Temptation comes in many forms in Miami. For shoppers, this means high-end fashion, designer sunglasses, vintage clothing, books, records, Latin American crafts, artwork, gourmet goodies and much more. You'll also find sprawling air-conditioned malls where you can retreat when the weather sours. No matter where you shop, you'll find good restaurant options along the way, as dining is an important part of the whole shopping experience.
The Lincoln Road Experience
Lincoln Road Mall, an outdoor pedestrian thoroughfare between Alton Rd and Washington Ave, is all about seeing and being seen; there are times when Lincoln feels less like a road and more like a runway. Carl Fisher, the father of Miami Beach, envisioned the road as a Fifth Ave of the South. Morris Lapidus, one of the founders of the loopy, neo-baroque Miami Beach style, designed much of the mall, including shady overhangs, waterfall structures and traffic barriers that look like the marbles a giant might play with.
Shopping Miami Beach
Other parts of Miami Beach hold their own shopping rewards. The hot new area for shopping explorations is Sunset Harbour, which has a few colorful boutiques (plus great coffee, pastries and restaurants nearby).
In the southern end of Collins Ave, below about 9th St, you’ll find a mix of indie boutique and midrange chains like Steve Madden, Club Monaco and Banana Republic. One block over, Washington Ave is also dotted with stores (surf shops, liquor shops, footwear retailers like Vans). There's also shopping along Ocean Dr itself, though the offerings aren't great. It's mostly taken over by souvenir and T-shirt shops, with a few antique stores.
Wynwood & the Design District
On the mainland, there are a few good shopping destinations. Wynwood has some of the most appealing collections of indie designers, galleries and crafty stores that sell unique items (handblown vases, beautifully made stationery, Detroit-made watches).
For high-end everything (clothing, accessories, artwork, baked goods), the neighboring Design District is the place to be. The main concentration of stores runs along palm-tree-lined 39th and 40th Sts.
Other Shopping Strips
Miami's once desolate Downtown has a few pioneering stores opening up. More will undoubtedly arrive with more condos and hotels slated for the future. Brickell, just south of the Miami River, has become the new nexus for high-end retailers. Its luxury shopping mall, the Brickell City Centre, has dozens of couture labels, plus dining and drinking options spread around three city blocks.
Further out, there's Little Havana, with its cigar and rum stores, clothing (guayaberas!) retailers, and Latin American handicrafts. Meanwhile, down in Coconut Grove and Coral Gables, there are lots of clothing stores, music shops, booksellers and gift vendors.