October 20, 2014

Discover Southwest Florida: Shopping

SHOPPING

The world’s most glamorous labels in clothing, jewelry, leather goods and accessories—so expected in Paris, Milan and New York—can also be found in sophisticated couture boutiques and department stores here on the Gulfshore. Yet, so can the latest looks in formalwear, casual wear and artful accessories at modest prices. Besides the gracious Italianate enclaves defined by arches and statuary, fountains, courtyards, lakes and bays, there are scores of tiny plazas with just a handful of shops. Trust us, you don’t want to miss those tiny plazas. They’re home to some of our favorite restaurants and specialty shops, such as Norman Love’s new chocolate salon at Parkshore Plaza in Naples.

World travelers will love Mercato, an upscale retail/residential complex patterned after the charming old World mercatos, or markets, of Italy. Tucked among the unique specialty shops are restaurants, pubs and lounges, a Whole Foods Market, a bookstore and a sophisticated theater complex. The massive Gulf Coast Town Center in south Lee County is a village-style shopping experience with 100 shops and more than 30 eateries. Coconut Point in Estero has 115 stores plus 25 restaurants in a lovely setting of lakes and boardwalks. Laid-back, island-style shopping villages are sprinkled throughout Marco, Sanibel and Captiva islands, and there’s a lively new shopping district along the Fort Myers riverfront.

Don’t be surprised to meet the crème of society, not just along Naples’ famed Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South, or upscale enclaves such as Waterside Shops, Mercato, The Village on Venetian Bay and Bell Tower Shops. You’ll also find them treasure hunting in our many antique emporiums and trés chic consignment shops.

NAPLES

Fifth Avenue South, six blocks in Old Naples, (239) 435-3742. Continental ambiance offers a mix of sophisticated restaurants, boutiques and galleries. Among the retailers are Petunias, ArtModern Gallery, Port Royal Jewelers, Best of Everything, The Lady From Haiti, and Abbott’s Frozen Custard. Fifth Avenue is home to more than 20 restaurants and sidewalk cafés, as well as the new Downtown Naples Information Center at 800 Fifth Ave. S., Suite 103. The Sugden Community Theatre is on Fifth, and The von Liebig Art Center is just around the corner. www.fifthavenuesouth.com.

Third Street South and the Avenues, located in the heart of Old Naples, (239) 434-6533. Featuring a collection of more than 100 charming shops, the thriving Gallery Row and premier culinary finds. Shops include Marissa Collections, Tickled Pink, Gattle’s, Jami’s and C. Orrico. Restaurants include Campiello, Sea Salt, Handsome Harry’s, Jane’s, Ridgeway Bar and Grill, and Tommy Bahama’s Tropical Café, among others. In addition to providing a source for area information, the concierge will hold and assist with package deliveries, and arrange transportation. Third Street South is also a Naples’ WiFi hot spot, so bring your laptop. www.thirdstreetsouth.com.

Tin City, on U.S. 41 at Goodlette-Frank Road, (239) 262-4200. Originally a 1920s clam shelling and oyster processing plant. More than 30 eclectic shops offer kitschy souvenirs, collectibles and handmade goods. Try waterfront dining at Riverwalk Fish & Ale House and Pinchers Crab Shack, or grab a quick bite at Café Europa, a fixture in Tin City for decades. www.tin-city.com.

Bayfront, on Goodlette-Frank Road at U.S. 41, (239) 649-8700. Enjoy the colorful European-style architecture while browsing the shops and galleries of this center that includes several dining options, residences and a marina. Specialty stores include Murano Lighting Gallery, Bayfront Clothing Boutique, Blue Diamond Jewelers, The Weatherburn Gallery and Jennings of Naples. Restaurants include Stoney’s Steakhouse, Roy’s, Tavern on the Bay, Café Bayfront and Shane’s Cabana Bar. Other services include Robert of Philadelphia salon, Prudential Florida Realty and Stoneburner Properties. www.bayfrontnaples.com.

