Best Mall 2013 | Pembroke Lakes Mall | Shopping & Services | South Florida

Until the fall of 2013, the best things about Pembroke Lakes Mall have been Chick-fil-A (politics be damned!) and, well, Chick-fil-A. And Macy's. But just last month, the big shots at H&M announced a store opening at this suburban oasis. It will be their first in Broward County and third in South Florida. You can point your mom in the direction of the Crocs store, drop your little cousin off at Hot Topic, and spend the remainder of the morning, then afternoon, then evening, at H&M. This store will have just about everything you can imagine: maternity dresses, giant purses, teeny baby clothes, fancy pants... Sure, Pembroke Lakes Mall has a Forever 21 already, and that's satisfied your need for cheap, cute duds so far, but everyone knows H&M is the master of this category of clothing. And who doesn't want it all? You know what "it all" is for BroCo fashionistas? Forever 21 and H&M in one mall. The best mall.

You love Dwyane Wade, but you like LeBron James. Sitting in front of Berlinda — the mistress of amazing acrylic tips — you decide you want them both. She then gives your hands the true Miami Heat treatment. Like that crazy lady at the Bulls playoff game, you'll flip off the other team with a tiny picture of King James on your middle finger. They'll get the hint. Berlinda is a nail artist of the most creative sort. She'll Hello Kitty your nails; she'll Michael Kors them. She can place actual spikes on them (though not on those with newborns), words, lions, diamonds... Marilyn Monroe's face, for crying out loud! She's not only a creative mind but an entrepreneur. Berlinda's been doing nails for more than 20 years, and she even offers nail art workshops. Her instructional DVDs include How to Do 3-D Characters, How to Do Candy Nails, and Smurfy Tutorial. But who needs them when you can just head over to Divanized Hair and Nails? Besides, after you've had Berlinda, there's no way in hell you can go back to your regular manicurist. She's the princess of paws. There's no competition.

What better way to inform your friends that they look like crap than to plan a girls' day at the spa? We kid, obviously. But when your ladies hear all about Nu Beauty Bar, they'll admit their eyebrows are looking a little shaggy and agree to an afternoon at this whole-body spa. Nu Beauty Bar is actually also a real bar, carrying wine and beer. So as your feet are being pumiced and your hair is being blown out, you can slurp down as many mimosas and Sam Adamses as you want. Sure, spas are relaxing anyway, but having a drink ain't gonna stop anyone from feeling extra chilled on the chair while her eyelash extensions are being attached. Located in Boca Raton, the space has an ultraclean appeal that'll keep the neurotics calm. And like we mentioned, you can bring your friends for a little fiesta. Sure Chippendale's is a fun Friday night out with your homegirls, but why not add a massage and wax to your preparty plans? You'll get props for your renowned multitasking skills.

Daryl Smith, the guy who can deliver the best massage in Broward, has been cracking backs since his early years. "I used to walk on my dad's back when I was a kid," Smith says. "I was always interested in why sometimes his back cracked and sometimes it didn't." After he worked in a factory at Eastman Kodak, Smith says, his wife persuaded him to try his hands at professional massage therapy. He graduated in 2000 from the American Institute of Massage Therapy and has been pounding flesh professionally ever since. He currently works out of the office of Dr. Rick Bruns in Fort Lauderdale, where's he's built up a street rep for the right touch. "I have a way of knowing where people need attention," he says about his technique. "I just let my fingers do the walking."

You haven't truly seen Florida unless you've seen it from underwater. From the crystalline Atlantic to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Florida is teeming with sea life below the surface. The dive experts at Scuba Club are the ones you'll want leading you along the lush reefs of the Gulf Stream. Specially trained Divemasters will escort you to shipwrecks 50 to 80 feet below the surface. They know where the turtles, rays, angelfish, barracuda, and even sharks hang out. Scuba Club provides programs and instruction for beginners as well as advanced divers, and it also offers modestly priced accommodations for out-of-towners. A single-tank dive starts at $35, while a snorkel, fin, and mask will run you only 12 bucks. The dive shop offers everything the frogman requires, from tanks to dive watches to international vacations. That's an all-in-one shop.

