The Shoppes of Avondale, Jacksonville
Along a couple of blocks of St. Johns Avenue in the heart of Jacksonville's historic Avondale neighborhood is a strip of boutiques, antique stores, bistros, restaurants and gift shops favored by connoisseurs of class, The Shoppes of Avondale. While quieter and smaller in scale than other upscale pedestrian shopping districts around Jacksonville (e.g.: San Marco Square, Beach Town Center, Sawgrass Village) The Shoppes is one of the oldest.
The Shoppes is a small commercial strip nestled in the midst of stately homes built in the early 1900s and under the canopy of shady water oaks dripping with Spanish moss. Boone Park, a scenic city park with lots of shady trees, is located a short walk from The Shoppes.
This area (and the nearby Five Points and San Marco districts) is one of the few places to find unique, upscale women's clothing in Jacksonville. j.Ashley has a well-edited selection of sportswear, resort wear, and cocktail/formal dresses. The newest shop, Donna's Boutique has flashier clothing--lots of sequins and sparkle. Emly Benham has fabulous shoes--Prada, Manolos etc. Two other shops whose names escape me at the moment have more conservative, mature fashions. There's also a Chico's for staple items.
Make an afternoon of it and have a great lunch at Biscotti's, The Brick, or The Casbah, all fine neighborhood spots.
What to buy: great party dresses at j.Ashley
What to pay: upscale shopping, so expect to spend accordingly