SWFL shops can offer myriad of tropical-themed holiday gifts

Living near the beach can be beneficial for Southwest Florida residents looking for the perfect holiday gift.

Shops along the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel offer a myriad of tropical-themed items. Some are created by local artists and others are simply one of a kind.

Writer and artist Angelika Gerrlof sells postcards she made from scenes she photographed on Sanibel.

“People like these because they can identify with the beaches where they were taken on,” Gerrlof said. “They know they could only have been taken on Sanibel Island.”

In December, long time islander Anita Ceracita opened her third specialty shop on Fort Myers Beach.

One of Ceracita’s best selling items this season is a blanket with a map of the barrier islands.

“People in here are visiting. They’re spending their holidays here and they want to take something back that reminds them of Christmas on the beach,” Ceracita said.

At the shops in the Downtown Fort Myers River District, known for locally made products, you’ll find everything from faux sea life jewelry to galleries featuring original paintings of Santa.

Wicked Dolphin Distillery in Cape Coral has crafted a limited edition maple rum specifically for this holiday season.

The Christmas Shoppe at the Shell Factory and Nature Park in north Fort Myers is home to one of the largest collections of Christmas merchandise in Florida.

Many of the designs reflect sunny skies, warm temperatures and the tranquil beaches found in Southwest Florida during this festive time of the year.

Reporter:Amanda Hall