Everything You Need To Know About Shopping In Miami
Is Miami good for shopping? Miami is one of the best cities in Florida to go shopping in if you want to spend your hard-earned bucks on some classy retail therapy. Stores in Miami are on the ball - they have to be.
The city has a permanent population of around half a million people. Add to those the sixteen million or more visitors who arrive annually for a vacation and that adds up to a lot of potential customers. Shops in Miami need to have goods on their shelf and quality goods too.
Go shopping in Miami and you'll find everything your consumer heart desires. You'll find huge indoor and outdoor malls, shop-lined streets and seafront promenades, amazing retail districts and superb markets selling just about every product imaginable.
Unless you have a chauffeured limousine and a personal driver to take care of your stuff, what you can't do when you go shopping in Miami is carry your luggage around with you. Leave your bags at a Miami luggage storage facility and that way you'll be free to shop to your heart's content.
Where To Go For The Best Shopping In Miami
You may not be able to get to every single shopping place there is in Miami unless you spend your entire time there doing nothing more than going from shop to shop. Listed below are some of the best shopping districts, malls, and commercial areas in Miami as well as the odd store or two you really don't want to miss. Pick out the ones that suit you most then head off for a superb session of retail therapy eyeing luxury goods, browsing flea markets, or even searching for your wedding dress.
Miami Design District
The Miami Design District is one part of the city where you'll probably want to spend a good few hours. Not only is the Miami Design District one of the best shopping areas, it's also crammed with public artworks, art galleries with handcrafted items made by local artisans, and museums, so has a super arty atmosphere.
The Miami Design District houses around eighty high-end stores including the flagship stores for brand names like Hermes, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and just about every other big name in fashion you can think of. The Miami Design District also has over seventy interior design showrooms and quite a few art galleries so even if you don't know how you want to decorate your home, or with what, you will do by the time you've browsed around all the Miami Design District.
Brickell City Centre
Brickell City Centre is a fantastic shopping area in Downtown Miami that you'll need to wear comfortable shoes to get around. The district covers around five blocks with the main store, Saks Fifth Avenue, taking up almost an entire block on its own.
While the name City Center may give the impression that all the shopping is street-side, it's not. The Brickell City Centre incorporates three levels of a semi-enclosed, ultra-modern shopping mall where there are luxury brand name stores, designer boutiques, classy eateries in a food court setting, and a huge movie theater.
The Shops At Mary Brickell Village
If you're getting around Miami on public transport, if you have the time and while you're in the Brickell neighborhood visiting the Brickell City Center, go shopping at The Shops At Mary Brickell Village too.
Shopping at The Shops At Mary Brickell Village in Downtown Miami is a totally different shopping experience than you'll have shopping in the Brickell City Center mall.
This Miami shopping mall, which likes to call itself a lifestyle center, is more like a Mediterranean village that's centered around a plaza with fountains and pavement cafes than a mall. The lifestyle center houses fashion, food and wellness stores, an extensive variety of restaurants and cafes, and is renowned for its lively nightlife.
Miracle Mile is quite possibly the best-known Miami shopping district. Located in Downtown Miami in Coral Gables, the Miracle Mile isn't as long as its name suggests, but it is chock full of super stores and great restaurants.
This palm-tree-lined section of street has an ambiance all its own, has lots of architecturally interesting buildings and a vintage-style trolley service to add even more character. If you like relaxed shopping, designer boutiques selling one-of-a-kind fashion items, and somewhere nice to take a lunch break during your shopping spree, then you'll love shopping on Miracle Mile.
Central Shopping Plaza
The Central Shopping Plaza is one of the two shopping malls closest to Miami International Airport so if you've just landed and have a few hours before your connection, this is the mall to head for.
The Central Shopping Plaza is, as the name suggests, built around a central plaza and is not overly huge so there's no chance of getting lost and missing your flight. There's a good variety of stores, but if you're looking for big-name designer label boutiques you won't find them.
For anyone who wants to feel that special vacation vibe while they're doing their shopping, they should go straight to the Bayside Marketplace in Downtown Miami. The Bayside Marketplace is a part open-air, part enclosed in an arcade-style with glass roof mall right on the waterfront by a Biscayne Bay yacht marina. Shopping in Miami really doesn't get better than this.
The one-hundred and fifty plus stores in the Bayside Marketplace are spread over two levels and there's no shortage of great restaurants here either. You'll soon forget about looking for street food in Miami when you see the delicious dishes the Bayside Marketplace restaurants have on their menus.
Nighttime shopping in Miami doesn't get better than it does at the Bayside Marketplace and that only gets better as there are live concerts, laser shows, and frequent firework displays which add up to make this one of the best Miami shopping malls.
