Check Off Your Holiday Lists at These Area Shopping Centers

By Kristopher Neild, Travel Expert

The holidays are great in Florida because it usually means the temperature will dip below the muggy 80 degrees and above that hangs around during the summer months. With the cooler weather comes the urge to get out and explore all that is Christmas. Shopping is a huge part of the holiday season, whether it's buying the tree and home decorations or gifts for the company holiday party. When it’s time to fight the crowds for the perfect gift, there are so many wonderful options for every budget in Palm Beach/ West Palm Beach.

City Place is absolutely worth checking out this time of year. The whole area is beautifully decorated and there is an event happening most every night. Since we don’t usually expect snow in Florida, it’s a pretty neat experience to head downtown and see the “snow” falling from the sky every night. While you’re enjoying the winter wonderland, pop in Tommy Bahama for a nice gift for your dad or Anthropologie for your niece. With so many stores, you’re bound to find everything and more that you’re looking for. Check out the list for the other top spots for picking up the perfect Christmas gift in Palm Beach/ West Palm Beach. 

Also, don't forget to check out the sprawling Palm Beach Outlets right off I-95.

10. Target
Photo courtesy of Target

Target has been on the shopping radar of many for years because it carries quality brands at competitive prices. The Palm Beach Lakes location has covered parking and a Starbucks inside to make the shopping experience even more pleasurable. With great deals on everything from clothes and shoes to electronics and furniture, Target has something for every budget. Visit the Palm Beach Lakes Target and it's easy to pick up toiletries and food for the week, as well as that DVD you've been waiting on to come out. With so much going on these days, it's really convenient when all of the necessary shopping can be completed in one trip.

9. The Mall at Wellington Green
Photo courtesy of New York City Focus

While it's easily a 30-minute drive from Palm Beach, this Wellington mall lures shoppers with its popular selection of stores and eateries. Williams-Sonoma, Express, Express Men, and Baby Gap are among featured retailers, in addition to anchor stores Macy's, Nordstrom, Dillard's, and JCPenney. When you're ready for a bite to eat, choose from Ruby Tuesday, California Pizza Kitchen, Charley's Steakery, Starbucks, Haagen-Dazs, the food court and more. The sheer selection of stores that you can't find anywhere else in the area, makes the Wellington Mall a destination shopping experience. Be sure to check it out for any holiday shopping needs.

8. The Shops at the Breakers
Photo courtesy of The Breakers

The Shops at the Breakers make it possible to have the best of luxury options right at your fingertips during your stay on Palm Beach. No trip to Palm Beach is complete without Lilly Pulitzer as her vibrant patterns are now synonymous with classy beach wear for men, women and children. Find her patterned pieces in the boutique or head to Absolutely Suitable for swimwear carrying the same iconic designs. Of course there are many other designers showcasing swimwear items here and so there is bound to be a style for everyone. The Shops also offer a children's boutique, Coconut Corner, a jewelry store, Mix at the Breakers, as well as the new complement to that- Match at the Breakers, a resort shoe salon. There are several more stores that offer indulgent salon products as well as the essentials needed for a great day out on the golf course. If you've already headed home from your trip to Palm Beach but wish you would have picked up something special then be sure to check out the online shopping through The Breaker's website.

7. Worth Avenue
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Perhaps the quintessential emblem of Palm Beach affluence, Worth Avenue is a paean to wealth and style. The Mediterranean-inspired architecture, much of it designed by local architect Addison Mizner, is endlessly charming. The primary street is lined with delicious shops and light-wrapped palms, while vias (small side streets) branch off the main avenue and expand into lush, vine-laden courtyards that are oh-so-European. Retailers include a who's who of fashion and prestige, including Chanel, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co., Herm�s, Cartier, Escada and Van Cleef & Arpels. Even if you don't buy, make sure to wander through the area. Its wonderful ambience is as intoxicating as its top-quality merchandise.

