South Floridians hustle for last-minute holiday shopping, tourists vacation on beaches

AVENTURA, FLA. (WSVN) - - Mall parking lots are packed with Christmas present procrastinators, and at Aventura Mall, shoppers are hustling and bustling at every store to get last-minute gifts for their loved ones.

However, the mall is not the only destination people flock to during the holiday season.

It’s that time of year again when folks flock to South Florida for the beautiful beaches, bars and best shopping places.

“I’m doing some late Christmas shopping,” said a shopper.

With just hours until the big day, thousands headed to Aventura and Dolphin malls to get the deals and steals on some last-minute gifts.

“I got stuff for my girlfriend, for my parents, for my friends,” said another shopper.

7News caught up with shoppers Miguel Medina and Leidis Perez and asked them why they headed to the mall on Thursday.

“His fault!” said Perez. “We were actually coming for a specific thing, so we’re going to see if we find it. If not, then so be it.”

“Last minute gift for me,” said Medina. “I’m always working, so there’s barely time.”

“Picking up a few last-minute things, yeah,” said shopper Anthony Martell. “I just got here. I just went to Apple to pick up something really fast> It was really smooth. So far, so good. It always seems to happen that I always shop at the last moment. I always have a last-minute thing to pick up.”

The beaches were packed, too. 7SkyForce HD hovered high above Hollywood Beach as hundreds huddled on the sand.

It was the same on South Beach, as many 7News spoke to came down south solely to escape their freezing forecast.

“It’s snowing where I’m from, so here it’s not too hot. It’s so good,” said Taylor Fisher, who is visiting from Philadelphia.

“In Philly, it’s snow, ice, dangerous driving, it’s a lot going on,” said Reaz Hoque, who is visiting from New York.

Whether it’s for the nightlife, shopping or just the views, many say there’s no better place to take it all in than doing it in South Florida.

​”Here it’s the sun out, nice weather, dress comfortably. I love it here,” Hoque said.

“All this hype, the bars, the clubs — it’s amazing right now,” said a tourist visiting from New York.

Aventura Mall closed at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and will be closed on Christmas Day.

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