Florida is a shoppers paradise, but you dont have to fight the crowds to find deals, steals and one-of-a-kind buys. Heres a look at some hidden favorites.
Imagine strolling along a tree-lined street on a gorgeous, sunny day. You are surrounded by clothing boutiques, jewelry stores and gift shops that are totally new to you and full of unique finds. Sound exciting and yet relaxing? Florida may be a shoppers paradise, but battling the crowds at a multi-level mall complex is not always a fun experience. Fortunately, the Sunshine State has several off-the-beaten-path shopping areas that offer unique stores and a charming atmosphere. Take an afternoon to soak up a little slice of Old Florida and hunt for treasures at these eight shopping districts across the state.
Park Avenue, Orlando
Tucked away from all the busy, touristy activities in nearby Orlando is beautiful Park Avenue in Winter Park. This tranquil tree-lined street is packed with local clothing boutiques like Tuni and Violet Clover, full of hip finds for the entire family.
Worth Avenue, Palm Beach
Worth Avenue is often referred to as the Rodeo Drive of Florida and its not hard to see why. Full of upscale jewelry and clothing stores like Neiman Marcus and Tiffany & Co., this quiet, yet ritzy, street is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in the lap of luxury.
Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale
Situated along the causeway in Fort Lauderdale, Las Olas provides views of the lavish houses and grand boats on the sparkling water. Featuring more than 20 galleries and craft stores such as Saba Gallery, its also the perfect shopping experience for the art lover.
Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach
Downtown Delray Beach is a shopping area that truly has something for everyone. It features clothing boutiques like Style and Wine, bookstores including the cleverly named Murder on the Beach, gift shops like Theos Gifts, and when the sun goes down, a bustling nightlife scene.
St. Armands Circle, Sarasota
Soaking up the sun on Lido Key? Hop on over to St. Armands Circle, a shopping experience with a unique twist. The area is known for its historical ties to John Ringling, so be sure to check out the Circus Ring of Fame, featuring a brief summary of each circus performer, along with local boutiques such as co-ed clothing store Island Pursuit.
Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South, Naples
Double your shopping fun with these streets in Naples located less than a mile apart. Both areas provide a scenic place to shop for local goodies as well as some of your favorite brands like Tommy Bahama. Be sure to stop by Silver Eagle for Native American jewelry and Marissa Collections for women's clothing.
Cocoa Village, Cocoa
Cocoa Village not only has great shopping, but a wonderful regional theater the Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse whose performances, some say, rival Broadway. Its Riverfront Park also holds events throughout the year. Don't miss Miss Baileys Curiosity Shoppe, full of carefully curated estate jewelry and furniture.
Historic District, Pensacola
Among the multitude of historic sites in this classic Florida vacation spot,downtown Pensacola features several gift shops and boutiques situated along Palafox Place. You also wont want to miss J.W. Renfroe Pecan Company just a short drive away, known for their tasty Southern pecans and sweets.
If You Go
Whether you're looking for a touch of glamour or some quirky, Old Florida flair, these shopping districts will leave you with a memorable experience and some special souvenirs to bring home. Make sure to stop by these favorite gems in each shopping district: Tuni 301 South Park Avenue Winter Park Tiffany & Co. 259 Worth Avenue Palm Beach Saba Gallery 1015 E Las Olas Boulevard Fort Lauderdale Theos Gifts 111 E Atlantic Ave Delray Beach J.W. Renfroe Pecan Company 2400 West Fairfield Drive Pensacola Miss Baileys Curiosity Shoppe 404-D Brevard Ave. Cocoa Silver Eagle 651 Fifth Ave. S., Naples Island Pursuit 357 St. Armands Circle Sarasota
This article was first published on VISIT FLORIDA by Jeanette Scott