Sure, the Panama City area has its fair share of tacky souvenir shops. But if you know where to look, you can find smart, local and handcrafted gifts that reflect the laid-back beach lifestyle. Here’s a rundown of five shops where you can go to bring a little bit of Florida back home with you.
Wild Root Coffee and Apothecary
This tranquil café and gift shop is all about wellness. Come for the creative drinks, such as palo santo–infused lattes and goji-chrysanthemum tea, and then peruse the shop of Instagram-worthy home decor, including locally made soy wax candles, crystals and even fossilized ammonite (an ancient take on the seashells you’d find on area beaches).
The Salt Shed & Company
This family-owned home and garden store occupies a retro 1970s service station. Here, you’ll find such Florida-made gifts as Soap Tree Emporium soaps (in scents like sea salt and driftwood or bonfire bliss), cypress fish statues and driftwood lamps. Outside is a garden center stocked with flowers, succulents and air plants.
Panama City Beach Winery
You might not associate the Panhandle with fine merlots and chardonnays, but this winery is putting a uniquely Florida spin on the tasting-room experience. Its line of quirky fruit wines is made with everything from guavas and mangoes to key limes and pineapples — there’s even a 100 percent banana wine.
Salty Mermaid Marketplace
This kitschy-cool beach lifestyle store is stocked with flamingo straw totes, silver sea turtle charms and capiz-shell trinket boxes. The offerings change with the season, meaning you might also find mermaid-tail Christmas stockings and driftwood wreaths.
Located in historic St. Andrews, this waterfront boutique and music venue focuses on eco-friendly, fair-trade and recycled souvenirs. The laidback hippie vibe extends to the attached bar, which serves great beer, brunch and pies.