Shopping

By STEVE WINSTON

In the Jackson County town of Marianna sits a local treasure called Southern Craft Creamery. It’s a place that you won’t be in a hurry to leave, as they feature innovative ice cream treats such as Vanilla & Satsuma Jam, Tupelo Honey, and Roasted Banana with Salted Peanuts.

Reid Avenue in Port St. Joe is a half-mile-long stroll back into the Old South. Outdoor gear? Books? Jewelry? Local pottery or artwork? Luxury spa treatment? It’s all here, along with restaurants running the gamut from Italian and Southern to Chinese and Mexican. At the Salt Air Farmers’ Market, on the first and third Saturdays from February to early December, you can find clothing, crafts, antiques and timeless treasures along with fresh produce.

As you drive through the charming little town of Mexico Beach, you’ll come to Frost Pottery Garden, with imported pottery, fountains, bird baths, wind chimes, jewelry and candles.

The Little Village in Panama City has an offbeat collection of outdoor shops. At The Little Mustard Seed, wander through three stories overflowing with custom furniture, handmade soaps and lotions, jewelry, and a thousand items that have been revived, renewed and restored. Historic Downtown Panama City is home to the Elegant Endeavors Antique Emporium and Main Street Antiques, which have been featured on different shows. Every Saturday, head over to the St. Andrews Farmers’ Market.

Across the water in Panama City Beach, Pier Park is an “outdoor shopping and lifestyle center” with a wide variety of items to buy, eat or ogle.

The Market Shops, at South Walton, offer outdoor shopping accompanied by musicians and artists. In Rosemary Beach, a planned town built in the mid-90s on the principle of “New Urbanism” (much like its neighbor Seaside, which preceded it by 15 years), the French Quarter, with its balconies and vividly colored buildings and curling wrought-iron railings, is a delightful place to spend an afternoon shopping and dining.

In Destin, HarborWalk Village has a vibrant atmosphere, with vendors, artists and street performers outside, and stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay. On The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island, you’ll find five restaurants and some shops. Nearby Fort Walton Beach is filled with boutiques, restaurants and galleries—even a brewery. Hunt for bargains at Silver Sands Premium Outlets in Miramar Beach and Destin Commons. And, in Fort Walton Beach, De’France Antiques and Flea Market has treasures you never knew you needed until now.

And if you have a yen to bring home something new from Pensacola, head for the shops on Palafox Street.