The Not-So-Secret Spots of Ft. Lauderdale Shopping
Along with eating and historical sites, Fort Lauderdale Shopping is one of the many sought out activities of visiting the city. There are endless shopping centers and malls that you can go to, along with the traditional chain stores that you can find just about everywhere. Here are some of the best places to go for a real-deal dose of the Fort Lauderdale Shopping scene.
The Galleria of Ft. Lauderdale
If you're a fan of the mall, which, if you're a true shopper, you likely are, then the Galleria is a must visit. It has all of the stores that you would expect in a mall, Zales, Abercrombie, Bath and Body Works, Gap, Macy's - plus a great selection of fine dining. The mall also features valet parking and has easy access to many of Ft. Lauderdale's public transportation systems - the Sun Trolley included. (It picks up right in front of PF Changs).
If you're a lover of deals, then this shopping experience will be right up your alley. The Swap Shop is the south's largest flea market. If you've never been to a flea market, then you are truly missing out. If you HAVE been to a flea market then you know the joys that the deals can bring. You can find everything from socks and clothes to fruits and vegetables, there's something for everyone of all ages. The unique thing about the Swap Shop is that it has a 14 screen drive in movie theatre. Not many flea markets can say that.
Las Olas Boulevard
This is known to the insiders as a shopper's paradise. There are name brand stores, specialty boutiques, and many eateries that are the perfect romantic ending to a day on the Boulevard. There are often specialty events like art or food festivals that are a treat too. Each experience at Las Olas Boulevard is distinctive and no store is like the last. This will be one of the shopping experiences that you remember.
Dania Antique Row
Dania Beach is a very short drive from the center shopping scene, but it is surely worth the trip. There are endless one of a kind finds as you would expect at any antique show and dozens of vendors are on Antique Row to show off their treasures. There's also a great food scene with one of the restaurants, Grandpa's Diner that was featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives.
There is no way that you should leave Ft. Lauderdale without visiting Sawgrass Mills. Not only is it credited as being the second most Florida tourist attraction, (Disney World is obviously number one) but it is also Florida's largest outlet mall. With so many stores and it's open atmosphere, Sawgrass Mills is a must visit.
As its name boasts, Downtown Hollywood is an upscale shopping experience. But don't let the price tag implication keep you away. Downtown Hollywood is only an 11 mile travel from Ft. Lauderdale which is just a quick 20 minute drive. The strip is lined with trees and is a destination for locals as well as visitors. You can get a wide variety of food in Downtown Hollywood from Mexican to Sushi to some of the greatest pizza. Make it a point to visit this popular city shopping destination.
Broward Mall is located just west of Ft. Lauderdale in Plantation, FL. Plantation made headlines in 2005 when it experienced severe damage from Hurricane Wilma, but it has more than bounced back and is referenced as an "upscale city" in Florida. The Broward Mall is everything you would expect in a mall, with a very chic and fashionable feel. The food court is very convenient and is a quick way to grab a bite to eat between shopping excursions.
To say that the shopping scene is extensive is a grand understatement. There are many more malls and shopping centers than listed here, but these are some of the most sought out and must-see spots. If you have an adventurous side in you, you can certainly hit the open road and find some other worth-while spots. Be sure to take into consideration with going to any of these locations that they are tourist spots so they can get a bit crowded especially during peak seasons. That's no reason to avoid them, as shopping malls, flea markets, and streets lined with trees and cafes should never be skipped out on. Some might argue that there isn't anything special about a shopping mall, but the fine dining alone gives the shopping areas their elite distinction. A pro-tip for shopping in Ft. Lauderdale is to try to only hit one or two of the centers a day. Otherwise, you will find yourself a bit overwhelmed and literally shopping until you drop!