North from Old Naples on U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail), fine-jewelry lovers or collectors will encounter several upscale jewelry and watch retailers with buildings that resemble the jewels within. Thalheimers is at 3200 Tamiami Trail N., at U.S. 41 and Ridge Street, www.thalheimers.com. It offers fine Swiss watches, custom and designer jewelry, Lladro gallery and other giftware. Bigham Jewelers, featuring jewelry from internationally acclaimed designers, is farther north at 2425 Tamiami Trail N., www.bighamjewelers.com. The striking Bigham building is also home to Trudy Labell Fine Art and Eyetopian Optical.

Village on Venetian Bay, Gulf Shore Boulevard at Park Shore Drive, (239) 261-6100. A newly renovated waterfront village with a taste of Old Italy. Stroll by the bay and shop at more than 50 upscale specialty boutiques for men and women, including Artichoke & Co., A Horse of a Different Color, Pearl, Simply Natural, Wildflower, and Mondo Uomo and Donna, as well as galleries, design studios and waterfront restaurants including Cloyde’s Steak and Lobster, M Waterfront Grille, Miramare, Bayside, The Village Pub and a Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop. www.venetianvillage.com.

Coastland Center, 1900 Tamiami Trail N., (239) 262-2323. The only enclosed retail center includes well-known names such as Macy’s, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Sears and more than 150 specialty stores, including G By Guess, Abercrombie & Fitch, The Body Central, Gap, Express and Victoria’s Secret. Dining options include Charley’s Steakery, Vivi Ristorante, The Cheesecake Factory and an extensive food court. www.coastlandcenter.com.

Collection at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt Beach Road at Airport-Pulling Road. Mediterranean-style shopping and dining village featuring Pei Wei Asian Diner, Elements Therapeutic Massage, Zazou, Emack & Bolio’s, Absinthe Restaurant, Diva Doghouse & Co., The Good Life, Bump Maternity, Pizzaiolos, European Wax Center and more.

Waterside Shops, U.S. 41 at Seagate Drive, (239) 598-1605. An outdoor shopping center set among artistically tiled fountains and anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. Home to luxury boutiques including Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Gucci, Coach, Hermès, Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, St. John, Apple, Kate Spade and Calypso. Dining options include BrickTop’s Restaurant, Brio Tuscan Grille, California Pizza Kitchen and the Silver Spoon Café. www.watersideshops.com.

Mercato, U.S. 41, north of Vanderbilt Beach Road, (239) 403-2204. Anchored by Whole Foods, Naples’ newest mixed-use development also includes The Capital Grille, AZN Azian Cuizine, The Pub, Bravo! Cucina Italiana, McCormick & Schmick’s, Blue Martini, Silverspot Cinemas, Gigi’s Children’s Boutique, Byte Shop, Pandora, Vogue Couture, Sur La Table, Z Gallerie and Books-A-Million. www.mercatoshops.com.

MARCO ISLAND

Esplanade, 760 N. Collier Blvd., (239) 394-7772. This shopping plaza is set upon 1,100 feet of waterfront on Smokehouse Bay and encompasses nearly 50,000 square feet of fine dining, select retailers, specialty stores and commercial offices. It also houses the 77-boat-slip Esplanade Marina and a bayside sunset amphitheater. Restaurants include CJ’s on the Bay, Tara Steak and Lobster House and Guy Harvey’s Island Grill. www.esplanadeshoppes.com.

Marco Town Center Mall, North Collier Boulevard at Bald Eagle Drive. More than 40 shops, restaurants and cafés in a casual outdoor setting. Dining options include the Crazy Flamingo, Susie’s Diner, Summer Day Market and Café, and locally owned boutiques such as La Scarpa, Periwinkles, Blue Mangrove Gallery, Georgie’s and Sandpiper Clothiers.
www.marcotowncentermall.com.

BONITA SPRINGS

The Promenade at Bonita Bay, U.S. 41 and South Bay Drive, (239) 261-6100. A courtyard village includes 30 upscale retail shops, restaurants and offices. Shops include Weekends, DuFrane Jewelers, Bonne Nuit, Evelyn & Arthur, the Mole Hole, Mondo Uomo and Donna, and Jami’s and JCC. Restaurants include the Silver Spoon Café, Molino’s Ristorante and Roy’s. www.promenadeshops.com.

