Best Holiday Shopping Experience Ever + 15 Places to Find the Perfect Gift

Posted: Oct 24, 2018 09:02 pm Updated: Oct 17, 2023 10:19 am

Black Friday is almost here. Prepare yourself. If thinking about a dizzying crush of frantic shoppers makes your head spin, may we suggest shopping along the historic streets of downtown Pensacola, where you can stroll at your own pace and browse an eclectic mix of unique shops, boutiques and galleries? The heart of the city is at its most festive this time of year, when the “traffic” you’ll encounter will likely include a miniature replica train, a holiday trolley, a horse-drawn carriage and, possibly, a gaggle of Segways.


Below you’ll find our list of more than a dozen downtown shops that are just brimming with great gifts. Be sure to catch Palafox Market on Saturdays from 9am-2pm if you’re looking for one-of-a-kind art, handcrafted soaps, candles, toys, fresh flowers, produce and other locally-grown, locally-sourced, locally-crafted gifts. 


[TIP: Park in the Jefferson St. Garage and ask your downtown retailer to validate your parking. See the big sign inside the garage and enjoy free parking while you shop!]


New to downtown, The Pensacola Merchant was founded “for those looking for all things Pensacola!”—their collection includes Pensacola-themed clothing, accessories, ornaments, gifts, books, toys, pet items, coffees and more. 


Is there a new homeowner or newly-married or engaged couple on your list? They will love the conversation-starting throw pillows, rugs, glassware and unique light fixtures at Urban Objects, and the engraved and personalized glassware carefully handcrafted by A&J Mugs


For your favorite holiday party host and hostess, make a pit stop at Bubba’s Sweet Spot and build a custom fudge box (more than 10 tasty fudge options, including allergy-sensitive flavors!). And for your sweet-toothed friends, drop by Adonna’s Bakery for macaroons and cannoli sets. PS—Adonna’s even offers a selection of treats for your furry, four-legged friends. For your favorite home chef, check out the humorous dish towels and unique kitchen accessories at Rusted Arrow Mercantile


Head to Ride Society, Pure Barre and Gracie for a gift that’s perfect for your favorite athlete. These fitness spots offer group classes as well as merchandise. Or pick up an “850” hat from The South Outfitters (better hurry—these hats fly off the shelf!). 


For clothing and accessories, we recommend Indigeaux, Melobay, and Gray, where you can find the latest fashions and accessories for women, and Don Alans for menswear, leather goods and gifts for the special men in your life. 


These are just a few of the shopping hot spots in downtown Pensacola, where gifts can be found at every corner, including art galleries and museums (we love the Trader Jon tees at T.T. Wentworth Museum!). No matter the size of your budget, downtown Pensacola will gift to you a truly different, truly enjoyable shopping experience. Happy (stress-free) hunting!

Funded in part by generous grants from the City of Pensacola and Visit Pensacola, the dazzling lights have become a popular attraction for visitors and residents alike. Pensacola’s Downtown Improvement Board (DIB) conceived the idea of lighting up the district, then coordinating, supporting and branding all of the district’s diverse holiday events synchronously.