Sarasota

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Luxury retailers Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom aren’t set to arrive on the Sarasota shopping scene until late 2010 in the new University Town Center; until then (and even afterwards), shoppers can find boutiques and beach stores offering souvenirs, Florida kitsch, and plenty of designer labels. St. Armands Circle is the destination for ladies who lunch (and shop), while Sarasota’s hip young residents prefer downtown’s growing cache of designer boutiques. Look for standout sales during the summer months.

Shopping in Sarasota

Downtown

The arrival of hip boutiques like Lotus, Beau Monde, and Stitch Boutique means savvy Sarasotans no longer have to travel to Miami or Tampa for designer duds. Main Street and its nearby side streets offer antique shops, a wine-tasting emporium, a gourmet food store, and the popular Sarasota News & Books. Art galleries and jewelry boutiques, such as Dalia Koss Unique Jewelry, offer alternatives to souvenir T-shirts, and several newcomers feature environmentally friendly and socially conscious wares.

Main & side sts., FL, 941-366-7040, www.dmasarasota.com
Tags: family | shopping | trendy | jewelry | gallery | antiques

Prime Outlets in Ellenton

Browse outlet and factory stores like Coach, Saks Off Fifth, and 130 others for apparel, housewares, sporting goods, and more. Should the kids get bored or hot, check out the public skating rink at the Ice and Sports Complex.

About 20 miles north of Sarasota; take I-75 to exit 224, www.primeoutlets.com
Tags: family | shopping | great value | day trip | designer

Sarasota Farmers’ Market

The requirement that all merchandise be local and unique makes this market an outstanding spot to buy arts and crafts, as well as produce – all set to the entertaining sounds of street musicians. Open Saturday from 7am to 1pm, the market is a weekend tradition. Check out the Sarasota-inspired scents of Sarasota Candle Company, or pick up hand-crafted soaps or fused glass pieces.

Main St. & N. Lemon Ave., FL, 941-225-9256, www.sarasotafarmersmarket.org
Tags: family | food and wine | shopping | crafts

Siesta Key Village

With its strip malls, pastel-hued buildings, and alfresco cafes, this network of beachside streets is souvenir central, a dressed-down alternative to St. Armands Circle. Plenty of shops offer obligatory T-shirts, shell necklaces, and other beach paraphernalia, but you can also shop for top designers at Foxy Lady, a favorite of local fashionistas.

Ocean Blvd., FL, 941-349-3800, www.siestakeychamber.com
Tags: shopping | moderate | souvenirs

Southside Village

Morton’s, a popular gourmet market, anchors this happening retail hot spot, which houses home décor, fashion, and jewelry boutiques, plus a wide array of popular restaurants.

Osprey and Hillview avenues, FL,
Tags: food and wine | shopping | trendy | jewelry

St. Armands Circle

Mediterranean-style buildings and palm trees set the stage for world-class shopping around this famous circle, dotted with park benches, statues, and outdoor cafes. Browse local boutiques that offer everything from trendy pet accessories and French linens to must-have shoes and breezy beachwear, or channel true Florida style at Lilly Pulitzer.

John Ringling Blvd. & Blvd. of Presidents, FL, 941-388-1554, www.starmandscircleassoc.com
Tags: shopping | trendy | boutique | designer

The Met Fashion House

Style-conscious men and women shop at this elegant emporium for complete wardrobes from top luxury brands and under-the-radar designers. Personal stylists will complete your look with jewelry, handbags, belts, and even lingerie. And if this high-fashion dose of retail therapy isn’t enough to soothe your stress, you can cap it off with a visit the on-site spa and salon.

35 S. Blvd. of Presidents, FL, 941-388-3991, www.themetsarasota.com
Tags: shopping | expensive | trendy | designer

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