Anna Maria Island’s newly restored Pine Avenue offers Martha’s Vineyard charm on the outside and Palm Beach chic inside 10 refreshingly original stores and art galleries. This new “it” destination for sophisticated Gulf coast shoppers is the brainchild of restaurateur Ed Chiles, son of former governor Lawton Chiles, and his developer/partner, Michael Coleman. Their vision was to design a walkable village center recreating the Old Florida character of Pine Avenue at its heyday 100 years ago. “My wife saw historic photos of tourists and residents promenading along Pine Avenue and said, ‘This is what our founding fathers intended our main street to be,” says Coleman.
Ciao Bella! Jo-Ann Lefner curates an irresistible blend of repurposed furniture (from factories, barns and old buildings) and unique apparel, including necklaces by CordoBags of seeds, nuts or yellow corn, like this masterpiece of orange peels ($38). Bella by the Sea, 218C Pine Ave., Anna Maria (941) 896-4848.
She’s Got Game The assortment at Pink & Navy runs from Old Florida papier-mâché chandeliers to sexy but ladylike dresses from Judith March, designed especially for game day in darling prints and team colors. Owner Janaie Rudacille’s picks are not to be missed. Pink & Navy, 216C Pine Ave., Anna Maria (941) 567-4000.
Island Style A chic general store dripping with style, Island Cabana offers fare from its signature “rosette” quilts beloved by coeds to stunning woven grass Bosom Buddy bags in a dizzying array of trims and clasps ($50 to $180). The Island Cabana, 405C Pine Ave., Anna Maria (941) 896-4946.
Arts Haven Former Florida first lady Rhea Chiles promotes the arts on Anna Maria with a studio that offers classes, USF lectures, discussion groups and a venue where artists, poets, musicians, performers and writers can exhibit their talent. The Studio at Gulf and Pine, 10101 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria (941) 778-1906.
Old Salt, New Digs Kelly Kary was first to sign up for retail space on the new Pine Avenue, moving her emporium from downtown Sarasota to Anna Maria with the same exceptional olive oils, vinegars, tapenades, pastas and an incredible selection of sea salts. Olive Oil Outpost, 401C Pine Ave., Anna Maria (941) 896-3132.
Comedy Central Take a shopping break at Emerson’s Studio, where Emerson Quillin showcases his original art, published cartoon prints and products featuring his art (licensees make everything from greeting cards to apparel). Emerson’s Studio Store, 317 C Pine Ave., Anna Maria (941) 896-9889.
More Island Finds While you’re on the island, check out the new treasures at some of our longtime favorite shops. At Irene’s Resort Wear (5308 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, 941-778-1161) travelers are exclaiming over Joseph Ribkoff’s chic wash-and-wear tops, like the two-piece set at left ($202), and dresses in stunning new prints. At The White Egret (10006 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, 941-778-3782), we love Confetti by Mariposa, a new collection of drinkware and serving pieces. And at Room with a Hue (12518 Cortez Road W., Cortez, 941-798-9034), where AnnMarie Nicholas handpaints witty beach shack signs and vintage furniture, the adorable new fiddleback chair will add coastal charm to any home.
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