Where to Shop in Tampa Bay

Shopping in Tampa Bay
Photo by StockStudioX from iStock

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When you’re in the Tampa area, you should be prepared to do some retail therapy. Find out where you should shop in Tampa Bay for a unique and rewarding experience.

Johns Pass

In 1848, a pirate named John Levique was the first person to go through Johns Pass. The waterway only existed after a hurricane swept through the area and made the opening. Eventually, the pass caused the area to become a fishing village. Now, Johns Pass is a popular tourist attraction in Pinellas County. 

The pass is located in the popular town of Madeira Beach. The area is home to more than 100 waterfront merchants. Whether you want to do some shopping, eat a nice meal, or go jet-skiing, Johns Pass has what you need.

The complex is outdoors, but has some covering to protect you on rainy days. Many of the shops are unique boutiques that you’ll only find in Johns Pass. Other shops are popular chains that have souvenirs for you to commemorate your time in the area.

After you do some shopping, you can enjoy a meal at one of the several restaurants. Some popular options include Sculley’s, the Friendly Fisherman, and Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. 

One of the highlights of shopping in Johns Pass is its proximity to the beach. It’s so close that you can walk to the beach, but you might not be able to because you have so many shopping bags.

600 block of Central Avenue

Located in St. Pete, the 600 block of Central Avenue is a prime place for shopping in Tampa Bay. The streets are lined with boutiques that were built decades ago. In fact, some of them date back to the 1920s. As you shop the streets, you can admire the architecture.

Prior to 2008, many of the buildings in this area were on the chopping block and about to be demolished. The only stores you could find were run-down antique shops. But now, the area is home to art galleries, boutiques, and more. You can stop into the Fourward Glass Gallery, which is home to hand-blown pipes. If you want to do some up-scale shopping, check out Bijou. There’s even a yarn shop that caters to people who love stitching their own crafts.

Also in the area, the Crislip Arcade is where you can explore some of the more artsy shops in St. Pete. Local artists sell their creations, and the White Pine Studio allows shoppers to browse a selection of hand-crafted jewelry. 

If you work up an appetite while you shop, there’s no shortage of restaurants or eateries. On a hot day, head to the Hyppo for a gourmet ice pop. For dinner, check out one of the locally-owned establishments. 

International Plaza

Although there are plenty of places to go shopping in Tampa, few of those places are as elegant as International Plaza. The complex is the place to go for high-end shopping and an upscale experience.

Inside International Plaza, you’ll find over 200 stores. Although they have a little of everything, the mall specializes in luxury brands. While there, you can check out stores like Crate & Barrel, Alex and Ani, and American Eagle Outfitters. 

When you’re ready for sustenance, visit one of the several restaurants. Have a romantic dinner at Ocean Prime or Capital Grill, or just grab something quick at Chipotle. There are more options than you might imagine.

As far as parking goes, International Plaza makes it easy. There are three parking garages, all of which have ample parking. If you drive an electric vehicle, you can charge it at the Bay Street garage. 

Ellenton Premium Outlets

Outlet shopping is a great way to buy quality products for a low price. The next time you’re in Sarasota, head to the Ellenton Premium Outlets for some great deals and and a positive vibe. 

At this outlet, you’ll find name-brand products for as much as 65% off retail prices. Walk through the venue and you’ll see stores like Nike, Kate Spade, and much more. There are luxury brands as well as other stores. In addition to having clothing stores, the outlet also has shoe stores and luggage stores. There is a total of 130 stores and it’s the only outlet in the Bradenton and Sarasota area. 

Located only 30 miles from the beach, the Ellenton Outlets are open year-round. With restaurants and amenities available, the outdoor shopping center has enough to keep you busy all day. 

Main St & Broadway

Dunedin is a charming place, and the stores on Main Street and Broadway will remind you of that fact. However, don’t expect to find big-box stores and chains as you walk the streets. The area might be a tourist destination, but is home to quaint stores that have variety.

While you walk around, you’ll come across one of the oldest breweries in Florida. Have a drink and cool off, or buy a pack of your favorite brew. If you need some new accessories, you can check out the custom jewelry shops. 

People with more unique interests, like the metaphysical or antiques, won’t be disappointed. There are several shops that cater to such interests. From clothing stores to ice cream shops, this area of Dunedin has it all. This is what makes it one of the top shopping destinations in the Tampa Bay region. 

Beach Blvd

You can’t go to the Tampa area without stopping in Gulfport for some shopping. Well, you could, but you’d be missing out. Gulfport is a charming town that’s full of fun boutiques. The best shopping in the town is along Beach Boulevard. 

One must-stop shop is Bo-Tiki. A beach boutique, this shop has clothing, jewelry, art, and more. Unlike some tourist shops, Bo-Tiki doesn’t have your typical cheesy souvenirs. 

Another unique destination is the Brenda McMahon Gallery. Inside the gallery, you’ll come across hand-made wall art tiles, porcelain vessels, and fiber art. Whether you’re an art-lover or a window-shopper, you’ll enjoy the experience and may even find something to take home.

There are plenty of other shops in the area, all of which are funky and welcoming. Of course, there are also many great restaurants to satisfy your taste buds. 

For a list of the great restaurants to try out while you are shopping, click here.

**Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).

Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida and beyond, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.

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june, 2024

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