Downtown Melbourne sure has changed over the years.When I was younger, the area was quaint and quiet with a few restaurants and a few staples like Jessup’s, Continental Flambe, and Meg O’Malleys. Now, it’s turned into a trendy downtown area that has maintained that small town feel. I love to go down there to chow down at contemporary restaurants, attend happy hour at lively bars, and shop at the chicest boutiques. Shopping is definitely my favorite of the three, so I’ll let you in on a little secret - my five favorite boutiques that deserve your hard-earned money. Remember, shop local!
Cottonways has several locations around Florida, but its flagship store in downtown Melbourne has by far the best selection. I love that they have clothes that offer both comfort and sophistication that require little maintenance. One of my favorite things is how they pair styles together like a simple colorful shirt with a bold statement necklace. Also, I love that they support local artists like Anuschka Bird and Mermaid Collections, which provide hand-painted handbags and wallets.
Tallulah9 is a Best of Space Coast winner, and they continue to bring funky, cute styles to their store for ladies looking for a more fashion-forward wardrobe. I love that they carry Free People and Johnny Was, and you can style an entire outfit from the hat right on down to the summer wedges.
Downtown Divas has been a staple for trendy, cute clothes since I was in high school. Although their clothes cater to a younger demo (like my teenage niece), I still like to pop in, and I always find something I love. They carry tons of fashion-forward brands, and their longevity in downtown Melbourne is a testament to their eye for amazing clothes, shoes, and accessories.
Don’t even get me started on how much I love Jessup’s. Jessup’s is a family-owned jewelry store since 1931. I’ve purchased so many amazing pieces from there, including my wedding band. If you’re shopping around but not sure what to pick, talk to Candy. She’s great at providing you with the direction you need to choose a piece that’s perfect for your personality. I encourage you to visit them anytime you’re in downtown Melbourne to see what they have going on, but they have a semi-annual, storewide sale two times a year, and if you can make it on one of those days, you’re sure to leave the store with something amazing.
Go Fish is an incredible company that you have to visit if you’re on a shopping excursion in downtown Melbourne. Most of the items they sell are from the indigenous people of developing nations. Go Fish purchased these amazing hand-crafted goods at asking price, as to not disrespect the hard work and craftsmanship that has been put into all of these quality pieces. So, go into this store and leave guilt-free knowing you helped support an entrepreneur in a developing country.
I love to shop. That’s no secret. But downtown Melbourne is flourishing with some amazing local boutiques that have incredible selections at affordable prices. It’s never too hard on my wallet. So, whether you’re a local or you're just in town for a short time ready to go out on a Caribbean cruise, come to downtown Melbourne, and shop your heart out.
Joanna, Florida’s Space Coast Shopping Connoisseur