Downtown: Between Biscayne Boulevard and Miami Avenue, tacky treasure troves sell unbelievably cheap electronic goods and jewellery. For more upscale shopping, take the Metromover to the 16-acre waterfront Bayside Marketplace (more mall than market). Beware that some electronic offers are out of production or old models. Take care also regarding the voltage equipment. Try to choose the ones who offer 110v and 220v if you live outside US.
Wynwood and the Design District
Two art and designer furniture neighborhoods just north of downtown Miami, have become the equivalent to New York’s Chelsea in terms of arty design and retail.
Visit Ritchie Swimwear, 3401 Main Highway. Not cheap, but you will look fabulous.
Books & Books, 296 Aragon Avenue. The best bookstore south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Here you’ll find Armani and especially Versace – very popular – but also funkier boutiques with the last fashion tendency. Visit Tomas Maier, 1800 West Avenue (00 1 305 531 8383), a one- stop shop for bikinis, soft sarongs and stylish sandals, housed in a Mediterranean-style apartment building. There is also a café that spills out onto a lawn facing Biscayne Bay.
At the northern end of the Design District, Lincoln Road has been rejuvenated by wealthy benefactors who allowed 90 or so artists to buy cheap leaseholds. There’s a second branch of Books & Books and the Miami City Ballet rehearses in a glass-fronted studio.
On weekend mornings there’s a farmer’s market and live music in the evenings. For must-have souvenirs (such as plastic alligators and flamingo salt and pepper shakers) head for Woolworth’s on Lincoln Road.
Don’t forget to visit during the morning Espanola Way – just a block from Lincoln – with his market and we suggest also a visit to Bal Harbour in North Miami Beach – you need cab or limo – where you can find the best griffe in the world: Gucci, Armani, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dolce &Gabbana and some other.
Beware that cost are high and that the collections usually are USA oriented. If you have lost your amex, in Bal Harbour there is a specific American Express Office where you can obtain a new credit card and all assistance you need.
We don’t suggest to arrive in Bal Harbour in bikini or pareo. It’s a sophisticated ambiance.
InsideMiamiBeach.com, like no other.