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Sarasota, Florida, USA

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Sarasota Shopping

Sarasota shopping can be a day spent in the sunshine, with the clean salty smell of the ocean air filling your lungs as you peruse beachfront specialty shops. Or, it can be a day spent in one of the ultra-modern air-conditioned malls. You can even shop on an island (or as Floridians call it, a key). The choice is yours.

It's been said that “No man is an island.” But a shopping mall is a different story. There's probably no finer example of this in the U.S. than Sarasota's St. Armands Key. It advertises itself as “an island shopping center removed from the bustle of the mainland.”

There are over 130 stores on this little island, all set within a rather lush, tropical environment. Whether it’s vintage gifts, clothing, glassware, furniture, pottery or sterling silver, chances are you'll find it in this truly unique island mall.

Originally purchased and designed by circus magnate John Ringling and accessible by an old paddle-wheeled steamboat, it’s now connected to the mainland by two bridges that stretch over the gorgeous Sarasota Bay. It's a definite must see in terms of Sarasota shopping.

There’s also a slightly more conventional Sarasota shopping experience to be had at the Sarasota Outlet Center. They offer up the wares of over 30 quality manufacturers with items ranging from house wares, footwear and decorative items, to electronics and all with massive discounts. This is definitely the place to go while in Sarasota for those of you who want bargain basement prices.

If antiquing is on your Sarasota shopping agenda, then you might want to check out the Fruitville Antique District. It's an area boasting 14 unique shops featuring mid-century collectables, knitting and yarn services, linens, folk art, jewelry of all kinds and more.

Tip: Sarasota is a true treasure when it comes to finding those one-of-a-kind, priceless antiques. The city has several districts that have antique stores, shops and markets; the main one is known as “Antique Row.” You’ll find everything here from thrift and consignment shops all the way to high-end collectables during your Sarasota shopping excursion.

Historic Downtown Area
A Sarasota shopping extravaganza wouldn't be complete without checking out the historic downtown Herald Square. South of Main Street and bordered by Pineapple Avenue, Orange Avenue and State Street, this locale is one of Sarasota's most highly regarded shopping destinations. If you're in the mood to stroll and shop, and are looking for anything from haute couture, fine art or 60's furniture, this is your place. And then there's the Burn's Court Cinema, which happens to also be the home of the Sarasota Film Society.

Flea Market
If you really want to explore Sarasota shopping, then why not take a quick trip over to the Dome Flea Market? It's been in business since 1974 and over 18 million people have passed through their doors. They offer up a wide variety of services and products that are reasonably priced. Go on in and mill around - you just might find that special Sarasota shopping surprise in any one of its 300 booths.

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