AOL PICK from our Editors
Just a few years ago, Neapolitans had to travel the 110 miles east to Miami to shop for a glamorous designer dress or a perfectly cut Italian suit. Today, they can run out on a moment’s notice to boutiques and shopping complexes where upscale stores have taken up residence. Naples does have one unique advantage over most shopping destinations: Take a look in the consignment shops where the moneyed set, tired of their pricey designer clothes after one or two wearings, drop them off for resale. There are beautiful home decor items on offer, as well, along with some unusual European imports, so be prepared to browse.
Neighborhood: Vanderbilt Beach
Shopping for, shall we say, “gently used” items in Naples comes with the assurance that they will be just that. Owner Kelly Wood is extremely choosy about what she decides to sell, so you’ll discover amazing finds in mint condition, from designers like Escada, Anne Klein, Juicy Couture and Jones New York, along with contemporary labels like Abercrombie & Fitch. The store carries a wide range of sizes and with most pieces reduced by 40 to 60%, there’s no excuse for any responsible fashionista not to check it out.
More Details on Hazel’s Closet Upscale Consignment
Neighborhood: Park Shore
This assortment of mostly one-off, high-end boutiques comprises a mix of everything: men’s Italian clothing; women’s fashions, swimwear, lingerie and shoes; luggage and travel accessories; jewelry—vintage, custom-designed and famous-name—and even art galleries. And because any smart retail developer knows that shopping makes people very hungry, the Village satisfies whether it’s coffee at the Villaggio Café, a quick sugar rush at Ben & Jerry’s, a casual bite at The Village Pub or a long, leisurely dinner at one of four lovely restaurants, including Cloyde’s Steak and Lobster House. There’s also a marina here, since it’s on the water, and on any given evening, there may be live music (the website has up-to-date details).
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Neighborhood: Old Naples
Every inch of every block of the 5-mile Downtown Naples district is immaculate so as to appear like a scale model one would find in an architect’s office. Cobblestone sidewalks stretch languorously past pink and yellow buildings with arched doorways and ornate columns, punctuated by meticulously maintained landscaping. Enter any of these to discover specialty boutiques carrying designer clothing, fashion accessories and jewelry (don’t miss The Best of Everything for an almost overwhelming experience), art galleries, and plenty of cafes and restaurants. The von Liebig Art Center has rotating exhibits of work by local and international artists and sponsors a series of juried art shows throughout the year. Two of our favorite restaurants—Bistro 821 and Mangrove Cafe—are here, along with the well-priced Jolly Cricket gastropub and the home of Abbot’s Frozen Custard, just the ticket for cooling down on a hot day.
More Details on Fifth Avenue South
Neighborhood: Park Shore
Beverly Hills has Rodeo Drive, Palm Beach has Worth Avenue, and Naples has the Waterside Shops. The difference is that this is a shopping compound rather than a street, and within it are beautiful seating areas situated in view of artfully designed infinity-edge fountains, with outdoor bars and indoor-outdoor cafes. Thoughtfully, the developers arranged to include among Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Van Cleef & Arpels, Hermès, St. John, Gucci, Burberry and Louis Vuitton an array of contemporary fashion boutiques such as BCBG Max Azria, Ralph Lauren and Juicy Couture. It’s not all fashion, though—Swarovski crystal, M.A.C. cosmetics, Pottery Barn, Starbucks, Tumi luggage, Soma Intimates, Papyrus stationery and Barnes & Noble are also in the mix.
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It’s a bit of a drive to Coconut Point, about an hour, but if you’re looking to shop until you drop, this would be the place. The outdoor mall is part of a 500-acre complex that includes condos and offices, along with 100-plus retail stores, a multi-screen theater and several dozen restaurants. This collection includes every mall store imaginable; whatever your budget, you can walk away with your arms full. There’s Coach for splurging and Ross Dress for Less for bargain hunters. Get rubbed at Massage Envy, spritzed at Perfumania, shady at Solstice Sunglass Boutique and wired for sound at the Apple Store. Hungry? Do the quick lunch at Panera Bread or tuck into a fat steak at Ruth’s Chris. The list goes on and on, so don’t plan to drop by here in a hurry.
More Details on Coconut Point Mall
Neighborhood: Old Naples
This is the Naples incarnation of the festival market; the maritime-themed shops here are mostly kitschy, with souvenirs, handmade jewelry, bags and soaps, golf clothing, and specialty stores, but strolling through it over the wood-plank ramps and walkways and stopping for a bite on the covered, open-air deck of the Riverwalk make for a pleasant couple of hours.
More Details on The Old Marine Marketplace at Tin City
Neighborhood: Coquina Sands
This is the neighborhood mall, with Dillard’s, Macy’s, Sears and JCPenney as anchors and a composite of mall stores connecting them. Over the past several years, the roster of stores has been updated to include hipper retailers, such as Charlotte Russe, Abercrombie & Fitch and G by GUESS, but the old reliables—GAP, Bakers Shoes, Champs, Victoria’s Secret—remain, along with nail and hair salons, bookstores, card and gift stores and more. If you’ve ever visited a suburban shopping mall, you’ve come across what’s here, but in a town full of mainly upscale retail venues, it’s nice to know that this middle-of-the-road option is available if you need to grab a new pair of khakis or some Chuck Taylors on the fly.
More Details on Coastland Center