Miami's shopping scene caters to the cravings of its style-savvy residents with each neighborhood having a distinct flair. South Beach's Lincoln Road, largely a pedestrian-only zone, has vintage shops and chic ateliers, as well as big chains. BASE, the street's iconic lifestyle store, sells everything from arty coffee-table books, earthy colognes, and obscure electronic CDs to urban menswear. For reliably posh retail therapy, the Bal Harbour Shops are Miami's most upscale shopping experience—an open-air mall replete with courtyards and fountains and filled with such names as Prada, Chopard, and Emilio Pucci.
Hit the Design District for cutting-edge stores selling items such as Italian furniture, British colonial antiques, and whimsical bathroom fixtures. Clothing stores are catching on as well. En Avance, which stocks designs from DSquared and James Perse, relocated here from Lincoln Road (161 N.E. 40th St.; 305-576-0056; www.enavance.net). Tomas Maier of Bottega Veneta fame even moved his eponymous South Beach store to the Design District in late 2008—more evidence of the retail-friendly direction the once no-go neighborhood is heading.
And while Miami's fashion scene largely died in the '80s, there are signs of a comeback from designers like Julian Chang, who caters to local Latina celebrities, and Rene Ruiz on the Miracle Mile. Another boutique worth checking out is KRELwear, a small atelier in Wynwood showcasing the talents of Miami fashion maven Karelle Levy (180 N.W. 25th St.; 305-576-7465; www.krelwear.com).