This open-air, Main Street-style mall just south of Fort Myers in Estero, is the center of a 500-acre master-planned community, giving it a unique and relaxed atmosphere. It is especially festive around the holidays. Surrounded by glistening lakes and fountains, shoppers stroll the lovely boardwalk, collecting goodies from 113 stores along the way. One side is lined with so-called box stores such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, World Market and Ulta. The other side is full of more high-end boutiques such as Chanel, Pandora, Lucky Brand and Apple, along with a few locally owned establishments. After browsing your favorites, dine at one of the 25 unique restaurants.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: A festive place to shop for the person on your list who likes trendy brands like Apple, Guess and more.
Gina's expert tip: Feet tired? Look for courtesy carts to get you and your packages to your car quicker.
This whimsical gallery on Matlacha Island has inspired an entire art community to emerge in the area known primarily for great fishing. Leoma Lovegrove's brightly colored works of art can be found in collections worldwide, but her gallery and studio can only be found on this eclectic Southwest Florida island. Christmas is a special time for the gallery that truly is festive year-round. Look for special tree decorations with mermaids, fish and other tropical themes, tucked everywhere in this cozy gallery. It's a fun spot to search out and to buy one-of-a-kind gifts in all price ranges, for the person on your shopping list who has almost everything.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: A bright and cheery art gallery nestled in the heart of a Southwest Florida fishing community, it's loaded with unique Christmas ornaments and gifts.
Gina's expert tip: Check the web for live painting events with Leoma.
Specialty confections and custom made chocolates make this a perfect stop for holiday shopping. After all, who doesn't like the gift of chocolate? Award-winning pastry chef, Norman Love makes everything from barks and bars to beautiful desserts. His Chocolate Salon will get you salivating from the moment you walk in. Love has pre-packaged gift boxes for grab and go, or you can create your own mix from the case. Each season Love rolls out limited edition chocolates like Pumpkin Latte, Candy Cane, Orange Spice Gingerbread, and Christmas Cookie; fresh home-baked almond cookies with white chocolate icing are blended with butter and cream and wrapped in a white chocolate shell. These chocolates are beautiful pieces of art, almost too pretty to eat.....ALMOST.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Everyone loves chocolate for the holidays and Norman Love's chocolate salon is full of fascinating treats that taste as good as they look.
Gina's expert tip: Norman Love also has storefront on McGregor Blvd in Fort Myers, offering coffee and tea service as well.
The products featured at this downtown Fort Myers boutique come from fair trade partners and local artists. You'll find vases and bags made from recycled materials, organic lotions and potions, candles made from soy, toothbrushes crafted from bamboo, and a wide range of cool accessories as well as home goods. Market Earth also carries clever cards, journals, jewelry, not just for ladies, but also for the masculine names on your gift list. It's a perfect place to shop for a unique present or consciously crafted ornament while helping support sustainable products and companies that give back...kind of a gift within a gift.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: This feel good store offers a myriad of products from belts to luminaries; recycled, sustainable, fair trade and local.
Gina's expert tip: Not all downtown shops are open on Sunday, this one is.
Wilford & Lee is nestled in the corner of a strip mall off of the well-traveled US41 in Fort Myers and is the company's flagship store; there are a total of four in Southwest Florida. Enjoy more than 16-thousand square feet of shopping with treasures on every shelve, in every aisle. The variety is impressive; everything from metal wall hangings to SwitchFlops, candles, and jewelry. The Christmas kitsch is available year-round and includes lots of flamingo ornaments and Santa's on sailboats. A favorite stop for locals for more than 25-years, Wilford & Lee also carries popular glassware like Rolf and other accents to make your holiday table especially festive.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: For more than 25-years, locals have shopped here for home goods, art, jewelry, and other unique accessories.
