Best Shopping in Miami

Miami's 10 best spots for retail therapy

Miami is anything but short on places for folks to shop at. There are outlet malls, shopping plazas, stand-alone stores, pop-up shops, farmer's markets, and entire districts devoted to all things shopping. Hell, there are even people peddling their wares on the street on occasion (though this is mainly flowers, mangos, and churros). This is definitely the city for those who subscribe to the notion of retail therapy as necessary.

Tourists often find themselves window shopping and gourmet dining on Lincoln Road, but locals should know better than anyone that this open-air mall offers plenty of goodies for all wallet sizes. Sure, most of us will probably never shop at Alchemist, but the H&M just down the way is fashion forward and budget friendly. 

And then there's the epic outlet shopping experience known as Dolphin Mall. Out-of-towners come here in search of a bargain and they'll find it, along with finding out that walking in flip-flops is only okay on South Beach. Dolphin requires serious, supportive foot wear. Locals know this and don't go to Dolphin nearly as often, but when they do, they go prepared. It makes for a day-long excursion, with over 240 shops to drop your paycheck in.  

But not all Miami shopping is this busy. For those who enjoy kitsch or off-the-beaten-path shops, there's Miami Twice and the Fair Trade Market Place for starters.


For a long while, options for plentiful shopping west of the Turnpike rested solely on the shoulders of Dolphin Mall. But thanks to CityPlace Doral, locals have another wonderful option that features a variety of stores, eateries, beauty and wellness services, as well as plenty of entertainment. The 250,000 square foot destination foregoes the usual anchor shops for boutique stores like Panarea, D&A, Tarbay, and Ella Boutique for a more personalized shopping experience. Shopping is always better when you can pair it with a visit to the salon, and CityPlace Doral also houses a few beauty options, like Tipsy Salon Bar and Venetian Nail Spa to get pampered. For the kids, there's Marina Kids–"an indoor playground with a drop-off option for date nights or when mom just needs a few hours of solo shopping. Speaking of date nights, CityPlace Doral is also home to a wide array of eateries and restaurants, including Suviche, The Cheese Course, Kuba Cabana, and more. Plus, there's Kings Dining and Entertainment (complete with bowling, billiards, and air hockey, among other things), the Improv Comedy Club, a number of bars and breweries, and more. All that said, it's clear that CityPlace Doral is a hub of shopping, relaxation, and fun!

Recommended for Best Shopping because: With boutique shops plus numerous options for dining, pampering, and entertainment, CityPlace Doral has quickly become a favorite for folks living in the nearby burbs.

Priscilla's expert tip: Check their website for details on events like their upcoming Halloween Party and their outdoor Market on the Plaza happening every Sunday.

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Bird and Ludlam Strip Mall
Photo courtesy of Priscilla Blossom

On the southeast corner of Bird Road and Ludlam, you'll find a series of interesting and eclectic shops that are perfect for off-the-beaten-path shopping. The main attraction is Miami Twice, a large, vintage boutique. The shop began as a strictly vintage shop specializing in finds from the 50's, 60's, and 70's, but now offer "modern vintage" (80's and 90's) plus retro-styled clothing and a huge selection of Halloween costumes in October. A&M Comics is the other major tenant of the strip mall, boasting one of the largest and most interesting collections of comic books, graphic novels, used books, figurines and other collectibles, vinyl, vintage newspapers, and even a large selection of vintage Playboy magazines in the back. The strip mall also features NAME Publictations (an independent book publisher that hosts events), Mya My Shop Boutique, a vap and smoke shop, a tattoo parlor, and a coffee shop and blow dry bar for when you need to take a break.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: For a fun, off-the-beaten path shopping experience filled with vintage goods, comic books, and more, Bird and Ludlam Strip Mall delivers.

Priscilla's expert tip: Don't bother parking in those pain-in-the-butt spots in the front. Drive to the end of the strip and pull in. Plenty of parking in the back.

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The Falls

This attractive mall in Pinecrest offers a beautiful, serene shopping experience and features wood plank walkways, lush greenery, and a series of flower-lined tropical lagoons and waterfalls. An open-air complex, the Falls offers such popular retail names as Pottery Barn, Aeropostale, Bebe, Gap, francesca's, American Girl, Restoration Hardware, Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Hot Topic, and Crate & Barrel. While the Falls does not have a food court, appetites may still be satiated by their wide array of casual and fine dining options, including BJ's Brewhouse, BRIO, Johnny Rockets, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, and T.G.I. Friday's. The Falls also frequently puts on community events, and is the location of the locally popular Miracle on 136th Street Holiday Parade.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The Falls continues to thrive with shops ranging from American Girl and Apple, to Sephora and Abercrombie, ensuring a great shopping experience for all.

Jen's expert tip: Check their calendar for fun events open to the community, including their Mother's Day event that features free salon services, massages, cocktails, beer, and even a scavenger hunt.

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As the name suggests, Books and Books is the place to find books, from instructional books on knitting and fishing to novels and poetry chapbooks to historical texts and science journals and even children's bedtime books. Regional, national and international authors often show up here for readings, book signings, and other events. The independen book shop has been host to a number of notables, including Stephen King, Isabel Allende, Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade, Queer Eye's Anthony Porowski, Katie Couric, Dave Barry, and Hillary Clinton. In the era of Amazon, independent bookstores like this one in Coral Gables' Miracle Mile area stand out for friendliness, customer service, comfort, top-notch literary events, and an extensive selection of books on Florida and its unique history, architecture, and culture.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: If your idea of a perfect day of shopping involves all things literary, Books and Books (any location) is the place to go.

Priscilla's expert tip: Tickets to author events and signed books make great holiday gifts, both of which are available here. Also, make sure to check out their multiple locations.

