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Best Small Town for Shopping (2022)

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Farmer's Markets, boutiques, art galleries, antique shops – these small towns with populations of less than 25,000 are the perfect destinations for some retail therapy. 

  • Frenchtown

    Frenchtown
    New Jersey

    10Best Travel Expert Marla Cimini notes, “A fun town with a wide variety of fascinating, independently owned shops!” This walkable New Jersey town offers a quaint shopping district with a constantly changing selection of unique merchandise. Find the perfect gift of handmade pottery at Frenchtown Pottery, flowers for a particular person at Gather Floral Shop, the perfect outfit at Lord Ivy or River Gypsy, or even a vintage item or two at County Chic Boutique and Consignment or Sublime.
    Photo courtesy of stanley45 // Getty Images

  • Rhinebeck

    Rhinebeck
    New York

    Over forty specialty shops in the heart of the village celebrate the independent retail spirit in this New York community. The variety is endless – fine handmade jewelry at Adel Chefridi Studio & Gallery; books at Oblong Books, the largest independent bookseller in the Hudson Valley; or a fantastic selection of gifts and antiques at Hammertown. High-quality domestic and European toys for children of all ages are available at Land of Oz Toys; new and used vinyl records at Rhinebeck Vinyl Vault; quality products for dog lovers and their dogs at Pause Dog Boutique, plus many more stores for your shopping enjoyment.
    Photo courtesy of Rachael Stollar, House SFW

  • Montpelier

    Montpelier
    Vermont

    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

  • Cape May

    Cape May
    New Jersey

    The town of Cape May offers several shopping opportunities in their downtown area, including The Washington Street Mall, a three-block outdoor walking mall. The beachfront and West Cape May are locations for additional shopping. The sites are home to several specialty shops – brides can achieve their wedding vision at Free Love Bridal, GIVENS provides space to local artists and designers, and Fathoms provides a new approach to clothing and gifts for coastal wear.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / Aneese

  • Highlands

    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 Greg Newington

  • Dahlonega

    Dahlonega
    Georgia

    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 Georgia Dept of Economic Development

  • Carmel-by-the-Sea

    Carmel-by-the-Sea
    California

    If shopping by the sea gets any better, those in Carmel don’t see how. Here, along cobblestone streets and paths, quaint stores selling local wares are set up in a picturesque village setting that feels more like a step back in time than a stroll down a retail row. Art galleries are a top draw, and it’s also a good spot for unique gifts and children’s toys. Just a stone’s throw away are the gift shops for the famed Pebble Beach courses and resorts, where golfers and tennis enthusiasts can stock up on everything to up their game.
    Photo courtesy of CarmelCalifornia.com

  • Sedona

    Sedona
    Arizona

    Sedona is home to dozens of art galleries and studios. The most extensive collection is at Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, a unique collection of galleries and shops inspired by an Old Mexican village. Built around a sycamore grove, Tlaquepaque (an Aztec word meaning "best of everything") includes fourteen art galleries, six jewelry shops, three clothing boutiques, and nineteen specialty shops ranging from toys, shoes, and music boxes to Christmas decorations and pottery.
    Photo courtesy of Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau

  • New Hope

    New Hope
    Pennsylvania

    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

  • Camden

    Camden
    Maine

    Camden is a postcard-worthy seaside village situated on Maine's scenic Penobscot Bay. A large fleet of windjammers can often be spotted in the Camden Harbor, and the shops, galleries and cafes of Main Street spill into the surrounding small streets and allies, making it an ideal setting for a summer stroll. Many of Camden's B&Bs occupy old Victorian, Greek Revival or Federal-style houses.
    Photo courtesy of Erick Anderson, Lord Camden Inn

  1. Frenchtown - New Jersey
  2. Rhinebeck - New York
  3. Montpelier - Vermont
  4. Cape May - New Jersey
  5. Highlands - North Carolina
  6. Dahlonega - Georgia
  7. Carmel-by-the-Sea - California
  8. Sedona - Arizona
  9. New Hope - Pennsylvania
  10. Camden - Maine

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 towns!

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AlertThe Experts

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

Dynie Sanderson

Dynie Sanderson

Dynie Sanderson

Marla Cimini

Marla Cimini

Marla Cimini

Sherel Purcell

Sherel Purcell

Sherel Purcell

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith
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