Shopping & Spas

Whatever makes you feel better.

If vacation isn't therapy enough, you can always indulge in the retail or spa variety. Shopping opportunities run the gamut – colorful galleries, kitschy flea markets, knick-knack souvenir shops, open-air outlet malls and high-end retailers all would love your business, and multitudes of unique spa treatments wait to help you escape the stress of everyday life.

Outlet Shopping Insider

"Fashionable meets budget-friendly at outlet malls and other retail hotspots in the Fort Myers Sanibel area. See where to shop in style and save big. "

"Who can resist the rush of discovering irresistible deals? The Fort Myers Sanibel area offers great opportunities for those with a savvy sense for savings. Bargains can turn up all over town, but these outlet shopping hotspots are a shoe-in:


Miromar Outlets, Estero
Not only is this pretty outdoor shopping plaza easy on the wallet, but it has a Mediterranean ambiance that’s sophisticated, inviting and relaxing all at the same time. Spend the day wandering flower-filled promenades and surrendering stress to the rushing water from the Euro-styled fountains accenting restful piazzas – in between scooping up bargains, of course.

Shopaholics go wild over the mix of reduced prices and high-style brand names. There are more than 140 brand-name stores to explore – among them are:

Neiman Marcus Last Call

Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th

Bloomingdale’s The Outlet Store

Calvin Klein

DKNY

Coach Factory Store

Banana Republic Factory Store

J. Crew Factory Store

American Eagle

BCBG MAXAZARIA

After working up an appetite, dine al fresco at a lakeside eatery or settle in at the kid-friendly food court adjacent to a Florida-inspired playground. (If you have kids to shop for, don’t miss a stop at Disney’s Character Warehouse.) The facility is pet-friendly, too.

Before you go, check into on-site special events like water ski shows, concerts and arts and crafts events for kids. Miromar Outlets is located right off Interstate-75, Exit 123, in Estero.

Tanger Outlet Center, Fort Myers
Don’t miss this beachy, budget-friendly shopping gem on the way to Sanibel Island. Bright Caribbean colors and tall coconut palms set the mood – you may even hear some Jimmy Buffett tunes while you shop.

Tanger’s layout is especially easy to navigate, and it’s great for a family outing. You’ll find more than 40 brand-name outlets, including:

Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store

Liz Claiborne New York

GUESS Factory Store

Coldwater Creek

Gap Outlet

OshKosh B’Gosh

Nike Factory Store

Crocs Outle

Kids love digging their toes in the sand at the playground, where a hot dog cart is aptly positioned. Barnie’s Coffee & Tea offers specialty coffees, sandwiches and pastries with shady outdoor seating. There’s even a small nature observation area on-site.

Check for coupons and special promotions before you go. Tanger Outlets is located on Summerlin Road in Fort Myers, just before the Sanibel Causeway.

Bargains Beyond the Outlets

Although they may not be technically touted as outlets, big sales and tempting price tags are commonly found at:

Gulf Coast Town Center, between Fort Myers and Estero: Find more than 100 major retailers and discount stores such as Super Target, Marshall’s and Ross Dress for Less. Sports enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. You’ll also find banks, salons, a movie theater and more, plus many dining options – two popular ones are Firepit City Grill and hip local favorite BluSushi. Other fun tidbits: There’s a “sea critter playground” for kids and live concerts at the bandstand. Located off I-75, Exit 128.

Coconut Point, Estero: Popular discounters hob nob with upscale retailers at this sprawling, pet-friendly shopping area with a touch of Mediterranean Revival style. Fashion aficionados and sale searchers pop in at the likes of Dillard’s, Caché and Tommy Bahama, while stores such as T.J. Maxx and Old Navy feature everyday savings. Dining options range from Johnny Rockets to Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Other good-to-know tidbits: A gourmet dog bakery offers pet sitting while you shop; kids stay entertained at an imaginative playground (check out Kidgits); fresh produce and other goodies are up for grabs at the in-season Farmer’s Market. Located on Tamiami Trail, south of Corkscrew Road.

