As much as we love coming home to a shipment of boxes—online shopping really does make every day feel like Christmas morning in Miami—few retail experiences compare to what you’ll find at the malls in Miami. The architecturally stunning, and often lavish, marketplaces aren’t just places to stock up on the latest fashions, they’re also some of our favorite rainy-day destinations in Miami and one-stop-shops for eating, drinking and relaxing. It doesn’t hurt that Miami malls are among the most kid-friendly places in Miami. The next time your closet hasn’t a thing in it to wear (always) or the kiddos in your life are rained in and restless (brace yourself for summer), spend the day exploring one of these malls in Miami.
Best malls in Miami
What is it? South Beach’s outdoor pedestrian mall is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance as it welcomes new stores, introduces free programming (like yoga and music concerts) and a spate of fresh dining options. The people watching is still one of our favorite reasons to shop here.
Stores to shop: Stroll the promenade in search of brands such as Zara, All Saints, Gap, Apple, Nespresso, Anthropologie, Scotch & Soda and Ted Baker.
What is it? The billion-dollar complex is Downtown Miami’s first and only shopping mall, spanning five stories across three city blocks. It’s huge and filling the massive space is a Saks Fifth Avenue store, two Italian food halls—Casa Tua Cucina and La Centrale—and a luxury movie theater, CMX, featuring a full bar and restaurant.
Why go? Actual retail might be the last thing on your mind here—restaurants like Pubbelly Sushi and Tacology are among the many delicious distractions. But there’s plenty else to spend your money on, like Apple products, Zara fashions and Lafayette 148 dresses.
What is it? Two words: Celebrity central. Spot the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West browsing for designer wares at this beautiful open-air mall. And forget a food court—Bal Harbour boasts Stephen Starr gems Makoto and Le Zoo.
Why go? Nearly every single high-end label has a home at Bal Harbour Shops. If you can’t find its stand-alone shop, chances are you can shop the designer at the mall’s Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus outposts.
What is it? A neighborhood mainstay for families in the Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay neighborhoods, the Falls is a small, open-air shopping area with big-box stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s. Need to impress a little person in your life? The Falls is home to Miami’s only American Girl Store.
Why go? It has fountains, fish ponds, a movie theater and several restaurants for those not into buying things.
What is it? This outdoor mall mixes high-end and mid-level retailers and features family-friendly grassy areas and restaurants with al fresco seating.
Why go? You can drop a stack of cash on a new Rolex watch or Gucci handbag here as easily as you can pop in for a new pair of leggings from Lululemon. Pro tip: shop at Nordstrom and get up to two hours of free parking.
What is it? Miami’s most fashionable enclosed mall added a fancy new wing with trendy designers and more high-end options—think Tesla and Stuart Weitzman—but its massive Macy’s store, the largest in Florida, is what really draws crowds. Valet parking comes in clutch during the extremely busy holiday season.
Why go? This might be Miami’s most cookie-cutter mall: big-box stores (Macy’s, Nordstrom, Saks), a food court, several decent restaurants and lots of parking. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
What is it? What once used to one of Miami’s buzziest malls (the now-shuttered Virgin Megastore was its main attraction) is now a hangout for teens and families, partly thanks to its large movie theater and trendy bowling alley.
Why go? Familiar stores make up the bulk of shops here, from Gap and Banana Republic to Victoria’s Secret and Express.
What is it? South Florida’s largest mall is a short half-hour drive from Downtown Miami, and worth every bit of traffic you’re bound to encounter on I-95. It’s overrun with tourists clamoring for discounts at one of Sawgrass’s hundreds of outlet stores, everything from the Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off Fifth to Cole Haan and Nike.
Why go? Bargains! Bargains! Bargains! Score major discounts on loads of brands, including designer labels like Vince, David Yurman and Burberry, all featuring stand-alone shops at the Colonnade Outlets section of the mall. The giant, crocodile-shaped complex boasts multiple restaurants, a movie theater and even a Target. Wear your most comfortable shoes or you won’t stand a chance.
What is it? Miami’s only outlet mall mixes dining, entertainment and shopping. Inside you’ll find stores like Guess and Marshall’s plus chain restaurants such as Kona Grill and Dave and Buster’s. Tourists bring suitcases to shop here—the discounts are that good.
Why go? If you can’t make it to Sawgrass Mills, Dolphin Mall is the next best thing for outlet shopping.
What is it? The 35-year-old mall grew from a handful of anchor stores to boasting more than 300 shops that run the gamut from bargain to luxury. In November 2017, Aventura Mall introduced a new wing with outposts of chain stores Zara and Topshop, as well as restaurants Serafina and Pubbelly Sushi, plus a food hall and the 93-foot-tall Aventura Slide Tower.
Why go? Aventura Mall ticks off all the boxes of a shopping mall: designer shops, curated boutiques, big-box retailers and a smattering of novelty stores and home-good purveyors. If it’s on your list of must-buy items, it’s bound to be at this massive commercial center.
What is it? Fort Lauderdale’s go-to shopping destination is home to a mix of luxury stores and chain retailers, including Neiman Marcus, H&M and J. Crew. There’s literally something for everyone at this open-air mall. Galleria’s proximity to the Intracoastal Waterway adds to its glittering image.
Why go? When you’re pressed for options of things to do in and places to dine, Galleria is the answer for both: Do a little shopping sit down to a lobster dinner at Truluck’s or sip cocktails at Blue Martini in one spot.