By: Shayne Benowitz
Home to sunshine, high fashion and plenty of outdoor malls, Miami is a shopper’s paradise.
Miami is a high fashion city. And with sunny and sizzling temperatures, it’s no wonder there’s a whole host of outdoor shopping malls to enjoy. Why wander through the air-conditioned hallways of a mall when you can feel the sunshine on your shoulders and take in the sights of swaying palm trees amidst beautifully landscaped plazas?
Many of these outdoor shopping malls even boast live entertainment for the full experience. And, of course, no day of shopping is complete without a bite to eat and a cocktail to unwind. Here’s your guide to some of Miami’s best outdoor shopping malls.
Bal Harbour Shops
Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus anchor Miami’s most luxurious and iconic outdoor mall, Bal Harbour Shops. With lush, tropical palms, limestone walkways, koi ponds and art installations, it’s home to every designer flagship under the sun. Ideal for aspirational window shoppers or those inclined to make a splurge, shops include Chanel, Prada, Valentino, Versace, Van Cleef & Arpels and more. Don’t miss multi-brand boutique Oxygene for a smartly edited selection of ready-to-wear by Lanvin, Isabel Marant and Alexander Wang, as well as adorable designer baby clothes. French bistro Le Zoo by restaurateur Stephen Starr is a local hotspot and the perfect place to refuel with a glass of white wine and French onion soup.
Bayside Marketplace in Downtown
Overlooking beautiful Biscayne Bay and surrounded by the dramatic downtown cityscape — including PortMiami and American Airlines Arena — Bayside Marketplace blends shopping with pleasure as national retailers share space with culturally distinctive merchandise and nonstop entertainment. More than 150 shops include big names like Gap, Wet Seal and Victoria’s Secret, while small carts and kiosks sell local crafts and memorabilia, exotic jewelry, leather goods and gift items from around the world. An open-air plaza invites strolling and relaxing in between purchases, as shoppers take a break from browsing to take in street performers and concerts. Anchored by Hard Rock Cafe and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. with spectacular waterfront views, Bayside is also the embarkation point for many of Miami’s water sports adventures.
Mary Brickell Village in Brickell
Mary Brickell Village is the heart of Brickell’s thriving shopping and entertainment district. Lined with bars and restaurants, it’s a popular spot for lunch, happy hour and late nights amongst Brickell’s young professional crowd. Shop the chic boutiques, like Atik, Basik, Blush, Indie Soul and Essence Shoes, and don’t forget to make time for a little pampering at Massage Envy or Spa & Nail Fever. This outdoor plaza is always buzzing, so stick around for a drink at hotspots Blue Martini or Brother Jimmy’s and then grab a bite to eat at Baru Urbano for a pan-Latin feast.
Midtown Miami Shops
In the city center, Midtown Miami is a shopping mecca anchored with big box stores like Target, HomeGoods, Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack. Surrounded by some of the city’s best new restaurants, like Blackbrick Chinese, Brasserie Azur and longtime standbys like Sugar Cane and Spris Artisan Pizza, dining and nightlife sometimes takes center stage here. Flanked by luxury high-rise apartment buildings, Midtown is a hip spot for young professionals looking for a chill, yet fun night out.
CocoWalk in Coconut Grove
In bohemian Coconut Grove, CocoWalk is an open-air shopping, dining and entertainment destination that invokes the ambiance of a Spanish square amidst South Florida’s tropical atmosphere. You’ll find national retail favorites, like GAP, Cheesecake Factory, Fat Tuesday, Maui Nix Surf Shop, Edward Beiner Eyewear and the exclusive First Flight Out, a Pan Am historical exhibit and retail store. When the sun sets, CocoWalk heats up with live music and art strolls, as well as the bar and restaurant scene for al fresco drinks, dining and dessert. Film buffs can also catch a flick in the ultramodern Paragon 13 movie theater for a VIP experience.
Shops at Merrick Park in Coral Gables
In lushly landscaped Coral Gables, the Shops at Merrick Park is one of Miami’s most upscale outdoor shopping malls. Named for George E. Merrick, the mastermind behind the “City Beautiful,” the Village of Merrick Park is home to 115 shops and restaurants on three levels with tropical gardens and fountains surrounding a central courtyard. The setting is peaceful, beautiful and decidedly chic. Anchored by Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, you can peruse the racks at luxury boutiques like Gucci, CH Carolina Herrera, Tiffany & Co., Diane Von Furstenberg and Burberry. Take a shopping time out for lunch and a glass of wine at Villagio or Piripi, and craft beer fans will love the selection at Yard House.
Shops at Sunset Place in South Miami
In South Miami, close to the University of Miami, you’ll find the Shops at Sunset Place outdoor mall. Spacious piazzas set a relaxing tone for shopping, dining, movie-going and martini-sipping. While readers browse in Barnes & Noble, fashionistas can check out the Armani Exchange, Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters and a host of other stylish shops. It’s also a great place to scope out home furnishings at Z Gallerie. The fun awaits at Gametime and the AMC Sunset Place 24 with an IMAX Theatre. The shops even boast an upscale bowling alley, Splitsville Luxury Lanes & Dinner Lounge, for a fun afternoon diversion.
The Falls in South Miami
In South Miami, waterfalls and covered walkways complemented by lush flora make The Falls a serene place to shop. Boasting more than 100 shops and restaurants, anchored by Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, The Falls is one of the nation’s largest open-air shopping centers, with the first American Girl store in Florida. It’s also home to Apple, Michael Kors, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Build-a-Bear and Williams-Sonoma. Once you’re all shopped out, buy a ticket to a flick at onsite Regal Cinemas. There’s also a wealth of eateries to choose from, including Brio Tuscan Grille, BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse and Corner Bakery Cafe.
Village at Gulfstream Park
Anchored by the legendary Gulfstream Park Racetrack & Casino, the Village at Gulfstream Park is an open-air retail, dining and entertainment destination. Designed by renowned South Florida architect Addison Mizner in a Mediterranean Revival style, shops along the outdoor palazzo include Bang & Olufsen, West Elm, Swimland and the Village Squire. With a bowling alley, live, dance classes and more, the Village of Gulfstream Park offers endless entertainment for the whole family. With over 25 restaurants to choose from including Fountain Club, American Pie Pizzeria, Cantina Laredo and Rok:Brgr, make a night of it after your day of shopping.
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