Best Bets for Antiques Shopping

"You can find vintage treasures and antiques -- everything from kitschy, old-time bric-a-brac to colonial oak furniture -- throughout Lee County. "

"As the sign in a downtown Fort Myers antiques shop says, ""Everything Old is New Again."


Find vintage treasures throughout the mainland and islands. Begin your treasure hunting on Fort Myers' royal-palm-lined McGregor Boulevard, where Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and other town forefathers lived.

McGregor Boulevard

McGregor Antique Mall
Just northeast of the intersection of McGregor and College Parkway, the McGregor Antiques District is a huddle of six antiques shops and a consignment store across the street. McGregor Antique Mall is the largest of the group, with a folksy and nostalgic air, selling household goods, books, toys, country-style furnishings and more, all at reasonable prices. In the same cluster, Judy's Antiques specializes in estate jewelry, sterling, crystal and other fine buys from the past.

McGregor Boulevard Yard Sales
Every weekend – especially during the winter season – you will see a forest of signs planted along McGregor Boulevard advertising yard and garage sales. It's a popular sport for many locals to drive from sale to sale in search of rare finds.

Downtown Fort Myers

Fancy Flamingo Antiques
Downtown Fort Myers holds a few more timeless treasures in vintage buildings. Fancy Flamingo displays a wide variety of period pieces, furniture, collectibles and vintage clothing between red brick interior walls.

Vamped Up Vintage
This shop is fun any time of the year, but especially for Halloween or any special event where a creative costume is required. Owner Wende Gilmore deals entirely in vintage clothing, carrying everything from tuxes and wedding gowns to a gaudy bell-bottom jumpsuit and jaunty fur-trimmed hats, and she can create custom era-specific costumes. She throws a monthly dress-up party, so call to get on her e-mail list.

Fort Myers Beach

The Swap Shop

On the way to Fort Myers Beach, this blast from the past specializes in art pottery and décor items from the 1950s.

Sanibel Island

Islander Trading Post

Feel like you've walked into an old country store at this Sanibel Island fixture. Vintage nautical paraphernalia fills one back room, and every shelf, drawer, nook and cranny holds bits and pieces of bygone eras.

Noah's Ark

Tucked into a room behind St. Michael & All Angels Church on Sanibel Island, it's the pick of the locals for fun thrift shopping. Expect to find like-new castoffs and something that sparks fond memories of ""the good old days.

Best Bets for Shopping

"Shoppers can make their purchases inside or out-of-doors surrounded by palm trees, tropical foliage and soothing waterfalls and fountains."

Trendsetters
Fashions torn from the pages of Elle and Vogue show up at boutiques such as Lucky Dog on Sanibel Island and Mallie Montgomery and Jennifer's in Fort Myers.
Resort wear enthusiasts will love The Palm on Park in Boca Grande.


Museum Stores & Gift Shops

Stars in the constellation of museum and gift shops include Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Museum of the Islands and Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum.


Fresh Produce
Try any stand on Pine Island June through September, Sun Harvest Citrus and the Downtown Fort Myers Farmer's Market (the Farmer's Market is open each Thursday morning).


Books
Get beach reads and serious tomes at MacIntosh Books & Paper; Sanibel Island Bookshop is “a great place to be stranded."


Jewel Box
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend at Congress Jewelers on Sanibel, and she can furnish her trousseau at DuFrane Jewelers at The Promenade in Bonita Springs.


Treasures of Old
Rummage through half a dozen antiques stores at McGregor Antique Mall in Fort Myers; Judy's Antiques & Jewelry sparkles with frippery and finery for ladies of taste. Another spot not to miss is Flying Fish Trading Company on Fort Myers Beach, featuring nautical antiques and custom-designed Adirondack chairs in tropical and beach-themed shapes.


Shell Shops
Places to get the common to exotic include: She Sells Sea Shells, two locations on Sanibel Island; Shell Factory and Nature Park, North Fort Myers; and Discovery Bay, Fort Myers Beach.


