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Shopping in Bal Harbour - It’s Not Your Average Mall

October 24, 2010 By Christy in Miami: Travel NewsMiami: Things to Do  | 7 Comments


If you insist on buying clothes that strut down the runway before hanging in a store, then you’ll be in pure shopping heaven at Bal Harbour.  New York has Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills has Rodeo Drive, and Miami boasts the Shops at Bal Harbour.  Take your pick of any renowned fashion, jewelry, or accessory designer and chances are they have a store at this luxury, outdoor shopping destination.  You’ll know you’re there when you spot the latest Chloe handbags carried around by women with tiny doggies, and skim cappuccinos in hands weighed down by flawless, five carat diamond rings. If you happen to be in the market for that exact ring (designed by Christian Dior), you’ve come to the right spot!

Carefree Shopping for Latin Americans

In this economy I expected to see teenage girls strolling around with no intention of buying anything other than a $150 trinket from Tiffany.  I found anything but!  Wealthy visitors from Latin America shop their hearts out and go from store to store, struggling to carry all their shopping bags.  In their home countries, it’s difficult to find top designer stores, and if they do, thieves could be waiting outside to rob them at gunpoint for their expensive merchandise. So they flock to Miami with their empty Tumi suitcases and endless bank accounts. Other Bal Harbour regulars are the ladies who lunch, a few tourists, and local girls like me who live for the killer sales.

A Few of my Favorites

Hermes:  Every girl dreams of a Birkin bag, but so few will actually ever own one.  At $9000 and a five year waiting list, there’s not much hope.  But don’t despair, there’s a mouth watering display of enamel cuff bracelets just waiting to be taken home.  I couldn’t help but notice the signature Hermes scarf print bracelet in gold for $500. They’re designed to be worn as bangles, so for the right look it’s $1,500-$2,000. Sadly I had to leave, as no sale signs in view.


Pucci:  If you want to get your Miami glam on this famous Italian designer is a must for bold, bright signature prints that will get you noticed poolside.  Thanks to their sale, bikinis were slashed to $290 and cover-ups could be had for $550. And yes, I walked out with a bikini. Pucci is not known for their sunglasses, but with fabulous styles and reasonable prices, if you find a pair you love chances are you no one else will have them.

Judith Ripka:  If the jewelry collection in your vault seems tired, Jutith Ripka is known for over -the-top, dazzling, jaw dropping pieces that make a statement. That statement is “I’m not only rich, but have incredibly good taste”.  It’s also some of the most expensive jewelry in the world.  Women can be seen drooling over the coveted pink opal cuff bracelet, and praying their husbands would go ahead and have that affair, because no other make up gift would do.


If you’re in a time crunch and stopping into all the designer boutiques seem impossible, head for the two flagship department stores at Bal Harbour-Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. They carry some of the very same designers, and complimentary personal shoppers are ready to help you spend your money. 

Whether you’re shopping for Pratesi sheets, known for their luxurious 900 thread count ( and priced at $1200 for a Queen set), or spending so much on your trip to St. Bart’s that the Calypso sale is just what you need, at some point you’re going to have to eat. Carpacchio’s offers delicious light salads and handsome waiters in who show up just when it’s time to order a second glass of wine. 


Strolling in this coveted collection of designer stores makes for a divine diversion, whether your bank balance has just three digits or six. The perfectly manicured palm trees, the tranquil Koi ponds, and wandering in and out of stores that offer the most beautiful things in the world make for a perfect afternoon in Miami.


The Shops at Bal Harbour are located at 9700 Collins Avenue., 305.866.0311
Store Hours, Mon—Sat: 10:00am to 9:00pm, Sun: 12noon to 6:00pm

Related Categories: Miami: Travel News, Miami: Things to Do,

Christy offers a fresh perspective on life and style in Miami. You can reach her at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Christy.

See more articles by Christy

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7 Comments on

"Shopping in Bal Harbour - It’s Not Your Average Mall"

rk says:

Very entertaining article, thanks! I love the mango cheesecake at Segafredo’s there. The thing I don’t like is the open air public areas that are too hot in the summer. Minor correction, you have it correctly spelled as harbour some places, and harbor at others.

Posted on 10/25/2010 at 11:36 AM

Christy says:

I’m glad you enjoyed it. Wow, mango cheesecake-how Miami! Thanks for the editing tip too!

Posted on 10/25/2010 at 12:19 PM

Beenawhile says:

And that’s why, currently, you won’t make it to whatever you right. Taken a shot at “POSH” Spice. Funny

Posted on 10/25/2010 at 5:53 PM

Michelle says:

Great article, Christy! I am so not into fashion but I do like the feel of the Bal Harbour shops smile

Beenawhile, don’t quite understand your comment. Can you clarify what it is you are trying to say?

Posted on 10/26/2010 at 8:37 AM

Christy says:

Thanks Michelle!
Yes, it’s so nice to just walk around a in wonderful setting. Have you ever been to Calypso? It’s one of my favorite stores (and also reasonable compared to the other shops there). They have tons of cute beachy tops that look great with jeans, simple flip flops with abalone shell details, and great little breezy dresses. Everything is made with thin, soft cotton or linen. I think you’d like it.

Posted on 10/26/2010 at 1:36 PM

Jess says:

Great article! Let’s go shopping!
@ rk, the spelling was probably my fault, in England it is harbour smile

Posted on 10/28/2010 at 9:00 AM

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