The go-to destination for shoppers in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Aventura Mall is the largest upscale mall in Florida, and the third-largest in the whole of the US. No wonder it has come to be known as a sort of retail mecca; with over 300 stores and 18 fast-food retailers, you could be forgiven for losing track of the days spent inside its depths. Having undergone a $20 million dollar facelift in late 2006, it’s a stunning piece of architecture, designed to cope with the footfall from its 9,300 parking spaces.
Offering a range of familiar household names as well as some niche new stores, a trip to Aventura Mall is a great way to get up to speed with Floridian culture. When it comes to department stores, a trip here will present you with all five of the dominating American chains –Â Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, J.C Penney, Macy’s and Sears. Each carry their own personality and share reasonably similar department delineations, but be sure to shop around – Sears is often the best option for electrics and bargain-spotting, whereas Nordstrom is best for fashion-forward clothing. Conveniently grouped all under one roof, what better excuse is there to try them all for size?
For more upscale options, Aventura Mall carries a large selection of luxury brands. Window shop with Hugo Boss and Breitling, or make a splurge at Cartier or Apple. Whether you are coveting cashmere or lusting after lipstick, be assured that there are stores to cater for all budgets and interests.
A major draw of Aventura Mall is its jam-packed food court. Make sure you go in hungry; the assault of delicious smells as you enter is enough to entice even the most reluctant of fast-food fans. From Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream and Mrs Fields’ Original Cookies to Five Guys Burgers and Mama’s Pizza, there are carb-filled options for every taste.
If fried food isn’t really up your street, don’t despair –Â Paradise CafeÂ is well known for its huge variety of fresh vegetables, proteins and freshly-squeezed juices.
For more exotic cuisine, Asian Chao, Sarku Japan and Che Pasta represent the east with tasty flair. With a huge array of classic entrees and a whole range of sushi, Asian Chao is a great place for a light lunch, or a fussy family who all want to eat at the same restaurant without having to choose the same things. Sarku Japan’s offering is slightly smaller, but just as delicious; their bento boxes are a great transportable option for those looking to negotiate the packed food court crowds without losing their lunch.
Like many Floridian purpose-built shopping complexes, Aventura Mall also includes an AMC Cinema. The 24-screen, 80,000-square-foot theatre includes LoveSeat stadium seating and IMAX technology, ensuring a comfortable experience. Expect a mixture of Hollywood blockbusters and indie flicks – a great way to unwind after a long day of shopping.
For those who want a slightly more hands-on activity, Color Me Mine & Alisa’s Painted Bistro is a fun cafe-meets-workshop experience, where little kids (or big ones) can pick a piece of pottery and decorate it to their heart’s content. While you wait for it to be fired, pop next door to Alisa’s Painted Bistro, where you can enjoy gourmet food and admire the various pottery creations crafted over the years.
- In’store events and special offers, regularly updated on Aventura Mall’s website
- The Rainbow Valley Kids Playground, located outside Sears
- Regular adopt-a-pet donation events in the name of the animal charity, A.W.S