Gift-mania
Outstanding gift selections with a unique twist are at the Fussy Frog in Bonita Springs, Trader Rick's (two locations: Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel) and Local Color at Times Square on Fort Myers Beach.

Shopping & Spa Escape

Mega malls, trendy shopping areas and serene spas: the Fort Myers Sanibel area has all the makings of a refreshing girls-only getaway.

A relaxing getaway doesn’t always require sand, surf and sun. Sometimes the best way to unwind involves some shopping with the girls and a dose of spa pampering.

The Fort Myers Sanibel area is the heart of Southwest Florida’s retail scene and one of the state’s most popular shopping destinations, hands-down. And it’s no surprise that this area known for relaxation has an abundance of spas and salons with a long list of soothing services. Combine the two and you have a girlfriends day trip or weekend getaway that’s good for the mind, body, soul and wardrobe. Here are some shopping and spa ideas the girls will go ga-ga for:


SHOPPING HOTSPOTS

Coconut Point
Just south of Fort Myers off Interstate 75, Coconut Point in Estero is part of a retail-centric community that has something to satisfy the fashionista, foodie, beauty buff and bargain shopper in all of us. “Mall” is an understatement: There are more than 100 stores (everything from major clothing labels to high-end furniture), 25+ restaurants and a movie theater. The Main Street-style complex takes design cues from Mediterranean Revival-style architecture and incorporates lakes, palm trees and boardwalks.


COOL SPAS

Follow your retail therapy with some real therapy – think facials, pedicures, massages and more. You can find sublime spa services all over town, with many convenient to Coconut Point. Be sure to ask about special packages.

At Coconut Point: Check out Massage Envy, Felix Andrew Salon (their nearby Bonita Springs location offers AVEDA facials) and Avalon, The Lifestyle Nail Salon.

SONU Aesthetic Day Spa, Estero: This chic luxury day spa has a full range of beauty treatments and spa services. Treat yourself to a custom massage or try their 50-minute signature facial, which uses warm seawater spray and gentle massage to rejuvenate skin.

Oasis Salon & Spa, Bonita Springs: This beach-inspired spa has a huge menu of services, including the Beachcombers Spa Pedicure or Skin Renewal Facial (organic products available).

Stillwater Spa at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, Bonita Springs: This is the ultimate resort-style spa retreat if you’re looking to indulge. Try the Sun Repair Facial or the Warm Shells Massage, a beachy version of the hot stone massage.

The Spa at ‘Tween Waters Inn, Captiva Island: Heading to Sanibel or Captiva? Make the trip even more sublime with a stop at this island resort’s spa, which recently had a makeover of its own. Treatments use products with lemongrass, lavender, citrus fruit extracts and marine botanicals to restore and re-energize.

Shopping on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

"Shoppers can take their pick of island-style boutiques, modern malls, money-saving outlets and outdoor markets."

Shopping areas with local flavor are dotted throughout Lee County and include antiques areas and art galleries. Beach shops offer kitsch to cool, and gift shops at attractions provide instant retail therapy, with some shops offering locally made souvenirs. Large malls provide one-stop shopping, and beautiful outdoor shopping areas with architectural details and ample greenery take advantage of the region’s great weather.

Bargain hunters will be pleased to find two outlet malls and weekly flea markets, where everything from fresh produce to knick-knacks covers acres of indoor and outdoor spaces, catering to shopaholics with a weakness for the hunt.

Bunches of Boutiques
Shoppers and browsers will adore the collection of boutiques in small, easy-to-navigate outdoor spaces. The tropical architecture at Periwinkle Place on Sanibel Island hints at the laid-back resort wear and whimsical gifts inside the outdoor shopping area’s boutiques. The Village, also on Sanibel, transports shoppers on a modified stilt walkway around corners and through passageways to its galleries, clothing boutiques and jewelry shops.

