Shopaholics should head straight for Lido Key  and the tony shops and boutiques of St. Armands Circle. Parking is a problem on weekends, and especially on beach-worthy weekends, but thankfully the layout of the circle is perfect for walking, allowing you to park at the first available spot and spend the rest of the day browsing the dozens of shops in the area.
Clothing stores include both chain operations like Fresh Produce, Lily Pulitzer, and the Sarasota-based Oh My Gauze (352 St. Armands Circle, 941/388-1964), as well as more unique local options like Casa Smeralda (468 John Ringling Blvd., 941/388-1305), which features everything from wedding gowns to belly-dancing outfits.
Proprietor Cleon Dixon owns two interesting shops—Binjara Traders (327 John Ringling Blvd., 941/388-3335) and Ivory Coast (15 N. Blvd. of Presidents, 941/388-1999)—that feature fashion and accessories from around the world.
There are also a number of jewelry stores, ranging from traditional goldsmiths like Armel Jewelers (22 N. Blvd. of Presidents, 941/388-3711) to funkier boutiques like Uniquity (21 Fillmore Dr., 941/388-2212), as well as home-goods stores like Garden Argosy (361 St. Armands Circle, 941/388-6402) that are worth checking out.
While shopping downtown isn’t quite as cohesive an experience as heading to St. Armands, the array of boutiques and shops in central Sarasota  is a nice complement to the many art galleries in the area. For clothing, try the eco-minded Juno and Jove (100 Central Ave., 941/957-0000) or the international flair at both Lemon Tree Boutique (1465 Main St., 941/953-2242) and The Girl from Brazil (1650 Main St., 941/363-0506).
Toy Lab (1529 Main St., 941/363-0064) is a fantastic independently owned toy store with lots of unusual items and a quirky kid-centric vibe. There’s even a gun store, the family-owned Bullet Hole (1576 Main St., 941/957-1996), which has been in downtown Sarasota for more than three decades.