A hop, skip and a jump away from the water is another kind of paradise: Ellenton Premium Outlets, off I-75 exit 224. Here you’ll find a variety of designer outlet stores selling everything from clothes to cosmetics and cookware – all at up to 65 percent off. Find your perfect designer handbag at Coach, scoop up great deals on duds for the whole family at Gap, and hit The Luggage Factory for a new suitcase to bring it all home in.
There are more than 130 shops in all, including Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Nike and Kenneth Cole. Once you work up an appetite, stop into the food court, or get a sweet treat from Kilwin’s, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory or Starbucks. There’s even a play area for the kids so you can rest while they exert some energy.
In the mood for more bargain-hunting? Head to Red Barn Flea Market in Bradenton. One of Florida’s most popular flea markets, the Red Barn features more than 650 booths selling, well, just about everything. Stroll the stands offering clothes to collectibles, and don’t forget to pick out some farm-fresh local produce for you to savor during your stay.
And Main Street at Lakewood Ranch, just off of I-75 exit 213, offers more than 20 boutiques filled with fashions, gifts and décor.