Old Town To New, Alexandria's Got Unique Shopping Items For You

Washington, D.C. is a great place to spend many Jackson ($20), Grant ($50) and Franklin ($100) bills at a plethora of unique shops throughout the district but if you are looking to escape from tourists and the political crowd, take a short Metro or car ride to Alexandria, Va.  

Founded in 1749, this suburb features a wonderful mix of both old world flair and groundbreaking, new ideas. 10Best has waked along the cobblestone streets of Old Town and perused the paved sidewalks in the City to discover the best spots to add amazing finds to your home or give unforgettable gifts to loved ones.  

Folks will find half of our list can be found on King Street – the main area of Old Town which features a mile of locally owned shops, outdoor cafes and restaurants. For home décor, check out Red Barn Mercantile for both antique and new products. If you are looking for good recommendations on children's books, Hooray For Books has a knowledgeable staff and hundreds of titles.

Other amazing shopping finds include Mint Condition – a designer consignment boutique allowing you to 'keep up with the Joneses' without the heavy price tag and The Shoe Hive, a place that would make Carrie Bradshaw make room in her closet.

Get ready to use those charge cards or stop at the ATM because Alexandria is a great place to shop til you drop.   








Landmark Mall
Photo courtesy of Landmark Mall

As much as many of us would love to take our time and peruse individual spots, sometimes you just need a place with a ton of stores that you can get into and out of fast. The Landmark Mall features dozens of stores including standards like Macy's, Sears, Bath and Body Works and Victoria's Secret and unique ones like the Ethiopian Twice Boutique and Kelechi African Authentics. After standing around while the adults shopped, children will enjoy burning some energy at the play areas which feature choo choo and kiddie rides.

Recommended for Alexandria's Best Shopping because: Free parking and a central location to multiple stores makes this a great spot to get some shopping done.

Gina's expert tip: Check the mall's website for online coupons to various stores.

Read more about Landmark Mall →

The Christmas Attic
Photo courtesy of The Christmas Attic

Whether it is close to the holiday season or nowhere near, folks will want to stop into this festive spot that is open year round. Open since 1971, this shop is located on the second floor of an 18th century tobacco warehouse. Specializing in collectibles like Christopher Radko, David Strand Designs Department 56, Wee Forest Folks, and German Nutcrackers, this store is the place to get must-have decorations like ornaments, stockings and lights that are sure to have guests asking you where you found each unique piece. Santa himself must take inspiration from this charming store.

Recommended for Alexandria's Best Shopping because: Need to get into the holiday spirit or looking for amazing design ideas, head to this year round open spot for inspiration and great finds.

Gina's expert tip: Be sure to check out the building's first floor store – The Urban Attic – an eccentric boutique featuring accessories, wine and décor.

Read more about The Christmas Attic →

As it's name suggests, this building was used as a torpedo factory beginning shortly after World War I. After World War II ended, the federal building was used for storage until the City bought it and turned it into the art center in 1974. With more than 160 resident artists in 82 working studios and six galleries, folks are sure to find treasures that would look perfect in their dining room, above the mantle or as a talking piece for a friend's home. No matter what medium you enjoy, the center is sure to have original pieces that you simply must snatch up.

Recommended for Alexandria's Best Shopping because: With more than 150 artists and six galleries, you're sure to find an original art piece here worth placing in your home.

Gina's expert tip: If you are looking to see a specific artist at work, be sure to check their availability as each one maintains their own studio hours.

Read more about Torpedo Factory Art Center →

Bishop Boutique
Photo courtesy of Bishop Boutique

When walking into Bishop Boutique, you may feel like you have stepped into the walk-in closet of an A list super star. You'll find runway avant-garde to classic selection of shoes, handbags, accessories and seasonal clothing items that are sure to make your look show stopping. Their blog often features pictures of celebrities wearing looks they have at the store so be on the lookout for these hot items. Before heading to the store, be sure to check out their 'New Arrivals' section on their website. You'll know what to look for and what's hot in future trends.

Recommended for Alexandria's Best Shopping because: Dream closets have to start somewhere and this boutique is a great place to start your elegant collection.

Gina's expert tip: Check out the sales tab of their website for deals on must-have items. Save so you can buy more!

Read more about Bishop Boutique →

The Dog Park
Photo courtesy of The Dog Park

While out shopping for yourself and loved ones, don't forget about the four-legged family members back home waiting by the door or window. The Dog Park is a shop where dogs and cats exist peacefully – at least in the merchandise including a variety of collars, toys, bowls, artwork, mugs, magnets and more. Independently owned, you'll find items in here that you can't at chain stores. Your pet will want to try the all natural dog and cat food selection along with treats made in the United States. If you have questions about what is best for your pet, don't worry. The staff is made up of pet owners and animal enthusiasts ready to answer all you queries.

