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Find the best places to shop in Orlando, Miami and Florida's coasts

Vacations and shopping go hand in hand -- what with souvenir purchases and gifts for the folks back home. If you like to shop and you are vacationing in Florida, there is no shortage of possibilities  -- the state is known for its sunshine and beaches, but malls and shopping centers are not far behind. Here are some shopping opportunities to check out at several popular Florida destinations:

Boca Raton
Mizner Park, a pedestrian-friendly center reminiscent of a small European village with Mediterranean-inspired architecture, it is configured as two city blocks surrounded by a landscaped park. It features luxury jewelers, one-of-a-kind boutiques and award-winning restaurants. Mizner houses The Boca Raton Museum of Art, an upscale movie theater, iPic and a 5,000 person amphitheater that offers a lineup of live performances year-round. Retailers include Van Cleef & Arpels, Janie and Jack and Sur La Table. Dining choices include Yard House, Truluck’s Seafood Steak and Crab House, Rack's Downtown Eatery and Tavern, Dubliner Irish Pub and KARMA Sushi Steakbar. Visit www.miznerpark.com.

Coral Gables
A tropical enclave in Coral Gables, The Village of Merrick Park the center boasts more than 100 retailers and restaurants, personal shopping experiences, valet service and customer service. Anchored by Neiman Marcus and Miami's first Nordstrom, Village of Merrick Park is home to several high-end retailers including Burberry, Carolina Herrera, Diane von Furstenberg, Jimmy Choo, Tiffany & Co. and Gucci. Culinary options go from Italian to Mediterranean and everything in between. For example, shoppers can visit the casual French bistro C'est Bon, or enjoy a relaxed yet refined experience at Mariposa at Neiman Marcus, which offers a fusion of Mediterranean and Asian fare. Shoppers seeking a more all-American, laid back atmosphere can check out Yard House, known for its large selection of draft beers, a diverse menu of American fare and a heady selection of classic rock music played on a state-of-the-art sound system. Another shopper favorite, the American-eclectic restaurant CRAVE prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients prepared to perfection. Additional dining options include Nordstrom Café Bistro and Nordstrom Ebar, SAWA Restaurant & Lounge, and Villagio. Visit www.villageofmerrickpark.com.

Miami
Bayside Marketplace is a waterside shopping center in downtown Miami situated on Biscayne Bay. One of the largest outdoor waterfront dining, shopping and entertainment destinations in the U.S., it features more than 150 shops including national retailers such as GUESS, GAP, Victoria’s Secret and Brookstone. With its close proximity to the Port of Miami, Bayside Marketplace is a frequent stop with cruise passengers visiting the destination. Cruisers and land travelers alike can enjoy lively outdoor performances from local musicians each day or watch local artists create paintings, sculptures, jewelry and more at Bayside's Artist Square on the weekends Dining options include Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., the Hard Rock Café, the Latin flavors of Mambo Café and the Argentinean steakhouse, The Knife. Additional dining options include Largo Seafood & Grill, Lombardi's Ristorante and Food Court eateries. Visit www.baysidemarketplace.com.

Naples
One of the Gulf Coast's most prestigious shopping and dining locations, the Waterside Shops features more than 50 shops and restaurants set amid landscaping that incorporates 30,000 tropical plants and flowering shrubs and a 550-foot-long, hand-laid rock wall with cascading water. Among the stores represented are Saks Fifth Avenue, Cartier, Coach, Tiffany & Co. and Nordstrom. Dining choices include Brio Tuscan Grille and BrickTop’s Restaurant. Visit www.watersideshops.com.

Orlando
One of Orlando's most popular shopping destinations, the 1.2 million square-foot Mall at Millenia has nearly 150 shops, services and eateries. It offers a collection of stores from all over the world, including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Emporio Armani, Saint Laurent Paris, Prada, Breitling, Cartier, Burberry, Chanel, BOSS Store, Jimmy Choo, Lacoste, and Salvatore Ferragamo. U.S. favorites include Abercrombie & Fitch, Apple, Sony, MAC, Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Henri Bendel, Hollister & Co., Tory Burch and Michael Kors. Mall anchors are Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus and Macy’s. Eight restaurants, a bar/nightclub and 13 casual eateries are offered. Surrounding the mall’s 65-foot glass Water Garden entrance are four restaurants: The Capital Grille, The Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, and Brio Tuscan Grille. Other dining options include California Pizza Kitchen and Johnny Rockets. Visit www.mallatmillenia.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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