Flaunt a sunny sense of fashion and winning style at the area's eclectic mix of shops, malls and boutiques. Whether hunting for deals in air conditioned comfort or strolling open-air shopping districts, one thing is for certain, bargain hunters are going to need a bigger suitcase.
Ready to explore Greater Fort Lauderdale's various shopping venues? Whether by car, foot, bicycle, trolley or scenic water taxi ride, hit these retail retreats:
- Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale. Stroll, dine, browse or buy along Fort Lauderdale's original main street. Stretching from the beach to downtown, the boulevard features 65 shops and boutiques, 10 international art galleries, 30 al fresco restaurants and cafés and the historic and refined Riverside Hotel (www.lasolasboulevard.com; 954-258-8382).
- The Galleria, Fort Lauderdale. This traditional indoor mall is home to luxury retailers Neiman Marcus, Coach, Cole Haan, J. Crew, Abercrombie & Fitch and others. It dazzles the lunchtime and evening crowd with dining and nightlife spots including The Capital Grille, Blue Martini, Truluck's Steak and Crab House, P.F. Chang's and Seasons 52. Just across a bridge from Fort Lauderdale beach, walk or drive there - or take the Water Taxi (www.galleriamall-fl.com; 954-564-1015).
Shop in the Sunshine
- Village at Gulfstream Park, Hallandale Beach. This outdoor destination combines fashion and home accessory shops with signature restaurants and cafés next door to Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino. Retailers include Bang & Olufsen, Crate and Barrel, West Elm, Pottery Barn, Z Gallerie and Williams-Sonoma among others; dining options range from Cool de Sac to Cantina Laredo, Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar to Club Fate, III Forks and Texas de Brazil (www.thevillageatgulfstreampark.com; 954-454-7000).
- The Promenade at Coconut Creek. Shop dozens of retailers and restaurants, including Banana Republic, White House | Black Market, Brighton Collectibles, DSW Shoes - even Guitar Center, and Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, Scarfone's Coal Fired Pizza and Red Rock Oasis & Grill (www.thepromenadeatcoconutcreek.com; 954-974-6624).
- Seminole Paradise at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Shop for jewelry, fashions and fine art, or indulge at a host of restaurants and nightclubs, including Bongo's Cuban Café, Tatu, Tequila Ranch and Martorano's (www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com; 954-327-7625).
- The Shops at Pembroke Gardens, Pembroke Pines. Perfect for window shopping or soaking up the South Florida sunshine. This lifestyle center boasts such retailers as Sephora, Chico's, Old Navy and Victoria's Secret, and eateries like Cheesecake Factory, Brio Tuscan Grille and The Brass Tap (www.PembrokeGardens.com; 954-450-1580).
Outlets & Flea Markets
- Sawgrass Mills, Sunrise. The world's largest outlet mall is a destination within a destination, with 2.3 million square feet of shopping and dining space. Its 350+ retailers and restaurants include such as Brooks Brothers, Nine West, Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein, and more. The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Mills features high-end shops like Armani, Prada, Gucci Diane von Furstenberg, Jimmy Choo, Versace, Frette, Tory Burch, Burberry, David Yurman, and Valentino. Famished from a day of shopping? Try dozens of restaurants including Villagio, Sushigami, Grand Lux Café and soon to open Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar. The mall is located next to the BB&T Center, where top name acts from Lady Gaga and Cher to Billy Joel and Barry Manilow frequent (www.SawgrassMills.com; 954-846-2300).
- Festival Flea Market Mall, Pompano Beach. Those who find favor with "the deal" will appreciate this this quarter-mile long indoor flea market mall which is home to more than 500 local merchants offering clothes and accessories, jewelry, electronics, luggage and handbags, art - even a farmers market. (www.Festival.com; 954-979-4555). While onsite, check out the Hillsboro Antique Mall and Café, South Florida's largest antique mall, featuring timeless and historic artifacts, like china, crystal, glass, antique toys, books, paintings and other collectibles (www.theHillsboroAntiqueMall.com; 954-571-9988).
- Swap Shop, Fort Lauderdale. What began in the 1960s as a drive-in movie theater and flea market today is an indoor / outdoor shopping bazaar with full-time vendors and a full food court that attracts millions of shoppers each year from Florida, the U.S. and around the world. In 2002, it was featured on the PBS special, "A Flea Market Documentary" (www.floridaswapshop.com; 954-791-7927).
Antique & Vintage
- Decades, Wilton Manors. Go back to the future. Lovers of home design will discover furniture, rugs, lamps and more from mid-century to modern. (1500 NE 4th Ave, Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-8560)
- Jezebel, Fort Lauderdale. Located in the Gateway Plaza near Fort Lauderdale Beach, Jezebel fancies itself as a funky throwback chock full of hip gifts, designer and vintage clothing and jewelry, and home décor from times gone by (www.IShopJezebel.com; 954-761-7881).
- Sugar Chest Antique Mall, Pompano Beach. Home to the largest antique mall in South Florida, with 200 specialized dealers for European porcelains, coins, and military pieces, sterling silver, art deco, vintage furniture, jewelry, glassware, china, artwork, ephemera, chandeliers, rugs, and decorating accessories (www.thesugarchestantiquemall.com; 954-942-8601)
- Vintage Diversity, Oakland Park. Take a trip back to a bygone era at this award-winning costume and vintage store. Buy, sell, trade or rent gangster, flapper, poodle skirts to punk rocker attire, along with costumes, props and collectibles - with classic shows playing on the TV (www.VintageDiversity.com; 954-566-7678).
- Radio-Active Records, Fort Lauderdale. Rock on at this indie record store with a huge selection of new and used vinyl records, plus CDs, DVDs, tapes, turntables, clothing and local concert posters. The staff is knowledgeable about the local music scene and if they don't have the vinyl you need they will find it for you. (www.radio-active-records.com; 954-762-9488).
- Resisting the urge to Thrift? Check out Dania Beach's historic Art and Antique District, located on North Federal Highway. Several charming antique shops and art galleries in this quaint downtown setting feature furniture, unique works of art, and hidden treasures. (www.visitdaniabeach.com/antiques.asp)
For more information about Greater Fort Lauderdale and its various shops, malls and markets please visit www.sunny.org/shopping.