This is a guest post from one of our very close family friends who came to visit us in Sarasota! We are so happy she wrote this post for us and we hope you enjoy!
Shopping While on Vacation – A Great Way to Preserve the Memories
As a first-time visitor to Sarasota, I was expecting beautiful white sand beaches, warm temperatures and lots of sunshine. Even the quality of restaurants didn’t surprise me that much, but I have to say that I was amazed and pleased with the wonderful shopping experience the Sarasota area had to offer. After all, I am from Chicago! I had no problem finding souvenirs, and to my surprise, I was able to complete much of my Christmas shopping while sightseeing in Sarasota and the surrounding islands.
While in the downtown area, I wandered into a charming shop on 1st Street called Envie where I found unique gifts that my artist sister could appreciate including a gorgeous dragonfly ornament and a decorative bejeweled box. Down the same street, I discovered I Tesori where I purchased a shiny keychain wallet for my niece. This shop also had an impressive collection of Murano glass beads, designer jewelry and clothing. It seemed that everywhere I turned there were interesting shops, boutiques and galleries.
I also found great gifts in some of the most unlikely places. After touring the magnificent Ringling Art Museum, I purchased a beautiful wooden box, featuring Dolci’s Blue Madonna, in the museum’s gift shop. When we stopped for lunch at the Beach House, I was excited to find lip gloss in a container that looked like a tiny flip flop as I browsed the adjoining gift shop.
The pinnacle of shopping experiences for me was St. Armand’s Circle which offered everything from high-end boutiques to whimsical gift shops and t-shirt shops. One of my favorite shops in that area was Garden Argosy where I found a hilarious upside down Santa wine stopper and a headband (both unique and affordable gifts). I also purchased a pair of earrings at Fresh Produce which was memorable for its sea glass jewelry and sterling silver.
I completed my shopping at Bridge Street Bazaar on Anna Maria Island where I was able to pick up some nice, low-cost souvenirs including a cute sea shell bracelet, sand dollars and a hologram bookmark with dolphins.
The beautiful thing about my shopping experience is that it did not take away from my trip. I’d say it probably added to it. Also, whenever I see any of these items, it will be a reminder of the great times I had during my vacation.
What types of thing do you like to buy while traveling? Let us know in the comments!