Probably the most iconic, convertible, wind-in-your-hair drive in Southeast Florida is that along Route 1, a.k.a. the Overseas Highway, from Miami to Key West. But who says a road trip means you have to drive a car? Why not let someone else do the driving and hop aboard Brightline, Florida’s new city-to-city passenger train that uses nearly 200 miles of Henry Flagler’s existing Florida East Coast Railroad?
Brightline will debut with four stations in 2017: Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando. And since trains hit speeds of 125 miles per hour, you can expect to reach your destination faster than if you drove. Stations are designed to connect with current public transportation options in each city, making it simple to explore those locations. Expect railcars with plush seating, on-board amenities such as Wi-Fi, and competitive pricing compared to other travel options.
Dubbed “MiamiCentral,” the Miami station is located at NW 1st Avenue, between NW 3rd Street and NW 8th Street. From here, you can walk to American Airlines Arena, Adrienne Arsht Center, Port Miami and Bayfront Park. Take the train up to the Fort Lauderdale station located at NW 2nd Avenue, between Broward Blvd. and NW 4thareet and walk to the Historic District, Museum of Science, Riverwalk A&E District and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. From the West Palm Beach station situated at Evernia Street, between S. Rosemary Avenue and S. Quadrille Blvd., take a stroll to the Clematis District, City PI ace and Centennial Park.
With promises of saving 25 percent on travel time compared to existing transportation options, it’s no wonder travelers are looking forward to riding the passenger train in 2017.
Miami is a shopping mecca and features tons of opportunities to shop ’till you drop. Opening in 2017, the new highly anticipated Brickell City Centre will be anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue and will feature a variety of luxury, premium and contemporary retailers, including Sephora, Hugo Boss, Tommy Bahama, lululemon, Armani and others, and numerous dining establishments. Nearby, the super-luxe Miami Design District showcases the creme de la creme of high-end fashion, including Burberry, Cartier, Christian Louboutin, Dior, Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Versace.
To the south in Wynwood Arts District you’ll find more art galleries, retail stores, antique shops and hip bars as well as one of the largest open-air street-art installations in the world.
For a more traditional mall experience in Miami that’s equally packed with impressive brands and boutiques, Aventura Mall has it all. Anchor department stores include Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, while more than 300 luxury retailers such as Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch, Stuart Weitzman, Fendi, Givenchy and Porsche Design inspire you to upgrade your entire closet. Take advantage of the MasterCard Visitor Center and valet service for VIP recognition and access to special promotions. Other Miami malls you might want to add to your list include Dadeland, The Falls, Shops at Merrick Park and Bal Harbour Shops.
Considered among the most fashionable venues in the Sunshine State, Fort Lauderdale’s Galleria Mall features brand-name retailers from Apple to Neiman Marcus, dining and a currency exchange kiosk.
And don’t overlook Las Olas Boulevard with all its trendy boutiques, galleries and restaurants.
To score some impressive deals, head to Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, where you’ll find 350-plus stores and the largest outlet shopping destination in the USA. Another great spot for outlet shopping, Palm Beach Outlets features more than 100 stores including brand favorites Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5Th, Ann Taylor Factory Store, Banana Republic Factory Store, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger and Vera Bradley.
Be sure to add Mizner Park Boca Raton, anchored by Lord and Taylor, to your bucket list of shopping malls. The Town Center at Boca Raton is another high-end shopping destination anchored by Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s, while the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens is a spacious, 1.4 – million-square-foot shopping center with more than 150 world-class brand names. Delray Beach’s Atlantic Avenue is lined with trendy boutiques and popular restaurants—it’s not uncommon to see all ages walking along this main-street style neighborhood hot spot. While you’re there, check out the Del ray Marketplace.
Don’t overlook Southeast Florida’s popular flea markets. The gigantic flea market at the Swap Shop in Fort Lauderdale features 2,000 vendors selling brand-name items at bargain prices. Florida shoppers in-the-know also head to the Festival Flea Market Mall, a veritable shopper’s paradise in Pompano Beach.