Relaxed southern style amidst historic buildings dotted with chic stores sums up the unique shopping atmosphere you’ll find when you stroll through Pensacola’s downtown. The downtown area is blossoming on all fronts, with an explosion of growth and quaint shops along colorful, crepe myrtle-lined streets.
Shoppers can spend a few hours or an entire day searching for gourmet treats, trendy clothing, hand-made jewelry, fine art and eclectic home furnishings. They’ll quickly realize why the main street downtown, Palafox Street, was named among the “10 Great Streets in America.”
The cornerstone shops on the southern tip of Palafox are The Bodacious Olive and its sister store SoGourmet. With more than 50 imported olive oils and balsamic vinegars, you would be hard pressed to find a larger variety of olive oil this side of Italy. Upstairs visitors find fun kitchen gadgets at SoGourmet, which is also outfitted with a professional-grade demonstration kitchen where the shop holds cooking classes.
Not to miss are the shops at The Artisan, just across the street. You’ll find everything from clothing to hip home goods with a southern twist. And don’t pass up Bubba’s Sweet Spot. Owned by pro-golfer and local boy Bubba Watson, the candy store features house-made candies, chocolates and even an ice cream parlor.
Just down the street, additional local, one-of a kind-shops include Belle Ame, which has fragrant soaps, lotions and candles made right on the premises, and Sparkle Girl’s Boutique with unique handmade-children’s clothing. Indigeaux Denim Bar & Boutique is a fun jeans, accessories and clothing shop filled with pieces you don’t see every day.
If you’re an art lover, you’re in luck because Pensacola’s downtown galleries reflect a diverse and growing art scene. Traditional artisan crafts cozy up to modern paintings and sculpture. Local photographers capture every aspect of our city, from panoramic beach scenes to historic cemeteries. Pensacola jewelers use everything from platinum to pearls to seashells to create amazing, one-of-a-kind high-end and beach-inspired pieces.
Shopping on Saturdays brings additional one-day opportunities for those looking for handmade foods, crafts, jewelry and more. It’s all on display during the Saturday Palafox Market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza. Stroll outdoors under a canopy of trees while experiencing fresh food and music while sampling local honey, sweets, baked goods and produce.
Because of its diversity of items and atmosphere, downtown shopping is an must-do addition to anyone’s beach itinerary.
If you like to shop till you drop, the best part of being near the beach is that you can spend the next day with your toes in the sand, relaxing quite possibly in that new cover up or cute floppy hat you just purchased.
Walk under the canopy of crepe myrtle trees that line Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza in Downtown Pensacola on any given Saturday morning and you’ll find dozens of local farm, food and art vendors and cheerful shoppers at the weekly Palafox Market.
From gourmet food trucks to fine dining with water views, downtown Pensacola offers upscale options for any craving.
Pensacola’s downtown is full of historic sites, but the truth is that with more than 450 years of history behind it, every step you take on its brick sidewalks or city parks is a part of our country’s earliest days and memories.
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