Reputed to be the South's biggest flea market, Fort Lauderdale's Swap Shop is an experience all in itself. You can't miss the bright yellow people bridge over Sunrise Boulevard which beckons passers-by to come on in and be surprised. Forget the malls and all that's new and shiny! This is an unbelievable place to find that special addition to your collection, or even be inspired to start a new one! With more than 2000 eager vendors that spans about 75 acres, there's something to delight everyone who comes in. And don't just plan on an afternoon of shopping as there is an added draw: "The World's Largest" 14-screen drive-in movie theater, which has lined up traffic for years. Definitely a must do if traveling with the family. Head for the Swap Shop where oldies are goodies!
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Everyone is curious about the Swap Shop, and who can miss it? World-famous and a must-do.
Dale's expert tip: You've heard about it, now experience it. You won't believe what you'll find here!
Christmas shoppers must make time for the very popular Outdoor World. Conveniently located in Dania Beach, this place is more than just a store, this is hunting and fishing enthusiast's dream. And bring the kids, too and watch their faces as they take in the reindeer display, and Santa Clause visits at scheduled times. Next door to the International Game and Fishing Association World Fishing Center, this enormous facility has something for everyone. Be it hunting, fishing, camping, boating, golf, or casual wear, this is the authority for outdoor sporting attire. And there's even a hotel right next door if a few-hour visit is not enough!
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: A landmark all its own with a national reputation and fitting for South Florida.
Dale's expert tip: Fascinating even to those who are not into the sports world. Plan a few hours – and bring your camera!
Certainly a mall like few others, The Festival Flea Market Mall in Pompano Beach, Florida, just a few miles north of Fort Lauderdale, is an experience all its own. This mall is over a quarter-mile long and has more than five hundred amazing unique stores under one roof, a food court that will please every taste, an entertainment center, as well as a special treat for antique lovers. Literally, from the ordinary to the extraordinary, it's all right here. The Festival Flea Market Mall has a great sense of community. Local vendors have set up shop and offer quality products at incredible prices – and an exceptional variety. Easily accessible off Sample Road with plenty of parking, this family-friendly shopping mecca is the place to spend a full day.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: If you can't find it here you won't find it anywhere, and worth a visit.
Dale's expert tip: Nothing fancy here, but plenty of amazing deals from colognes to phones to antiques.
Shopping in Hollywood, Florida's famed Hollywood Boulevard is an exceptional experience, and what a better place to experience old Florida while doing holiday shopping with its near-endless options. This historic tree-lined boulevard offers shops, sidewalk cafes and a classic old-Florida ambiance that attracts throngs of locals and visitors alike. From fine dining to the best pizza restaurants, Mexican and sushi, just to name a few, Hollywood Boulevard dining options are numerous and deserve a few trips to try out. Shopping boutiques offer the finest in clothing and shoes, novelties and antiques, and what a perfect place for pictures and memories of the day.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: This historic landmark with its picturesque layout is perfect for a day of shopping.
Dale's expert tip: Weekends get crowded so plan a leisurely day of strolling along the Boulevard then to Young Circle for its beautiful park and art displays.
The Fountains in the city of Plantation has grown to be one of the premiere shopping destinations west of Fort Lauderdale. Located at I-595 and University Drive, The Fountains was recently renovated to accommodate a more striking, modern layout with a lush tropical landscape, luxurious residential mid-rise, and plenty of parking. Doing so presented the opportunity to add top name shopping and dining venues that have drawn shoppers from all over South Florida. Flanked by a new, large Publix Grocery Store with its new White Apron cooking school as well as Whole Foods to the south and Barnes and Noble to the north, The Fountains has a list of famous names such as Kohl's, Marshalls, Dick's Sporting Goods, Office Depot, Total Wine & More, and Jos. A. Bank. And after a full day of shopping, stay for lunch or dinner. From great barbecue at Smokey Bones to endless salads at Sweet Tomatoes, classic Italian at The Olive Garden and the refreshing Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, and, of course, everyone's favorites: Chili's, Red Lobster and Applebees and Duffy's Sports Grill. It's all here. So whether you want to visit to shop and dine for an afternoon or stay for a lifetime,
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Newly expanded and renovated with top-named stores and restaurants and a loyal following of locals.
Dale's expert tip: Traffic can be heavy on weekends and evenings so go north to Pine Island and then east on Peters Road and enter there.
