When you need a break from the beaches and museums, head into Northeast Florida’s towns for some great shopping. Whether you’re a bargain shopper or prefer luxury retail stores, the area offers plenty of stores that sell just what you need.
St. Augustine Premium Outlets advertises exceptional discounts ranging from 25 to 65 percent at more than 85 stores, including Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Coach, J.Crew, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Reebok and a Gander Mountain outdoor store.
Ready for some unique finds? Head on down to the pedestrian-only St. George Street in St. Augustine’s Historic District. Find a bohemian piece of jewelry at Earthbound Trading Co. Nearby, stop by the Spice & Tea Exchange, an 18th-century-like trading post with displays of teas and spices that will stimulate your taste buds. At Bath Junkie, you can personalize bath and body products with customized scents. Find a gift for the artsy folks in your life at any of the 20 galleries located in the historic district.
San Marco Avenue at the edge of the colonial district has the largest concentration of antique shops. Some 30 art galleries and studios sell everything from blown-glass items and hand-thrown pottery to Old Masters paintings, fine contemporary pieces, Latin American graphics and the work of well-respected local artists.
The Old City Farmers Market, held at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on Saturdays, welcomes vendors from local farms, bakers, seafood merchants and artisans.
The St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville is the place to hit for the latest upscale merchandise from shops such as Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Apple and Nordstrom. The town center also includes bargain stores such as DSW Shoes.
Minutes away from downtown, Jacksonville Farmers Market is the oldest still-operating outdoor farmers market in Florida. Since 1938, vendors have offered fresh produce, herbs and local favorites, such as Mayport shrimp. Browse for crafts and handmade goods daily from dawn to dusk. For more market exploration, check out Jaxsons Night Market, a craft market held on the second Thursday of each month at Hemming Park. There’s also Riverside Arts Market, hailed as Florida’s largest open-air market. Held on Saturdays, find local arts and crafts, food galore, a free yoga class, children’s activities and live entertainment. The view isn’t too shabby, either—it’s right beside the St. Johns River.
In Jacksonville, visitors comb the funky Five Points area for vintage finds, swing by the San Marco and Avondale neighborhoods for upscale boutiques or hit the St. Johns Town Center for shops from Coach to Louis Vuitton.Check out Beaches Town Center in Neptune Beach, the stores along A1A in Ponte Vedra and the shops on the historic streets of Fernandina and St. Augustine.
Stay or just take some spa time at a Northeast Florida resort: The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, Sawgrass Marriott, World Golf Village or Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast. For relaxation, Elizabeth Pointe Lodge on Amelia Island ranks ninth in Travel and Leisure’s “World’s Best Awards.”
Stores galore in Northeast Florida hold all sorts of treasures—what will you find?
Now it’s your turn! Which places have you been? Where do you want to go? Please share your thoughts and experiences with us all!