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Best Tampa/St. Petersburg Shopping

AOL PICK from our Editors

While endless strip malls and stand-alone stores are everywhere, the best shopping in Tampa Bay revolves around the big malls. The complexes haven’t forsaken the Tampa Bay area, some of them double- and triple-tiered with all the retail stores, boutiques, bar and eateries you’ve come to expect. Tampa Bay will never be confused with Paris or Rome for couture or fashion—it’s mostly casual wear in Florida except for rare formal occasions—but if you need something more tropical than the woolies you brought with you from Michigan, forgot to bring a whatnot, or you’re just the type who gets a high hanging out at a mall, you can accomplish that. The most popular malls on the Tampa side of the bay include Westfield Citrus Park  mall, Tampa International Plaza and Westshore Plaza; in St. Pete it’s Tyrone Square with Westfield Countryside in Clearwater.

Channelside Bay Plaza

Neighborhood: Channel District

One of the fastest-growing areas of Tampa with high-rise condominiums, bars, dining and entertainment venues, Channelside Tampa also presents plenty of specialty shops to whet the appetites of arriving passengers from the cruise ships.

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Channelside Bay Plaza  

International Plaza and Bay Street

Neighborhood: Westshore

If you can’t do without your Gucci, head to the International Plaza and Bay Street. This upscale shopping mall boasts high-end retailers such as Tiffany, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton as well as anchors such as Nordstrom, Dillard’s and Neiman Marcus. You can even buy the latest iPhone or Mac at The Apple Store.

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International Plaza and Bay Street  

Oldsmar Flea Market

Neighborhood: Oldsmar

With its 1,000 dealer spaces the Oldsmar Flea Market is as much an attraction as it is a shopping destination. There are new and old items, antiques, electronics and even fresh produce (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). There’s free parking and admission with live entertainment on weekends from noon to 4PM.

Wagonwheel Flea Market

Neighborhood: Kenwood

One of the biggest and best flea markets in the country, the Wagon Wheel hosts 1,100 dealers and contains a huge variety of merchandise from antiques to produce. It’s so big, it even has a tram which travels around the market and the average daily attendance is 20,000. It’s hard to leave without finding something you just can’t live without.

BayWalk

Neighborhood: Downtown St. Petersburg

Located three blocks from the St. Petersburg Pier, BayWalk is a two-story, open-air shopping center that opened in the fall of 2000. National chains such as EB Games and Sunglass Hut mix with locally owned shops, food, wine and a 20-screen Muvico theater. BayWalk is on the Downtown Looper trolley route, so it’s a good waypoint for touring downtown St. Pete.

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BayWalk  
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