Shopping along the Strände of Fort Myers and Sanibel sparkles with gussied up old favorites, plus new choices in galleries, boutiques, malls, outlets, and flea markets.
– named for the inventor whose winter home is a Fort Myers attraction — ranks as Southwest Florida’s largest indoor mall, with Dillard’s, Macy’s, JCPenney, and Sears, plus 180 specialty shops. Magnets at the city’s open-air
Bell Tower Shops
include Saks Fifth Avenue, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Williams-Sonoma, restaurants, and a 20-screen movie multiplex.
Just over the bridge from Fort Myers, Cape Coral’s
Coralwood Shopping Center
offers convenience for swimwear to everyday necessities at Bealls Outlet and specialty shops. In North Fort Myers, the 189-acre
Shell Factory & Nature Park
loaded with yesteryear kitsch, boasts more than five million seashells and shell applications, from jewelry to shell inlaid toilet seats.
Downtown Fort Myers’ entertainment district
features renovated shops for books, jewelry, and antiques along with theater, clubs, bistros, coffee shops, cigar/martini bars, and sidewalk cafes. On
Fort Myers Beach, Times Square
serves as a pedestrian shopping hub for bare feet to high heels. Seafarer’s Village sells distinctive decorative.
On Sanibel and Captiva
Periwinkle Place beckons with shops for art and fashions amid a park-like atmosphere with covered walkways and cafes shaded by banyans. Olde Sanibel Shoppes feature custom jewelry and clothing.
Captiva Village Square
galleries display antiques from when Lee County hosted inventors like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. In
Bonita Springs, The Promenade
has 20 upscale shops and a dining palazzo. Cape Coral streets are filled with furniture, jewelry, and specialty stores. On
Pine Island and Boca Grande
known for blending funk with fashion, the shops of
Matlacha, Bokeelia and Pine Island Center
feature galleries and fun spots for hand-painted coconut postcards and other one-of-a-kinds.
For quality at lower prices, both
Tanger Sanibel Factory Stores
await with shops for apparel, houseware and gifts from leading manufacturers and designers. As for flea markets, Fort Myers’ Fleamaster’s Flea Market may be the granddaddy of all, with more than 900 booths, plus eateries. Ortiz Flea Market sells goods plus locally grown strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, and melons. In Bonita Springs, Flamingo Island Flea Market features merchants by the hundred, and the Northside Drive-in Flea Market hawks everything from citrus grown along banks of the Caloosahatchee to country albums, silks, and linens.