Shopping Sarasota: Where to Find Malls, Markets and Local Merchants
Antiques, fashion, local goods – shoppers find it all in Sarasota. This popular west Florida city is known for its beaches and cultural attractions, however the area also features a diverse shopping scene even frugal visitors can’t resist. Keep reading to learn about the best places to go when shopping Sarasota.
Shopping Sarasota: 9 Spots for Everything on the List
The Mall at University Town Center
For a traditional mall experience, head to The Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota. This indoor mall features over 125 stores and restaurants on two levels, and an outdoor children’s play area. Anchor stores include Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillard’s and Macy’s, while boutique retailers sell everything from fashion to electronics and home furnishings.
Need to recharge? Find dozens of restaurants and food shops that offer to-go and sit-down spots. A few favorites are: Cold Stone Creamery, Fit2Run fitness bar, Rise Pies pizza, Smoothie King and Starbucks. Or enjoy casual or fine dining at Beer and Burger Joint, Seasons 52, The Cheesecake Factory and The Capital Grille, to name a few.
Westfield Malls in Sarasota
The popular Westfield chain manages two malls in the area: Westfield Sarasota Square and Westfield Siesta Key.
Westfield Sarasota Square – anchored by Costco and JCPenney – has dozens of name-brand stores for a full-day of shopping. In addition, find Old Navy, Lids, Victoria’s Secret and Justice. The mall also offer several dining options, such as Chick-Fil-A and Perry’s BBQ. Movie-goers can catch the latest releases at the AMC Theater located on site.
Head south to explore Westfield Siesta Key, only about 7 miles from Sarasota. This indoor mall houses over 30 stores such as Macy’s, Lucky’s Market, Bare Minerals and Talbots. Visitors will also find Conner’s Steak and Seafood and Metro Diner serving hearty favorites for lunch and dinner. An AMC Theater at this location also shows the recent movies.
St. Armand’s Circle
St. Armand’s Circle sits between Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Its location provides a scenic shopping experience in an inviting atmosphere. Visitors will find approximately 60 stores, including name brands and locally owned gems. Shop apparel, clothing, fine jewelry and shoes. Or look for gifts and souvenirs only found in Sarasota.
In addition to stores, guests have access to over 30 dining options, several spas and salons, and professional services. While browsing, take a moment to admire courtyards and antiques, as St. Armand’s was created by John Ringling who built the historic circus empire.
Gulf Gate Village
Gulf Gate Village features over 150 specialty shops, restaurants, bars and international markets. Visitors can drive down two-lane streets to see retailers, or park at one and walk to nearby businesses. Businesses include pet boutiques, jewelry, fashion and souvenirs, as well as services such as barbers, salons and a pharmacy. Don’t forget to look for small restaurants and have lunch with loved ones.
Sarasota Farmers Market
Every Saturday, Sarasota Farmers Market brings the community together to interact and help Sarasota farmers and vendors. Visitors can shop over 100 booths selling art, fashion, flowers and plants, homemade foods, and local produce.
An average of 10,000 people visit every week and have access to dining tables, live music and special events. Kids can even try coconut painting. One top event is Taste of the Market, the organization’s largest fundraiser, which features a 50-foot salad bar and live music.
Detwiler’s Farm Market
Need groceries? With two locations in Sarasota and one in Venice, Detwiler’s Farm Market makes it easy for travelers to eat fresh for less. This local family-owned business stocks fresh meats, produce and seafood, as well as deli-bakery favorites. Kids and adults can purchase homemade ice cream to sample while shopping.
Detwiler’s specializes in natural products, free from processing and high-sugar. In addition, the store has a variety of essentials, such as fresh peanut butter made daily, organic coffee and milk, local raw honey, kale chips, and a large selection of gluten-free foods. Detwiler’s also partners with local families to offer Amish-made favorites.
Historic Downtown Venice
Those shopping Sarasota can’t miss downtown Venice, which serves as its own destination and sits less than 20 miles from Sarasota. The city offers a Gulf-front location with over 100 independently owned stores and restaurants. From books to trends in fashion and home decor, Venice has it all.
Top shops include Artisans, Down Island Way, Mothers Cubbord, Nana’s Children Shop and Venice Farmer’s Market. When it’s time for a break, stop by a local restaurant for fresh seafood and cool treats. For a little something extra, catch a show. Venice also showcases one of the largest community theaters in the U.S.
Ellenton Premium Outlets
For big savings on big brands, head 20 miles north of Sarasota to Ellenton Premium Outlets. This outlet mall houses over 130 designers and brands for the family in a tropical landscape. Top names range from Express Factory and Chico’s to VF Outlet and Polo Ralph Lauren. Other options include Vans, The Children’s Place and Bass Factory Outlet.
Ellenton Outlets also houses several dining options. Grab a hot pretzel at Auntie Annie’s, or sit down at Hawaiian Grill, Ramo’s Deli or Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen. To help little ones burn some energy, let them play at their own outdoor playground.
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