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Expert Tips

 

10 best places to shop in St. Petersburg



After you experience the area's soothing beaches, fine restaurants and enticing attractions, it might be time for a little retail therapy.

If you like indoor mall shopping, especially popular during the intense heat of summer, you won’t have to go far to indulge in a very satisfying shopping spree in beautiful settings. There are many options, some of them recently opened or refurbished.

Downtown St Petersburg is home to the popular and beautiful Sundial St Pete, where you’ll find a large selection of shops for the whole family, along with restaurants and a multi-screen movie theater.

One of the newer additions to the scene, Seminole City Center, offers a collection of stores, fine dining venues and the popular Studio Movie Grill. Tyrone Square Mall is another favorite - especially with the locals.

But there is also an array of smaller, boutiques specializing in one-of-a-kind items, artisanal goods and locally made crafts, which may offer more unique treasures.

If that type of shopping is more to your liking, you will enjoy some of the independent shops like Ashe Couture Boutique, Matter of Fact, Za'Zooed and some of the others listed here.

 


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St. Pete Shirt Co.
Photo courtesy of VSPC


If you're in the market for St Petersburg-related souvenirs while you're visiting downtown, this is the shop for you. Opened in 2015, owner and area native Travis Hise, honors his hometown with a collection of "wearable art" from the "Burg" etched on hats, T-shirts, socks and other casual apparel as well as shot and pint glasses. You'll find the official St Petersburg city logo throughout, printed by Hise's sister company, St Pete Ink. Custom screen printing is available for apparel, businesses and schools as well as for teams and organizations. This shop has apparel for men, women and children.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: They offer an ample selection of causal apparel with the official St. Petersburg logo and also provide custom screen printing for special items.

Michelle's expert tip: Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for ongoing updates.

Read more about St. Pete Shirt Co. →




A mainstay fine jewelry store in downtown St. Petersburg, Bernie's & Son has been voted "Tampa Bay's Favorite Jeweler" by the St. Petersburg Times and recognized throughout the area as the best place to find an extraordinary gift for that special someone. The store has been family-owned and operated for 42 years and was first opened in 1977 by Bob and Bernie Serata. Bernie's son Bob and grandson Brad are now at the helm. The boutique jewelry shop offers an impressive selection of wedding and engagement rings, handcrafted Italian cameos and classic timepieces. If a sparkling diamond set in platinum or a lovely pearl necklace is on your wish list, then this jewelry store is perfect for you.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: This store is worth the stop if you're really trying to impress someone you love.

Michelle's expert tip: Buy your engagement ring at this local gem and then pop the question at sunset with the picturesque waters of Tampa Bay as your backdrop.

Read more about Bernie's & Son Jeweler →


Sundial St Pete
Photo courtesy of Sun Dial St Pete


You'll find enough to keep you busy for hours on end in this open-air, two-story shopping and dining center in downtown St Petersburg. Formerly known as the Shops at St Pete and Bay Walk, Sundial St Pete houses a variety of upscale shops, boutiques, dining venues and AMC Sundial 20, a multi-screen movie theater. There's a host of selections for men, women and children, promising a dream-come-true for shopaholics. Some of the local favorites include White House Black Market, Tommy Bahama, Swim 'n Sport and many more. When you're done with your shopping frenzy, fortification awaits in eateries such as Ruth's Chris Steak House, Sea Salt and the popular Locale Market which features freshly made artisan goods.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The variety of stores found here assures that you'll find something for everyone on your list.

Michelle's expert tip: Valet parking is $5 with validation from a Sun Dial merchant and $10 without validation. There is also a parking garage.

Read more about Sundial St Pete →


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This elegant art gallery located on bustling Beach Drive once began in artist Sue Shapiro's garage in 1982. Decades later, Shapiro's Gallery of Contemporary American Crafts is still family-owned and features a wide range of handmade works of art from more than 300 American artists. Works include glass, jewelry, clay, metal, clocks, lamps, furniture, handbags and other gifts. Discover a limited edition set of Razzmatazz earnings featuring a colorful mix of glass beads and crystals, or a square stainless steel and copper pendulum clock with decorative side panels. You're sure to find a special handmade piece of art at this unique gallery.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: There's nothing better than a family-owned business that continues to flourish and support a vibrant local community of artists.

Kara's expert tip: Pick up a pair of stunning glass candlesticks by artist Michael Hudson.

Read more about Shapiro's Gallery of Contemporary American Crafts →


Casa di Mazzaro
Photo courtesy of VSPC


If you're a fan of cooking and all things having to do with cuisine, then you definitely need to visit Casa di Mazzaro. Cindy Richmond opened this "one-stop shop" in 2013, with a focus on "everything for the cook," which even includes cooking classes, three or four times a week. Not only will you find quality cooking utensils and every gadget you could imagine, but you can also treat yourself to specialty gourmet items along with a wide range of teas and specialty gifts. Some of the kitchen brands you'll find exclusively here include Emile henry, Cucina Pro, Gurgle Pot, Luque and many more. Ongoing cooking classes cover a range of topics such as: The Art of Sushi, Spanish Paella, Back to Bread Basics.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: This is truly a "one-stop-shop" where you can learn to cook and buy everything you would need to make and serve the meal.

