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Expert Tips

 

The Best Shopping Stops in St. Augustine



Just because St. Augustine is old, doesn't mean that all the shopping is all about dusty antique shops and pirate T-shirt shops. Locally-owned boutiques with fashion forward clothing, design studios and galleries give a visitor plenty of options. Shopping in the old city is a must, but be sure to explore uptown, too for more cool boutiques.

Of course, if you want a fake gold pirate doubloon or a replica of the Castillo San Marcos, well, you can get that too...there are tons of fun souvenir stops on Aviles and St. George Streets, which make great gifts for the folks back home. Even the attractions themselves have great gift shops. One of our favorites is at the Fountain of Youth where you can fill up glass bottles with authentic spring water straight from the source and are labeled so friends back home know they are drinking water that might turn back the clock. 

Outside of the old city are more shopping options including a huge outlet with lots of bargains on designer merchandise and shopping malls where you can find  favorite local brands. 

Here are some places to go if you want to get the perfect gift, something for yourself, or something that will always remind you of your visit to the Ancient City. 


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10
Historic Downtown

Owner Laurel Baker makes jewelry worthy of any hip, urban dweller's closet. Her metal working mixes contemporary style with a vintage sensibility. One of her hallmarks is using the "sunshine stone," also known as the Florida State Stone, which is glossy, fossilized coral. Baker sets the stone into arts necklaces, rings and bracelets. Other jewelry creations are necklaces made with layers of dainty chains and cuffs with stone accents. The boutique also has a love for vintage and homemade with belts, bags and sunglasses that have been carefully curated. The original artwork for sale on the walls mirrors Baker's eclectic aesthetic.

Read more about Anchor Boutique →


Whetstone Chocolates


You can't experience St. Augustine without visiting Whetstone Chocolates, the city's signature chocolate manufacturer for nearly 40 years. In fact, Whetstone is known throughout the state for their famous chocolates shaped like seashells wrapped in shiny, colored foil. Besides eating the wares, you can take a self-guided tour of the chocolate making facility to learn how the chocolate is made. Be sure to stock up on yummy treats for people back home before you leave such as dark chocolate bars, fudge, desert toppings and caramels. Whetstone features an array of gourmet chocolates presented in boxed assortments, gift baskets and centerpieces.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: This is one of St. Augustine's famous locally-made candy has been on the scene for decades and is a hit with visitors and locals alike.

Shelley's expert tip: The chocolate alligators are adorable and make great gifts for the folks back home.

Read more about Whetstone Chocolates →


Old City Farmers Market


Located at the St. Augustine Amphitheater on A1A South, this fun market runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Saturday and is a popular weekend destination for many St. Augustine residents. The marketplace offers fresh produce including both locally-grown and organic fruits and vegetables plus plants and flowers for the garden. Other edible goodies include homemade breads, soups, pastries and hot sauces. More than just food, the 30 to 40 vendors include local artists and crafters offering their wares such as handmade pottery, textiles, soaps and more. Live music adds to the festive air of this hometown market.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The Farmer's Market is good wholesome fun on a Saturday morning and a locals' destination.

Shelley's expert tip: Get to the market early for the best selection of fresh produce, it often sells out quickly.

Read more about Old City Farmers Market →


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7
Historic Downtown
Red Pineapple
Photo courtesy of Cuna Street News


The Red Pineapple is a swoon-worthy boutique with a Parisian vibe. Besides floaty skirts and lady-like dresses there are cute housewares, cards, jewelry, soaps and perfumes. Browsing here is a pleasure since the merchandize is always artfully arranged and encourage shoppers to take a closer look. Popular items include real books cut into alphabet letter shapes that make for a cool gift, whimsical dish towels and picture frames. The girly vibe is hard to resist and most can't leave here without a new piece of jewelry, vintage-looking shoes or a leather handbag destined to become your go-to favorite.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The Red Pineapple stands out in a sea of more touristy shops in downtown St. Augustine with its pretty frocks, jewelry and gifts.

Shelley's expert tip: This boutique is a hit with the resident Flagler College women, so you know you're getting the insider purchase here.

Read more about Red Pineapple →


St. Augustine Premium Outlet Mall


For those who need a vacation retail session or have extra room in your luggage, St. Augustine Premium Outlet will happily fix both. Over 80 stores have an extensive selection of designer and brand name retailers offering everything from clothing to jewelry to electronics at discounted prices. You're likely to find your favorite stores among popular destinations like Mikasa, Gap, Banana Republic and Calvin Klein. Recent openings include Puma, Janie and Jack, The Body Shop and Swarovski. All that shopping will surly make you hungry, so make your way to the large food court for pizza, sandwiches, stir-fry or a big cup of coffee.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: This huge outlet has lots of great stores and makes for a fun afternoon of bargain hunting.

