In the market for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience at some of the country's most eclectic and eccentric boutiques? Consider Austin the most deserving digs to lay down your hard-earned retail dollars.
“Where Texas Warmth Meets Austin Cool,” the 2nd Street district is home to 50 specialty shops, services and dining establishments. Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater and the Austin Children’s Museum anchor this downtown district, which spans Second Street between Congress Avenue and San Antonio Street.
Referred to as The Main Street of Texas, Congress Avenue is the heart of downtown Austin. Between the Capitol and Lady Bird Lake you’ll find numerous shops, restaurants, museums and theaters, all along one of downtown’s three National Register Historic Districts.
Just one-half mile south of the river lies the heart of South Congress, or SOCO. Home to many of Austin’s uniquely quirky, funky and hip stores, it is also the home of the Continental Club, a locally revered live music venue, as well as much of Austin’s food trailer culture.
Located on the western edge of downtown at Sixth Street and Lamar Boulevard, this retail district’s key landmarks include Whole Foods Market, Anthropologie, REI and Book People, Texas’s leading independent bookstore. This is a great area to get goodies for yourself, your home, and tonight’s dinner.
A FEW LOCAL FAVORITES
From art galleries to children’s clothing, furniture to gifts, this eclectic shop features an assortment of goods from local artists and designers. You might even wander in during some live music or dance performances.
26 Doors Shopping Center
An Austin original since 1976, 26 Doors Shopping Center (so named for the twenty-six 200-year-old doors – one for each shop) features great boutiques, restaurants, salons, and a beautiful courtyard with fountains and sculptures.
Billed as a “one-of-a-kind emporium of transcendent junk,” Uncommon Objects is truly an antique mall featuring 24 antique sellers under one roof. All manner of antique ephemera is waiting to be discovered by the curious explorer.
Big Top Candy Shop
Located on South Congress Ave., this is the store every kid dreamed of owning! From classic childhood favorites to today’s hippest candy treats, there are over 400 bulk candies, specialty chocolates, and fudge, so you’re bound to find something to satisfy your sweet tooth. And let’s not forget the vintage soda fountain offerings!
Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds
Looking for the perfect fedora and fake nose? How about a chance to dress like Marilyn Monroe or Cap’n Jack Sparrow? Every possible option for creating the perfect disguise is waiting for you at Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds. In addition to costumes and accessories, they also have a large selection of vintage clothing.
No matter where you come from, you can dress like a true Texan at Allens Boots. With one of the largest selections of Western-style boots you’re bound to find a pair you like. Allens carries hand-crafted boots in all shapes, sizes, and materials (yes, including snakeskin!), along with clothing for men, women, and children and a huge selection of jewelry, belt buckles, and wallets.