November 26, 2014

Visitors Guide: Shopping

The most coveted labels in couture clothing, jewelry and accessories await the discriminating shopper in Paris, Milan, New York … and right here along the Gulfshore. Immerse yourself in our distinctively romantic Mediterranean Revival ambiance. Stroll through picturesque enclaves defined by arches and statuary, fountains and bougainvillea-draped courtyards. You’ll find an Old World graciousness even in our deeply discounted name brand outlet malls.

Naples must-dos include Waterside Shops, Mercato, The Village on Venetian Bay and, of course, Old Naples’ legendary Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South. In Estero, it’s the 1.2-million-square-foot, main street-style Coconut Point mall, and Gulf Coast Town Center in south Lee County. The fashion-elite of Fort Myers shop at Bell Tower Shops.

A word of caution: If you stick exclusively to the primary centers, you’ll miss half the Gulfshore shopping experience. You’ll meet the crème of society uncovering treasures in our many antique emporiums and très chic consignment shops. From freestanding stores to the trendy, urban River District downtown Fort Myers, there’s always a discovery just around the next bend. And all week long, especially on Wednesdays and Saturdays, morning farmers’ markets overflow with the bounty of local gardens and kitchens. For starters, try our local honey, pasta, sauces, soups, breads, salsas and herbal bath products, and seafood right off the boat.

The long-awaited Mercato, the crème de la crème of upscale urban living, made its official debut this year, kicking off a tradition of stylish musical, theatrical and gastronomical events. The residential/retail complex is patterned after the charming Old World mercatos of Italy. Tucked among the unique specialty shops are a sophisticated urban grocery, a martini lounge, several exceptional restaurants and a stunning 21st century theater complex. Those who just can’t bear to leave can move right into one of the lavishly appointed, urban-style pieds à terre of The Strada at Mercato.

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 upscale retailers are Seraphim Boutique women’s wear, ArtModern Gallery Anthony Verderamo Custom Goldsmith, Femmes Je Vous Aime, Arabesque, Call of Africa’s Native Visions Gallery and Kilwin’s Chocolates & Ice Cream. 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, Ridgway Bar & 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’ Wi-Fi 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 Atelier Lizio Naples, Bayfront Fine Arts, Blue Diamond Jewelers, The Weatherburn Gallery and Jennings of Naples. Restaurants include Bianchi’s, Stoney’s Steakhouse, Roy’s, Tavern on the Bay, Café Bayfront and coming in 2010—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.

The Village on Venetian Bay, Gulf Shore Boulevard at Park Shore Drive, (239) 403-2204. 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, The Paper Merchant, 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 Bailey Banks & Biddle, Abercrombie & Fitch, The Body Shop, Gap, Express and Victoria’s Secret. Dining options include Ted’s Montana Grill, Vivi Ristorante, The Cheesecake Factory and an extensive food court. www.coastlandcenter.com.

Collection at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt Beach Road at Airport-Pulling Road, (239) 596-2807. Mediterranean-style shopping and dining village featuring Pei Wei Asian Diner, Elements Therapeutic Massage, Zazou, Emack & Bolio’s, Absinthe, Diva Doghouse & Co., Persona Boutique, The Good Life, Zazou and Bump Maternity & More. Coming soon: Pizzaiolis and European Wax Center. www.collectionatvanderbilt.com.

Waterside Shops at Pelican Bay
, 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, Brio Tuscan Grille, California Pizza Kitchen and the Silver Spoon Café. www.watersideshops.com.

Mercato, U.S. 41, north of Vanderbilt Beach Road, (239) 403-2218. Anchored by Whole Foods, Naples’ newest mixed-use development also includes the Capital Grille, AZN, 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
, 740 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 & 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 cafes 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 Marco Craft & Shell Co. 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 The Little Merchant, 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) 939-1933. Set on seven acres, the shopping area is part of a 500-acre, master-planned community. Shops include J.Crew, Apple, Coach, Sephora, Gymboree, Design Within Reach, West Elm, Lucky Brand Jeans, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble and more. More than 25 dining offerings include The Grillroom, 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, Villeroy & Boch, Movado and Bose. www.miromaroutlets.com.

International 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.idcfl.com.

FORT MYERS

The River District
, downtown Fort Myers, is experiencing a resurgence of retail and commercial development. A destination for particular shoppers looking for the perfect gift or unique home furnishing, the section of McGregor Boulevard just north of Colonial Boulevard is home to many antique and boutique shops and restaurants.

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) 939-5464. Featuring many of the nation’s top department and specialty stores such as Macy’s, Dillard’s, Sears, JCPenney, the Disney Store, Bebe Sport, 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 to open in Southwest Florida. Shops such as JCPenney, SuperTarget, Dick’s Sporting Goods, 55 Degrees Cool Wine and Cheese, 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 My Dinner Factory, Vino 100, Bonefish Grill, Bradley’s Fine Jewelers, Sprint and more.

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

SANIBEL ISLAND

Periwinkle Way
, Sanibel’s main road, features an array of distinctive shops. 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. Some stores include the Beach House, the Cheese Nook, Life is Good at Synergy and Peach Republic. www.periwinkleplace.com.

CAPTIVA ISLAND

Andy Rosse Lane, at village center, boasts an upscale-casual selection of specialty shops with everything from beachwear to fine art to homemade ice cream. Shops and restaurants include Jungle Drums Gallery and the Mucky Duck.