Best Mall 2016 | The Galleria Mall at Fort Lauderdale | Shopping & Services | South Florida

Do you find it therapeutic to pace shiny, waxed floors? Are you getting a Michael Kors for Summer '16 on mamma's debit card? Then look no further than this glittering ode to capitalism on Sunrise Boulevard. From Neiman Marcus to the Capital Grille, it's the perfect place to go when you have money to blow (or want to pretend you do). There's a newly opened Free People — where the clothes are cute and anything but free — and a wig stand that sells something called "Cruise Hair." This mall is consistently clean and quiet(-ish) and has a Bank of America conveniently located in its parking lot for that extra line of credit you'll need after a few too many minutes inside of Mayor's Jewelers. And yes, there's an Apple Store.

Readers' choice: Town Center at Boca Raton

Sure, regular exercise and a nutrient-rich diet are essential for good health, but if you ask a scuba diver, it's vitamin "sea" that matters most. Odd as it sounds on paper, breathing air through a tube with a tank strapped on your back several meters underwater is relaxing. The world within the big ocean blue is mesmerizing, and diving it is always wondrous if done safely. Since the human body wasn't built to thrive at 20 psi for extended periods of time, it's important to have good gear. Force-E Pompano Beach is the best place to find new and used equipment for your next underwater outing. The knowledgeable staff are friendly and attentive from the moment you walk through the door, which is especially helpful for beginners trying to navigate, and they almost always have rental gear in good condition available for your last minute needs.

While living in Hawaii, Vivian Caylor kindled an interest in the ancient tradition of standup paddleboarding. The sport was fun but challenging, and ceremonies on boards were peaceful odes to nature. Here in Lake Worth, Caylor has tried to re-create her experiences. Her shop rents and delivers paddleboards to any lake or dock in Palm Beach County for $65 a day without any delivery fee. Life vests and leashes are also included. Instructors certified by the American Canoe Association offer two-and-a-half- to four-hour lessons for $35 to $45. They teach form, paddling skills, and safety. Caylor's business also runs group ecotours through the Lake Worth Lagoon. There are sunset and full moon tours of the Snook Islands, Bingham Islands, and Spanish Bay near Boynton Beach. If anyone takes a real liking to the sport, Caylor sells paddleboards online from $1,145 to $1,295.

It ain't easy to make it these days as a small business owner with a brick-and-mortar shop. But for four years, Groove has triumphed over all challengers. It has competed with the TJ Maxxes of the world selling Volcom and undercutting prices. It's drawn loyal customers even though they could pick up sunscreen at Wings. It's even outlived crazy road, bridge, and casino construction in Dania Beach. That's because they stock the shop with quality gear like old Thrasher logo tees ($21.95), Sector 9 and Santa Cruz skateboards (about $200 for completes), and surfboards, leashes, and travel bags. Staff greets customers, even groms who are getting their first boards, with friendly hellos instead of acting too cool for school. Heck, they're especially nice to kids. So when you're in the market for some new boardshorts, or Junior or Juniette needs a deck, go here — not Walmart, please. You've probably driven by; next time, stop in. They also do repairs, offer lessons, and rent paddleboards.

Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music be damned. Some of us have got a serious emotional attachment to our music, and we miss holding it in our hands, carefully rubbing off its little smudges, and hugging its sleeve close as we cry into our pillows or dream about the big world outside. As most of us volunteer every last piece of our lives to the ravenous content cloud above, we know that special things deserve to exist and survive IRL. Great music deserves to be prized, cared for, and collected, not just as a blip of data streaming through space, but a physical token of the aural art it is. Launched in September 2015, Hollywood Vine-nyl Society's quarterly pop-up record store in downtown Hollywood is the latest encouraging sign for modern music lovers embracing the old vinyl format. Helmed by walking music encyclopedia Steve Toth, the meet-up brings together vendors and collectors for a few fleeting hours four Sundays a year to exchange wares, enjoy DJs and live music, sip craft beer and wine, and celebrate a culture that in some ways is dying off, but in others is finding all-new life. Local legend Bob Perry of Blue Note Records, Michael Dean of Yardbird records, and "Doc" from Jack's House of Wax have all set up shop at the event, which makes its home at the casual local wine shop Hollywood Vine. "It's Hollywood. We don't really have a record store or a bookstore here," Toth says. "So, for one day every three months, we have the best record store in town."

Readers' choice: Radio-Active Records

Music is universal, moving, and magical. It can make you cry during a sad movie scene, lift your spirits after a stressful day, or hype you up for an intense workout. Listening to music is an emotional experience, and creating it is even more rewarding. This is why Dagmar Kardell has been teaching piano at her clients' homes for over 40 years, 20 of them in Broward County. The German-born workaholic offers lessons, typically 45 or 60 minutes, for all styles including classical, contemporary/pop, jazz (except improvisational), and music theory. Whether you've never laid your fingers on the ivory keys or you're musically trained at the collegiate level, Dagmar has the experience and skill set to take you to the next tier. Her genuine love for the instrument fused with a passionate desire to see her students master it make her the perfect teacher. Her schedule is generously flexible with availability seven days a week.

"Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys" is what the old song teaches, but there's no harm in letting your kid celebrate a birthday in the countryside — which is exactly what Davie Ranch allows. The ten-acre equestrian facility is the anti-Chuck E. Cheese. There is a petting zoo filled with baby animals, including sheep, goats, miniature horses, hedgehogs, and chicks, with which your kids can get up close and personal. Pony rides, as well as face painting, bounce houses, a treehouse, and a tree swing can all be made available for your little one's special day. Also intriguing to city slickers is the rustic 6,000-square-foot stable where your kid can blow out his or her birthday candles. If that wish comes true, you might be back at Davie Ranch again soon.

Janet Donnelly

OK, they also have these other mammalian quadrupeds for your consideration. But really: Cats rule, dogs drool. You know it. Even you caninophiles know it, deep in your hearts. So with that out of the way, get serious and consider the awesome range of services offered by this West Palm shelter/complex and its 20 or so satellite adoption venues. Action central is at the league's 13-acre suburban campus, where at any given time, hundreds of furry companions are lovingly sheltered and cared for. More than 6,000 felines were spayed and neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped last year — free to the public — and almost 5,000 interspecies bondings led to adoptions. The league's been at this business since 1925. It's gotten damned good at it. In fact, almost purr-fect.

South Florida is known for its sexy people... but sometimes the "sex" part comes with trouble. Broward is second in the nation (after Miami-Dade) for new cases of HIV infections. Which means that thousands of times a year, the newly diagnosed are freaking out. Thankfully, Poverello Food Bank and Thrift Store is here to help. For nearly three decades, this nonprofit in Wilton Manors has assisted low-income folks living with HIV/AIDS. Though Poverello is known for its food bank — it feeds 2,500 eligible residents per year — it also offers supportive programming: a full-service gym, quit-tobacco counseling, a Reiki group, massage, chiropractic care, and even acupuncture.

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