Best Small Town for Shopping (2020)


Eclectic boutiques, art galleries, antiques stores and farmers markets – these small towns with populations of less than 25,000 are perfect destinations for some retail therapy. 

  • Berlin


    Berlin's downtown, a National Register Historic District, has featured in films like Tuck Everlasting and The Runaway Bride. Situated a stone's throw from Ocean City, Berlin’s Main Street is packed with retail shops – more than 50 – that run the gamut from antiques and art galleries to jewelry stores and clothing boutiques. It’s a diverse assortment for such a small town.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / ilbusca

  • Montpelier


    Just steps from the Vermont State House lies the pedestrian-friendly Montpelier downtown shopping district – a neighborhood packed with shops, antique stores and restaurants. Find one of a kind pieces from Vermont artists at the Artisans Hand Craft Gallery or pick up a new cooking gadget at Capital Kitchen.
    Photo courtesy of Ben Carpenter / Montpelier Alive

  • Dahlonega


    Shoppers will find more than 100 businesses within Dahlonega, one of Georgia’s top destinations for retail. Pick up custom gold jewelry from the sight of the nation’s first gold rush, browse locally made gift items from some 30 regional artists, try on a new outfit or peruse a collection of antiques at the Gateway Antique Mall.
    Photo courtesy of Explore Georgia / Geoff Johnson

  • Highlands

    North Carolina

    The picturesque Main Street in the small North Carolina town of Highlands is a shopper’s paradise stocking a little of everything – sportswear, gift items, European and American antiques, home decor and accessories, fine art and kitchen gear.
    Photo courtesy of Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center

  • Middleburg


    Historic Middleburg, a hotbed of horsing and hunting, is home to myriad inns, bed and breakfasts, shops, galleries and upscale boutiques – more than enough to while away a long weekend – and all about an hour’s drive from the nation’s capital. Fans of artisan foodstuffs and other unique items will enjoy perusing the village, which is mercifully devoid of chain stores – a wonderful place for singular gifts and meals worth remembering.
    Photo courtesy of Visit Middleburg

  • New Hope

    New Hope

    Where Lambertville is known for its antique shopping, head across the river to New Hope, and shoppers find more eclectic offerings. Pick up pottery, jewelry or other one-of-a-kind household items at Heart of the Home, or give your closet a makeover with European fashions from Savioni Designer Boutique.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / aimintang

  • Fredericksburg


    More than 150 shops line the streets of historic Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country, including many antique dealers and furniture design studios, making the town a popular destination for Texans looking to furnish a home. Take home a taste of Texas from Rustlin’ Rob’s Texas Gourmet Foods, handmade crosses and plaques from The Seasons or “traditional chic” fashion at Jabberwocky.
    Photo courtesy of Pierce Ingram / Travel Texas

  • Ponchatoula


    Ponchatoula, the oldest incorporated town in Tangipahoa Parish, is nicknamed “America’s Antique City” for its numerous antique stores (as well as galleries and boutiques) that occupy the restored buildings downtown. Many locally owned boutiques have started cropping up in recent year, further cementing the town’s retail appeal.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / jmsilva

  • Brunswick


    The coastal community of Brunswick, located 30 miles north of Portland, teems with picturesque New England charm and loads of shopping opportunities. L.L. Bean manufactures their famous boots in town, and shoppers can also pick up used books at Twice-Told Tales, skincare products and yoga gifts at Honeybee Divinity, antiques at the 16,000-square-foot Cabot Mill or fine art at the Bayview Gallery.
    Photo courtesy of Patti Spencer-Yost/Brunswick Downtown Association

  • Shepherdstown

    West Virginia

    You’ll find hardly any chain stores lining the streets of historic Shepherdstown, but what you will find is a collection of locally owned and independently operated specialty shops and boutiques stocking items like vinyl records, mid-century antiques, pet care products, dance apparel, housewares, books and clothing.
    Photo courtesy of Jacob Reid, Jacob Reid Photography

The top 10 winners in the category Best Small Town for Shopping are as follows:

  1. Berlin - Maryland
  2. Montpelier - Vermont
  3. Dahlonega - Georgia
  4. Highlands - North Carolina
  5. Middleburg - Virginia
  6. New Hope - Pennsylvania
  7. Fredericksburg - Texas
  8. Ponchatoula - Louisiana
  9. Brunswick - Maine
  10. Shepherdstown - West Virginia

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning small towns!

License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo



AlertThe Experts

Marla Cimini

Marla Cimini

Marla Cimini

Eric Grossman

Eric Grossman

Eric Grossman

Gerrish Lopez

Gerrish Lopez

Gerrish Lopez

Sherel Purcell

Sherel Purcell

Sherel Purcell

Chelle Koster Walton

Chelle Koster Walton

Chelle Koster Walton