Michelle's expert tip: Be sure to go online and book early if you're interested in one of their cooking classes as they sell out quickly.

Read more about Casa di Mazzaro →


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St. Petersburg
The Merchant
Photo courtesy of The Merchant


Tucked into St Petersburg's Central Arts District, The Merchant combines nostalgia and urban lifestyle with an ever-changing selection of eclectic gifts and wares ranging from candles, small-batch soaps, T-shirts and novelties. Owners Kevin and Jennifer Schultz opened the apothecary-style "general store" in 2018 and feature goods made exclusively by local artisans and craftsmen. In addition to unusual hand-made gift items including baby gifts, treat yourself to a tasty selection of fudge, honey, chocolates, beer and Florida wines. If you happen to visit on weekends between Black Friday and Christmas, you'll be greeted to "Blizzard in the Burg," a snow machine outside the store, which will add snow flurries to your shopping experience. The Merchant will be one of only 17 shops represented at the new Pier when it opens in 2020.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: You'll find an eclectic assortment of locally made, hand-crafted gifts tucked into a nostalgic shopping experience.

Michelle's expert tip: Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to get up-to-date notification about new arrivals, new craftsmen and sales.

Read more about The Merchant →


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St. Petersburg
Plain Jane
Photo courtesy of Plain Jane


When Plain Jane owner, buyer and manager Karen Porterfield moved to the area from Denver in 2009, her aim was to introduce St Petersburg to a "West Coast aesthetic" featuring quality workmanship, soft fabrics and muted colors. In 2014 she opened a boutique specializing in everyday clothing, handcrafted simple jewelry and small leather goods. Her unique gift line, which she sources from all over the US, is becoming increasingly popular and they are also becoming well known for their cute baby gifts. Twice a year the boutique participates in the "Shop Sunny Central" group of retailers who host two "shop hops" a year, one just before Mother's Day the other just before Thanksgiving.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: They offer a quality selection and work one on one with customers, getting to know them and offering advice on wardrobe or gift items.

Michelle's expert tip: The biggest day for snagging a deal is in mid July when the City of St. Petersburg hosts the annual Sunrise Sale where all shops at 6:30 am and the shoppers come in their PJ's.

Read more about Plain Jane →


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St. Petersburg
ZaZoo'd
Photo courtesy of VSPC


Open since 2013, this is the place to go if you're looking for a unique gift, home décor or furniture. They also specialize in interior design and if you'd like them to plan a wedding or special event, they'll do that too. The shop name grew out of owner David Fischer's appreciation of wine and the euphoric feeling one gets when drinking it. "Getting ZaZoo'd" and releasing your creative genius became a keyword. Among some of the unusual items, you'll find here are neon signs from old businesses and hand towels with risqué sayings or double meanings. The store has a reputation for being a fun place to shop.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: It's a fun place offering home decor along with unique gifts, some, with a sense of humor.

Michelle's expert tip: If you're looking for an event planner, be sure to ask about these services.

Read more about ZaZoo'd →


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St. Petersburg
Matter of Fact
Photo courtesy of Matter of Fact


If you're in the market for men's wear, this new kid on the block of shops is the place for you. Opened in April 2019, the tastefully appointed shop offers shirts, shorts, swimsuits, wallets, backpacks and more. You'll also find a rich variety of colognes, soaps, deodorants and knickknacks. Owner Matt Baker partnered with shop neighbor Amanda Henderson, owner of Ashe Couture to introduce this men's boutique offering carefully curated brands such as Herschel, Billabong, Vissla, Kenny Flowers, and RVCA. Unusual items such as the cigar glass, whiskey glass and "corkcicle wine chiller," make unusual gifts any time of year. Dog dads will also find "dogdanas" for Fido.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Not only is it one of the few shops geared just to men, it offers some unique gift items.

Michelle's expert tip: Follow them on Instagram to find out about their latest sales and promotions.

Read more about Matter of Fact →


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Ashe Couture Boutique
Photo courtesy of VSPC


What started as a on-line shopping experience morphed into a very successful women's clothing boutique in 2014. Today, tastefully displayed items offer trendy apparel, swimwear and accessories with a definite bohemian vibe. You'll also find an assortment of bracelets, watches, earrings, necklaces and assorted "bling," as well as scarves, purses, belts and much more. Describing it as a "laid back, luxe," boutique, owner Amanda Henderson posts daily videos, Monday through Friday, on Instagram with tips and advice on every item in the store. Among US designers you'll find are Billabong, Free People and Amuse Society. Also available are creations from Australian designers: Mink Pink and Two Sisters the Label.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: It offers a variety of clothing,jewelry,shoes and a host of other "must-haves," with a chic, Boho vibe.

Michelle's expert tip: Be sure to check out Amanda's video posts on Instagram to view some of their selections.

Read more about Ashe Couture Boutique →


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Meet Michelle da Silva Richmond

Michelle da Silva Richmond is an award-winning travel editor and member of the Society of American Travel Writers and other journalism organizations. 

She has written hundreds of articles...  More About Michelle

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