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Where To Holiday Shop In Miami for Everyone On Your List



Ah, the holidays in Miami. A time for getting together with friends (at the beach), baking cookies (or pastelitos), trimming the (palm) trees, cooking a nice lechon (whole pig) for Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) and seeking out that perfect gift that will put a smile on your loved ones' faces. Some people were made for this time. They've got their lists ready months in advance and know where in Miami to shop. Others of us need a little more help when it comes to the holiday gift hunt. Luckily, there are dozens of places all around Miami to find gifts ranging from book stores and boutiques to toy shops and shopping plazas.

Perhaps your best friend just bought a new house and would like an interesting new piece of furniture. They're past the IKEA stage and would appreciate something high-quality. You'll be able to find exactly what you're looking for in the shops located in the Miami Design District.

Or maybe you want a good one-stop-shop experience to get some ball caps for the sports fan in your life, plus some art books for your graphic designer friend, and a few gift certificates for the foodies in your circle. That's when you spend a day at Lincoln Road.

So many shopping opportunities, but these are the best ones for gift shopping this year.


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Dadeland Station
Photo courtesy of Priscilla Blossom

While we all know it's usually best to spend our dollars at small businesses, sometimes it can be helpful to get all your shopping done at once at a place with multiple major retailers. This is why we go to Dadeland Station, a three-level shopping center off US-1 and Snapper Creek. Dadeland Station is home to some of the biggest names in retail around, including Target and Best Buy. Other tenants of the center include Bed, Bath, and Beyond; Michael's; Sports Authority and Petsmart. With one visit to this plaza, you can easily shop for your home, clothing, groceries, sporting good needs, arts & crafts, and even bring something home for Fido. There is also an Avis car rental center and a Subway sandwich shop on site, plus a few other small restaurants, including LAN Pan Asian.




Florida Keys Outlet Center is an outdoor shopping center in Florida City, just past Homestead and right before Key Largo. The outlet mall has beautiful Spanish architecture and all of the stores have friendly staff and quick cashiers. Stores located here include Aeropostale, Tommy Hilfiger, Gap Factory, American Eagle Outfitters, Levi's, Van Heusen, and Nautica; shoe stores like Nike, Nine West, Converse, Skechers, and Bass; plus children's stores like Osh Kosh Bigosh, Carter's, and Gymboree; and specialty shops like Coach and Sunglass Hut. Florida Keys Outlet Center even allows patrons to bring pets in with them. There are 55 different stores but be warned that eating options are limited to a small handful of eateries.


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 destination for both tourists and locals alike. Stores devoted to design and architecture occupy warehouse-like fronts in the 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. Check out stores like Espacio, Alessi, Holly Hunt, Moroso, and Versace Home Miami to get an idea of what we mean.


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Shops by the Falls
Photo courtesy of Priscilla Blossom


While the Falls Shopping Mall is just a few blocks away, this strip mall is a complete hidden gem filled with all kinds of wonderful, locally-owned shops. If you're the type to want to shop away from the crowd, this is definitely the place for you. Some of the more popular tenants at this plaza include the new age shop Five Sisters, Elegant Stitches (a yarn and knitting shop), Sun and Ski Sports (for all your skiing and skate boarding needs), Little Green Moppet (children's consignment boutique) and Upscale Furniture Consignment Gallery. Each of these stores offers something different from what you'll find at your local Wal-Mart, with lots of personal attention from staff members that understand quality customer service. Plus, the deals found at many of these consignment stores can't be beat.


Lincoln Road is where the trendy and fashionable shop. At this upscale, open-air mall right off Collins Avenue at 17th Street, you'll find some of the most exclusive shops of South Beach. Many of the 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 (and even models) dressed "to the nines" being passed by inline skaters and SoBe locals walking their dogs. You'll also find some of the most outstanding dining choices in the area, along with plenty of thriving nightlife options.


Sunset Corners
Photo courtesy of Priscilla Blossom


Being something of a party town, Miami isn't exactly skint on liquor stores. However, when you're looking for a wide selection, fair prices, and good service, you won't do better than Sunset Corners. Located right off Sunset Drive and Galloway, Sunset Corners brings quality liquor, fine wines, and craft beer selections to the masses, while also offering a wide array of gourmet cheese, breads, and other goodies. The shop originally opened in December of 1954 by Bernie and Rosalind Rudnick, where they sold whiskey to local farmers. It's undergone many changes since then and went from a small package store to a bar and lounge and now to the mega-liquor and wine shop it is today.


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 a tattoo shop, several trendy women's boutiques, a psychic, and most recently, a Vapor Shark e-cigarette store.




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.


Books & Books


As the name suggests, this is a wonderful 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. Recent visitors include Dave Barry, Hillary Clinton, Stephen King and Isabel Allende. While chain bookstores continue to expand, offering loads of popular books on all topics, independent bookstores like this one in Coral Gables' Miracle Mile area stand out for friendliness, customer service and comfort. The selection of books on Florida and its unique history, architecture and culture is especially extensive.


One of Miami's most colorful outposts can be found right in the heart of one of Miami's most colorful neighborhoods: Coconut Grove. The Olfactory Company is Americana meets Victorian meets Steampunk and is as enchanting as its description. The small shop sells a number of curiosities, from artisan soaps to wooden toys, antique telephones and gourmet seasonings, leather kilts and beaded skull bags, aromatic soy candles, brightly colored wooden toys, and even some Monty Python memorabilia. There is something here for all tastes, making it the perfect gift shop. Check it out the next time you're in search of a unique present.


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Meet Priscilla Blossom

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

She spent the bulk...  More About Priscilla

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