Sunset Harbour Shops
If you've spent the morning on South Beach and need a break from working on your tan, a great place to go shopping nearby is Sunset Harbour Shops. Sunset Harbor Shops is a stylish indoor mall, and basically what Miami shopping is all about, so slipping on something more than a pair of sand-covered flip-flops is recommended. That's okay when you're on South Beach promenade, but not when you're shopping.
At the Sunset Harbor Shops in South Beach, the stores are more boutique-style and stock goods like swimwear, fashionable beachwear, and casual clothes. If you like bargain hunting you'll want to check out the vintage store which stocks used big-name items from designers like Dior, Chanel, and Prada.
The Dolphin Mall is a shopping center located in the Sweetwater district of the city. It's not the most convenient to get to, but well worth the forty-five-minute public transport ride from the coast to get there. For budget shopping, the Dolphin Mall beats even outlet malls hands down.
This mall houses around two hundred and forty stores, many of which have continual discount promotions. Outlet malls, and even flea markets, would have a hard time competing with what they offer here. Shoppers who are not resident in Miami can pick up a special Passport to Shopping Discount Brochure from the visitor's bureau next to the Starbucks cafe if they present their passport or identity card.
That means you can get even more bargains than the ones that are already on offer in the shops. Budget shopping for brands like Banana Republic, Victoria's Secret, and Alexander McQueen? Miami shopping experiences don't get much better than this.
If you want to make your Miami shopping expedition a full-day event then head for the Aventura Mall on Biscayne Boulevard in the Aventura neighborhood of the city. The Aventura Mall is both indoor and outdoor so you won't be stuck inside all the time, but be able to surface for a breath of fresh air on occasion – if you can tear yourself away from the stores.
The Aventura Mall is the largest mall in Miami and houses over three hundred shops distributed over three levels. There are endless restaurants there too, as well as Instagrammable sculptures and artwork everywhere. On Saturdays and Sundays, the lower level of the mall is taken over by the Aventura Farmers Market so there's even more to browse around than on weekdays.
If you're shopping with kids here and they start to get bored, take them to the Aventura Slide Tower. It's a huge metal tube, like a water park chute, that will give them the thrill of a lifetime. It's not just for kids, but adults too, and a great way to take your mind off how much you've spent.
Lincoln Road Mall
When you want an outdoor shopping experience in Miami, rather than spending hours trolling around stores in a mall you should head for Lincoln Road. The Lincoln Road Mall is a ten-block-long pedestrianized thoroughfare that is lined with stores, restaurants, and cafeterias on both sides. Stores on Lincoln Road are varied so there's everything from boutiques stocking designer labels to book shops.
Evening shopping on Lincoln Road is a total treat as the tree-lined walkway is illuminated, there are buskers and terraces full of folk enjoying some outside drinking or dining.
Here you'll even discover food trucks serving some of the best street food in Miami as you walk along too. If you're there at the right time, you'll be able to enjoy the varied offerings at the monthly Artisan Food Market.
Bal Harbour Shops
For a spell of some of the best shopping in Miami, you won't go wrong if you go to Bal Harbour Shops. The Bal Harbour Shops is a three-level outdoor mall chock full of designer stores.
Even if you can't afford to purchase something from all of the hundred-plus stores, window shopping at a jewlers like De Beers, Louis Vuitton bag stores, and a fashion boutique like Valentino is totally free. Don't worry though, you'll also find more middle-of-the-range stores like Victoria's Secret, Calvin Klein, Christian Louboutin, and Urban Outfitters as well as lots of gift shops.
The Falls is a super shopping mall located in the Kendall district of Miami. It's not the largest mall as far as Miami malls go, but still covers an enormous fifty-five acres. If you've never gone shopping in hiking boots you may well want to consider doing it for the first time here.
You'll get a real Miami vibe shopping at The Falls as there are waterfalls and lots of palm trees, but what any youngster you have with you will like best are the great toy shops and the mall's mini train.
There's not really any Miami guide that raves about going shopping in Merrick Park, but they should. The Shops At Merrick Park in the Coral Gables district of Miami is a huge outdoor mall that houses several department stores, anchor stores for name brands like Neiman Marcus and Nordstrum, plus hundreds of other stores.
There are also events and a farmers market held on the courtyard at The Shops At Merrick Park so pretty much always something exciting going on here too.
Now you've read through this guide to shopping in Miami you'll know that you could, if you felt inclined, make shopping in Miami a life-long hobby so long as you have the bank balance to maintain it.
Miami is, in essence, and definitely as far as malls and retail outlets go, very upmarket, so be prepared to be tempted. If you can't afford lots of luxury goods then the best thing to do is leave your credit and debit cards in your hotel safe. The good thing though, if you do weaken, is that you can guarantee you'll be heading home with either a bag full of goodies by luxury brands or have something tasty from one of the farmer's markets you visited.