Nashville is Top Shopping Destination
By Stacie Standifer
Nashville Local Expert
It’s hard to include every worthwhile shopping stop in this thriving city in a short list, but these are a few that never fail to impress or entertain. Some are new and others well established. The one common characteristic is fantastic merchandise with personality to match. If you are in the mood to buy, or just to browse… put these locations at the top of your list.
Those seeking a bit more space go here to live, and others in Nashville who want to experience different options head south to shop. Stacey Rhodes women's store carries a variety of lines not found elsewhere, while next door's Parlour 3 is a cosmetic junkie's haven. Gift and home shops like Pear Tree Avenue and Hot Pink are worth a stop, too. These and others are nestled in retail strip centers along with major chains, so keep an eye out to find them. Eat lunch at Puffy Muffin or enjoy boutique wines at Wild Iris. There's even a new charity-driven consignment store, 'Couture for a Cause' where big personalities donate fabulous frocks for resale all in the name of giving back.
This college district is ideal for completely losing an afternoon. There are many small shops offering 'on trend' items including handcrafted jewelry and housewares. Browse the captivating selection in the used bookstore and decades' old cook's resource shop. It's a bit of future and past here, and definitely worth exploring. Finish off with a late lunch at Sunset Grille. This area is constantly evolving and energetic, so expect whatever is young, fresh and fun to be found here.
Nashville Flea Market
For a bit of bargain hunting, nothing beats the Nashville Flea Market. Held one weekend a month at the city's fairgrounds site, this sprawling mecca of collectors, antique dealers and junk peddlers attracts top interior designers from all over the country. Bring cash and plan to haggle, and don't be in a rush. Vintage clothing, rare albums and the antique furnishings/memorabilia selection is endless. If you're not in town on a weekend, equally funky finds are at the authentic American Picker (yes, from the television series) store in Marathon Village. (615-862-5016)
Leave your downtown hotel and cross the river to explore a true artist's haven in one of the city's most energetic neighborhoods. The store-owners are creative, fun and display merchandise that is totally unique. The heart of the area is Five Points, where the food and cocktails gain national praise. But, equally enticing are original works for home and fashion created by East Nashville's most gifted residents. One of the best ways to see it all in a swoop is to plan your visit when a festival is happening (and they have many). There's even a new storefront for The Trunk (the innovative, followed) fashion truck on the shops at Fatherland. Old Made Good is another must-visit. Repurposed is an understatement, as this estate-sale-finds vintage store might just be the best store for unique home and collectors items in the country.
Belle Meade/West Nashville
The most affluent neighborhoods in/around Nashville are situated on the West side of the city. Belle Meade is where lawns are expansive and security tight. That's why some of the best retail is located nearby. One of the longest running designer boutiques for shoes, jewelry and accessories is JAMIE NASHVILLE. Find pricey brands like Prada and Valentino, but also expect affordable lines of denim and casual wear. Their 'last dance' room (75% off) is considered a true resource for dressing well 'on the cheap'. In the same area, you can visit art galleries, clever paper/gift stores and even top day spa, ESCAPE. Nosh on gourmet at 360 Bistro before hitting high-end antique shops and the famous Phillip's Toy World to bring something home for the kids.
12th Avenue South
Strolling through 12th South is a bit like taking a step both forward and back in time. Porches are commonplace and most doors are kept open (weather permitting). The residents here have a true walking neighborhood (and even their own farmer's market and park).The offerings inside establishments are modern-day cool and representative of the eclectic vibe of the entire city. Country crooner Gary Allan owns a trendy designer men's clothing destination in the same building as Cadeau Home and Jeni's Ice Cream. A block away, custom denim is created daily for the likes of Luke Bryan at Imogene+Willie. Katy K's may be one of the oldest retailers in Nashville, but is still wildly popular. There are consignment shops, coffee haunts, and a slew of independent designer stores to explore in this district, so plan to stay awhile. Keep your energy up with a bit of Edley's Barbeque or a grass-fed, gourmet selection at Burger Up.
Many top hotels offer daily shuttle service to this quaint and historic location. Nashville's elite make the 15-20-minute drive on a regular basis to browse the eclectic women's clothing at Haven (owned by coveted celeb stylist) or to try on Frye Boots and designer denim at Emmaline Boutique. The impossibly chic Iron Gate home d�cor showroom never disappoints with European furnishings, linens and gifts. Casual eateries pepper the historic streets alongside stately storefronts. If you are an entertaining guru, don't miss The Registry. The selection of quality, crafted table and barware is expansive and seriously impressive. While you're close, catch a glimpse at the dozens of galleries and shops as well as the Viking Cooking Store and School in The Factory at Franklin.
The city's fastest-growing urban neighborhood is The Gulch. Walking distance from downtown and home to top high-rise residential developments, it's literally humming from the buzz. That starts at men's/women's clothing store, Two Old Hippies (complete with a guitar selection and random live music) situated across from an organic grocery and eatery, Turnip Truck. A celeb stomping ground. E. Allen is another clothing stop just steps away from Kenny & Company, a home resource store featuring sought-after contemporary tile, fixtures and interior design elements. The most dynamic store in the area is Galerie Ravin where jewelry designer to the stars, Vincent Peach, offers affordable leather and pearl creations alongside the gallery's authentic, collector series art pieces by Andy Warhol. It's also home to some of the area's most hopping local bars, pubs and restaurants. You may come for Urban Outfitter necessities, but stay for happy hour at Rumours Wine Bar.
The Mall at Green Hills
Every day there's a new reason to stop into this shopping mecca. It's never too crowded, houses only the best stores (Nordstrom, J.Crew, Tory Burch, Restoration Hardware, Apple, Louis Vuitton) and boasts unique designer clothing/accessory boutiques such as Gus Mayer, and Judith Bright where you will find original, Nashville-inspired style. The most incredible gifts in the city are to be found at Absolution. Eateries are abundant, including a Cheesecake Factory, Jonathan's, Carrabba's and the lovely Table 3 French Bistro (which also boasts a take out market and bakery). The hot spots don't stop at the mall, but extend in both directions on Hillsboro Road. This includes Bluebird Caf� and King Jewelers, where the state's most exclusive brands of watches and estate jewels are a celebrity draw. (615-298-5478)
Hill Center Green Hills
This open-air, pet-friendly avenue in the Green Hills neighborhood is home to a few of the city's most popular retailers. You will find Anthropologie, Whole Foods Body, West Elm, Calypso St Barths and other upscale national chains. But, the real reasons to go are to peek into the exclusive clothing boutique H. AUDREY (owned by Hank Jr.'s stylish daughter/recording artist, Holly) or to get lost in the vast selection in the Cosmetic Market. Famed southern designer Billy Reid also has an outpost here. The adjacent street of Bandywood is equally enticing with 25+ local retail choices (less than a block away). Stop into Ronnie Dunn's chic daughter's adorable shop, The Perfect Pair for shoes and baubles, and don't miss grabbing a healthy lunch at Firefly. ((615) 252-8101)
About Stacie Standifer
As the founder of acclaimed titles Nashville Lifestyles, Nashville Weddings and AT HOME/NL, Stacie has been involved with every level of fashion, celebrity and home design in her city for over 14+ years. An avid traveler, she is a respected resource in sharing trends with thousands of followers in the South. Since selling her publications and ultimately leaving her publisher post in mid-2013, Stacie continues to freelance as a contributor and also acts as a consultant for select luxury retail and entertainment clients. Shopping, travel and entertaining tips are posted weekly on her popular website, SouthernSophisticate.com.
Read more about Stacie Standifer here.
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