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Dolphin Mall

Convenient to both downtown and Miami International Airport, this mall is one of the area's newest and most modern shopping centers. From Old Navy to Bath & Body Works, Dolphin offers a wide range of shops for all tastes and needs. Anchor stores include Marshall's, Bass Pro Shops, and Saks Outlet. There are men's and women's fashion outlets like Forever 21, Banana Republic, Levi's, Gap, Cotton On, Ross, Calvin Klein and Quicksilver; department stores like Sam Ash Music and Sports Authority; specialty shops like Motherhood Maternity; gift shops like Spencer's; and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Among the mall's many amenities are a Dave & Buster's sports bar, a 19-screen megaplex with stadium seating, and live entertainment in the main courtyard on Fridays.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Dolphin Mall may be crowded, but there's a reason. Hundreds of quality stores can be shopped at in the span of just one day.

Priscilla's expert tip: Try shopping here on a weekday morning in order to avoid the massive crowds.

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Coral Gables is one of Miami's most beautiful neighborhoods, and as such, their Downtown shopping district known as Miracle Mile is one of the most eye-pleasing, areas in town, featuring Mediterranean-style architecture housing more than 200 retailers. Miracle Mile is known for its' high-end fashion shops like Isa Boutique and bridal stores like Alessa's Bridal yet also offers more affordable shopping by way of stores like Ross Dress for Less. You'll find books stores, art galleries, cafes, a theater, hotels, salons, florists, and even an art house cinema all within walking distance of one another. The pedestrian-friendly quarter has roughly 70 different restaurants to appeal to all palates, from Indian cuisine (Mint Leaf) to pizza parlors (California Pizza Kitchen) to steakhouses (Morton's) and Sushi (Red Koi Lounge).

Recommended for Best Shopping because: 200+ shops, most of which are small businesses, make this a wonderful place to shop for unique items while supporting the community.

Priscilla's expert tip: With a variety of shopping, entertainment and dining options, Miracle Mile makes the perfect location for a date night.

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Located inside of the Coral Gables Congregational UCC Church, the Miami Fair Trade Global MarketPlace is the brain child of senior pastor, Rev. Laurie Hafner, who wanted an alternative in Miami to all the shops that use child labor, sweat shops, and generally inhumane practices. The gifts found at the marketplace come from over 35 countries around the world, from Kenya to Mozambique, and include everything from Peruvian cotton shirts to Indian embroidered shawls and Egyptian trinket boxes, all made by artisans (mainly women) who are given living wages and safe working conditions. With friendly service, fair prices, and beautiful products, the Miami Fair Trade MarketPlace provides a wonderful alternative to the usual hustle and bustle of mall shopping.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: You'll get to shop for new and unique items while knowing you're supporting the fair-trade industry. Giving back makes shopping so much better.

Priscilla's expert tip: With their wide selection of jewelry, clothing, and other hand-crafted items, keep this one in mind for last minute birthday and anniversary gifts throughout the year.

Read more about Miami Fair Trade MarketPlace →

Lincoln Road is where the trendy and fashionable shop. At this upscale, open-air mall off Collins Avenue at 17th Street, you'll find some of the most exclusive shops of South Beach, such as French Connection, Superdry, Alchemist, and Anthropologie. You'll also find fun and eclectic shops like TASCHEN Books and Lush. Many top art galleries and specialty stores are located here, but most browsers are here to see and be seen. There is a mixed and diverse crowd; it's not unusual to find people dressed "to the nines" being passed by inline skaters. You'll also find some of the most outstanding dining choices in the area, along with plenty of thriving nightlife options.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Lincoln Road Mall has one of the widest varieties of shops in Miami, including high-end boutiques and affordable styles like H&M.

Priscilla's expert tip: If you can, find street parking along Washington or Alton to avoid the high fees imposed by the nearby parking garages.

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A true shopper's paradise with more than 300 luxury shops, over 50 international eateries, and an amazing, interactive playground called Rainbow Valley by the Friends With You artist collective, Aventura Mall is one of North Dade's premier, unique shopping destinations. The design of this shopping gem features fine Italian porcelain flooring, glass and bronze sculpted railings and custom seating–it's pure class at this opulent mall. Anchor stores include many favorites, like Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, Macy's, and JCPenney. You'll also enjoy shopping at smaller luxury shops including Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Damiani, the Ferrari store and Chico's. And if you'd rather just browse, they even boast a world-class art collection (and yes, they offer tours).

Recommended for Best Shopping because: With high-end shops, unique pop-up experiences, and the best mall playground in town, there's no way Aventure wouldn't be on the list.

Priscilla's expert tip: The mall now boasts the only Stranger Things store pop-up in Florida, drawing fans from all over for selfies, shopping, and more.

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Design District
Photo courtesy of Steven Brooke

In the Design District, new trends are being set every day. The neighborhood is a conglomeration of design outlets, art galleries, home decor stores, antique shops, restaurants and clubs. In recent years, the city's creative contingent has migrated here, and it's becoming a popular tourist destination. Stores devoted to design and architecture occupy warehouse-like fronts in an area between North Miami Avenue and North Second Avenue. Although the district covers just a few blocks, it offers a wealth of shopping and design opportunities. You'll find well-known luxury brands like Bvlgari, Christian Louboutin, Prada, Hermes, Cartier, Burberry and Rolex alongside design shops like Threadcount, Moroso, Luminaire Lab, and Alessi.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Versace to Valentino, Prada to Miu Miu, it's all top of the line luxury shopping in th Design District, and worth every penny.

Priscilla's expert tip: Don't come here without some serious cash. Shops in the Design District are high-quality with even higher price tags.

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Meet Priscilla Blossom

Pris Blossom is a freelance writer and feminist mama with a love for travel, writing, music, film, yoga, museums, cultural anthropology, and her awesome kid.

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