Shopping at Coconut Point in Estero, Fla.
By Janet K. Keeler
The best shopping complexes are something like vibrant towns and Coconut Point in Estero, near Fort Myers, is an example of that.
Sure, there are plenty of businesses at which to beautify, fortify and spendify at this commercial hub, but creative thinking on the part of management has come up with other reasons to stop by.
Lee Memorial Health System sponsors a walking club that meets twice a week and participants hoof it up to a mile, working up to longer distances. There are prizes for walkers who hit hefty milestones. This is an awfully good use of an expansive outdoor shopping complex with about 140 businesses. Walkers can window shop while they build endurance. The Healthy Life Center offers yoga classes on Mondays.
Monthly concerts bring all sorts of musical genres to Coconut Point. The music ranges from classic rock to doo-wop to country and R&B. Bring lawn chairs but don’t be surprised if you’re moved to dance. There’s space for that, too, on the grassy area near the Florida Blue offices. From January through April, monthly family-friendly movies are shown under the stars.
The Coconut Point Farmers Market hosts vendors from October until April. This time frame is often curious to out-of-state visitors who are used to their farmers markets being in full swing in the summer. The height of the growing season in more tropical Florida is December through April, plus frequent rain affects vendors and shoppers. Besides produce, market shoppers will find seafood, cheeses, jams and baked goods.
All that to do and we haven’t even started shopping yet.
Coconut Point has many of the same shops as other major malls, but there’s a decidedly beachy twist here. It all makes sense since the complex is mere miles from some of Florida’s best beaches, plus boating, paddling and fishing spots. It’s less than five miles from the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve with natural hiking trails and superb kayaking and canoeing opportunities. Florida Gulf Coast University is less than 10 miles away and parents looking for accessories for students’ dorm rooms or apartments will find Coconut Point attractive.
UBreakiFix might be the handiest store for vacationers or college students who need attention for broken small appliances and electronics, including cameras, tablets and smartphones. Purchase a bed at Sleep Number or Mattress Firm and the bedding to go with it at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Still, any college kid, visiting parent or tourist to the area has an eye on the beach and what to wear there. They will find coastal wear, from cabana to cocktail, at Bunulu. Likewise, Everything but Water specializes in outfitting folks for the Florida outdoors, and that includes hats and swimsuit coverups.
Fresh Produce is another shop that features comfortable clothes that fit the Florida lifestyle like a glove, or better yet like a form-fitting one piece. We don’t have much use for gloves around these parts. Bright and sassy sundresses are a specialty here.
Speaking of bright and sassy, the sassiest of all clothing labels is a popular stop at Coconut Point. Lily Pulitzer’s lively clothing line was born in Florida and has become a symbol the state’s endlessly sunny outlook. You’ll want to stop here for all your pink and green needs.
Simply Boutique is another shop that caters to women looking for easy-to-wear clothes. That’s a standard look in Florida where casual attire is a way of life, from the beach to the boardroom. Looking for fun shoes? Simply Boutique carries Yellow Box and Fly London brands.
A shopping complex can hardly be considered a town without lots of places to eat and drink. After all that walking and before dancing the night away at one of the monthly concert, a hearty meal is in order.
The choices range from pizza to wings to burgers and then on to more classic full-service meals. Stir Crazy is an Asian fusion eatery that lets everyone get exactly what they want on their plate. Thai BBQ tacos for the college kid, Fuji apple tuna salad for the folks and blazing noodles with chicken for the tourists.
The locals just order the usual. After all, Coconut Point is their town.
When you go…
23106 Fashion Dr., Estero, FL 33928-2528