The 10 Best Shopping Malls in Miami 2023 | Miami New Times


The 10 Best Shopping Malls in Miami

Who says the American mall is dying? From Aventura Mall to Lincoln Road, malls are thriving in Miami.
Brickell City Centre is among Miami's best shopping destinations.
Brickell City Centre is among Miami's best shopping destinations. Brickell City Centre photo
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Much has been written about the death of American malls. However, if you look around Miami and South Florida in general, there is little sign of residents and visitors breaking free from the sprawling shopping destinations.

Perhaps it's due to the weather — South Florida can be hot and muggy even during winter. Malls offer a temperature-controlled environment that allows you to shop in comfort. There's also Miami's continued addiction to cars, which malls were specially designed to accommodate with their expansive parking lots and garages.

Maybe it's just that South Floridians and tourists like to shop. If you get your kicks from consumerism, here are the ten best shopping malls in Miami.
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Aventura Mall is Florida's largest mall.
Aventura Mall photo

Aventura Mall

19501 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura
If there's one mall that encapsulates everything shopping in South Florida has to offer, it's Aventura Mall. The massive shopping center is so influential that you might believe that the City of Aventura got its name from the mall and not vice versa. (It didn't, though.) At Aventura, you'll find staples like H&M, Forever 21, Sephora, and Victoria's Secret. However, over the last decade, it's become focused on bringing luxury retailers like Balenciaga, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, and Valentino. The mall is also home to surprisingly robust and museum-quality artistic works scattered throughout the grounds.
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Bal Harbour Shops is home to many luxury brands.
Bal Harbour Shops photo

Bal Harbour Shops

9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour
For a while, Bal Harbour Shops was the only place you could shop for luxury brands in Miami-Dade. That's because, for decades, it made tenants sign an exclusivity agreement, meaning they couldn't open another store within a 20-mile radius. Louis Vuitton eventually led the charge in having Bal Harbour Shops loosen its restrictions — allowing Miami to experience a luxury retailer boom over the past decade — but that still hasn't hurt its bottom line. Bal Harbour Shops is still home to high-end stores like Marni, La Perla, Chloé, Bally, Miu Miu, Versace, and Stella McCartney. It also offers stellar food options for well-heeled shoppers, including Stephen Starr's Le Zoo and the Japanese cuisine of Makoto.
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Brickell City Centre conforms to Brickell's cityscape.
Brickell City Centre photo

Brickell City Centre

701 S. Miami Ave., Miami
With Brickell City Centre (BCC), Hong Kong-based Swire Properties introduced Miami to the kind of shopping malls located in dense city centers commonplace in East Asia. Much like those East Asian malls, BCC blends and conforms to Brickell's cityscape instead of forcing the neighborhood to adapt to it. That means it's easy to access at street level, and walkways on the second floor allow shoppers to bypass the traffic below. While there is an underground parking garage — a rarity in South Florida — it's right by a Metromover stop, meaning you can leave the car at home. It's also home to plenty of retailers like All Saints, Coach, Diptyque, Indochino, and Saks Fifth Avenue. There's also a plethora of restaurants and the luxury movie theater chain CMX.
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Dadeland Mall first opened in 1962.
Simon Property Group photo

Dadeland Mall

7535 N. Kendall Dr., Miami
Located at the southern terminus of the Metrorail is Dadeland Mall, which opened in 1962. How has this suburban shopping center remained relevant for more than 60 years? It's always evolving and expanding, offering shoppers everything they desire as trends and tastes change. Part of the Simon Malls conglomerate, it's anchored by JCPenney, Macy's, and Saks Fifth Avenue. There's also the usual Zara, Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap, and Urban Outfitters. High-quality restaurant choices include Aoki Teppanyaki, Cvi.che 105, and North Italia. In case you never want to leave this retail oasis, there's also an AC Hotel by Marriott onsite.
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Dolphin Mall has continued to add new experiences over the years.
Dolphin Mall photo

Dolphin Mall

11401 NW 12th St., Sweetwater
When Dolphin Mall opened in 2001, it was being positioned as Miami-Dade's answer to Broward's Sawgrass Mills Mall. While it features many outlet stores, Dolphin never really reached the fervor that Sawgrass enjoys from bargain hunters — never mind that it can't even match Sawgrass' sheer size. Still, Dolphin has carved out a nitch as a hot spot for residents in the western part of Miami-Dade and travelers looking to shop before flying out of nearby Miami International Airport. Vivo! recently opened at the mall entrance, offering a mix of bars and entertainment, making this more than just a place to pick up the latest fashions.
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The Falls is located next to the tony Village of Pinecrest.
Simon Property Group photo

