On Sanibel and Captiva Islands
Periwinkle Place, a cluster of intimate shops set in a park-like atmosphere with covered walkways shaded by banyan trees, offers original art and fashions that capture the magic that is southwest Florida. Associated restaurants and sidewalk cafes create the feel of a European town square.
The Village’s fine art stores showcase original aboriginal artifacts of the native people of Africa, Australia, the Americas and the Artic. Ethnic dining menus reflect the appropriate exotic flair.
The Olde Sanibel Shoppes are a great place to observe the flavorful history of Sanibel Island while searching out fine gifts, custom jewelry and clothing. The original
Sanibel post office was once located where restaurants and boutiques now nestle among palms, lakes, fountains and gazebos.
Charming Andy Rosse Lane on Captiva Island is filled with art galleries and specialty boutiques.
Captiva Village Square presents novel gift shops selling distinctly Captiva-style souvenirs. Many of its galleries display turn-of-the-century antiques and art from the area’s heyday when Lee County hosted inventors like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.
On Fort Myers Beach
Like its larger New York counterpart, Times Square on Fort Myers Beach vibrates with activity. This highly-traveled pedestrian hub and shopping center finds both bare feet and high heels acceptable. It’s a casual town where shops and open-air restaurants scatter along a tree-lined walkway. Seafarer’s Village is the place to go for beach treasures, souvenirs, "Florida-casual" styles and distinctive decoratives.
In Fort Myers
Gulf Coast Town Center in Fort Myers will include more than 120 stores when it is fully open in late fall. This open-air regional shopping center will include Regal Cinemas, Borders, JC Penney, Bass Pro Shop. Dining will include PF Changs, Blu Sushi, Calistoga Bakery and Cafe and more. For information: www.gulfcoasttowncenter.com.
Royal Palm Square is known for its colorful local venues, including a dinner theatre, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. Downtown Fort Myers, the city’s entertainment district, surrounds shoppers with charming historic architecture, where each corner brings a fresh surprise. Newly renovated shops and buildings feature a professional theatre, contemporary music and jazz clubs, bistros, coffee shops, cigar & martini bars, art galleries, bookshops, clothing and jewelry boutiques, antiques, sidewalk cafes and fine continental cuisine.
As the largest indoor shopping mall in southwest Florida, Edison Mall in Fort Myers showcases more than 160 specialty shops and eateries. It is currently undergoing a major renovation. Florida department stores Macy’s and Dillard’s as well as national favorites J.C. Penney and Sears anchor this shoppers’ dream.
Upscale shops ensconced within a tantalizing Spanish style plaza, Fort Myers’ Bell Tower Shops open-air mall must be experienced to be believed. Major retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor and Williams-Sonoma are just the beginning. Purchases in hand, shoppers can stop in eight full-service restaurants, then top the day with a first-run movie at Bell Tower’s 20-screen multiplex. Shoppers stroll from one place to the next past garden benches along a meandering path the leads to a circular court with a splashing fountain.
In Bonita Springs
Near the exclusive neighborhood of Bonita Bay in the city of Bonita Springs The Promenade offers upscale shopping with an unparalleled dining palazzo. Outdoor waterfalls, a sprawling amphitheater and domed gazebo partake of its rich Mediterranean orange-coral color scheme. More than 20 fashionable boutiques, including apparel shops, "Florida Casual" boutiques, an art gallery and ice cream parlor ensure a satisfying shopping experience amid the greenery. In the evening hours, The Promenade hosts community events and small concerts.
Coconut Point Town Center mall in Estero will offer visitors an open-air, mixed-use main street regional shopping center that is part of a 500-acre, master planned community. Shopping will include Dillard’s, Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Designer Shoe Warehouse, Golfsmith, Office Max, Old Navy, Party City, PetsMart, Pier One, Ross Dress for Less, Sports Authority, West Coast Surf Shop, Coldwater Creek, Z Gallerie, Old Navy and Ulta Cosmetics. Muvico Theaters will also be included. A lakefront area will contain dining and more shops. For information: www.coconutpointretail.com.
International Design Center in Estero
With more than 80 internationally known showrooms anchoring the 250,000 square foot first phase,
tenants include Agostino's,
Ann Sacks Tile & Stone, Clive Christian, Kravet, Gallery on Fifth, Paris Ceramics,
Stickley Furniture and an easy and consumer-friendly environment that welcomes shoppers
into the exciting world of design.
In Cape Coral
Major roadways and side streets of Cape Coral are filled with delightful choices for shopping. Furniture and jewelry stores offer original pieces, and specialty boutiques house everything from handmade candles to posh art galleries.
Cape Coral’s Coralwood Shopping Center offers affordable convenience just over the bridge from Fort Myers. Nearly 350,000-square-feet has a little bit of everything, from swimwear to family fashion to everyday necessities. JC Penney, Bealls Outlet and Sears Essentials anchor several specialty shops.
On Pine Island and Boca Grande
Known for blending funk with fashion, the shops of Matlacha, Bokeelia and Pine Island Center offer fun stores and galleries, featuring hand-painted coconut postcards and other one-of-a-kind gifts.
In North Fort Myers
For shell lovers, the Shell Factory is the ultimate shopping outlet. Its 189 acres of shopping and exhibits boast more than 5,000,000 seashells and shell novelties. In addition to shells, ambling explorations yield shell jewelry, coral, shark teeth, tropical clothing, glass blowing, African art, arcade games, miniature golf, bumper boats, wildlife exhibits with big cats and alligators, and a full-service restaurant.
For those with their eye on name brand quality for a lower price, The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel can unlock a treasure trove of great deals. Tanger Sanibel Factory Stores and Miromar Outlets house hundreds of shops for apparel, houseware and gifts, highlighted by leading manufacturers and designers.
For an eclectic mix of produce, Florida souvenirs, handmade goods, antiques and more, the Fort Myers/Sanibel area includes several fun flea markets.
Dubbed "Southwest Florida’s No. 1 Tourist Stop," Fleamaster’s Flea Market in Fort Myers may be the granddaddy of them all, with more than 400,000-square-feet of eclectic booths (900 at last count), restaurants and snack counters.
Ortiz Flea Market in Fort Myers may be the best known of the area’s many outdoor markets. All of them present locally grown produce in season. Tempting delectables may include strawberries, oranges, tomatoes, peppers and watermelon.
In Bonita Springs, adventurous shoppers can uncover a hidden antique treasure or procure an original piece local art at the still growing Flamingo Island Flea Market. Hundreds of merchants join in the fun of onsite community events.
Another great and unusual place to spot antiques and load up on fresh produce is the Northside Drive-in Flea Market. Local citrus fruits grown along the banks of the Caloosahatchee can be purchased here, along with original country music albums, silk linens, handmade cards and eclectic gifts.