RESERVATIONS: 407 396 1828


The Florida Mall

This popular shopping spot’s anchors include Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Sears, and Saks Fifth Avenue, to go along with an Adam’s Mark Hotel and more than 250 specialty stores, restaurants (Buca di Beppo, Le Jardin, and the Salsa Taqueria & Tequila Bar), a food court, and entertainment venues.
Address: 8001 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32809
Phone: 407/851-6255


Prime Outlets

The largest of the Orlando factory outlet centers recently completed an architectural transformation to become what is now an inviting covered outdoor mall (similar to the way the Premium Outlets are laid out). It offers a wide range of merchandise and over 125 of the hottest designer brands, which, in a few cases, can be gotten at a savings of up to 75% off retail prices. Still, as is the case with most outlets, most buys here are no better than what you’ll find in discount houses in your hometown. There are more than a dozen shoe stores (Bass, Cole Haan, Nine West, Nike, Vans, Sperry, and so on); nearly as many housewares shops (Calphalon, Waterford, Pfaltzgraff, and more); a Universal Studios Outlet; and 60-some clothing and accessories shops for men, women, and children (Neiman Marcus Last Call, the Gap, Kate Spade, Juicy Couture, ESPRIT, Aéropostale, Ecko, Hugo Boss, J. Crew, Kenneth Cole, Pac Sun, Polo, Perry Ellis, Nautica, Coach, Dooney & Bourke, DKNY, Colombia Sportswear, Van Heusen, OshKosh, Izod, GUESS, and others). You can also shop for books, records, electronics, sporting goods, health and beauty aids, jewelry, toys, gifts, accessories, lingerie, and hosiery.

Thankfully, the recent overhaul ensures that you no longer have to get in and out of your car to hop from building to building, an incredible inconvenience that once kept this shopping center off my list of favorites. It is, however, in an off-the-beaten-path location, so unless you’re staying close to Universal Orlando, the other outlet options make a much better choice.
Address: 5401 W. Oak Ridge Rd, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone: 407/352-9600


Ron Jon Surf Shop

This local Florida retailer opened its second store in 2003 at Festival Bay on the upper north end of International Drive. The 15,000-square-foot beach shop sports an island flair and offers a huge selection of its world famous surfer wear and beach gear, among its other unique (and occasionally offbeat) surfing-themed merchandise. Complementing the store is the new Ron Jon Surf Park, also at Festival Bay, which splashed onto the scene in late 2007.
Address: 5160 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone: 407/481-2555


Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

If you’re looking for the retail version of fishing and hunting (including archery) heaven, schedule a visit to this store in the Festival Bay shopping center. The store also features areas for watersports equipment, camping gear, and outdoor apparel, as well as a golf pro shop and an aquarium. The store is open daily, usually from 9am to 6pm (closed Christmas).
Address: 5156 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone: 407/563-5200


Altamonte Mall

As surely as Disney brought new life to Orlando, this mall — the second largest in the area behind the Florida Mall — brought new life (and a ton of traffic) to the then-one-stoplight town of Altamonte Springs, north of Orlando. A recent renovation added a food court, an indoor play area for kids, and an 18-screen AMC movie theater with stadium seating. The lineup features anchor stores Dillard’s, JCPenney, and Sears; and 175 other specialty stores, including the Body Shop, Foot Locker, Godiva, and Banana Republic.
Address: 451 E. Altamonte Dr, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
Phone: 407/830-4422