As if perpetually sunny skies and some of the world’s most beautiful beaches weren’t enough, Southwest Florida offers an abundance of shopping options for even the most discriminating buyers.  Three signature landmarks illustrate the area’s appeal.

Discerning shoppers have long heralded Fifth Avenue South as the perfect combination of a historic main street and world class shopping.  Fifth Avenue originally served Naples’ first residents, the Calusa Indians, before becoming a road in the late 1800s.  Today, the avenue spans 12 blocks and 50 buildings, including the eclectic venues of Tin City, Crayton Cove, and Bayfront shopping areas.  Sophisticated boutiques compete with colorful art galleries, sidewalk cafes and first class dining establishments.  Elegant banyan trees overhang mini-parks and walkways to provide shade to those searching for that unique gift. At night, the avenue comes alive with theater performances by the Naples players at the Sugden Community Theater and a year-round schedule of street art shows, sidewalk sales and special events.  Ample free parking is provided on the street or in a nearby lot.

The newly opened Coconut Point Town Center is considered the crown jewel for shopping in fast-growing Estero – located on the West Coast of Florida halfway between Ft. Myers and Naples.  As the focus for a 500-acre master planned community, Coconut Point is more than just a shopping center.  The property includes 90,000 square feet of office condominiums, and residential units – all flanked by acres of lakes and meandering boardwalks.  The Mediterranean architectural style compliments the 1.2 million square feet of open air retail with more than 150 stores and 15 restaurants.  Anchor tenants include Dillard’s, Barnes and Noble, Sports Authority, Tommy Bahama, and Ann Taylor, among others. Designed as a Main Street-style shopping destination, Coconut Point is the place for vacationers and residents alike to gather, shop, dine, work, and play.  A 20-screen megaplex theater lets you be the first to enjoy the latest films in sumptuous style. Fine dining is available at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, the Blue Water Bistro, and the Grill Room.  Those with more casual tastes can enjoy a drink and appetizer at Pagatelli’s Cucina on the patio or sample bison at Ted Turner’s Montana Grill.  The open air presentation of the restaurants allows you to enjoy your dining experience in al fresco comfort. As an added convenience, shuttles are available to pick you up and deposit you at signature destinations around the property.

Moving further North, Fort Myers is home to the Edison Mall which is recognized as the largest mall in southwest Florida.  The “L” shaped layout makes it easy to find stores, such as Dillard’s, Macy’s, the Disney Store, and other perennial favorites.  Strolling the mall’s full interior is the equivalent to walking more than a mile, providing additional appeal for those looking to exercise while they shop. More than 20 eateries and 160 specialty vendors offering everything from resort wear to other Florida favorites complete the experience. New tile floors, soft seating areas, and a sparkling, renovated fountain in air-conditioned comfort provide further appeal.  Edison Mall is located at the intersection of US 41 and Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.

Mark Washburn is a real estate agent serving the Greater Fort Myers area. Mark and his team can assist clients in communities throughout Southwest Florida including Fort Myers, Estero, Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral and Bonita Springs.

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