Retail therapy in Florida – Shop ‘til you drop in the Sunshine State
Home to the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and some legendary beaches, Florida is top of the list for family-friendly fun in the sun. But the Sunshine State isn’t all theme parks and swimming with dolphins. With some of the biggest designer outlets on the continent – and more malls than you could ever dream – Florida is a fantastic place to embark on a recession-busting shopping spree. And with so many cheap holidays to Florida on offer, you just need to make sure you take an empty suitcase…
Current figures show that the US dollar is battling to keep pace against the strengthening pound, meaning that shopping across the pond can be much less expensive than back home, particularly when you’re benefiting from some of Cosmos’ great deals on package holidays. Read on for a savvy shopper’s guide to the best the state has to offer.
In true American style, Florida’s shopping facilities are on a monster scale. Orlando Premium Outlet, on International Drive, is one of the largest outlets in the entire country. Boasting 180 stores – including designers like Polo Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, alongside high street favourites like Gap and Converse – there are huge savings to be made of between 25% and 65%. Visit during sales periods, and the savings are even bigger. And with six further outlets dotted across the state – from this chain alone – you’ll have plenty to keep you busy as your holiday progresses.
If you’re after a more authentic high school experience, the monumental Florida Mall is the place to start. As the largest of its kind in central Florida, it features over 260 speciality stores alongside 30 restaurants and cafés for much-needed refuelling. It’s the ultimate in one-stop shops – whatever it is you’re looking for. Make the most of the great exchange rate on top name American brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and MAC.
If you’ve not had your fill, check out the trendy, upmarket Mall at Millenia for top department stores, Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus. Or the Festival Bay Mall at International Drive for shops, restaurants and indoor glow-in-the-dark miniature golf.
For a more personalised experience, a stroll through downtown Orlando won’t disappoint. Take your pick from boutique labels and one-off homeware stores, or root around for rare vintage finds. Relax with a colourful cocktail or a spot of dinner before stepping out for a night on the town in your new rags.
If you know any great Florida shopping hotspots, why don’t you share them with us?