October 30, 2014

Discover Southwest Florida: Shopping

Uptown’s downtown: Mercato has become one of the hottest shopping districts in the area. Photo courtesy of Advanced photography specialistsIn need of some serious “retail therapy?” We’ve got you covered. Many of the glamorous labels in clothing, jewelry, leather goods and accessories one expects to find in Paris, Milan and New York are available right here on the Gulfshore. Boutiques like Hermès, Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo and Christofle share their Naples address at Waterside Shops with moderately priced favorites such as Gap, Ann Taylor and Banana Republic.

World travelers will love Mercato, patterned after the charming old world mercatos of Italy. Tucked among the unique specialty shops are a blend of restaurants, pubs and lounges, a Whole Foods Market and a sophisticated movie theater complex.

Wherever you find yourself from Naples to Fort Myers, a full-size shopping mall with ample parking is nearby. You can find top department stores, including Nordstrom, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as value-priced stores like Target, T.J. Maxx and JCPenney. Scores of locally owned shops offer distinctive apparel and gifts, and talented jewelers stand ready to create custom bling for you or your beloved.

On Marco, Sanibel and Captiva islands, you’ll discover laid back, island-style shopping villages. Of course, one simply must do the elegant Old Naples shopping and dining district of Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South. And whether for artsy daytime shopping and gallery hopping or nighttime action, a great place to be is the downtown Fort Myers River District.

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, Gallery O, Port Royal Jewelers, Best of Everything, The Lady From Haiti and Moore, and Abbott’s Frozen Custard. Fifth Avenue is home to more than 20 restaurants and sidewalk cafés, as well as the 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. 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 and Grill, and Tommy Bahama’s Tropical Cafe, among others. In addition to providing a source for area information, the street’s 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. 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 Pincher’s Crab Shack, or grab a quick bite at Café Europa, a fixture in Tin City for decades. 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, The Weatherburn Gallery and Jennings of Naples. Restaurants include Stoney’s Steakhouse, Roy’s, Tavern on the Bay and Shane’s Cabana Bar. Other services include Robert of Philadelphia salon, Prudential Florida Realty and Stoneburner Properties. 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, 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., bighamjewelers.com. The striking Bigham building is also home to Trudy Labell Fine Art and Eyetopian Optical.

Village on Venetian Bay, Gulf Shore Boulevard North 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 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. 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, Forever21, Gap, Express and Victoria’s Secret. Dining options include Charley’s Steakery, Calistoga Bakery Cafe, The Cheesecake Factory and an extensive food court. coastlandcenter.com.

Shoppes 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 Bur-berry, 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. watersideshops.com.

Mercato, U.S. 41, north of Vanderbilt Beach Road, (239) 594-9400. 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 Cinema, Gigi’s Children’s Boutique, Byte Shop, Pandora, Vogue Couture, Sur La Table, Z Gallerie and Books-A-Million. mercatoshops.com.

 

MARCO ISLAND

Esplanade, 760 N. Collier Blvd., (239) 394-7772. This shopping plaza is set on Smokehouse Bay with fine dining, select retailers, specialty stores and commercial offices. It also houses a 77-boat-slip marina and a bayside sunset amphitheater. Restaurants include CJ’s on the Bay, Tara Steak and Lobster House and Guy Harvey’s Island Grill. 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 Sandpiper Clothiers. marcotowncentermall.com.

 

Retail therapy: Whether you are looking for high-end fashion or a sweet treat for a hostess gift, local shopping has everything you need. Photo courtesy of Norman Love ConfectionsBONITA SPRINGS

The Promenade at Bonita Bay, U.S. 41 and South Bay Drive, (239) 261-6100. A courtyard village includes 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. 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 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. simon.com.

Miromar Outlets, exit 123 off I-75 at Corkscrew Road, (239) 948-3766. 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. miromaroutlets.com.

Miromar Design Center, 10800 Corkscrew Road, (239) 390-5111. Comprehensive resource for design professionals and consumers. More than 40 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. miromardesigncenter.com.

 

FORT MYERS

Bell Tower Shops, U.S. 41 and Daniels Parkway, (239) 489-1221. A scenic, open-air, upscale retail center with 40 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. thebelltowershops.com.

Cypress Square, 13451 McGregor Blvd. Nestled in a lush garden setting, Cypress Square offers fine dining and exclusive shopping like Jennifer’s, Blu Sushi and Prawnbroker Restaurant.

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. simon.com.

Gulf Coast Town Center, I-75 and Alico Road, (239) 267-0783. Lifestyle center featuring the first Bass Pro Shops to open in Southwest Florida. Shops such as JCPenney, SuperTarget, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Ron Jon Surf Shop 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. 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, Jones New York, Reebok, Calvin Klein, Gap, Samsonite and Nike. tangeroutlet.com.

 Pet plus: Most shopping districts are puppy-friendly.

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. Some stores include Island Pursuit, Chocolate Expressions, Peach Republic and the original Chico’s. 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, florist, clothing shops, antique dealers, grocery and beauty salon.

 

OUTLET PARADISE
Estero, located between Fort Myers and Bonita Springs, is an outlet shopper’s dream. Miromar Outlets has 140 big-name stores from Jockey to Neiman Marcus. Staying on the islands? Check out Naples Outlet Center near Marco Island or Tanger Outlets near Sanibel Island.

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