When it comes to things to do in Sarasota, Florida, there’s no better place to spend a morning or afternoon soaking up the chic shopping experience than this popular stretch of Palm Avenue.
While the most popular stretch of Sarasota’s Palm Avenue is only a meager .2 miles in length, intersecting Coconut Ave in the north to McAnsh Square to the south, it comes tightly packed with a range of shopping experiences from fine art galleries to high fashion to antiques. Combining an Old-Florida aesthetic with modern and chic commercial appeal, the picture-perfect pedestrian-friendly street is (appropriately) lined with palm trees and serves as the perfect place to spend a morning strolling and sightseeing.
Buddy Brew Coffee [1289 North Palm Avenue]
What Sarasota lacks in artisan coffee shops, this alfresco spot in a petite pocket space more than makes up for, with the best cold brew you’ve ever had, made from beans sourced from farmers around the globe and roasted on-site. In fact, while they offer hot drinks like espressos, Americanos, cortados, lattes, and more, the drink you’ll see being imbibed the most in the location’s outdoor seating area is something they call the Cold Brew Float, made with their cold brew, vanilla gelato, and house-made caramel.
Art to Walk On [16 & 18 South Palm Avenue]
Hanging from the walls of Art to Walk On you’ll find hand-knotted carpets from Persia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Ireland, France, Tibet, Nepal, and pre-Communist China. With a roomy layout, stylish parquet flooring, and bright lighting, the store feels like part museum, part retail location. The carpets range dramatically in size, so you can get one for just about any room in the house.
Galleria Silecchia [12 South Palm Ave]
Recognized as the best art gallery in Sarasota by multiple local publications several times since the turn of the twenty-first century, Galleria Silecchia has built a reputation as one of the premier contemporary galleries in the area. The collection includes glass, bronze, steel, aluminum, and ceramic works, plus mixed media and original oil paintings from artists around the world. Check out their exhibits page to get a sneak peek to what’s to come – for summer 2018, expect Yuri Gorbachev, a Russian painter and sculptor; Hiroshi Yamano, a Japanese glass artist; and Glenn Harrington, a renowned American oil painter.
Marianne E Designs [56 South Palm Avenue]
Don’t bother looking for a website, because Marianne E Designs doesn’t have one. What they do have, however, is a rich collection of items that are perfect to take home or give as gifts, including home accessories, small furniture, silk flower arrangements, antiques, collectibles, and other new and vintage finds that keep the store’s loyal customers coming back.
Martin Freeman [75 South Palm Avenue]
Men, if you need a little personal service in your quest to dress well, Martin Freeman is the place. Catering to “the discerning gentleman,” as their website boldly proclaims, Martin Freeman has served customers since 2011 and has been consistently recognized as among the best retail stores in Sarasota. Expect everything from pajamas to tuxedos and all the accessories in between. It’s not all about trends, either: While the clothing is indeed timeless, the beauty of Martin Freeman’s personal service model is that they take under consideration and build around your existing tastes.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens [811 South Palm Avenue]
While technically outside of the Palm Avenue’s main downtown strip, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is always worth a visit – and a stroll. Opening at 10 a.m. daily, the 14 acres of exotic plants – many collected from the wild on more than 200 scientific expeditions – feature exhibits that rotate in and out (there’s currently an Andy Warhol one). Other highlights include the The Conservatory, Bamboo Garden, and Butterfly Garden.