Surf Station's wave-riding experts, led by surfing aficionado Tory Strange, equip visitors to explore aqueous avenues with a diverse selection of tools for nautical revelry. With up to 24 hours of rental time, surfers can hop on their boards and conquer swells by zipping through tubes and spelling schoolyard taunts in the sea foam. A four-hour standup-paddleboard rental allows riders to defy the old "sink or swim" adage with a water-walking middle ground, propelling themselves across the deep blue with a single oar that doubles as a manatee back scratcher. Surf Station helps beach-goers corral gnarly crests with its detailed surf reports as well as surfing apparel, equipment, and lessons available for purchase.
Anchor Boutique owner Laurel Baker hangs handcrafted, upscale jewelry and unconventional accessories like artwork in her sunny, nautical-themed shop. Patrons can peruse multilayered necklaces, leather-and-metal-mixed bracelets, and rings that wrap fingers with never-ending zen metaphors. Shoppers can sport show-stopping eyewear such as vintage '80s sunnies, whose large Hepburn-esque lenses gleam in gold- and red-edged frames ($34), or peruse the gleaming goods tucked under the graceful diving manikin. Tight gold spirals dangle from silver chains like freefalling funambulists on gold-circle-drops earrings ($34), and the pyrite necklace ensnares a shiny jagged stone within a thin gold, silver, or macaroni-noodle chain ($48).
Holly’s Nursery's botanical specialists aid the green-minded in adopting new leafy additions and perfecting lawn décor. The full-service nursery flourishes with a verdant populace of native plants and a wide selection of annual and perennial flowers, such as Endless Summer hydrangeas ($27.99/3 gal. pot) or Knock Out roses ($19.99+). Vibrant shrubs ($65) and an assortment of 15-gallon potted trees ($65) impart attractive textures to landscapes or shelter for escaped sea monkeys. Customers can also peruse Holly's organic vegetable garden and purchase edibles from its cache of fresh produce. Plant shipments arrive each week, filling the nursery with the ever-strident cries of newborn greenery.
Voted St. Augustine’s best clothing boutique in 2010 by members of the community, Goldfinch Boutique gracefully bedecks its female customers in artful apparel, handcrafted jewelry, and dashing home décor. Haute huntresses can stalk coveted brands such as Johnny Was, Frenzii, and Level 99, draped about the chic, chandeliered storefront. Look fetching this spring in a colorfully embroidered Sweet Paisley crochet dress ($55), while the subtle dove pattern and exposed front zipper of the Simon Flight of Fancy tank ($39) will ensure you catch the eye of every handsome neighborhood birdwatcher. Vibrant pastel wall art printed on recycled paper awaits to dazzle up drab walls with glitter embellishments ($16), and a passionate parade of sunglasses, scarves, hats, and handbags ensure bodily walls are equally ornamented. As a final fashionable touch, inspect the ranks of locally crafted jewelry (starting at $10), where sparkled and sophisticated touches such as a sterling silver jeweled cuff ($55) will distract onlookers from the fact that you aren’t wearing pants.
In 2009, Melissa Garnier opened a small produce co-op, seeking to save money on her grocery bill while providing her five children with healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables. Today, that co-op has grown into The Neighborhood Garden, a company that regularly supplies 200 Jacksonville families with fresh meats, local honey, dairy goods, and certified organic produce from Albert's Organics in Sarasota. Patrons can pick up pre-ordered edibles from 17 locations, or opt for delivery service.
Voted St. Augustine’s Best Florist by the St. Augustine Record, Flowers by Shirley has been transforming palettes of flowers into contemporary and traditional masterworks of artful expression since 1973. Pitch woo at a crush's noggin as hard as you can with the Love in Bloom bouquet—a vase bursting with cream and white roses accented with pink snapdragons (starting at $38.99)—or thank a maternal unit for not trading you for magic beans with the Flourishing Garden basket, a jubilantly yellow mix of lilies, spray roses, daisies, and cowardly cartoon characters (starting at $39.99). Lovers of less high-maintenance plant life will prefer a decorative fern (starting at $39.99) to gussy up their dreary abandoned space station.