Best Mall: Sawgrass Mills Mall This mall is branded "the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the United States." And it's right, judging by the fact that it takes 30 minutes to buy one pair of shorts at the Calvin Klein outlet on a Monday at 8 p.m., even with five cashiers hustling faster than a Chipotle assembly line. Here, a chorus of languages carries into every corner of more than 2.3 million square feet of retail space. After all, it is an international destination, where tourists fresh off a Port Everglades cruise will spend nine hours filling the luggage they just bought at the mall to the brim with top-of-the-line duds from brands like Armani, Jimmy Choo, David Yurman, and Versace, all at outlet prices. There are even shopping carts, kiosks where you can exchange currency, and a U.S. Postal Service office near the SuperTarget for those who exceed their airline's checked-bag weight limit. It's so labyrinthine that even we locals have to use a map to navigate to the nearest Cinnabon (there are two, by the way). And God knows we're going to need our energy as we carry our dozen bags of everything-was-half-off-we-couldn't-resist back to the car we parked on the third level of the Burlington garage. But lucky for us, if we can't make it through the entire mall, there?s always next weekend.
Best Sale: The Dania Beach Marine Flea Market So you bought a boat. Good for you. Did you hear the one about the two best days of a boat owner's life? How about what "boat" actually stands for? Or the hole-in-the-water line? If you did, then you'll soon learn that the annual Dania Beach Marine Flea Market is your new Christmas. It's so good that grown men with carts will be running down the aisles bright and early on the first day of the sale (usually held one weekend only in early March each year) lugging off new Furuno radars before you even get a foot inside, because the line is already halfway down the Mardi Gras Casino parking lot, and you underestimated its popularity by showing up a half-hour late on opening day. Here you can buy everything from bilges and bumpers to complete motors and props for your new baby. But it's not just a by-boaters, for-boaters type of sale. There are endless booths with snorkeling gear, fishing tackle, d'cor, apparel, food, and artwork celebrating the salt life. Every March, hobbyists from around the state come to hawk all things marine for what amounts to the world?s greatest garage sale, complete with the haggling and walk backs and panicked telephone calls to your uncle telling you: DO IT! Deals like this don't come around that often. And they don't, so you should listen to him.
Best Market: Festival Flea Market Mall Once an ordinary outlet mall, Festival Flea Market Mall changed its name and reason for being in 1991 and has become a one-stop shop for buying things you would never expect to take home with you. The indoor air-conditioned space boasts more than 500 merchants offering to peddle you furniture, clothing, jewelry, rugs, toys, contraptions, knickknacks, and paddywacks. While the chaotic format of the market will make it a challenge if you enter with something specific you wish to buy, if you are a shopper who vales the thrill of an unexpected discovery, there is no place better. If you get hungry during your search, there is a fruit and vegetable market as well as a diverse food court offering everything from bialys to gyros. Open every day of the year but Thanksgiving, weekday business hours are from 9:30 to 5, with weekends granting you an extra hour of treasure-hunting, with the mall staying open until 6.