The Executive Cigar Shop and Lounge is where cigar-lovers can go to relax with a stogie in the air conditioning, sip a cold beer and unwind. Some fans call this lounge, in historic downtown Melbourne, Fla., the ultimate "mancave" (although, of course, it's open for women, too). Some patrons come to the Executive Cigar Shop and Lounge to watch sports on TV. Others come for special events, like the annual chili cook-off, or events that feature cigar experts. Learn more about cigars here, try and buy new ones and share the love with other aficionados. The shop recently underwent a renovation to build a new patio.
Recommended for Malabar's Best Shopping because: Smoke stogies in an air conditioned lounge in downtown Melbourne.
Aimee's expert tip: Look for special events, like the "Top 25 Cigar Aficionado meetings," where you can celebrate the list of top 25 cigars.
The Flop Shop is the best place to go in Melbourne, Fla., to get your feet covered. This locally owned shop opened in 2005, mainly as a place to find a wide variety of flip-flops, but you can find other kinds of beachy shoes here, too, such as popular Toms, Tevas, Crocs and Keens. This downtown Melbourne shop exudes Florida: relaxed, stylish, practical and warm-weathered. The Flop Shop carries shoes for men, women and kids in popular brands, such as Reef, Olukai, Sanuk, Merrell, Chaco and Naot. This is where to go for high-quality flip-flops and sandals that will be comfortable and last more than a few trips to the beach. You can also pick up sunglasses here. Not in town? You can order your flops from this shop online.
Recommended for Malabar's Best Shopping because: The Flop Shop in Melbourne is the best place to find a great selection of shoes close to Malabar.
Aimee's expert tip: Buy one pair of Toms and the company sends another pair to a family in need.
The Enchanted Florist is a Palm Bay-based gift and floral business that can deliver same-day in the Palm Bay area. The Enchanted Florist also can deliver nationwide, and products can be ordered online. Floral arrangements arrive already assembled and ready to display; no need to unpack them from a box, trim the ends and arrange them yourself. At this shop, you can get expertly, hand-arranged fresh flower designs for a variety of special events, from birthdays to weddings or just as a thoughtful gift. Also pick up plants and fruit baskets, like the Delicious Delights basket, packed with grapes, pears, apples, dried cranberries, crackers, cheese and summer sausage.
Recommended for Malabar's Best Shopping because: The Enchanted Florist hand-arranges its floral and foodie gifts and can deliver, too.
Aimee's expert tip: Get same-day delivery in the Palm Bay area for no extra charge.
The Knitting Closet is a longstanding Palm Bay business. It's been providing knit and crochet goodies for more than 20 years. Here, shoppers can find a wide range of products for their crafty projects. The inventory is expansive and includes crochet hooks, knitting machine parts and supplies, yarn, felting supplies, other kinds of arts and crafts supplies and more. Around the holidays, you can find finished Christmas stockings here and get personalized stockings, as well as stocking-making kits. Even if you can't make it to the Space Coast business in person, you can order knitting supplies through The Knitting Closet's website.
Recommended for Malabar's Best Shopping because: This crafty store, based in Palm Bay, has been a local staple for more than two decades.
Aimee's expert tip: You can order your arts, crafts, knitting and crochet products on The Knitting Closet's website.
Island Bead Co. is a locally owned bead shop in Palm Bay, Fla., not far from Malabar. Although this shop looks small form the outside, it has a massive selection of beads inside, as well as other supplies you need for putting the beads to use. People interested in learning what to do with all of those beads and how to turn them into jewelry and other art can sign up for various classes, such as wire wrap, chain maille and silversmith lessons. Island Bead Co. also holds a social "bead and blab" group on Thursday evenings, and the shop has a crew of regulars that visit. The beads here are reasonably priced, and if you are looking for something specific that they don't have here, they will try to help you locate it.
Recommended for Malabar's Best Shopping because: Island Bead Co. is a friendly, local place to get beads and jewelry and craft supplies.
Aimee's expert tip: Attend the "bead and blab" social group on Thursday evenings to meet likeminded beaders and get some tips and ideas for your jewelry-making.
This unique Palm Bay store is run by radio-controlled pilots for radio-controlled pilots. It's where you go to get all things for your mini airplanes and helicopters. Esprit Model imports and sells flying model airplanes, from the simple to the complex and everything in between. You can also find sail planes and copters, gear, apparel, books and other RC paraphernalia here. The shop aims to offer the best that is out there (and staff regularly visits trade shows to hunt for the latest big thing) and promotes high quality, but aims to offer a wide price range for different budgets and levels of involvement in the hobby.
Recommended for Malabar's Best Shopping because: Esprit Model sells a wide variety of high-quality radio-controlled aircraft for pilots of all experience levels, from beginners to fanatics.
Aimee's expert tip: You can shop some of the inventory online, too.
The Molly Mutt Thrift Shops in Florida are one of the fundraising branches for the Central Brevard Humane Society. The Space Coast region has four different Molly Mutt stores, including one in Palm Bay. At these stores, you can find discounted and gently used clothing, home decor items, furniture, jewelry and more. You never know what treasures you may find here. And best of all, the money goes toward helping local homeless animals at the humane society. The thrift stores also accept donations, and can even schedule a pick-up of large items directly from your house. The Brevard Humane Society was founded in the '50s and is a "no-kill" shelter, which means it does not practice euthanizing animals due to lack of space. In addition to helping needy animals, the humane society promotes spaying and neutering pets to help reduce the number of homeless pets.
Recommended for Malabar's Best Shopping because: Molly Mutt Thrift Shop has low-cost shopping for a good cause: to help homeless animals at the local humane society.
Aimee's expert tip: If you don't find what you're looking for at the Palm Bay store, there are three others nearby to check.
Pickin-N-Grinnin claims to be the Palm Bay area's most unique thrift store, and its selection is wide. Find used and discounted furniture, tools, jewelry, shoes, clothing, antiques, appliances and art here. Search high and low and you might find a treasure. Inventory is always changing and always surprising. You never know what you will find here. The price for clothes here never exceeds $3, and the shop raises money for the Homeless Veterans of Brevard County. Check the online store for hand-picked, special antiques and collectibles, too. Looking for something specific? This store will try to locate even hard-to-find items for shoppers.
Recommended for Malabar's Best Shopping because: Find discounted, gently used items here that support a charitable cause.
Aimee's expert tip: Looking for something specific? Ask the store and it will try to help you locate it.
For flowers, edible arrangements, gift baskets and other thoughtful gifts and goodies, Palm Bay's florist, Beautiful Bouquets and Baskets, can deliver, or you can browse the store Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The store is closed Sundays. In addition to classic floral arrangements for special occasions, weddings, funerals and more, this family-owned business also offers unique fruit arrangements, like the "apple martini" (chocolate-covered apples blooming out of a martini glass). Another option, the "fruit party," is a cupcake-shaped container filled with sliced fruit, some of which is dipped in chocolate and sprinkles. Add balloons, stuffed animals or boxes of chocolate to your arrangement, too.
Recommended for Malabar's Best Shopping because: This shop sells floral arrangements, edible gift baskets, balloons, stuffed animals and other gifts.
Aimee's expert tip: For a flower that will last longer than an arrangement, look through the selection of plants. Orchids are always a stunning option.