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By: Kara Franker

Things to do and see in Bal Harbour

Famous for its high-end shopping center featuring the who’s who of luxury designer brands, Bal Harbour is every bit glitz as it is glam. Of course, there’s more to Bal Harbour than shopping and fabulous hotels - when you’re ready for some outdoor recreation, the beach is mere minutes away.

shops
Shop & enjoy the landscaping at Bal Harbour Shops

Where to Shop & StrollBal Harbour Shops

Located in a picturesque seaside village just north of Miami Beach, Bal Harbour Shops has been compared to Madison Avenue, but with a tropical twist. Stanley Whitman founded the high-end shopping center, pursuing a vision that now serves as the heart of the village. Visitors continue to come from all over the world to spend the day hunting for the absolute perfect new handbag or pair of pumps. Go for the retail therapy and stay for the impressive landscaping, complete with shady palms, fragrant orange trees and Koi ponds. And while there’s plenty of designer merchandise, you don’t have to break the bank - it’s also a great place for a coffee or an author event at the local Books & Books. 9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour, FL 33154

Makoto
Experience Chef Makoto Okuwa's creations at Makoto

Where to Dine at Bal Harbour Shops

Makoto

Located in Bal Harbour Shops, chef Makoto Okuwa showcases his take on Japanese cuisine at his namesake restaurant Makoto with traditional Edomae sushi alongside creative items like tuna pizza, sautéed air spinach and ginger lamb chops. We’re pretty confident that someone who studied the art of sushi in Japan for ten years and calls Morimoto a mentor is legit, so be sure to check this spot out.

Carpaccio

Since opening its doors in 1994, Carpaccio has been the go-to spot for Italian dining in Bal Harbour Shops. If it’s not too steamy outside, grab a seat on the expansive terrace for some primo people-watching. Tasty pastas and pizzas hold up next to fresh fish and salads, along with authentic desserts like tiramisu and tartufo. And while some of the restaurants in Bal Harbour can be pricey, this is a spot where you don’t have to spend a lot.

Zoo
French fare at Le Zoo

Le Zoo

If you have a craving for très délicieux French dining, grab a table at the stylish brasserie Le Zoo, where the interior is a take on the modern French bistro, complete with rattan chairs, Mid-century lighting and handmade tiles fashioned from wine corks. For Francophiles, go for the selection of regional cheeses or salmon Provencal, and don’t forget to start with an order of baked ricotta crepes and escargot for the full experience.

beach
Hypnotic & relaxing hues of Bal Harbour beach's ocean

Where to Explore

Bal Harbour Beach

A welcome respite from the bustle of South Beach, Bal Harbour Beach is a chill, clean and private option for those looking for low-key sunning or swimming. Fitness aficionados can try their hand at surfing or take advantage of the jogging path that starts from the northern end of Bal Harbour and goes all the way down to the southern tip. Just be sure to bring your phone for some selfie-worthy pics with the turquoise-colored water.

ritz
An extra dose of relaxation at the spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Bal Harbour

The Ritz-Carlton, Bal Harbour

If you’d rather opt for a pool or spa day, a few of the best hotels in the area offer a potent combo of sun, sand and luxury. The Ritz-Carlton, Bal Harbour, Miami has access to a sugar-white beach and jaw-dropping views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal. For an extra dose of chill, book a treatment at the spa or order a poolside lunch. And for those traveling with kids, there just so happens to be a Ritz Kids experience for the nonadults to have their own version of fun. 10295 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour, FL 33154

Regis
So many ways to disconnect at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort

The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort

Nearby, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort is all about elegance and taste. For foodies there are multiple restaurant options, including sushi and a burger bar. Inspired and curated by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, there’s careful use of locally sourced products and greens from South Miami farms, plus signature sodas and bomb homemade sauces. As the name suggests, some of the best dishes are prepared on the grill, from octopus and branzino to asparagus and foie gras. Looking to disconnect? Try the spa or the two outdoor infinity pools. There are also activities for kids here, and furry friends are welcome. 9703 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour, FL 33154

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