Shop local this holiday season! St. Pete/Clearwater is home to more makers and artists than you could imagine, so get your friends and loved ones something that will make them dream of their next vacation!
1 Florida Pure Salt
Harvested from Florida’s shores, Florida Pure Sea Salt is the perfect finishing touch to any recipe. Pure sea salts holds more moisture and flavor than the kind you find on supermarket shelves. Stick with the briny classic or try a pinch of an infused variety, made right here in St. Pete. Shake some lime-infused salt on your pan-fried catch of the day or sprinkle some of the maple bacon-infused salt on your morning glazed doughnut. Find these salts on the shelves of local stores throughout St. Pete/CLearwater including LOCALE Gourmet Market, a restaurant and market from celebrity chefs Michael Mina and Don Pintabona.
Gulfport, south of St. Pete, is a slice of funky Florida, so make sure to stop by BoTiki for some one-of-a-kind fashion. Peruse their unique jewelry collection and you’ll find pieces from local jewelry designer Chrissy Hounchell of Cadyn and Charlie, inspired by and named after her children. We’re loving these handmade beaded gemstone bracelets! A portion of the proceeds goes to charities close to the family.
You’re going to need a little shade when you’re on the water. Boaters Republic, west Florida’s premier boating and fishing outfitter, has plenty of hats and visors to keep the sun at bay. Whatever your preference, represent #boatlife in style.
Soak up a piece of Florida history when you visit the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs, one of the most fun tourist attractions in the area. There, you’ll learn about the Greek immigrants in the town who saw a golden opportunity in the sponge industry. Don’t forget to pick up a sponge at Spongeorama’s Sponge Factory before you leave. Opa!
Send someone a piece of weird Florida from Pergamo Paper Goods. A staple at many of the indie markets across the county, these eccentric stickers feature flamingos in classy suits, alligators with hula hoops or mermaid pugs. These oddball animals also come on cards, prints, tote bags and pillows. Pick up a sticker at LocalShops1, a marketing firm and pop-up store in Gulfport.
Brothers Adam and Cody Vessa are modern-day Willy Wonkas, magically turning cacao beans to chocolate bars in their Largo kitchen and Pinellas Chocolate retail shop. Each bar of dark chocolate is infused with unique flavors; definitely try the Florida Bar Set, which includes Florida-inspired flavors of orange, salted lime and datil pepper. Pick up a bar at many local breweries, markets and coffee shops. You’ll even spot them at Don CeSar Hotel on St. Pete Beach, and they make the perfect take-home treat.
Let’s go fly a kite! Up to the highest height! Sorry for that earworm, but flying a kite on the St. Pete/Clearwater shores is seriously fun. Windworks at John's Pass in Madeira Beach carries lots of modern, brightly-colored kites that will soar through our blue skies.
The Chihuly Museum moved to downtown St. Pete in 2016 and the larger gallery is home to a dazzling collection of vessels and sculptures by Dale Chihuly, the most famous glass artist in the world. Don’t miss the gift shop where you’ll find calendars, apparel and glass art. Stay colorfully dry during Florida rainy season with this umbrella featuring that magical ceiling display.
If you enjoy the sound of bagpipes, try Dunedin, which loves to celebrate its Celtic culture with pubs, clubs and festivals. Take home a little green pride with you from the Celtic Shop of Dunedin, a quirky spot with lots of Celtic trinkets, including the ever-popular Celtic bowtie.
Central Florida is home to a few celebrities, but probably none as big – literally – as Hulk Hogan. Terry Bollea, Hogan’s real name, grew up in the Tampa Bay area and has lived around Clearwater for a couple of decades. The retired professional wrestler opened Hogan’s Beach Shop in Clearwater Beach in 2012, and it’s a mini-muse-um about the larger-than-life persona. It includes an impressive collection of tumblers showcasing many professional wrestlers. Plus, the Hulkster occasionally makes appearances to sign merchandise at the shop.
Found amongst a variety of unique bath and beauty items and eclectic home décor accessories are Sister Agnes Soaps. These natural, handmade soaps come in many different custom shapes and sizes with more than 100 scents and are found only at Milagros in St. Pete. Not only are they good for the body, but they accent your home with their unique design and beautiful fragrance.
One of St. Pete’s claim to fame is the Salvador Dali Museum, situated on the city’s glorious waterfront. A trip through the museum is a must-do while you’re here, but you shouldn’t leave without visiting the gift shop. A popular pick is the leggings designed after Dali’s Apparatus and Hand. Seek out the history behind the painting on a guided tour through the museum, then regale your friends with your knowledge when they complement your cool tank.
The little edible gems from Belleair's William Dean Chocolates are so sought after, even celebrities have to have them! They made a cameo on the Tonight Show when Whoopi Goldberg brought a box to Jimmy Fallon in a recent episode.
Daddy Kool has the perfect gift for the music buff in your life! A part of St. Pete’s indie scene, this record shop is the coolest shopping stop for vinyl since 1985. They sell new, used and rare vinyl singles and LPs, CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.