Finding a gym is a lot like hunting for a house. There are some qualities it must have, some amenities it'd be nice to have, and some details that thrust you into a real-estate-induced ecstasy when you see them. The Wellness Center on the eighth (top) floor of the physician office at the Broward Health Medical Center delivers on all points. Affordable prices and clean equipment? Gotta have those. Clean showers, lockers, hair dryers, and free towel service? Hellz yeah — sign us up! But 30-minute lunchtime power workouts, an almost 180-degree bird's-eye view of the entire county through giant plate-glass windows, and a pretty great chance that cutie hustling on the treadmill next to you is Dr. Cutie? (Not to mention, if you suffer a heart attack, you're in the right place.) Why, the only thing that could make this better is if you could grab sushi from a cafeteria or a skim latte from Starbucks on your way out the door postworkout! What's that? You can? Lacing! Sneakers! Now! (Psst — check the website for a free three-day pass.)

Now that we're letting the word out, we're going to have a helluva time getting an appointment, but we will make that sacrifice, because the world must know how amazing this woman is! Going through pregnancy, childbirth, or any other crises of the downtown area can be some of the most nerve-wracking, nail-biting episodes of a woman's life. Fahey helps the ladies of all ages, sizes, and income levels (yep, she takes Medicaid) through them like a magical angel sent from gyno heaven. Not only does this cool white woman from the Caribbean know her way around a vaginal canal but she is alternately superwarm and wickedly funny. Even when she's slammed with a waiting room full of hormonal freaks and she's getting paged to go yank a baby out of a uterus, she'll take a few precious minutes to pull up a chair, look you in the eye, and ask, "How are you? No, really — how's your heart?" She has the answers you need and the care you have longed for, whether you're popping out a tiny human being (you can do it; you've got this!) or going in for test results (oh, everybody has herpes nowadays!). Would it be weird to ask your doctor on a friend date?

If it's only about selection, it's not even a contest. Peace Pipe in Fort Lauderdale wins hands down. It's got any and all kinds of smoking devices, from the giant "water pipes" and elaborate and expensive glass down to the smallest, easily breakable, boringly colorless chillum. But it's not only about stock. It's vibe. It's people. It's the owner, Jerry. It's the free lighters. For those of us who grew up around the shop in the '90s or early aughts, Peace Pipe was a coming-of-age rite. You'd get off school and walk in to the shop, which was half the size it is now; if you were under 18, they wouldn't sell to you, but you could ogle. You'd always see a friend there. Unfortunately, such good times went up in smoke — in the bad way — when Florida put restrictions on smoking devices in 2010, and this year, legislators passed another antibong law, though it has no teeth. All this in spite of a People United for Medical Marijuana study that shows 70 percent of Floridians support medicinal marijuana. Support your local head shop. Support Peace Pipe. But don't get too high to fight the man.

Ever since Walmart came onto the scene with the Walmart Supercenter — or maybe just since the modern grocery store, whatever — Americans have been looking to pick up multiple objects all in one stop. Convenience, right? Well, for those of you looking to pick up a dildo and a nanny-cam in one fell swoop, there's Secret Moments in Fort Lauderdale. The shop sells a wide array of security products, spy cams, diversion safes, and tons of sex products. According to its website, "We are the World's 1st Retail Store using Webcam Mobile Stations so you can see & talk to a live, friendly representative, who can demo everything that we carry!" Now that's what we call customer service. Take that, Walmart!

The relationship between you and your dry cleaner should be filled with a certain amount of trust. This is one service in which the purveyor knows the ins and outs of your basic hygiene. Sweat like an animal? No worries. Spilled wine all over your much-beloved Prada blouse? They'll right your drunken ways. Mysterious white spot on your trousers? Not going to judge. The friendly crew at Scotty's is superb. Not only will they make sure to take most delicate care of your superexpensive designer garb but they'll remember your name to boot. And they're certainly not going to hold your weird mystery stains against you. Circle of trust.

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