Shopper's Delight - Your Guide to Southern Spending
Winter brings out the shopper in us all. Whether it be for gift giving reasons, just spending a day wandering through shops searching for the perfect item for yourself, or relishing the hunt for a great deal, shopping is naturally inescapable.
From Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, more than 174 million Americans shopped in 2017, and the most popular day for shopping was Black Friday. But really, unless you are looking to score a new television, there are better days to enjoy the delight of shopping. From high-end fashion designers to small town antique discoveries, and everything in between, we have you covered. Follow along as we share the South’s most delightful destinations to go on a shopping spree!
BIG CITY SPENDING
Number one, topping every shopping destination in the United States, is Houston. With 16,938 retail locations and 54 shopping centers, shoppers need never worry about a lack of shopping track. Houston might be a big city, and sure you can spend days buying up the shopping malls, but the best thing about Houston has always been the boutiques that are somehow both one hundred percent Southern and completely chic. 310 Rosemont is where you can stocks up on jeans from trendy 1921 and Seven For All Mankind and also scores pieces from Milly and James Perse, and Lot 8 is where you can find the best L.A. designers without the Los Angeles inflated prices. If one-stop shopping is more your style than hunting through boutiques in humid Houston, take a drive to Texas’s biggest mall, the Galleria, which boasts 2.5 million square feet of retail pleasure. visithoustontexas.com
Charleston, South Carolina
It’s no surprise the top-ranked city in the United States is also a favorite for its retail scene. The shopping on St. George Street can take up a whole enjoyable day if you allow it. Do not miss King Street, where you will find bookstores, consignment shops, and art galleries. Originally settled in 1663, the friendly Southern city of Charleston blends traditional American, English, French, and West African cultures. Dealers here offer a wide range of classic American antiques. Nestled among historic churches are dozens of merchants specializing in period furnishings, vintage jewelry, porcelains, ceramics, and silver. Jacques' Antiques’ inviting storefront has an impressive inventory of high-end vintage furniture, as well as a large collection of ornate mirrors that are sure to add a distinguished touch to any room. charlestoncvb.com
The South’s Hollywood is not only attracting movie production companies and movie stars, but also retail merchants are stepping up to meet the needs of the rising popularity of the city as a whole. Great Atlanta shopping can be found everywhere in the city. Buckhead is Atlanta’s premier center for high-end shopping, and with upscale malls such as Lenox Square Mall and Phipps Plaza shoppers will discover all the pricey brand names. From Midtown and Virginia Highland new stylish boutiques are popping up on every street and corner. Swanky vintage shopping can be found in Little Five Points. Atlanta also has a hold on the Southeast’s home good shopping with the only Ikea in the region, along with many other shops in the Westside. atlanta.net
There is nothing more charming than heading out for a day of shopping to a quaint downtown and meandering the streets filled with locally owned boutiques. Local Southern shop owners will most likely welcome you with “How ya’ll doing? Anything I can help ya find?” Be sure to make a whole day the experience, by exploring the town’s eateries, historic square, and perhaps venturing to some of the town’s other attractions.
