Florida Guide > Shopping
The Florida Mall
Out of all the malls in the Orlando area-Florida Mall is still my favourite. With 250 shops and outlets it is still the biggest and I think the best.
I first visited it on my first visit to Orlando 17 years ago and I am delighted to say that it has grown in size since then when it was refitted in 1999. It is situated on the corner of S Orange Blossom Trail and Sand Lake Road an ideal spot if the men in the party don’t want to come shopping as there is a Best Buy over the road where they can lose themselves for a couple of hours.
It has all the main department stores there-Sears, Penney’s, Dillards, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Saks. I must admit I had never even been in Nordstrom till we were looking for children’s crocs (those gaudy little plastic shoes that everyone is wearing) and because winter was approaching the other shops were not getting any new stocks in. So, we were directed into Nordstrom and landed in croc heaven (or hell depending on your viewpoint. ) There were crocs of every size and colour and even had the jibbitz (little pieces you buy to insert in the croc holes to customize them) to go with them. ( No wonder really that there whole shoe area was very impressive as the original owner of the store had started off as a shoe shop) But, even better than that, we stumbled on a little known secret-Nordstrom has a really lovely restaurant. I’ve always found eating at the Mall a bit hit and miss since The Olive Garden outlet closed –so when we found that for a few dollars more-you could eat lovely food in peace and harmony we were well made up. If you don’t have time to sit down for a meal there little café bar on the grand floor also does some nice snacks and smoothies and again it is quite peaceful and quiet.
All the other top names are there –such as Gap, Express, Charlotte Russe, Claire’s, Bath and Body works , Build a Bear, Old Navy, Godiva chocolates, , Guess, Waldenbrooks bookstore and many, many more.
You can even take some time out for a back massage in one of these amazing machines. You like down on your front and then a lid is pulled over on top of you so just your head and feet stick out. The lid is lined with a waterproof membrane and then jets of hot water pulsate up and down your body. It feels wonderful and you can control how much pressure you want the jets to exert. It’s roughly a dollar a minute and just in case you are thinking you strip off in the middle of the mall-you remain fully clothed throughout.
There is a huge food court which can be a bit hectic and noisy but there is a wide choice of asian, pizza, salads, subs, soups, smoothies and so on. No one need go hungry in other words.
Naturally it is all wheelchair accessible with plenty of adapted toilets.
There is amole parking and the mall is open till 9pm each evening and 6pm on a Sunday.
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Page added on: 27 March 2007
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