Located right near the airport, close to International Drive and the theme parks, Florida Mall is a tourist mecca. On any given day, you’ll run into hundreds of shoppers from all around the globe, looking to snap up all the best that American shopping has to offer. But it’s not just for tourists: Florida Mall has great outposts of all the major brands, and some fun, unusual stores that keep locals like me coming back week after week.
My favorite store at Florida Mall is Dillards. This is a major department store that’s really big in the south, and this one is the best I’ve seen anywhere. They have an excellent men’s department, lots of dresses and swimwear for women, and their handbag and shoe selection is quite comprehensive. For the best deals, watch their Facebook page or sign up for their promotional e-mails. That’s the only way to find out when they’re running their blowout sales, where they take an extra 30% to 50% off all clearance items.
Express is a great place to shop for ladies clothing. Year after year, they offer well-made, on-trend fashions for work, casual, and weekend wear. They also have excellent sales, which are irresistible when they take an extra 50% off all clearance items. Express is definitely your best bet if you’re looking for jackets or pants for work, and they also make my favorite jeans in the world- try the Stella fit!
Besides serious shopping, Florida Mall has lots of fun things to do. It’s really easy to make a day of it, checking out all the fun shops and restaurants. M&M world is loads of fun, it’s bright and colorful, with lots of games to play. M&M fans won’t be able to resist making a custom mix of all their favorite M&M colors and flavors.
Sugar-seekers should make sure to visit Dylan’s Candy Bar. With bouncy, cheerful music and a variety of rare candy from all over the world, it’s a paradise for candy-holics. They have lots of cute clothing and candy-related accessories as well.
Charming Charlie’s is a new, small chain of stores that is the best place for finding the perfect accessory. They have a decadent array of cleverly arranged tables, sorted by color and style, where you are sure to find the finishing touch to any ensemble. And if you didn’t get your fill of souvenirs at Disney World, you can stop by the Disney Store, located right near the Food Court, to pick up some more. They also sell Disney World tickets, which can save you a stop if you’re planning on theme park hopping while in Orlando.
H&M is a new addition to Florida Mall. They specialize in trendy, European designs, at amazing prices. The price points are mostly under $40, and the items are quite well made. When they have sales you’ll find jeans, sweaters, coats, and more for $5, so the sales racks are always worth a look.
When planning your visit, keep in mind the that Florida Mall is the busiest of all of Orlando’s shopping areas. During the holidays, it can be nearly impossible to find a parking spot, and it’s often so crowded inside the mall that it takes all the fun out of shopping. To avoid the crowds, the best times to visit are early in the day on weekdays. Sometimes you’ll need a break from your shopping, and there are plenty of nice restaurants like Buca de Beppo, California Pizza Kitchen, and the very fun Mochi Frozen Yogurt.
Right in the middle of the food court, there’s a Starbucks that is always packed, with very long lines. But for a more relaxing coffee experience, just head around the corner, towards the Florida Mall Hotel, and there’s a quieter Starbucks with comfy seating and no lines. It’s the perfect place to rest up and get your caffeine jolt so you can get back to power shopping! Florida Mall is a fun, energetic place to shop, and the stores there offer the best of everything. Just follow my tips, and you’ll have a great time while scoring some of the amazing bargains that Orlando is known for!