Best Mall - 2000
The Gardens of the Palm Beaches
The Gardens has the feel of an exclusive, gated community. Manicured rows of bushes shield it from PGA Boulevard, and the discreet signs announcing the mall's presence will be noticed only by those who are looking for them. Otherwise most folks will simply assume it's just another pretentiously named housing development. The Gardens has all the right anchor stores: Bloomies, Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue (we'll forgive them the downscale Sears); and the predictable mix of chain stores: Gap Kids, Gap Men, Gap Women, Gap Body (don't ask us), Laura Ashley, Liz Claiborne, Waldenbooks, et cetera. But it also has a few shops that seem a wee bit upscale and unique for a crude shopping mall. Like Jennifer Tyler Cashmeres Etc. Or our personal favorite, the quaint Restoration Hardware (the only one in Broward and Palm Beach counties), where you can purchase a $3.50 box of Mr. Bubble bubble bath or a $1300 leather armchair or a Moon Pie, not to mention a cute little plunger for $12 that we're sure will make you feel oh-so-precious the next time your toilet clogs up with excrement and overflows. Go ahead and join the vulgar masses at Sawgrass Mills if you must, but don't say we didn't guide you to a better place.