Your Guide to Shopping in St. Armands Circle
It’s time to shop ‘til you drop! Retail therapy is one of our favorite vacation activities. Whether you’re looking for the perfect outfit, a souvenir, or a gift for a loved one, you’ll find it in St. Armands Circle. John Ringling’s shopping circle is a bustling, beautiful promenade just steps from the beach, and it has a lot to offer the seasonal visitor, not to mention those who live here year-round. Here’s what you need to know about shopping in St. Armands circle.
Start planning your Florida getaway when you access our complimentary Destination Guide! Inside, you’ll find our top picks for all of the best things to do and see in the area.
History of St. Armands Circle
The circus magnate who bought the 132 acres that would ultimately be fashioned into The Circle was not the first to own them. That distinction belongs to a Frenchman named Charles St. Amand, who bought the barrier island in the late 19th century.
When the land changed hands, St. Amand’s name was misspelled on the deed as “St. Armand,” a mistake that continues today. Ringling acquired the land in 1917 and started planning a high-end residential and shopping community that was shaped in a circle, just like a circus wagon wheel. Ringling Estates debuted in 1926 with much fanfare, but the real estate crisis put an end to that. It wasn’t until the 1950s that things came alive again on St. Armand’s Key.
St. Armands Circle Today
Today, it’s as much a park-like experience as one of shopping and dining. The Circle is a stunning showcase of Sarasota architecture, flora, and fauna. It hosts art, food and music festivals, as well as 30 pieces of Italian statuary, some from Ringling’s private collection. Over 130 shops and more than 20 eateries call The Circle home, so repeat visits are an absolute must. However, there are some classic St. Armands institutions that really reflect the spirit and the history of this special place.
Where to Go Shopping in St. Armands Circle
1. The Met Fashion House Day Spa & Salon
The grand revival columns and elaborate staircase beckon you to come inside this luxury clothing store. Both a high-end shop and salon, you could easily spend hours pampering yourself here. The sparkling marble floor and the relaxing fountain will make you feel as if you stepped back in time. You’ll definitely want to make The Met Fashion House Day Spa & Salon a stop on your shopping spree!
2. Oh My Gauze!
If you want to look the part of a local, head to Oh My Gauze!. Here, you’ll find a great selection of island resort wear. Pick out a new outfit to wear to your next rooftop dinner date. You’re on vacation– you deserve it!
3. Island Pursuit
Island Pursuit is a similar shop to Oh My Gauze!. They also specialize in island resort wear. If you can’t find something you like at the previously mentioned shop, just head to Island Pursuit! Chances are you’ll be able to finish your breezy, dreamy outfit here.
4. Foxy Lady
For nighttime fashion, Foxy Lady has been dressing the area’s most fashion-forward women at this location since 1984. Their clothes are always on-trend, so you can’t go wrong when shopping here.
5. Armel Jewelers
Don’t forget about accessories, especially your jewelry! After its opening in 1967, Armel Jewelers became a St. Armands Circle staple.
6. The Spice & Tea Exchange® of Sarasota
The Spice & Tea Exchange® of Sarasota is the perfect place to grab a gift for a loved one back home. There are so many spice and tea blends to choose from that it’s hard to pick just one!
7. Clyde Butcher St. Armands Gallery
For something unique to remember your vacation, we recommend visiting the Clyde Butcher St. Armands Gallery. As one of the state’s premiere environmental photographers, it’s fun just to look around. You’ll find tons of gorgeous local wildlife and scenery photos for sale. Hang one up at home!
Book Your Getaway Today
Are you ready to book your getaway? Fun in the sun awaits with Florida Vacation Connection! Enjoy the best shopping in St. Armands Circle, walk the beach, and more when you book your getaway. Browse our vacation homes to start planning today!