Sawgrass Mills, Sunrise, FL

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Had an opportunity to visit Sawgrass Mills outlet shopping mall in Sunrise, Florida, which is situated in Broward County. Located near Florida's Turnpike as well as the I-95 / 869, it's a beautiful property which boasts over 350 stores. Arriving at Sawgrass later on a weekday morning, the shopping strategy for this particular day was to focus on one very small area of the mall. For the most part, the stores which were visited exhibited signs of impressive percentage discounts (not unusual to see 50% to 70% off) and often included multiple percentage discounts (with an additional 10% to 20% off just to give you an idea). It was easy to gush over the beautiful merchandise from retail establishments such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, Ted Baker, Furla, lululemon, Tommy Bahamas and Bloomingdale's just to name a very few (of course, "outlet versions" of the stores). The sampling, as it turned out, just happened to lean more towards higher end stores but, not to fret, Sawgrass encompasses all price point levels (yes, there's a Super Target!) with a huge array of options (remember? over 350!). There's so much to see it's honestly a little overwhelming, but a delightful overwhelming with so many choices.

As you may or not be aware, shopping can be exhausting. Whether you're looking to purchase or simply being a lookie loo, one can work up an appetite pretty quickly. With lunch time on the brain, a decision was made to eat at the Grand Lux Cafe (a Cheesecake Factory brand). As the dining options at Sawgrass are as plentiful as the shopping options, one can choose from fast food($) all the way up to finer dining($$$).

The biggest surprise of the day was towards the end of the afternoon while heading back to the parking garage. Wandering through a courtyard near where lunch had been earlier was Gator Garden. Gator Garden you ask? Yes, a large open garden area with about a dozen standing whimsical gator statues which have been painted in different themes ("Sale-A-Gator", of course, a SawGrass Mills shopper gator; "Relax, Rejoice, Renew ... Florida", a gator with painted highlights of all the great things to see and do in our sunshine state; "Gaudi Gator" who resembles the work of the artist, Gaudi; "Passion for Fashion", the paisley cover photo gator for this article; "Lady Equality" a gator who embraces the essence of Wonder Woman and "Gina, Glam, Gator of the Glades" just to name a few). These gators in all their colorful glory will capture and captivate your heart ... one is encouraged to "Snap a Photo With Your Favorite Gator and Tag @ShopSawgrass to be Featured!" #gatorgarden. Honestly, it's worth a visit to the mall just to see these enchanting works of art.

As the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the United States. Sawgrass Mills has much to offer and having only experienced a small portion, the motivation to return is high. At a minimum, it is retail therapy at its best and a chance to meet some new gator friends!