Downtown Alpharetta, Georgia. Photo by @awesomealpharetta
Farmview Market in Madison
Located on Exit 114 right off I-20 just east of Atlanta is Farmview Market in Madison. This one-of-a-kind shop supports more than 300 local farmers and producers by selling their products in the store.
And, you can be sure it’s good because nothing makes it to the Farmview Market shelf unless it’s been thoroughly tasted and tested by their team. In addition to Southern staples like peach products and freshly ground grits from the in-store grist mill, you can find unique items like olive oil from Georgia's olive farms.
Rutledge Hardware in Rutledge
The four-way stop in Rutledge, Georgia, is a literal barrel painted red with four stop signs affixed to it. This lovely old-fashioned town is just three miles off Georgia I-20 on the way to Hard Labor Creek State Park.
Rutledge Hardware is along the main drag. In addition to selling plants, plumbing and other useful items, the hardware store is also a bit of a museum. Items on display (but not for sale) include a peanut warmer, umbrella and walking stick showcase, parts of old buggies, and even a ledger from the 1940s that includes entries from owner Paul Smith's father.
Comeback Vinyl in Alpharetta
Old-fashioned records are starting to make a comeback in mainstream stores like Target, but for true vintage vinyl, you need to find a local shop like Comeback Vinyl in Alpharetta. Visiting this store owned and operated by a mother-son duo is like walking into a time machine. For a truly Georgia experience, pick up a few records from Georgia musicians such as Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, or famous Georgia bands like R.E.M. and the B-52s.
If you love to shop, allow plenty of time, because Comeback Vinyl is only one of many unique shopping experiences in Alpharetta.
Auntie Bellum’s Attic in Milledgeville
There is no better way to find truly unique Georgia items than to go antiquing. Milledgeville has several antique shops in the downtown area, including Auntie Bellum's Attic. In addition to what you see in the store, watch the store's Facebook page for information on local estate sales. For artifacts and even some locally made wine, stop by another antique favorite, The Red Door.
Little Shop of Stories in Decatur
This independent bookstore in Decatur caters more toward children's books, but that doesn't mean they slack off in the adult and young adult department; in fact, they proclaim themselves as a book shop "for kids and the adults they become." The Little Shop of Stories keeps an impressive stock of all the hottest books of the season for children and adults, and their cheery atmosphere and helpful booksellers can help you find the perfect gift for anyone on your list. Check out this list for more epic book stores in Atlanta.