The 2022 New Tropic Holiday Gift Guide

🏝️ Gifts for the beach-goer or boater

Valerie S. is the Miami mom behind Joju, a new line of ultra-light, super-soft sun shirts manufactured in Hialeah. “Our mission is to inspire people to enjoy the outdoors safely and comfortably,” says Valerie.

Rachel S. recommends a fouta — a Tunisian spa towel — from Fouta Harissa, a women-owned company co-founded by two Tunisian-Americans, one a Miami local. The foutas are hand-woven on a foot-pedal loom by artisans in Mahdia, a quaint coastal town in Tunisia. “I buy at least 3 of these every year for people I love, and they are always a hit,” says Rachel. “It’s the perfect beach wrap and towel — repels sand while giving its wearer a chic look.”

Ursula K. suggests a sleeve of Pirani’s stackable, insulated, reusable party tumblers. Founded by South Floridians sick of watching single-use plastic wash up on our beaches, Pirani’s party cups are a sustainable replacement for red Solo cups.

📚 For the bibliophile

How ‘bout a “547-page, hyper-local guide to the most far-out state in America” that’s both visually delightful and delightfully informative? Order Florida! by Dec. 12 to receive by Christmas Eve.

There’s also a few options from our Locals to Know. Anastasia S. has two other great coffee table books to gift in FloodZone and Floridas, or you could pick up a copy of Something Kindred, a book of poetry by Nicole T.

Get someone hooked on a three-part series of thrillers written by Neil P.The first book in my Angus Green FBI thriller series takes place largely on Miami Beach: The Next One Will Kill You,” writes Neil. “It’s the first real case for a newly minted FBI agent. It takes him from the glitter of South Beach to the morgue on a desperate chase to catch a gang of criminals with their tentacles in everything from medical fraud to pill mills to jewel theft. As every twist in the case leads to more mayhem, the street quickly teaches him that the only way to face a challenge is to assume that he’ll survive this one — that it’ll be the next one that will kill him.” 

Or you can always go browse the shelves of Dale Zine in Little River and see what strikes you.

🎨 For the art appreciator

Dress up someone’s wall with fun prints of fixtures of Miami’s urban and natural landscape. Studio CPL illustrates our local flora and fauna from their homebase in Coconut Grove, while Westofchester honors Miami landmarks from Norman Bros. Produce to Allen’s Drugs and Bird Bowl. 

Alternatively, dress up an entire wall with wallpaper made in Wynwood featuring original drawings of South Florida history by Local to Know Christina P.

For more fun Miami-inspired designs on everything from mugs to t-shirts, take a gander at Local to Know Alex I., a.k.a. Mamút’s, online shop.

Drop by Extra Virgin Press, a mission-driven letterpress shop, and see what works Tom V. has in store for you. Tom also recommends making an appointment to check out The BluPrnt Show at Bridge Red studios, a show “featuring art from almost 200 artists. All sales go to the artists,” writes Tom.

Both SuOm F. and Cristina G. recommend the wares of local Mexican artist Palomarts.

🎫 A gift that keeps on giving

For the person who values experiences more than stuff, consider gifting an annual membership to one of our many cultural institutions. Membership to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has long been a popular gift in the DeWitt family, while Miami Beach Botanic Garden offers a garden membership for those on the other end of town.

This list is definitely not exhaustive, but for easy reference, here’s links to purchase memberships from Miami Children’s Museum, HistoryMiami Museum, The Bass, Frost Science, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Deering Estate, PAMM, and Zoo Miami. And one last tip on this front: museum gift stores always have the coolest gifts!

Maria L. suggests an America the Beautiful National Park Pass, which will get you entry into all our local National Parks (well, the entire nation’s worth) “Entry to Everglades NP is $30 per vehicle for a seven-day pass (consecutive days only), so the pass is worth it if you visit the park just three times in a year,” writes Maria. “The pass covers the passholder and up to three other people riding in the same car. The Homestead section of the park is only 45 minutes from Miami, which is much less time than a lot of people spent in traffic for Basel. I encourage people to go out there and see for themselves the truly special gem we have just sitting in Miami’s backyard.”

😋 For the sweet tooth

Whether you’re responsible for bringing dessert to the holiday party, want something unique to gift, or want to serve something special at your holiday meal, I guarantee you can’t go wrong with I Knead More, baked by Local to Know Cristina F.

Aimee G. also recommends Sugar Gardens Bakery for “the most delicious baked goods.” Looking for vegan yummies? Look no further than Pamela Wasabi Bakery, says Marissa L. 

Chocolate bars from Carolina Q.’s Exquisito Chocolates come wrapped in gorgeous papers and would make a great stocking stuffer!

🧒 A couple ideas for kids of all ages

Help new parents raise bilingual babies with Brickell-based Binibi Books… liven up a child’s bedroom wall with the help of Annabel P. and team at 4ArtWorks, a small business in Wynwood that makes acrylic wall decor and decorative wall mirrors… and if you know a pre-teen or teen interested in DJing or music production, enroll them in a ten-week DJ & Music Production course at TropoTrope Arts and Learning Center in Little River.

🎁 Odds and ends

Ready for a final sprint through suggestions that didn’t quite fit anywhere else in the guide? Here it goes…

I’ve been envious every time I’m standing in sweltering heat and spy someone whip a folding hand fan out of their purse. Here’s a local Etsy shop that sells fans featuring tropical designs. If it’s more of a gag gift you’re seeking, something with a little levity, take a look at Bobble Booty Fresh, a twerking air freshener founded by a Miami local and friend of mine. I proudly cruise around town with one on my dash!

For the local sports fan, check out this special champagne glass and ticket bundle from the Marlins, all sorts of Dolphins gift boxes, the Miami Heat’s ever-fashionable Court Culture collections, Inter Miami’s gift guide, and a slate of special ticket offers from the Panthers.

Shop “slow fashion” inspired by Miami’s neon lights from Bichōn, or dress up a friend (or their dining room table) with beautiful, breezy tropical linens from Veronica P.’s brand, Onikas.

Local calligrapher Elaine S. can help you with an elegant and/or ultra-personal gift: “I do custom calligraphy & write on pretty much anything. Once I even wrote on a deer skin as a gift!”

If you have corporate gifting to do, Marissa R. recommends local biz House of Lilac: “They have unique picks and can pull together bundles at any price point for a variety of recipient types.”

Help someone meet their health and nutrition goals in 2023 with this suggestion from Melba P.: “I wanted to suggest Juice Defined for the holiday guide. Fatiyyah Foster turned personal health struggles into a business of helping folks live healthier lives. She’s also part of the business revitalization of Opa-Locka. Black female-owned small business — what’s not to love! Grab a gift card or send a delivery as a gift.”