If you want a unique souvenir of your Sarasota stay, the Historic Downtown Village is the place to play.
Ringling built the bungalows and cottages to house some of its circus employees back in 1925. Today, the 14 businesses here are all owned by women.
Insider Tip: Every 4th Friday, the shops stay open late and offer specials. From 5 to 9 p.m., enjoy outdoor live music and food trucks.
The Artful Giraffe
Giraffes have big hearts, and they take care of their own. The original owner’s grandmother loved giraffes, and she loved that meaning. So was born The Artful Giraffe, selling all sorts of local artwork, from soaps to glass plates, ring holders to jewelry.
Sue, the owner, also runs the pottery painting shop next door. Come in during regular hours to paint. It’s fun and relaxing. Just make sure you’ll still be in Sarasota while your piece is finished – the glazing and firing process takes 3 to 4 days.
The Tea House
This is the perfect tea drinker’s getaway, with more than 130 varieties of loose-leaf tea in store. All can be prepared hot or over ice. They’re sold by the cup, kettle or even in bulk, so you can take your favorite home.
The Crystal Cove
Do you believe in the power of crystals? If you’re curious, the sheer volume of crystals in this building will amazing you. There are so many rocks to choose from, whether or not you believe they hold any energy.
Everything here is hand-picked from India and brought back twice a year. Originally from India herself, the owner loves Sarasota because it’s so family-friendly. The tapestries are all recycled saris, and they are beautiful.
Keffie’s EcoChic Boutique
From the local art and honey to flavored salts from Georgia and essential oils made in Sarasota and Naples, everything inside is eco-friendly and sustainable.
The Breakfast House
This little house is so darling and colorful. With bright orange, purple, blue and pink chairs, you won’t have a dull breakfast! (Oh … and the food’s great, too.)
This consignment shop is full of all kinds of clothing, jewelry, handbags and shoes. If you’ve got the time, it’s a fun store to look through for some vintage clothing. The owner, Marche, is just the sweetest thing.
The Cookie Cottage
The specialty is pre-ordered cookie cut-outs of anything you’d like. But you can also walk in and grab a cookie or a cupcake, for your sugar fix.
The Historic Downtown Village is located in the 1800 block of Fruitville Road in Downtown Sarasota. Head here to check out all the other amazing boutique stores – and learn a bit about our rich history.