Shops We Love

Shop local this holiday with 22 of our favorite places in town to find a unique gift for that special someone.

The prospect of shopping for the holidays can loom large, but don’t fret. We’ve taken the guesswork out of your gift search with our roundup of 22 of our favorite shops around town. These local boutiques and markets offer unique gifts and one-of-a-kind treasures—nothing cookie-cutter here. From the downtown area and College Park to Winter Park and Altamonte Springs, Orlando is blooming with shops offering items to suit every taste: chic clothing and accessories for men and women, repurposed furnishings and vintage collectibles, artisanal products, décor and plants for the home and garden, toys to keep the kids entertained, gear for the outdoor enthusiast—even edible treats for pets (and their humans). Who would have thought that shopping could be so much fun? So, get going!

The Grove
121 E. Welbourne Ave., Winter Park

In December 2014, Meredith Gardner and Emily Williams opened their chic and ultra-feminine boutique, The Grove, in Winter Park. The owners describe it as having a “Palm Beach meets Palm Springs vibe.” The store’s big bright green doors welcome customers to a shop filled with colorful home furnishings and stylish apparel and accessories. The Grove offers a variety of popular brands like Calypso St. Barth, Kate Spade, and Trina Turk. Some of the best-selling items include trendy and affordable eyewear, custom monogrammed trays, and bright accent pillows.

Forema Boutique
300 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 

Forema Boutique carries a mix of boho-style clothing and fun accessories for the fashionista. Located on Winter Park’s chic Park Avenue, it carries some of the most affordable items on the block. You can find a number of gifts under $50, including lightweight scarves, statement necklaces, and stylish sunglasses. Customers love Forema’s shift dresses that run under $30 and graphic tees that range from $15-$25. Aside from apparel and accessories, the shop also sells an array of home items like scented candles, colorful art canvases, and monogrammed mugs. 

Cloak & Dapper
1219 N. Orange Ave., Orlando

For the man with a debonair sense of style and the woman who wants to give the man in her life something special, Cloak & Dapper is for you. Inside, you’ll be offered something to drink while you peruse the brands of clothing and accessories not found at any other Orlando retailer. The shop stocks exclusively American-made items—everything from beard washes and aftershaves to wallets, sunglasses, shoes and shoeshine essentials. In the mix, you’ll find unique gift items like cocktail kits for flying, glasses etched with a map of Orlando, and a brew-your-own beer kit.

2525 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando

Additional locations in College Park and Artegon Marketplace
This eclectic boutique carries both designer and vintage apparel and accessories, but without the high price tag. Labels such as Manolo Blahnik, Kate Spade and Marc Jacobs can be found on the store shelves at half the retail price. These items are “like new”—some of them even still have the tags on. Of course, some of the vintage choices may show the wear and tear of time, but that only adds to the vintage appeal. Dechoes buys and sells new and used clothing and home décor items outright—offering cash or store credit.

Adjectives Market
1215 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs

Additional location in Winter Park
Adjectives Market is for antique enthusiasts, craft lovers, and old souls. The store carries an array of vintage décor and furniture, quality artisan products, and unusual pieces you won’t find anywhere else. Many of the vintage items have been brought from all over the world and the store’s inventory changes daily. Some items can date back to the early 1800s, but Adjectives Market also showcases local artists who are constantly creating custom merchandise (like handcrafted jewelry and personalized dishes) for the store’s customers.

The Lovely Boutique Market
2906 Corrine Drive, Orlando

The Lovely Boutique Market of Audubon Park is just that—lovely. Spacious and bright, this shop of sorts actually is an exhibit space that supports the work of local artisans. The goods are a diverse mix of old and new. Vintage items such as antique clothing, collectible knickknacks and repurposed furniture can be found among one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts such as bath salts, jewelry, framed air plants—even award-winning hot sauce. If you’ve been looking for a pair of tall, stone Chinese Foo dogs for your front entry, this is the place.

The Shoppes of College Park
2308 Edgewater Drive, Orlando

Newly opened, The Shoppes of College Park has an urban vibe with polished concrete floors and industrial lighting. It’s an intimate gallery-style space, located in the same block as the Gallery on the Edge and operated by the same owners. Currently, there are 11 vendors offering a wide array of merchandise such as wall art, ceramic dishes in the shape of woodland creatures, pre-made pie filling, clothing and accessories, jewelry, bath and body products, a stylish tool kit for women, fresh flowers and garden succulents. The shop also offers a custom-embroidery service.