6. Gander Mountain
Photo courtesy of Gander Mountain

Gander Mountain is certainly the place for the outdoorsman or sports enthusiast. Gander should be your first stop once you've planned out your Florida adventure. Whether you're going to be in the water, on the water, or out in the wild on the trails, this place has all of the gear you could need and more. At Gander, you can stock up on the UV protective clothing and grab a new kayak to explore the Intracoastal Waterway. If hunting is more your thing, they have everything from the gun or bow to the orange safety vests that go over your camo. It's hard to call yourself an adventurer if you haven't made a trip to Gander Mountain yet!

5. The Gardens Mall
Photo courtesy of The Gardens Mall

The Gardens Mall, located in Palm Beach Gardens, is not only beautiful inside, but has everything you need whether you are shopping for a loved one or picking up a special treat for yourself. Walk around the mall and you'll quickly notice the luxurious feel thanks to the high-end designer stores like Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Burberry and Tory Burch. If you want more bang for your buck, then Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Express, and H&M, may the perfect stops for you. The Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma offer great home shopping options. The full food court as well as P.F. Chang's China Bistro and the California Pizza Kitchen offer plenty of food choices when you need a recharge from the endless shopping available.

4. Nordstrom Rack
Photo courtesy of Nordstrom Rack

Nordstrom Rack is the off-price division of Nordstrom, the well-known upscale fashion chain that got its start over 100 years ago. With the same vendor connections as the full line store, Nordstrom Rack is able to offer similar brands and styles at a fraction of the cost. The Rack sells designer shoes and suits that are too good to pass up. Also known for its quality watches and handbags, it isn't uncommon to walk away paying less than half cost for a name brand item. The retailer also has online shopping, if you just don't feel like fighting the crowds at the Nordstrom Rack near the Palm Beach Outlets.

3. Palm Beach Outlets
Photo courtesy of Christmasstockimages

The Palm Beach Outlets are open for business, beckoning deal hunters off Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach. Over 100 stores have opened so far, with more to come as the construction on the property progresses. There are shopping opportunities for everyone, with big names like Nike, Saks, Express, Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein and more pleasing customers with great sticker prices. The outlets are open-air, but are covered by massive tents to provide shelter when the afternoon rains come. At night, the tents light up, changing colors constantly to draw further foot traffic to the shopping mecca. The Outlets correctly anticipated that people would get hungry during their shopping binges. There is a Starbucks, Subway and BJ's Brewery on site as well as a Haagen Dazs which kids will surely enjoy.

2. Macy's
Photo courtesy of Macy's

It's no secret that Macy's has been a top retailer for years, and visiting the Gardens Mall and City Place locations makes it easy to see why. One step into Macy's and you can tell the experience will be full of quality, name brand items and excellent customer service. This is the place to go for fine watches and jewelry as well as designer shoes like Michael Kors and Cole Haan. Looking for a markdown on an upscale item? Taking a stroll through Macy's is still the best way to get a bargain if you have the time to browse. If you're looking for a specific item, it may be easier to purchase and use the convenient free-shipping to a Macy's near you.

1. City Place
Photo courtesy of Christmasstockimages

City Place is great for shopping; the stores are laid out in a way that walking around them is a pleasant experience. Stop in Starbucks or Panera Bread for a coffee and treat before you get started, then make your way through any of the more than 40 stores ranging from high-end to budget friendly. There are staples like Gap, Banana Republic, Victoria's Secret, and Macy's as well as specialty stores like Sephora, Cache, and Anthropologie. If you're visiting from out of town and looking for a souvenir from your trip then you'll want to stop by Destination Palm Beach. If you're just getting to town but are low on beachwear, then Tommy Bahama's is where you'll need to be. Don't let the downtown location make you worried about parking fees because when you park in the City Place garage, spend $50 shopping, and show the attendant your same-day receipt, you get four hours free. City Place is great for one-stop shopping too thanks to Publix in the area, so come and spend several hours enjoying the stores, fountains, and many dining options.