Shelley's expert tip: If your kids get tired of trekking from store to store, there is a stroller rental onsite.

Read more about St. Augustine Premium Outlet Mall →


Cobblestone Village

The large Cobblestone Village Shopping Mall is a modern shopping mall and a fairly recent addition to the St. Augustine shopping scene. Come here if you are looking for standard retail. Eight anchor stores and more specialty store provide a varied selection including favorites such as Bed Bath and Beyond (if you need extra beach towels) Pier 1 and Bealls (forgot your swimsuit?). And, if you are staying at a condo or a hotel with a fridge, stock up on groceries at the Publix grocery store, which is also a great stop for wine and beer. Or, grab a sandwich for a picnic lunch at Panera, Crispers or Firehouse Subs.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: This lifestyle center offers modern shopping with well-known brands.

Shelley's expert tip: This is one of the closest modern shopping areas to the historic downtown. Publix is great for a grocery run.

Read more about Cobblestone Village →


Butterfield Garage Art Gallery
Photo courtesy of D.J. Henson


Near downtown St. Augustine, the Butterfield Garage Art Gallery is an artist-run gallery that takes creativity and the artist-patron relationship to the next level. A re-purposed parking garage, the space showcases the traditional and contemporary work of talented local artists. The gallery often hosts special events or talks where the public can meet the artists and ask them about their work. Exhibitions change frequently and the knowledgeable and friendly staff are always happy to answer questions and help you find the kind art that speaks to you. Owner Jan Miller is not only an artist herself but the current president of the Art Galleries of St. Augustine, a group that promotes the city's artists and art spaces.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: This is one of St. Augustine's largest and most successful galleries featuring high-quality work from the region's artists.

Shelley's expert tip: The gallery hosts often hosts special exhibitions, featured speakers and even the occasional restorative yoga class. Always something going on here.

Read more about Butterfield Garage Art Gallery →


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Airport - Ust

St. George Street, St. Augustine's most popular shopping district, wends its way through several brick-lined blocks of the city's center. Along this car-free thoroughfare you'll discover independent retailers offering home accents, jewelry, books, pottery, clothing and more. St. George Street affords a great way to soak up the old city's historic ambiance as many interesting colonial houses and attractions are located in the area. You can spend the entire day here poking around the various stores tucked into courtyards or in shaded arcades. Be it a burger, beer or an ice cream cone, nearly every block will tempt you to come in and linger over a meal while you do some good people watching.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: For old-timey fun, kitchy souvenirs and truly good shopping, St. George Street is a must.

Shelley's expert tip: On a hot day, be sure to stop by The Hyppo at 70 Saint George Street for a gourmet ice pop.

Read more about St. George Street →


2
Historic Downtown
YIELD WORK SHOP
Photo courtesy of Kelsey Heinze


This edgy design boutique, started by a couple from San Francisco, is a shrine to minimalism. You won't find their wares crammed into the space but things such as 3D-printed/gold cast rings, coffee presses, copper light fixtures and gorgeous totes are artfully and sparingly arranged in order to fully appreciate their craftsmanship. The store is packed with their own handmade goods, as well as those of other local makers.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: This is a great example of some of the trendier, more modern offerings made and sold in St. Augustine.

Shelley's expert tip: They pour candles in the store and host candle workshops.

Read more about YIELD WORK SHOP →


1
Historic Downtown

Located in the heart of St. Augustine's historic pedestrian-only district and apart from noisy traffic and neon lights, brick-lined Aviles Street offers a splendid mix of shopping by way of interesting stores, boutiques, art galleries and souvenir shops. In addition, Aviles Street is dotted with pleasant cafes and historic homes with some structures dating over 200 years old. One of the best ways to see the gallery scene is by attending the First Friday Art Walk from 5 to 9 p.m. every first Friday of the month, rain or shine. You can meet artists, enjoy refreshments and have a fun night out.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: This is the oldest street in the U.S. and full of great shopping.

Shelley's expert tip: Though you will definitely look like a tourist, taking one of the ticketed trolleys is a good way to see the old city. You can hop on and off as much as you like.

Read more about Aviles Street →


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