620 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park

Every week, Entwined adds stunning new light fixtures, unique home décor pieces, and beautiful garden accessories to its Winter Park shop. The owner, Judith Giraulo, carefully chooses every item that goes into her store, making sure it is special and distinctive. The store is filled with an array of merchandise, but you will usually only find one of everything. Items from Entwined’s collection of 1930s barware make an incredible gift for friend who likes to entertain, and home design fans who like to play in the yard will love the unusual garden accessories, like the metal armillary and oversized lanterns.

Palmer’s Garden & Goods
2611 Corrine Drive, Orlando

Nestled behind its own lush foliage on Corrine Drive, Palmer’s Garden and Goods holds a treasure-trove of garden delights. Stroll the grounds and search for plants to enhance your outdoor oasis, or browse the novelties in the shop for fun finds like small ceramic gnomes, candles, and both indoor and outdoor décor. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable—ready to help you choose what you need, or assist in designing and installing your dream garden. Palmer’s buys plants locally whenever possible to ensure that they will thrive in Central Florida’s humid subtropical climate. 

Porch Therapy 
3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando

At Porch Therapy, located in a small stall inside East End Market, you’ll find an array of air plants, succulents, herbs and perennials showcased in unique and unexpected ways. A child-sized toy dinosaur acts as a base for an air plant, and colorful succulents are grouped together in a decorative, repurposed box. Other distinctive items found here include a terrarium kit, greeting cards, artists’ prints and goods from local craftsmen. Bring your own pot—or select one from the shop—and commission a specific arrangement. Landscape designs services also are available.

Farris & Foster’s Famous Chocolate Factory
4875 New Broad St., Orlando

A passion for chocolate and commitment to excellence makes Farris & Foster’s Famous Chocolate Factory one of the sweetest shops in town. Each day, the staff busily whips up fresh, delicious treats that keep customers coming back for more. The shop sells pre-filled bags and custom boxes of their most popular items like Triple Chocolate Popcorn or crunchy Chocolate Bark—both make perfect seasonal gifts. Sweet lovers of the non-chocolate variety will find it difficult to resist Farris & Foster’s Caramel Covered Apples and yummy Candy Sticks.

The British Shoppe
809 N. Mills Ave., Orlando

An extensive list of authentic British teas and food, along with a number of English souvenirs and gifts, make The British Shoppe a fan favorite among tourists and locals. Located in the Mills 50 district, the store carries British food staples like white and black pudding, meat pies, and home-style chips. Common gift items include assorted teas paired with accessories like a Brown Betty teapot or British chocolate and biscuits. Also popular is Doctor Who merchandise and British Union Jack mugs. There’s even a selection of British toiletries, such as Pears and Yardley soaps and Radox bath soaks. 

A Comic Shop
114 S. Semoran Blvd., #6, Winter Park

A wildly popular store among the comic fan community, this shop always provides its customers with the newest comics on the market and the best reviews on what to read and what to skip. The store is filled with rows of comics ranging from indie books to cult classics. And there is always someone eager to offer suggestions—whether you are an expert in the comic book world or a newbie. The impressive selection of DC Comics and Marvel comic books are a draw for movie buffs, and Star Wars fans always go for the film’s character bobblehead toys.

Rock & Roll Heaven
1814 N. Orange Ave., Orlando

Walking through the door of Rock & Roll Heaven in Ivanhoe Plaza is like entering a music time capsule. This retro-styled shop has been in business almost 40 years and is jam-packed with new and used vinyl LPs, cassettes, CDs—even 45s from the 1950s. The store’s music library covers just about everything you can imagine: jazz, country, disco, indie-rock, British pop, soul, rap, Latin and much more. Beyond the music, there are turntables, band posters, T-shirts, and music memorabilia such as Beatles drinking cups and lunchboxes and, for the serious collector, an Elvis gold hits album collection for $75. 

