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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > Florida > Miami

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Shopping in Miami

Shopping in Miami abounds with opportunities, with a broad assortment of sophisticated malls to small specialist boutiques. As the city is quite sprawling, it pays to know beforehand which district to head for.

Key areas

The Miami Design District is a hub for designer fashion from Marni to Louis Vuitton. Miracle Mile in Coral Gables has quality galleries, boutiques and department stores, while the 6.4-hectare (16-acre) waterfront Bayside Marketplace, in downtown Miami, offers an unusual mix of retail shops and local artisan stalls. Other key areas include the funky boutiques of South Beach (most notably the Lincoln Road shopping district), The Gallery at CocoWalk and the exclusive Streets of Mayfair shopping centres in Coconut Grove and the numerous malls scattered about Greater Miami. A stretch of Collins Avenue, between Sixth and Eighth Streets, in South Beach, has a handful of local boutiques and medium-price chain stores like Banana Republic and Urban Outfitters. Ocean Drive is lined with designer shops.

Markets

Miami has a plethora of farmers' markets, including Coconut Grove every Saturday between 10am-7pm and Lincoln Road close to Miami Beach every Sunday between 9am-630pm. Both are open year-round.

Shopping centres

Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Boulevard, Aventura, is one of the most popular malls, featuring Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Sears, JC Penney and over 200 smaller shops. Bal Harbour, 9700 Collins Avenue, is renowned for its high-end designer boutiques, such as Gucci and Tiffany.
Sawgrass Mills, 12801 West Sunrise Boulevard, in Fort Lauderdale, is the world's largest outlet mall with more than 350 discounted brand-name stores.

Opening hours

For chic interiors and objects for the home, nothing surpasses the Miami Design District where high-end décor and furniture shops are open to the public.

Souvenirs

Look out for arts, crafts, jewellery, fashion and trendy homeware.

Tax information

Sales taxes are 7% on all goods - and there is no system for claiming this back. Credit cards are widely accepted.

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Housed in a quaint art deco building in South Beach, the Whitelaw Hotel has become a favourite of hipster travellers who don't want to spend the earth on accommodation. Conveniently close to all of Miami Beach's major attractions, it boasts clean, spacious rooms and a friendly atmosphere.

Dream South Beach

Once you've seen the Dream South Beach's beautifully decorated rooms, all of which come complete with iPod docks, you'll begin to realise what a bargain this is. Housed inside a beautiful art deco building, the boutique hotel is small but highly stylish. A swimming pool and lounge occupy the roof.

The Tides

As the tallest and most elegant art deco hotel on Ocean Drive, The Tides offers genuine style for the incurably hip, with a minimalist interior that is sophisticated, spacious and sumptuous, decorated in soft tones of white, taupe and sand. The 45 suites all have incredible views of the beach.

The Shore Club

It comes as no surprise that Miami's ultimate urban design hotel is located at South Beach. Stark modernism and the white-on-white décor of the 325 rooms and suites is softened by lush Moroccan-inspired tropical gardens. The Nobu restaurant and the Sky Bar are hugely popular with the city's cool crowd.

Hotel Shelley

Occupying one of South Beach's charming art deco buildings, the pistachio and cream Hotel Shelley is within striking distance of the beach and close to most major amenities. Rooms are cosy and comfortable, and all are decked out in soothing neutral hues. Popular with younger travellers, it doesn't compromise on style.

Freehand Miami

A bright and cheerful hostel that's a short walk from the Bass Museum, the Freehand Miami is a good choice for those on a budget and who don't mind sharing their sleeping quarters. The brightly coloured rooms sleep up to eight people in bunks and are both mixed and gender-specific if you prefer. The beach is a short walk away.