Miami may have plenty of ocean, but it's a far cry from a genuine beach town. For a true sandals-and-wind experience á la San Diego, take a drive up the cost to Jacksonville Beach. Once a sleepy town, this North Florida city is now packed with killer resorts, dining stars and shopping haunts that represent the local flair.
Forgo the souvenirs in exchange for some resident gear. Rosie True is one of the few places off A1A that sells designer duds. You'll find the usuals like Alice & Trixie, Michael Stars and Ella Moss, but local style definitely dictates the inventory: sandals, tunics, casual tees.
Just down the way from Rosie True is shoe and accessories boutique, Emly Benham. The sales associate claims there's no one else in the area that sells the luxury brands Emly carries: Miu Miu, Prada and Jimmy Choo. And while these sole mates may not be in your travel budget, the shop also carries scarves, handbags and fun baubles that are easier on the wallet.
In our opinion, the best vacation shopping is done at those quirky shops (the kind youwould never walk into at home) that seem to have no rhyme or reason. That's exactly what you will find at It's Eclectic. Fittingly name, this jewelry and things emporium features original designs from NYC and LA designers. From silver-dollar-sized rings to bedazzled necklaces, It's Eclectic truly lives up to its name.
Ashes' Boutique owner and resident artist Dana Roby stocks her store with simple white tops (tanks, sweaters, T-shirts) that carry her original sketch somewhere on the fabric. Honestly, her women's line may be a little too mature for you, but her kids line is impossibly adorable. As an added bonus, the boutique doubles as a cafe, complete with a menu of sweets, sandwiches and, yeah, tea.