Located west of Fort Lauderdale in the upscale suburb of Plantation is Broward Mall. On the cross streets of Broward and University Boulevard, this popular local mall is the stop to make for a weekend shopping trip or an evening out. Classic tried-and-true favorites like Sears and JC Penney attract shoppers to this traditional shopping center. Retail venues include Gap, Ann Taylor Loft, Brookstone, Foot Locker and Nine West. Broward Mall's food court provides a quick, leisurely stop for a quick lunch between stores with such favorites as Cajun Grill, Panda Express, Subway and Haagen-Dazs. This popular local mall is conveniently neighbored by Target, Barnes & Noble, Kohl's, Office Max, and Plantation's popular shopping area, The Fountains. This newly-renovated attraction boasts of such restaurants as Chili's, Olive Garden and Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, along with even more shopping possibilities such as Dick's Sporting Goods and The Dollar Store. This area can get a bit crowded on weekends, but it's certainly worth the waiting time.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: A popular shopping center in this western suburb and easy to get to off I-595 and University Drive.
Dale's expert tip: This popular local mall is great for those looking for the familiar, and ready to take advantage of great buys.
For over 40 years Coral Ridge Mall in Fort Lauderdale has been a staple shopping center and the go-to place for locals and visitors alike. Just blocks from the very popular Fort Lauderdale Beach and easy to find at the crossroads of Oakland Park and Federal Highway, there is always a friendly crowd to mingle with and plenty of stores to browse. Coral Ridge Mall was constructed back when Fort Lauderdale was getting its footing as a true vacation getaway in the sun and a popular city to relocate for the best of the good life, and also at a time when shopping malls were a new thing and springing up across America. This popular shopping center has never lost its appeal as other, perhaps more glamorous, shopping venues have come along. Coral Ridge Mall is a mainstay that is as fresh, contemporary and inviting as the day it opened. The stores here are a list of America's most treasured: Home Goods, Marshalls, Old Navy, Bath & Body Works, Game Stop, Famous Footwear, the newly enlarged anchor store, Target, and, of course, everyone's favorite, the AMC 10 Theatres. Stick around for lunch, too, at Einstein Bros. Bagel or the delightful and delicious Galaxy Pizza or Subway.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: One of South Florida's oldest shopping malls and conveniently located.
Dale's expert tip: Weekends are busy and the best parking is on the lot north of the mall.
Probably the most popular street in Fort Lauderdale, trendy Las Olas Boulevard features one-of-a-kind shops, galleries, restaurants, boutiques and nightclubs. But the fun doesn't stop there. This is where the city comes to play. Check the calendar and plan to visit the popular Las Olas Art Fair, which draws in thousands of locals and visitors to mingle with gallery owners and artists. Las Olas Boulevard is also where food lovers enjoy the annual Las Olas Food and Wine Festival, where local celebrity chefs and dedicated foodies indulge in their passion for food and wine. The beautiful architecture of Las Olas boasts a picturesque Mediterranean influence and showcases finely landscaped green space. This is definitely a place for eyeing up the latest styles and enjoying the sights and sounds of an upscale Floridian crowd.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Despite the sub-tropical temperatures, Christmas is in the air on Las Olas Boulevard.
Dale's expert tip: Don't leave without taking a shopping trip to Las Olas. It is what Ft. Lauderdale is all about.
Billed as the second most popular tourist attraction in the state of Florida after Disney World, this Fort Lauderdale sprawling shopping mall's more than 350 stores are brimming with unbeatable bargains. Also noted as being Florida's largest outlet mall, Sawgrass Mills is home to such popular retailers as Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom Rack, Sacks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH and TJ Maxx. Shoppers also find high-end designers, including Kate Spade, Coach and Burberry. After a successful shopping spree, the adjacent IMAX theatre and nearby offering of restaurants such as P.F. Chang's and The Cheesecake Factory, offer exceptional ways to unwind. And don't worry: There's more than enough parking!
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: There is literally something for everyone in this amazing complex, and affordable, too.
Dale's expert tip: This is where Florida comes to shop.
Keeping with Fort Lauderdale's grand world-class image, The Galleria has set a new standard in shopping for residents and its many visitors alike. It's easy to see why this upscale shopping mecca is one of the most popular malls in Fort Lauderdale. Not far from the beach on Sunrise Boulevard, this inviting two-story, upscale shopping center is home to well-loved stores, such as Neiman Marcus, Dillard's, Macy's, Ann Taylor, Victoria's Secret, Banana Republic and the Apple Store. Take advantage of the convenient valet parking and shop to your heart's content, then enjoy a leisurely meal at popular eateries like P.F. Chang's, Blue Martini and Trulucks, all within walking distance.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The finest in world-class stores in an upscale setting an close to the beach.
Dale's expert tip: A world-class shopping center for world-class shoppers.