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    Thursday, 2 October 2014

    Anna Maria Island Shopping

    Some people come to Anna Maria Island for the quaint small-town feel, and the cool beachy vibe. But there are also plenty of people who come for the great shopping, and I must admit I’m one of them.

    I love the beach, don’t get me wrong. It’s just so … sandy! There’s only so much time a girl can spend trying to scrub sand out of her ties and hair before she wants to get as far from the beach as possible. And luckily, Anna Maria has proximity to some of the best shopping in the world.

    So, the last time my family gathered together for a weekend getaway at Plumfish, I told them to enjoy the private pool or the five minute walk to the beach, while I went off to explore the urban jungle.

    Plumfish Anna Maria Island
    The deck at Plumfish

    On day one, I made the trek to the Ellenton Premium Outlet Mall where I scored all kinds of cute designer stuff at great bargain prices. I stuck mostly to accessories for myself – I just cannot resist Cole Haan shoes and Coach bags on deep discount - and also picked up some great clothes for the rest of my family. I was able to stock up on soft t-shirts and a casual button-down for my husband at Banana Republic and J. Crew, I then stocked up on what I like to call “baby couture” at Hartstrings who always carr some ridiculously over-the-top cute high-end clothes for kids.

    When I got back to Anna Maria a few hours later, the family was still at the beach so I stashed all my goodies in one of the spacious bedroom closets and enjoyed a leisurely lunch on the covered eating deck.

    The next morning I decided to keep my shopping a bit more local. First I made a brief jaunt to AMI Outfitters in the Anna Maria Island Historic Green Village to pick up a sporty wide-brimmed hat for my fair-skinned husband who was already starting to turn a little pink even with the SPF 70 sunblock he applies religiously!  I dropped those off back over at Plumfish (along with several boxes of donuts from Anna Maria Donuts) to distract my family while I headed back to Historic Pine Avenue to take advantage of some of the truly world-class shopping right on the Island.

    Anna Maria Island Shopping
    Anna Maria Shopping

    My first stop was Tide and Moon Jewelry, a place where I always love to go and check out gorgeous handmade pendants. On this visit I was very pleased to pick up an adorable mustard-colored clutch that rivaled anything I saw at the Couch outlet for cuteness and style, but at a much better price. Then I popped by Pink & Navy (a truly world-class shop that I will talk about at more length in a future post) for some cool Shwood sunglasses before finishing up my trip at Beach Bums to grab some cute local t-shirts.

    Tide and Moon clutch bag
    Tide and Moon Clutch bag

    The shirts were welcomed, just as I suspected they might be. Everyone had spent too much time at AMI beach and were inside nursing their sunburns. I helped everyone apply aloe to the various shades of red emerging on their skin and helped the brush the sand off their shoulders because I’m nice like that!

    I slipped on my new, eco-friendly wooden sunglasses and went to spend some time relaxing by the pool. Hey shopping is hard work, and I do like the outdoors just fine as long as there’s no sand involved. We’ll be back to visit Anna Maria soon – my family needs to learn how to pace themselves, and I’ll have the new University Town Center Mall in Lakewood Ranch to visit.

    It’ll be a nice day trip to be sure: but overall, I’ll be happiest to visit my favorite stores and stay in my favorite property on Anna Maria Island. 

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