 

ESTERO

Coconut Point, south of Corkscrew Road on U.S. 41, (239) 992-9966. Set on seven acres, the shopping area is part of a 500-acre, master-planned community. Shops include J. Crew, Apple, Coach, Sephora, Gymboree, West Elm, Lucky Brand Jeans, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble and more. More than 25 dining offerings include The Grape Wine Bar, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Ted’s Montana Grill and Blue Water Bistro. Hollywood Theaters round out the experience. www.simon.com.

Miromar Outlets, exit 123 off I-75 at Corkscrew Road, (239) 948-3766. An inviting Mediterranean atmosphere with covered, open-air walkways, sculpted water fountains and an abundance of casual eateries. Miromar offers an extensive selection for bargain hunters with more than 140 outlet shops. Factory stores include Neiman Marcus Last Call, Saks Off Fifth, Escada, Polo Ralph Lauren, BCBG Max Azria, Banana Republic, Cole Haan, J. Crew, Coach, Movado and Bose. www.miromaroutlets.com.

Miromar Design Center, 10801 Corkscrew Road, (239) 390-5111. Comprehensive resource for design professionals and consumers. Forty-five showrooms present furniture, fabrics, flooring, lighting, kitchen and bath products, art, accessories, wall coverings and much more. Design referral services, college-level courses and event facilities are available. www.miromardesigncenter.com.

FORT MYERS

Bell Tower Shops, U.S. 41 and Daniels Parkway, (239) 489-1221. A scenic, open-air, upscale retail center with 50 specialty stores, fine dining, a 20-screen movie theater and well-known hotel accommodations. Stroll through lush landscapes and enjoy special events throughout the week. Anchors include Saks Fifth Avenue and Bed Bath & Beyond. www.thebelltowershops.com.

Edison Mall, U.S. 41 and Colonial Boulevard, (239) 939-1933. Featuring many of the nation’s top department and specialty stores such as Macy’s, Dillard’s, Sears, JCPenney, the Disney Store, Yankee Candle, Journey’s, Justice, PacSun, Bath & Body Works and Foot Locker. www.simon.com.

Gulf Coast Town Center, I-75 and Alico Road, (239) 267-0783. Newly established lifestyle center featuring the first Bass Pro Shops in Southwest Florida. Shops such as JCPenney, SuperTarget, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ron Jon Surf Shop and Borders Books & Music are intermixed with restaurants including PF Chang’s, FirePit City Grill, Miller’s Ale House, Blu Sushi and Islamorada Fish Co. Regal Cinemas 16 adds to the lively evening atmosphere. www.gulfcoasttowncenter.com.

Park Shops at Andrea Lane, Andrea Lane and U.S. 41. Features Vino 100, Bonefish Grill, Mirage Boutique and more.

The River District, historic downtown Fort Myers, is experiencing a resurgence of retail and commercial development with a surge in art galleries. It’s a destination for shoppers looking for the perfect gift or unique home furnishing.

Tanger Outlet Center, 20350 Summerlin Road, (239) 454-1974. Stroll canopied boardwalks in a plush, tropical setting and shop more than 45 name-brand and manufacturer outlets, including Coach, Polo Ralph Lauren, Liz Claiborne, Jones New York, Reebok, Calvin Klein, Gap, Samsonite and Nike. www.tangeroutlet.com.

SANIBEL ISLAND

Periwinkle Way, Sanibel’s main road, features open-air shopping perfect for casual strolling. From seashells to souvenirs and clothing to crafts, there is something for every taste.

Periwinkle Place is home to restaurants, a day spa, a toy store, shops featuring unique gifts, galleries, apparel boutiques and jewelry stores. Stores include Island Pursuit, the Cheese Nook, Life is Good at Synergy and Peach Republic. www.periwinkleplace.com.

CAPTIVA ISLAND

Chadwick’s Square, at the entrance to South Seas Resort on the north end of Captiva Island, (239) 472-5111. Features a unique selection of specialty shops with everything from beachwear to home furnishings, including a pizzeria, gallery, jeweler, clothing shops, antique dealers, grocery and beauty salon.

220 Outlet Stores

Shopaholics, start your engines! Estero, situated between Fort Myers and Bonita Springs, is an outlet shopper’s dream with the pet-friendly Miromar Outlets (140 big- name stores from Gap and Jockey to Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue). There’s also Prime Outlets near Marco and Tanger Outlets near Sanibel Island for another 80 stores: a total of 220 stores and counting.

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