Shopping can be a real run-of-the-gauntlet affair, especially straight after pay day or during the Christmas season. To make matters worse, most men won’t even consider going to the shops unless their other half insists nicely or bribes them … Victoria’s Secret or Taco Bell anyone?

If you’ve ever wanted to run screaming from a full parking lot after circling for ten minutes, then carry on reading to find out which three Florida malls are worth a visit, given their combination of uniqueness and parking space. Then you can go back to enjoying the beach, sun and sand, confident you’ve seen the best of the best.

Sawgrass Mills Mall – Sunrise

This urban maze of outlet shops claims to be one of the most popular outdoor malls in the world. Featuring over 2 miles of vendors and close to 500 stores and kiosks, you won’t be short of things to do and see here. Apart from brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole, and Saks Fifth Avenue – Off 5th, there are also have several factory stores stocking brands like Banana Republic, and Polo Ralph Lauren. So don’t break the bank by heading to the high-price alternatives and instead spend an hour or even a full day shopping here. When you start to feel a little peckish don’t despair, as there are over 30 different restaurants and take-away places to help staunch your hunger, such as the Wolfgang Puck Cafe which serves amazing smoked salmon pizzas.

Sawgrass Mills Mall By Beto B. (4 square)
Sawgrass Mills Mall By Beto B. (4 square)

 

St. Armand’s Circle – Sarasota

At the Circle of St. Armand’s you’ll find a mall filled with a certain gentle elegance, shown through a mixture of gourmet restaurants, fine shops, and a blend of designs from both the past and present. Antique statues and contemporary architecture meld with little courtyards, filled with lush plants and flowers, all of which lend the mall a timeless European appeal. Freshly baked croissants and bread fill the air and the eclectic blend of over 130 shops guarantee that no visitor leaves empty handed. Big Olaf’s is a great little ice cream shop, so if you happen to stop by, try their peanut butter ice cream.

People enjoying the outdoor vibe at St. Armand's Circle. By Eric Harmatz (Flickr)
People enjoying the outdoor vibe at St. Armand's Circle. By Eric Harmatz (Flickr)

 

The Falls – Miami

This unique shopping mall is a firm favourite among locals, due in part to its incredibly calming atmosphere. One of the first things you’ll notice about the Falls that sets it apart from other rather sterile malls, is that it’s a covered open-air mall. You’ll hear the relaxing sounds of little waterfalls, and get to enjoy the man-made river which runs through the entire mall. The palm trees and green foliage add to the ambience, as do the natural walkways fashioned from stone and wood. Families and couples meander past stores hand in hand enjoying the atmosphere. High-end stores like Bath & Body, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Crate & Barrel are mixed in with dozens of restaurants and a cinema. Ample free parking is an added bonus.

The Falls Mall in Miami. Official Photograph
The Falls Mall in Miami. Official Photograph

 

Ron Jon Surf Shop – Cocoa Beach

Ron Jon isn’t technically a mall, but for the surfers in Cocoa Beach it’s the closest they’re likely to get to a surfing/shopping nirvana that’s open 24/7. Ron Jon Surf Shop boasts that they are the biggest surfing shop in the world, and have an incredibly wide variety of items for sale to help back up this claim. From their wetsuits and surfboards, to home décor and pretty much every souvenir known to man, they have a vast range of sea and surf inspired goods. This is a great place to stock up on your sun screen, beach towels, sandals, clothing, swim wear, and even beach toys for children. Almost every customer who visits the store has a compliment about the friendly employees, and surfing lessons are also offered to interested customers.

Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach. By frankfarm (Flickr)
Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach. By frankfarm (Flickr)

 

About the Author : Roseanna McBain is the blogger for TravelGround.com. On her off days she shops till she drops, or else heads to Cape Town’s sunny beaches.

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