SHOP­PING

Travel Guide to Florida - - SOUTHEAST FLORIDA -

If you’re look­ing for unique buys, there’s plenty of that in South­west Florida.

In the Ever­glades ter­ri­tory, visit the Big Cy­press Gallery in Ochopee, home to Clyde Butcher, whose large-for­mat art pho­tog­ra­phy cap­tures the Ever­glades and other nat­u­ral trea­sures. (He also has a gallery and stu­dio in Venice.)

In Naples, art gal­leries fill the down­town Fifth Av­enue South and Third Street South dis­tricts. At the lat­ter, buy your de­signer la­bels at Marissa Col­lec­tions. Other pop­u­lar out­door shop­ping venues in­clude The Village Shops of Vene­tian Bay, Water­side Shops and Mer­cato. On a bud­get? Look for like-new castoffs in the area’s con­sign­ment shops.

To the north in Bonita Springs, The Prom­e­nade at Bonita Bay made a re­mark­able come­back re­cently with an­chor foodie mar­ket DeRomo’s. Co­conut Point lays out a huge spread of big box stores and fash­ion bou­tiques.

Sani­bel Is­land is known for its shell shops, na­ture art gal­leries and re­sort wear bou­tiques. For some­thing en­tirely dif­fer­ent, hit the Shell Fac­tory & Na­ture Park in North Fort My­ers, where an an­i­mal fea­ture and fam­ily amuse­ments en­hance shop­ping for shells, jew­elry and other Florida trin­kets. In the past few years, the com­plex de­buted a new zip line, play­ground and climb­ing wall.

In Punta Gorda, down­town and Fish­er­men’s Village present small, in­ti­mate shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ences. Hit Boca Grande on Gas­par­illa Is­land for a charm­ing his­toric twist to your shop­ping.

St. Ar­mands Cir­cle is Sara­sota’s most wel­l­known ad­dress for up­scale shop­ping in a land­scaped out­door set­ting. The new Mall at Uni­ver­sity Town Cen­ter has shifted fo­cus to Sara­sota’s eastern ex­trem­i­ties. Far­ther yet to the east, the com­mu­nity of Lake­wood Ranch is known for its de­light­ful shops and restau­rants on and around Main Street.

For gen­uine lo­cal sou­venirs, head to the re­gion’s artist vil­lages—Mat­lacha on Pine Is­land off of Fort My­ers, Towles Court in Sara­sota, and Village of the Arts in Braden­ton. Watch for news of art walk events in down­town Fort My­ers, Punta Gorda and Sara­sota.

Bar­gain-seek­ers head to the fac­tory out­let malls: Naples Out­let Cen­ter, Miro­mar Out­let Malls in Es­tero, Sani­bel Out­lets in Fort My­ers and El­len­ton Pre­mium Out­lets near Braden­ton. Or check out the flea mar­kets: Flamingo Is­land Flea Mar­ket in Bonita Springs, Flea­mas­ters Flea­mar­ket in Fort My­ers, Sun Flea Mar­ket (with its own mini­a­muse­ment park) in Port Char­lotte, the Dome Flea & Farm­ers’ Mar­ket in Venice and Red Barn Flea Mar­ket in Braden­ton.

OP­PO­SITE TOP: Cy­cling in the Fort My­ers area. OP­PO­SITE BOT­TOM: Swamp walk at the Big Cy­press Na­tional Pre­serve. LEFT: Shop­ping in down­town Naples. BELOW: Pad­dle­boarder at sun­set in Sara­sota. BOT­TOM: Ever­glades Seafood Fes­ti­val in Fe­bru­ary.

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