Shopping in the Sunshine


If you're looking to do a little holiday shopping and want to get away from the mall crowds or really, any crowds that involve being indoors and incapable of enjoying this beautiful fall weather, I suggest an excursion to Pinellas County and a visit to any or all of the area's three arts and crafts festivals.

The 11th Annual St. Pete Beach Craft Festival features 175 crafters exhibiting handmade accessories, candles, glass, woodworks and pottery, as well as a Green Market with stuff like homemade soups, sauces, herbs, spices, plants and spa products. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun., Dec. 3-4. Corey Avenue, St. Pete Beach.

Clearwater's Fourth Annual Arts Stroll is a much anticipated event that transforms the downtown area into an active arts district, with unique and original works by local artists displayed for sale all along the streets, musicians performing in stores and along Cleveland Street, and on-site painting by area plein air artists. Noon-6 p.m. Sat., Dec. 3. Main Street, downtown Clearwater.

And finally, the Greater Palm Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce hosts the 31st Annual Fine Arts, Crafts and Music Festival, a juried show featuring 150 artists, a children's crafting area, displays, live music and plenty of tasty eats. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun., Dec. 3-4. SPC-Tarpon Springs, 600 Klosterman Road, Palm Harbor.