Lighten Up!
348 S. Park Ave., Winter Park

Neighborhood toy store Lighten Up! offers fun for all ages. Located on Park Avenue in Winter Park, the shop specializes in kites, kids’ toys, and games that are fun for the whole family. Shop interactive, mind-bending games such as the 3D maze Perplexus or stick with a traditional Japanese favorite like Kendama. One of the most popular games at Lighten Up! is the tastebud challenging game BeanBoozled, where  players spin a wheel that could lead to eating a deliciously flavored jellybean such as Coconut, or a rather unappetizing one, like Rotten Egg.

Tugboat & The Bird
318 N. Park Ave., Winter Park

With an extensive array of children’s clothing, ranging from infant to youth, and a variety of toys for kids of all ages, there’s no shop that captures childhood better than Tugboat & the Bird. This Winter Park store offers several popular clothing brands for boys and girls, like Florence Eiseman, Tea Collection, and Mimi and Maggie. Some of the best items the store carries for infants and toddlers are the ultra-soft Jellycat stuffed animals and the comical sippy cup designs that emulate a Starbucks coffee cup or a Red Bull energy drink. A popular game for kids ages 4-9 is GoldieBlox and the Dunk Tank—a book series and construction set that helps children build problem-solving confidence.

Rifle Paper Co.
558 W. New England Ave., Winter Park

The successful stationery and gift brand Rifle Paper Co. sells its products worldwide, but calls Winter Park home to the company’s only storefront location in the country. Located in Hannibal Square, the boutique offers every Rifle Paper Co. design collection along with carefully curated gifts from other designers. Customers can choose from an array of colorfully detailed greeting cards, notebooks, personalized stationery, art prints, phone cases, and more. Some of the most popular gifts at the boutique include monthly planners, recipe tins, and beautifully illustrated calendars.  

Paper Goat Post
1215 N. Orange Ave., Orlando

They love paper. They love goats, and they love the quaint idea of posting something in the mail. Owned and operated by twin sisters Megan and Cedar Watson, Paper Goat Post is one of the newest additions to the Ivanhoe Village block. The inviting storefront, draped in vines and tucked away in its own courtyard, offers a charming hint of what you’ll find inside. There’s stationery, of course, and desk accessories for the paper lover. Surprising finds include children’s book versions of Shakepearean plays and shoe trees. The owners also offer event-planning services, and a gift-wrap and balloon station. 

Orange Cycle
2204 Edgewater Drive, Orlando

Located in the heart of College Park, you will often see cycling enthusiasts riding to and from this one-stop bicycle shop. Whether it’s a bicycle for the first-timer or an upgrade for the competitive cyclist, this store has everything you could possibly want. Customize your ride with bells and baskets; modify your seat for racing or cruising; get a new pair of gloves or a helmet; and stay in shape with a variety of health supplements. Need something fixed on your bike? Six full-time technicians can help with that, too.

Travel Country
1101 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs

Whether you are planning a hike on the Appalachian Trail or just a local camping getaway at the beach, this store has all of your outdoor needs covered. Experts in travel and adventure gear, Travel Country guides customers as to what equipment they’ll need for their next excursion. Gifts can range anywhere from a Yeti drink rambler to a Bote HD stand-up paddleboard. Hiking enthusiasts will love the Merrell waterproof boots for a day on the trails, and the Patagonia fleece pullovers make great gifts. 

Gator Seminole Knight Fever
3702 Edgewater Drive, Orlando

Do you have college sports fever? The people at Gator Seminole Knight Fever understand this and have everything a UF, FSU, or UCF fan could possibly want to show their pride. Give the college sports fan in your family the gift of showing up to the tailgate party with plates, napkins, cups and more emblazoned with their school’s mascot. The store sells clothing such as T-shirts, jerseys and shoes, too. Even the littlest sports fans can demonstrate school spirit, with logo pacifiers and sippy cups. 

The Doggie Door
329 N. Park Ave. #103, Winter Park

This unique gift shop caters to owners and lovers of canine, felines and horses. Between the enormous amount of pet accessories and everyday pet-related items, The Doggie Door has something for every furry friend in your life. The Park Avenue shop carries essentials like food and water trays and ultra-soft pillows, but customers can also pamper their pets with designer accessories like Chewy Vuiton toys and bedazzled collars. The Unleashed—Fetching Wine & Gourmet Gifts section of the shop is devoted to “human” gifts—items such as wine, barware, and Lampe Berger home fragrances. 

For more holiday cheer, check out the gift guides from Shops We Love! There's something for everyone.

Categories: Current Issue, Fashion & Shopping