Venture to Augusta's Broad Street and discover an eclectic community of antique and collectibles stores.
Why Georgia is a Shopper's Paradise
From name-brand outlets to antique markets, Georgia has shopping in the bag.
Why hit one store when you can hit dozens at the same time? At Augusta’s Surrey Center, you’ll find independent boutiques and select chains with an indie vibe, such as Fab’rik. Antiques, gifts, and housewares are also well represented, and both a day spa and a blow-dry bar offer pampering respites once your shopping is done.
At North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville, folks from near and far enjoy the selection of 140 outlet shops in every category, with brands including Armani, Brooks Brothers, Joe’s Jeans, Under Armour, Nike, Hanna Andersson, and Restoration Hardware. Other outlet centers around the state include the Tanger Outlets near Savannah in Pooler (J. Crew, Vera Bradley, Brooks Brothers); Calhoun Outlet Marketplace (Coach, Old Navy, Polo Ralph Lauren); and the Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta in Woodstock (Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Toys R Us, Crabtree & Evelyn).
In Macon, the Shoppes at River Crossing features just about every mall staple you can think of (Barnes & Noble, American Eagle, DSW, Pier One, Chico’s). With Belk and Dillard’s as anchor stores, this mall is worth a stop.
Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood has reemerged as a shopping mecca, thanks to newly renovated Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza, plus The Shops Buckhead Atlanta development. All three of these malls (Buckhead Atlanta being of the open-air variety) are located within minutes of each other and offer a wide array of high-end boutiques such as Christian Louboutin, Dior, Versace, Tiffany & Co., Alice + Olivia, Burberry, Fendi, and Henri Bendel. At Lenox, you’ll also find a few wallet-friendly options such as Gap, Steve Madden, and Express.
Just north in Alpharetta, Avalon features a live/work/play complex with beautiful architecture and shopping options including Kendra Scott, Lululemon Athletica, Vineyard Vines, Calypso St. Barth, and the Paper Source.
In many Georgia cities, the heart of shopping is the heart of town. Thomasville’s downtown district offers a vibrant retail scene, complete with craft shops, bookstores, antique shops, more than 20 clothing boutiques, a florist and a day spa. In downtown Greensboro, you’ll find a true trove of antiques (don’t miss Greensboro Antique Mall for 11,000 square feet of vintage wonders), art, estate pieces, and home decor. And in downtown Douglas, four blocks of shops include Eve (a ladies clothing boutique carrying trendy pieces from luxury labels) and Norris Shoe Store (a town mainstay for more than 70 years).
The funky town of Athens may pull most of its reputation from football, food and music, but it’s quite a shopper’s haven, too. Check out the famed Heery’s, which has been selling the latest fashion trends for more than 50 years and features brands such as Marc Jacobs, Milly, Tibi, Clover Canyon and Mara Hoffman. Don’t miss Community, a sustainable fashion shop selling redesigned vintage and locally designed clothing, and Avid, a stellar independent bookstore.
You’ll find equally compelling shopping in downtown Roswell, where charming Canton Street is lined with art galleries, jewelry stores, gift shops, clothing boutiques and specialty shops (check out Oli+Ve, which sells specialty olive oils). An hour or so north in downtown Clarkesville, crafters get their fill of supplies at A Bead Garden and Bumbleberry Yarn and Gifts; clotheshorses find fashions for women and children at Purple Door Boutique and Tiny Citizens Children’s Boutique; home decorators browse for handmade and antique furnishings at Homestead House and Sheep Hollow; and animal lovers buy all things dog and cat at the Pet Shop.
A little farther south, the towns of Sandersville and Thomson both have downtowns with noteworthy shopping options. In the former, must-sees include Geo.’s Quarters, a gift shop located in a stunning historic building, and Warthen Lane Interiors, which offers antiques, home accessories, fabrics, wallpapers, and gourmet food products. In Thomson, boutiques such as Peacock Hill, Laura Lane’s Home Decor & Gifts, and Anna Lou Designs boast an array of products made right in town. (These include Chinaberry Foods’ famed cheese straws, cultured pearl jewelry from the Pearl Girls, and handmade goat’s milk skincare products from Shakerock Farms.)
In Savannah, River and Broughton Streets are home to dozens of shopping delights (and oh, the dining options when you need to recharge your batteries!). Beautiful historic buildings house art galleries, antique shops, and gourmet food markets. Don’t miss the Savannah Bee Company, Paris Market & Brocante on Broughton Street, and on River Street, stop at the Village Craftsmen, which sells handmade crafts from a wide variety of Low Country artisans.
Shops to make you drop
Some stores simply stand alone. In Georgia, one such example is Strickland’s Boots in Dublin, a family-owned-and-operated business carrying more than 6,000 pairs of designer cowboy and work boots. Don’t worry about being overwhelmed by the sheer number of boots available — this place is known for its customer service. They measure every foot that comes through the door and keep detailed records of your likes, purchases, and even your holiday wish list.
Another noteworthy retailer is Alexander’s Store in Blairsville. While it began as a general store in 1953, Alexander’s now sells everything from clothing to furniture to appliances, earning the nickname "the Macy’s of the Mountains." Bonus: They offer free gift-wrapping—a tradition since the store opened nearly six decades ago.
In Bloomingdale, Randy Wood Guitars offers everything from new guitars to used fiddles within an old-timey building. Bluegrass veteran Randy Wood helms the operation, offering guidance and tales from his days making guitars for Elvis and Johnny Cash.
Where to find unique pieces
Between its art galleries and antique stores, Georgia is filled with treasures just waiting to be found. In Augusta, Artists Row is an inspirational collective of more than ten galleries and shops with the works of both local artists and those with international renown. Browse the creations of sculptors, painters, glass workers, woodworkers, jewelry-makers, and more. The first Friday of each month, many of the artists are on hand to talk about their works and enjoy live music and refreshments with shoppers.
Antique lovers flock to the Jackson County Antique Trail, which stretches from Braselton to Commerce. Browse Two Ladies in the Attic for vintage Americana, and A Flea An’tique for collectibles ranging from coins to dolls to baseball cards. Also, be sure to stop at Jaemor Farms at Banks Crossing in Commerce for some fresh-from-the-farm produce and homemade jams, ice cream and fried pies.
In Walton County, antiquing at its finest is available in the towns of Loganville and Monroe. Be sure to visit My Sister’s Antiques in Loganville and Warehouse Antique Mall and the Cotton Depot in Monroe. And in Atlanta, internationally renowned Scott Antique Market boasts the world’s largest indoor antique show the second weekend of every month.