Here in Winter Park we are graced with some of the best shopping in Florida. After all, if you are ever in need of a shopping day, Park Avenue is just a few steps away with all of its adorable boutiques, shops, salons, and restaurants.
Park Avenue can easily break the bank, though, so a more wallet-friendly option to keep in mind is the Mall at Millenia, which is just twenty minutes from campus. Of course, there are other malls, with Fashion Square clocking in at fifteen minutes from campus and the huge Florida Mall about thirty minutes away, but honestly, the Mall at Millenia has always been and will always be my favorite. I have a million reasons why, but the first is that it is just a really beautiful facility. Second, it has all of my favorite stores, both high-end and bargain-price, and third, it has a really wonderful food court, with even more restaurant options within walking distance.
When you arrive at the mall, you are greeted by towering palm trees and a beautiful glass facade, with fountains lining the center of the main plaza inside. There are two stories to the mall, and even on busy days the walkways never seem to be jammed. The window displays of every store always appear to be perfect, and currently the fall decor is absolutely beautiful. As you walk through the mall, the architecture, the clothes, the accessories, the makeup. . . everything looks so artistic and high-class, and yet you can easily walk away with a ton of additions to your wardrobe without even a hint of buyers remorse at having spent more than you can afford.
The Mall at Millenia is home to Abercrobie & Fitch, Banana Republic, Guess, Prada, Urban Outfitters, Gucci, Victoria’s Secret, White House / Black Market, Anthropologie, J. Crew, and Armani Exchange, to name a few of the higher-end stores for those looking to treat themselves. But if you need to watch the wallet, the mall also hosts Forever21, H&M, Express, American Eagle Outfitters, PINK, Hollister, GAP, Aldo Shoes, Billabong, and several more affordable clothing stores.
The Mall also houses both M.A.C. Cosmetics and Sephora, as well as Bath & Body Works and—my personal favorite—Lush Cosmetics. There are also amazing booths in Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s where you can satisfy all of your beauty and fragrance needs. Or, if you are looking for bargains, Ulta Beauty is right across the road.
For lunch, you can walk to Olive Garden or Pollo Tropical, or head to the food court on the second floor, which contains Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, Firehouse Subs, Chipotle, Fruit ‘n Smoothie Sensations, and several other options.
On my recent trip to the mall, I purchased lunch at the food court, five or six shirts, a cardigan, two adorable dresses, a couple of skirts, a pair of pants, and a pair of shorts, all for under $200 (I did spend a bit more than that in total, as I went a bit crazy with the bath bombs at Lush, but that is beside the point). The Mall at Millenia offers something for everyone, and even if you are not looking to go on a shopping spree and just want a way to spend your day, it is a great destination.