to find a parking spot?
If there is one way to a nature-lover to a shopping mall, it’s the malls like the Falls in Miami. The walkways are literally surrounded by fountains, ponds, artificial waterfalls and lush tropical foliage, so it’s almost impossible to feel overwhelmed. Among the dining options, P.F Chang’s China Bisto, BJ’s Restaurant and Brio Tuscan Grill stand out. The mall also features more than 100 stores including Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Michael Kors and American Girl (R). The Movie Theater UA Falls operates everyday between 10 AM to 9 PM. Last but not least, the mall is very close to attractions such as Perez Art Museum Miami and Ocean Drive. Everything considered, a day-trip to the Falls is guaranteed to give you the relief of a 5-days-vacation.
This enclosed mall went through numerous expansions, renovations and an unfortunate shooting-spree in broad daylight. Despite all the ups and downs, it is one of the most iconic venues of Miami with its iconic concrete tower and statues. Today, it boasts Florida’s largest Macy’s as well as Saks Fifth Avenue, JCPenney and so on. Because of its unique architecture, it was featured in a few movies including Alec Baldwin’s Miami Blues and Chuck Norris’ Invasion USA. So, if you are lucky enough, you might just find yourself in the middle of a movie set.
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