Fairhope, Alabama, is the kind of place that makes you want to slow down and soak it all up. Charming doesn’t begin to describe this town. From golf, exceptional gulf seafood, and annual events, downtown Fairhope also offers visitors shopping opportunities that shouldn’t be missed. With a community of artisans, crafters, and literary authors, unique gifts and works of art can be found everywhere. With high-end boutiques, antique shops and everything in between, you can enjoy a full day of retail therapy with the Mobile Bay as your backdrop. visiteasternshorealabama.com
At an elevation of 4,118 feet, Highlands, North Carolina, offers an “elevated” shopping experience. With boutique shops lining the classic looking main street, you’ll think you are spending a day on a Hallmark movie set. Golly! There’s a quintessential toy shop for the most important gifts, and Christmas Tree is a store dedicated to everything - well, you guessed it - Christmas. Luxury home decor, jewelry, fine art, clothing and accessories for the whole family, and kitchen gadgets can all be purchased in downtown. Only two hours north of Atlanta and near Asheville, Highlands is a great weekend mountain getaway. Surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest, you can bet there are plenty of outdoor experiences to be had, even in winter. highlandschamber.org
Even since the late 1800s, Thomasville, Georgia has been the hot-spot for travelers, and once you are there, you’ll understand why. In the historical downtown, Thomasville not only offers a wealth of historical landmarks (over 70) but impressive shopping. The brick streets pave the way to over 100 locally owned shops and restaurants. As you shop, be sure to keep an eye out for 12 bronze quail statues hidden in downtown - it will keep the kids busy. Then, be sure to take a selfie with the Big Oak, a 327-plus-year-old tree - or let the Big Oak Cam take it for you and you can download it later! As you can expect from such a place steeped in history, there are antique shops galore. Locals highly recommend the Toscoga Marketplace, which has multiple stories to explore. thomasvillega.com
Known for its spas, Eureka Springs, Arkansas also has plenty in the way of antiques. Downtown, with its winding streets lined with Victorian-era storefronts with creative window displays, is an experience. One noteworthy spot is Castle Antiques, located near the scenic Inspiration Point. With over 100 unique shops and galleries, Eureka Springs is a shopper’s paradise. eurekasprings.org
Send a few unique gifts to family and friends without having to worry about the space in your carry-on luggage. The Mississippi Gift Company specializes in everything Mississippi. Anything from candles, t-shirts, and home decor, to the best Mississippi made foods, can be wrapped and shipped to any destination. Their store in downtown Greenwood also makes for a good time. The True South Puzzle Company from Nashville makes gift giving easy because who doesn’t love a puzzle?! Fun graphics of your favorite Southern state or city have been created by independent artists for you to piece together. The quality-made puzzles can be found in shops all over the South, but you can also just order online - they’ll even gift wrap it for your spunky nephew Lucas. Our favorite design is The Grand South puzzle. Get something unexpected for your self-proclaimed foodie brother from the Cane River Pecan Company. Send some simple yet delicious Louisiana pecans or go all out with pecan cookies or pralines - a Southern favorite! The French praline was first loved in New Orleans, and this year you can send a gift of pralines in a tin designed like a streetcar - symbolic of New Orleans’ Tricentennial. Shop the South online at: themississippigiftcompany.com; truesouthpuzzlecompany.com; caneriverpecan.com
Arriving home with bags full of great finds is such a rewarding moment. Gift giving is said to be as beneficial to the giver as it is to the receiver, especially when you get something for yourself! Enjoy the endless opportunities for shopping in the South all year long. Happy shopping!
More Shopping Delights
Wander around historic Fitzgerald and explore downtown. Take in the charming local eateries, shops, art exhibits, and museums. The temperate climate allows for year-round outdoor opportunity. Guided tours of the Carnegie Center and the Grand Theatre are offered by the Department of Tourism, Arts & Culture. Choose the Architectural Treasures Tour, that highlights downtown buildings, or explore the Fire Engine Museum. Civil War buffs will thoroughly enjoy the Blue & Gray Museum, the Evergreen Cemetery Tour, and the Jefferson Davis Memorial Site. fitzgeraldga.org
Tamarack - The Best of West Virginia
Tamarack’s striking, peaked red roof and attractively landscaped grounds draw half a million visitors annually into a welcome respite of visual beauty, Appalachian sounds, and distinctive aromas. Tamarack with its unique retail artisan products and extraordinary food fare served in its restaurant started out as a simple vision to promote the Mountain State’s wonderful image. Wildly popular after over 20 years, Tamarack greets hundreds of thousands of guests annually with a memorable experience in the state of West Virginia. tamarackwv.com
Curated Shopper’s Delight - The Mississippi Gift Company
Have you fallen in love with Mississippi? Or, do you need to send a unique gift? The Mississippi Gift Company has offered a curated collection of foods, décor, artisan items and more for over 24 years. Not only can you spend hours perusing the hand-selected and exclusive Mississippi products in their storefront, but also have your favorite items shipped directly to you, a client, or a love one from their online store. This family-operated tourist destination, features over 150 gourmet food companies, entrepreneurs, and artists — all of them within Mississippi, create amazing handmade treasures for you. 300 Howard Street, Greenwood, MS TheMississippiGiftCompany.com