On The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, it’s never hard to find a little bit of local color – whether that means a beautiful light-pink sunset, a bright tropical cocktail or a funky small-town art gallery. The southwest corner of the Sunshine State has been attracting artists, makers and craftsmen for generations, and a wealth of art galleries and handmade gift stores are home to many pieces that these Floridian makers create. Check out our list of places to find a one-of-a-kind souvenir that truly captures the essence of Southwest Florida.
You won’t have to venture far along Ft. Myers Beach to find these local treasures. Just a few steps away from the sand on Times Square, you’ll find Local Color– a beachside shop that offers art pieces, handcrafted metal statues, gifts and upscale resort wear, all with a tropical flair. Half a mile down Estero Boulevard, Salty Dog Gallery and Gifts is full of furniture, art and gifts, all made in the USA. They also offer chalk painting classes if you’re looking for a fun, creative way to beat the heat.
Walking the original brick-lined streets of the River District is a treat in itself—but at Franklin Shops in the River District, you’ll find a historic building that offers a two-story collection of small shops from individual vendors featuring jewelry and fashion, art, accessories, gifts, restaurants and more. Head upstairs for a selection of eclectic local artwork in the gallery, or check out the jewelry, clothing and accessories on the first floor and find your own piece of Ft. Myers to take home with you.
In the quiet seaside village of Matlacha, colorful waterfront cottages have been transformed into galleries and boutiques filled with local crafts and gifts. Island Visions is one of the first art galleries that you’ll come across, with a unique selection of steampunk art and an ice cream shop next door. Continue down the street, and you’ll find several other art galleries to continue your tour of this artist’s colony: hand-painted gifts at Bert’s Pine Bay Gallery, crafted jewelry atFrills, paintings and furniture at Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens, Native American art at Trader’s Hitching Post and art with a tropical twist at WildChild Art Gallery.
Shopping on Sanibel Island? Don’t miss Periwinkle Place, an outdoor shopping center home to twenty-five small shops – including the original Chico’s – and dining at the Blue Giraffe Restaurant, an award-winning local favorite. Island Style Galleries has been home to contemporary arts and crafts since 1977, and they’ve been recognized as one of the top 100 retailers of American crafts. Naples Soap Company, based out of nearby Naples, offers natural, organic skincare and Fantasea uses the sea as inspiration for its inventory, including natural and handcrafted items from around the world.
On The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, our colorful islands are always within reach. Don’t miss the handmade treasures you’ll find in our galleries and stores, along with the natural treasures that surround you the moment you arrive.
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