The Falls

8888 SW 136th St., Miami
Located adjacent to the tony Village of Pinecrest, the Falls opened in 1980 and is operated by Simon Malls. Macy's and a LifeTime fitness center anchor the open-air, upscale shopping center. You'll find a mix of stores like Aeropostale, Coach, Hollister, and Express and spots like Bulla Gastrobar, Naked Taco, and True Food Kitchen. The mall's strength is its landscaping, which incorporates the subtropic environs, a lagoon, and architecture that complements everything. It's also home to Regal UA Falls, a multiplex screening of the latest Hollywood blockbusters.
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Famed architect Morris Lapidus designed Lincoln Road.
Lincoln Road photo

Lincoln Road

Lincoln Road between Washington Avenue and Alton Road
Many would argue Lincoln Road is not a "mall" in the traditional sense, but it features everything that makes a mall a mall. Recognizable name brands? Plenty of food options? Check. Movie theater? Check. There's even a Cheesecake Factory, the restaurant that has come to define mall culture. Of course, what sets Lincoln Road apart is its pedigree. The district was the brainchild of famed architect Morris Lapidus and opened in 1960 as the nation's first pedestrian mall. In the 1980s, like much of Miami Beach, Lincoln Road fell into disrepair, only to bounce back by the '90s and 2000s. Now its eight city blocks are home to Nike, Scotch & Soda, Apple, H&M, and Lacoste stores.
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Art installations can be found throughout the Miami Design District.
Photo by Luis Gomez

Miami Design District

Between North Miami and NE Second Avenues
and NE 38th and 41st Streets
Again, not precisely a mall, but an area once dominated by galleries and furniture stores that developer Craig Robins turned into a retail bonanza. How did he do it? By luring some of the most prestigious luxury brands to open flagship stores, including Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford, Fendi, Céline, Dior, Hermès, and Prada. Oh, there's the concentration of Michelin-recognized restaurants like Michael's Genuine, Cote, and Le Jardinier. The Design District caters to an ultra-wealthy clientele, but there is still plenty to do if you barely make enough to cover rent. Thanks to Robins' deep connections to the art world, the neighborhood is filled with art installations by some of the world's most prominent artists. The neighborhood's Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, is always free, and Paradise Plaza hosts events that are either free or have a low ticket price. Nobody will look at you weird if all you do is window shopping.
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Sawgrass Mills can be intimidating to the novice shopper.
Simon Property Group photo

Sawgrass Mills

12801 W. Sunrise Blvd., Sunrise
Located in the northwestern Broward suburb of Sunrise, Sawgrass Mills is so famous that travel companies book shopping tours for South American tourists. Don't be surprised if you see an enormous tour bus of Portuguese-speaking people pull up while you're there. At nearly 2.4 million square feet, it is the largest outlet mall in the United States and the second-largest mall in Florida. (Aventura Mall, believe it or not, is the largest.) Operated by Simon Malls, Sawgrass is where you go when you don't want to pay full price for everything, from your standard retail brand to luxury goods. Its size makes it intimidating for the novice shopper. Unlike Aventura, which is bigger thanks to floor count, Sawgrass is all on one level, making the walk from end to end a hike. Still, with brands like Primark, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Saks Off 5th, Nike Factory Outlet, Michael Kors Outlet, and Armani Exchange Outlet, you can put up with sore feet to save some bucks.
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The Shops at Merrick Park are designed around Coral Gables' Mediterranean revival style.
Shops at Merrick Park photo

Shops at Merrick Park

358 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables
The best thing about the Shops at Merrick Park is how architecturally it mirrors the City of Coral Gables' Mediterranean revival style. The mall opened in 2002, offering residents of the Gables and nearby Coconut Grove and South Miami a place for high-end shopping. Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom anchor Merrick Park alongside stores like Banana Republic, Carolina Herrera, Louis Vuitton, and Anthropologie. Unlike most malls, Merrick Park isn't a sprawling mess; all its stores are concentrated around a plaza, making shopping here an enjoyable experience. It also has an outpost of the high-end Landmark Theatres, featuring seven screens and a full bar.
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