Contrary to popular belief, there's more to the Sunshine State's homegrown offerings than juicy oranges and cheesy souvenir shirts. In Jacksonville, a growing community of entrepreneurial artisans creates a variety of must-have handmade goods. For visitors, finding these local gems can take a bit of hunting in a sprawling city filled with strip malls, but, within the hoods of historic Avondale, Downtown, Springfield and Riverside, you're sure to discover some shopaholic must-haves.
Where: Burro Bags
What: Messenger Bag, $60.
After growing frustrated with flimsy bags that couldn't stand up to the elements, two hard-riding Jacksonville cyclists launched Burro Bags in 2007. Their first batch of messenger bags were constructed with recycled billboard materials. These days, the entrepreneurs use indestructible, military-grade Cordura for their signature sacks, including this cool carryall, the X Ian Chase CoWorker Messenger Bag, a collaboration with chef Ian Chase of the neighboring Fox Restaurant that's made with sea salt.
Where: The Museum Store
What: Silk Scarf, $40.
The popularity of scarves in Florida may seem odd (at the height of summer, no less!), but a lightweight silk version comes in handy for warding off a chill onboard an evening float, keeping hair in place when cruising with the top down, or adding a splash of color to an old handbag. Local artist Harold Millen uses various techniques like batik, silk painting and tie-dyeing to hand-create his sunny and richly toned accessories.
Where: Sweet Pete's
What: All Natural Lollipops, $2.50 and up.
Experience Jacksonville's sweet side with these whimsical lollipops. Most of the handmade treats from his candy kitchen are gluten-free and vegan-friendly, including an extensive line of lollipops in fun shapes like starfish and butterflies. Peter Behringer had years to fine-tune his candy recipes under the watchful eye of his chocolatier mother and consistently delivers on his promise to produce "pure, simple sweets."
Where: Peacock Republic
What: Lemongrass Love Liquid Hand Soap, $14 for an 8oz bottle.
Known for its irresistible tropical tang, lemongrass thrives in humid climates, so it's no surprise that this liquid soap scented with the popular plant sells like hotcakes at Peacock Republic. Like all products sold by owner Erin Douglass, it's made with a mix of natural ingredients and comes in a pretty bottle.
Where: The Cummer Store
What: Hand-blown Glass Vase, $90.
Horticulture enthusiasts who fall in love with the blooming topiaries at The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens can take home a colorful memory thanks to a partnership with the glassblowing department at Jacksonville University. Made by then-JU student Andrew Peters, this hand-blown glass vase is the perfect piece of functional art in which to house your own floral masterpieces.