Popular with cruise passengers, this waterfront marketplace in the heart of downtown is filled with the usual big-chain suspects (Gap, Guess, Victoria’s Secret) as well as a slew of tacky gift shops and carts hawking assorted junk. The second-floor food court is stocked with dozens of fast-food choices and bars. Most of the eateries and bars stay open later than the stores. There’s Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Hooters, Hard Rock Cafe, Chili’s, the Knife, and the best spot for drinks and snacks, Largo Seafood & Grill. Parking ranges from $3 to $10, depending on days and times. Although I wouldn’t recommend you necessarily drop big bucks here, you should go by just for the view (of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline) alone; a flotilla of tour boats is also based here. The adjacent Bayfront Park amphitheater hosts large-scale concerts and festivals, which can cause major pedestrian and vehicle traffic jams.
- David Paul Appell