Sarasota Beachfront Hotels

Sarasota Shopping

The single most exciting shopping district in the Sarasota area is St. Armand's Circle. Conveniently and beautifully situated on Lido Key, this island-shopping destination is perfect for everyone. Beautiful beaches - some rated among the best in the country, amazing dining options from handmade waffle cones with hand-dipped ice cream to longstanding traditional restaurants both formal and casual can be found here.

St. Armand's Circle is a shopper's paradise. Beach, palm tree themed items and souvenirs exist here, but this is not your average, run of the mill board walk style shopping. Some high-end retailers have opted to locate stores here, and those are interspersed with unique apparel and home decor stores. There are toy stores, shoe stores, and just about any other kind of store you can imagine, all arranged in an easy to navigate circle, with plenty of on street parking.

Many of the businesses located on St. Armand's Circle are family owned and operated, so the owner just might be your cashier. Staff members at all of the stores are outgoing and friendly, and will provide dining advice, direct you to the best shop to meet your needs, or just offer up some down home hospitality. Many stores permit pets to visit, and you will see water bowls along the way just outside the door to some of the shops. There is even a specialty store just for your pets.

There are plenty of places to sit and rest around the palm tree lined circle, whether you choose to sit on a bench and people watch, or have a drink and a bite to eat at one of the many outdoor dining establishments. The circular arrangement of the shopping district is perfect, as you begin at one end and simply shop your way around the circle before heading home, laden with packages filled with items unique to the area.

The Circus Ring of Fame is a sidewalk filled with the stars of circus performers, similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and is a must see. This is a tribute to the Ringling family, as Sarasota is circus country! The island on which St. Armand's Circle is located was purchased by John Ringling many years ago, and his intention was actually to provide an entertainment and shopping complex here. There are also galleries filled with beautiful art work and pieces both for viewing and for purchase. There is a hotel just down the island, on Lido Beach, so you never even have to leave.

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