The intersection of Andy Rosse Lane and Captiva Road on Captiva Island sports a general store, where visitors can stock up on essentials and catch up on the local gossip, with a couple of art galleries and specialty shops farther down each of the cross streets.

Fort Myers Beach has Times Square, an anchor for shopping, dining and nightlife. Buildings in pop-art colors radiate from this central pedestrian area, and shops offer everything from upscale gifts to resort wear.

Bonita Springs has a historic district with thrift stores and a few antiques shops. At The Promenade, a Mediterranean-inspired outdoor shopping area for the well-heeled, even the Bennigan’s has an elegant outdoor bar in the round. You’ll also find Roy's, offering tantalizing dishes wrapped in a Hawaiian state of mind.

Modern Malls
Those in search of department stores can explore area malls, replete with regional and national stores such as Dillards and Macy’s. Fort Myers’ Edison Mall, recently renovated, is Lee County’s largest.

At Bell Tower Shops, upscale department stores sit alongside trendy boutiques, fine restaurants and a 20-screen movie theater. Royal Palm Square in Fort Myers features a dinner theater and Lulu's Emporium, a place for gifts, home decor and accessories.

Between Fort Myers and Estero sits the Gulf Coast Town Center, anchored by Southwest Florida’s first Bass Pro Shops, which caters to outdoor enthusiasts. In Estero is Coconut Point, the newest Main Street-style shopping area.

Retail Outlets
At Miromar Outlets in Estero, shoppers can explore more than 120 stores with bargains for men, women and children. An indoor water playground keeps the younger set entertained.

Tanger Outlets captures the attention of shoppers heading to and from Sanibel and Captiva islands and Fort Myers Beach. Offerings include outlets from mall regulars, such as the GAP, as well as Liz Claiborne and Polo Ralph Lauren factory stores.

Homegrown Finds
The downtown Fort Myers Farmers Market is a weekly occurrence at the edge of Centennial Park. Farmers, florists, fishermen and horticulturalists sell local goods including farm-grown mangos and shrimp, mangrove snapper and grouper.

Flea markets include Ortiz on Ortiz Road near I-75 (primarily local produce and Mexican handicrafts), Fleamasters in Fort Myers, Flamingo Island in Bonita Springs (more than 800,000 items at liquidation prices) and the Northside Drive-In Fleamarket (akin to a very large garage sale).

Best Bets for Souvenir Shopping

"Don't leave The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel without investigating -- and taking home -- some of these unique finds, available at area businesses. "

Memorable Comestibles
On the Vine
Head to the Old Florida town of Alva, a short distance east of Fort Myers, and pick up some Alva Rouge wine, made in the Beaujolais Nouveau style, from local vintner Eden Vineyards & Winery.

A Salon for Chocoholics
Visit the Norman Love Chocolate Salon to sample handcrafted white, milk and dark chocolates and to bring home a tasty souvenir. Choose from flavors including Peanut Butter & Jelly, Key Lime Shell or Java Fudge or check out the newest ultra-premium dark chocolate line, Black.

A Honey of an O
Walker Farms Honey in North Fort Myers made the coveted “O List"" in Oprah magazine. Buy some of the delicious orange blossom or saw palmetto honey on Bee Charmer Lane.

Art, Crafts and More
Black & White
Start a collection of black and white photography by local legend and longtime resident Charley McCullough, whose work is available at Tower Gallery on Sanibel Island.

Superlative Shop
Best of Everything in Bonita Springs has great costume jewelry, purses and hats.

On the Water
For fishing supplies, bait, tackle and a little extra, go to Whidden’s Marina on Boca Grande. The 1926 building is jam-packed with island memorabilia (not for sale); stories of yore and today’s gossip are free.

Book Time for Yourself
Buy a copy of the classic Gift from the Sea, written by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and inspired by visits to Captiva Island. Read it with your feet in the sand.

Hey, Sailor!
After seeing the intricate sailors’ valentines on display at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel Island, buy a kit from the gift shop and make one.

Wish You Were Here
Send a coconut postcard from Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens in artist colony Matlacha.

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