Gina's expert tip: Check the clearance corner for big bargains on art, jewelry, decor and more
Trader Rick's is one of those feel-good places. Every nook and cranny is filled with some kind of treasure or unique trinket and in almost every price range. You'll find handcrafted artwork, designs meant for hanging, jewelry, and wearable fashions of all kinds. The cards, jewelry, and many other items found here are full of inspiring quotes and designs. Visitors come from across the U.S. for owner Rick Sadler's one of a kind, lamp glass jewelry made from Italian glass, Swarovski crystals, and other quality materials. Not only will you find his highly sought after jewelry in Fort Myers, but also on Sanibel Island where Trader Rick's has a second location.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: This locally owned boutique at the popular Bell Tower Shops has clothing, jewelry, home decor, and hundreds of inspirational stocking stuffers.
Gina's expert tip: Check the website for special holiday sales and motivational in store seminars.
Pandora's Box has a large selection of Christmas collectibles and memorable ornaments in stock year-round. If you've ever wanted to be a mermaid or have one hanging from your Christmas tree, you've got to get to Sanibel Island and shop here. Besides lots of mermaids, and a few "mermen", this store has a large jewelry case, beautiful blown glass items, a small children's section, and inspirational artwork. The Christmas section also has a variety of collectible ornaments such as Margaret Furlong. Many local artists have their work on display in Pandora's Box. Take a couple of turns through this shop as there is much to see, from the ceiling, to the floor and in every corner; it's fascinating.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Full of unique items and high-end Christmas collectibles, this gift shop has something for that someone on your list who has everything.
Gina's expert tip: Pandora's Box has a second shop a few doors down, stocked with groovy greeting cards and more ornaments.
The Franklin Shops on First Street in downtown Fort Myers is a two-story building, that is reminiscent of a miniature indoor mall or market, full of work by local artists and entrepreneurs. The many shops inside include boutiques, art exhibitions, pop-up retailers, and more. In this one-stop-shop you can pick up clothing, jewelry, home decor, fine art, various novelty items, and so much more. All shops are locally owned, much of the merchandise is also locally made and offerings change constantly. If you're looking for a unique holiday gift or memento from your trip to Fort Myers, you are sure to find something special here.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Find one of a kind designs by local artists and entrepreneurs, from jewelry and clothing to art and gadgets.
Gina's expert tip: The shops are open until 10 p.m. during special events downtown, such as ArtWalk, MusicWalk and Bike Nights.
Have you ever wondered where you could find the world's largest collection of rare shells? According to the Shell Factory, it's right here in North Fort Myers. This interesting shopping center features well over 65,000 feet of retail space and merchants that specialize in everything from Christmas decorations, jewelry and clothing, to shells, shells and more shells. Open year-round, the Christmas House is four-thousand square feet and as one might imagine, has lots of shell ornaments. The main showroom boasts a selection of more than five million shells collected from beaches worldwide. The center also offers several dining options, a nature park, zip-lining, and arcade games, when you need a break from shopping.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The Shell Factory has a giant Christmas section year round along with a wide array of Florida inspired gifts, including thousands of shells.
Gina's expert tip: Make a day of your shopping; enjoy the rides at the Fun Park and hundreds of animals in the Nature Park.
Just off of Interstate 75, only 18 miles from the city of Fort Myers proper, this award-winning, open-air Mediterranean-style outlet mall's bright covered sidewalks are lined with over 160 designer and brand-name stores. While it's fun to shop here year-round, it's extra special during the holidays with additional entertainment, special events and the big guy himself, Santa Claus. Amidst picturesque fountains, koi ponds and vibrant murals, you'll discover spectacular pricing at Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Neiman Marcus, Coach, Michael Kors, White House Black Market and more. There is an expansive lakefront dining piazza as well as additional restaurants and bars on the east entrance when you need to rest and refuel. A children's play area offers a welcomed distraction for your little ones.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Get name brand items at fantastic discounts for the children, adults, and teens on your list.
Gina's expert tip: The weekends feature music, contests and a variety of entertainment for the entire family.