Shop Till You Drop – Northwest Florida’s Hidden Shopping Secrets

June 27, 2022

Coming to the Emerald Coast and not hitting the beaches would be like a baseball game without the hot dog, a movie with no popcorn, the surf without the turf. You get the idea. A visit to Florida’s Gulf Coast wouldn’t be complete without a trip to our sandy shores. But don’t overlook the fun to be had shopping in Destin and on 30A. We’ve got everything from quirky beach shops and expansive antique malls to funky boutiques and novelty shops. Here’s the low down on some of our favorites!

For the Outdoorsman

Fishing, hiking, and golfing are all fun pastimes, but you may not want to lug your gear when traveling. Fisherman will rejoice at Half Hitch in Destin. With rods, reels, clothing, and accessories, it’s your one-stop shop before getting on the water. If you’re on 30A, check out Stinky’s Bait Shack for more than just bait and tackle. You’ll also find apparel, gifts, and gear, but no need to rush. Grab a cold brew and listen to live performances in their family-friendly listening room!

If golf is your game, the Edwin Watts Golf Store in Destin will readily outfit you with apparel and equipment. Since looking good on the course is only part of the game, practice your swing on golf simulators and fire any questions to their full-time PGA professional on staff. Limited on time? The Bass Pro Shop has everything under the sun for your outdoor adventures, whether it be fishing, hunting, or boating. They even have an archery section if you’re on the prowl for a crossbow!

For the Artist

You’ll find 30A a bustling community filled with artists, many drawing inspiration from the small beachside communities dotted along the Scenic Highway. The 30A Art Walk is a fun night out and a great opportunity to take in various galleries on the first Friday of every month. Extended hours let you play all day before browsing the displays, meeting the artists, and enjoying refreshments and live entertainment. With so much to see, a map might come in handy to help explore this vibrant art scene. Travel from Miramar Beach to Inlet Beach, stopping along the way to explore all types of visual media.

Pro Tip: Call first as some galleries only participate seasonally.

Want to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece for yourself? Book a class at The Shard Shop in Grayton Beach while the kids release their inner Picasso at Rock Paper Scissors 30A in Santa Rosa Beach.

For the Fashionista

Since you’ll be spending a good bit of time at the beach, maybe it’s time to splurge on a new swimsuit. We can’t think of a better place than Ophelia, with locations in Sandestin, Seacrest Beach, and Seaside. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, try Oko Lifestyle in Watersound and Rosemary Beach for bathing suits, beach attire, and personal styling services. And for those diehards who exercise even when on vacation, check out Love 2 Run in Inlet Beach for running shoes, apparel, and accessories.

Offering a wide selection of clothing for men and women, Tommy Bahama at Grand Boulevard in Sandestin will have you both looking your best. And no outfit would be complete without the perfect pair of shades, so hit the Lens Bar in Santa Rosa Beach before calling it a day. Pressed for time? There’s something for everyone at the Silver Sands Outlet in Destin. With over 100 name-brand stores and several restaurants, why not make an afternoon of it?

For the Surfer

There’s nothing like riding that perfect wave, and although winter is the best time for surfing in Destin, you’ll find plenty of ways to catch a wave at Gulf Wind Paddle and Surf in Santa Rosa Beach. Browse around, then rent or purchase that perfect surfboard, skimboard, paddleboard, or body board. They’ll be happy to store it for you for an additional fee, and LD Surf Shop in Santa Rosa Beach offers an excellent selection of surf apparel, boards, shoes, and suncare products. Should your chase for the perfect swell land you in Seaside, Ono Surf Shop can readily accommodate your swimwear, footwear, and accessory needs.

Whether catching waves at Okaloosa Island Pier in Fort Walton Beach, Pompano Joe’s in Destin, or Blue Mountain Beach on 30A, you‘ll find friends on and in the water on the Emerald Coast!

For the Collector

Looking for a timeless keepsake, a vintage souvenir, or just feeling nostalgic? Flutterby Antiques in Destin is a lovely shop filled with antiques and collectibles. A wonderful mix of old and new, stock up on furniture, pottery, glassware, and vintage costume jewelry. A short drive will land you in Miramar Beach, and who knows what treasures you’ll find at  Antiques on Holiday and Smith’s Antique Mall?

Record collectors will be happy to find Central Square Records in Seaside featuring new and used vinyl, band t-shirts, posters, and more. Are books your passion? Sun Dog Books is a lively shop with more than just books. Browse for the perfect beach read, games, and puzzles, then grab a gelato and head to the beach!

For the Chef

Although you won’t want to cook every night, preparing a meal or two in your vacation rental is fun, particularly with all the fresh seafood in the area. You’ll find the 30A Farmers Markets an excellent resource for fruits, veggies, and other accompaniments, and the 30A Olive Oil Company in Inlet Beach will put the finishing touches on any meal. Select from oils, bottles of vinegar, spices, and rubs, or pick up a charcuterie grazing box of cured meats and artisanal cheeses.

Modica Market is a gourmet specialty store in Seaside that you simply must see to believe and For the Health of It in Blue Mountain Beach is excellent for organic produce and foodstuffs that accommodate allergies and special diets. Grab picnic supplies and gourmet provisions at Cowgirl Kitchen in Rosemary Beach, or sign up for a virtual cooking class at Williams and Sonoma in Miramar Beach. Whether you’re grilling up the day’s catch or baking a sweet confection for a celebratory event during your stay, you’ll find everything to make your meals memorable in Destin and on 30A!

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