Explore and discover...

The Savvy Shopper

Jeanne Vogt

Explore and discover...
The natural wonders of Tarpon Bay!

I'm still on Sanibel Island and I stumbled upon the Tarpon Bay Explorers and Gift Shop by accident. The Explorers offer all kinds of rentals, from kayaks, bikes to fishing gear. Also guided tours and fishing charters. According to Canoe and Kayak magazine it is one of the top 10 places in the nation to paddle! And it is right here under our nose. There are lots of activities to get involved in and explore from mangrove forests to rookery islands. They have breakfast cruises for you early risers, a perfect way to start your day, or sunset tours for you romantics. There is something for everyone.
After I checked out all the tours I wandered into the gift shop. There is quite a variety of gifts and souvenirs to take home. I loved the silver charm bracelets with either shells, starfish or a dolphin on it just $10. If you want one with all the charms it is $15. You will find quite a nice selection of jewelry.
The gold seahorse napkin rings were stunning, four in a box at $48. There's quite an abundance of picture frames, some decorated with coral, turtles or shells at various prices. For just $5. you can buy a beaded key chain of a dragon fly or lady bug, cute! I saw a glass case of tiny glass figures that was intriguing. The boxes of notes in tropical themes were $17. for eight designs. A cute flip flop book holder could be had for $10. I liked the mermaid spoon or the silver salad tongs decorated with jewels.
For something unusual and collectable find handcrafted Ironwood Art. It is from the Sonoran desert of Arizona and Northern Mexico. Ironwood carving is a demanding art form originated by the Seri Indians. No two pieces are alike and there is a limited supply of true ironwood with the number of carvers diminishing. It is beautiful hand work.
There was table art, and assorted glass fish. Many gifts from under the sea.
You will find a lot of things related to the island way of life. I love collecting cook books from wherever I've been. How about "Made in the Shade" cook book, $23. It has some really tempting recipes.
The silver ice buckets and shakers were very nice. The seahorse candle holders were to die for! Also in silver were assorted designs in bottle stoppers. Hooks with fish or starfish, great for pool side to hang your towels on. There are tiny spoons with coral handles, or a shell salt cellar. Unusual gifts can be found here.
I found all kinds of inexpensive shell jewelry that the kids love. Bird houses and lanterns. Flip flop soap sponges. Shell night lights.They had toys and Sea Tunes on a CD for kids.
Lots of tees and sweat shirts in all sizes and colors. Visors, caps and hats. The one that caught my eye was a visor trimmed with rhinestones, very chic!
Tarpon Bay Explorers and Gift Shop is located at 900 Tarpon Bay Road, Sanibel Island.
Phone: 239-472-8900
Go and enjoy a beautiful day on Sanibel Island.

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