Recommended for Alexandria's Best Shopping because: Looking for a great spot to shop for your four-legged friend? Hit up this locally owned shop for paw-fect presents.

Gina's expert tip: If you love seeing pictures of pooches, like the store's Facebook page to see pictures of four-legged customers.

Read more about The Dog Park →

Mint Condition
Photo courtesy of Mint Condition

Many of us would love to have closets full of designer brands like Fendi, Prada, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade and Michael Kors but sadly (sigh) many of us do not. Fret not because this 2,000 square-foot designer consignment boutique is here to help selling women's designer items such as clothing, handbags, shoes and jewelry in excellent gently used condition. All of the items for sale are in current style and season that are two years old or newer. If you have a busy few weeks but need to shop, head to their online store for easy access to their merchandise.

Recommended for Alexandria's Best Shopping because: Designer labels at great discounts are here for the taking at this charming consignment boutique.

Gina's expert tip: If you happen to have some designer items in your closet, consider consigning but check the 'Labels We Like' section for more information on what they sell.

Read more about Mint Condition →

Hooray For Books
Photo courtesy of Hooray For Books

What book should you take to the beach? Is the new must-read title worth the time? What book series deserves a look? With a focus on knowing books and providing quality service, this independently owned bookstore in the Old Town area can answer all your questions about hot new titles along with classic favorites. Be sure to check out their story times throughout the week for babies up to six year olds. Sign up for their email list to be the first to know when special events and author visits are occurring.

Recommended for Alexandria's Best Shopping because: If you are looking for a place to get lost in a book. this is a great spot to journey to a new literary destination.

Gina's expert tip: If you can't find a book, ask the staff for help. If they don't have it, staff can order you a copy.

Read more about Hooray For Books →

The Hour Shop
Photo courtesy of The Hour Shop

The vessels you serve carefully crafted cocktails and delicious drinks in should not be boring. No one at a party or get together wants to sip margaritas or wine from boring glassware (unless you are still in college) so why not look for extraordinary sets that show off individual style and flair? Head to this Old Town Alexandria shop for a curated collection of vintage and new goods designed for use in the modern home bar. Pieces vary from simplistic to ornate which is sure to please everyone's design aesthetic.

Recommended for Alexandria's Best Shopping because: Great glassware never goes out of style so pop into this vintage and new glassware store for incredible finds.

Gina's expert tip: Check their Facebook page for alerts on sales and other events they host throughout the year.

Read more about The Hour Shop →

The Shoe Hive
Photo courtesy of The Shoe Hive

With a combination of both well-known designers and smaller brands, your feet will lead you straight to this store in Old Town Alexandria. The independently owned establishment showcases elegant shoes, bags and accessories to enhance your wardrobe and have friends wanting to know where you got each item. While browsing the brand names, you'll find Kate Spade, Rachel Zoe, Tory Burch, Diane von Furstenberg, Freda Salvador and Superga just to name a few. They offer a variety of styles to chose from including booties, heels, sneakers and sandals. Whatever the occasion calls for, this store has the perfect fit of shoe selections.

Recommended for Alexandria's Best Shopping because: This elegant shoe store would make Carrie Bradshaw want to commute from New York City to Alexandria.

Gina's expert tip: Check out their informative blog about sales tips, what celebrities are wearing and fashion tips.

Read more about The Shoe Hive →

Red Barn Mercantile
Photo courtesy of Red Barn Mercantile

Opened in September 2007, Red Barn Mercantile features 'the finest mix of old and new' products in furniture, home décor and gifts. Some of the items are antiques found through multiple different methods including auctions, vendors and flea markets. Others are brand new with a vintage touch. If visiting the area, why not get a crab bottle opener or Alexandria pillow to remember your time here? With this year's election, you may want to get a democrat and/or republican pillow too. Popular gift sections include books, candles, soaps and lotions. Be sure to get on their email list for news and alerts on store discounts.

Recommended for Alexandria's Best Shopping because: Whether searching for a gift or a way to jazz up your home, this store is the place to come.

Gina's expert tip: Online prices for merchandise vary from in-store so know before you buy.

Read more about Red Barn Mercantile →


Meet Gina Gallucci White

Gina Gallucci White is an award winning freelance writer with articles appearing in such regional publications as Frederick Magazine, The Daily Record, Montgomery Magazine and The Gazette. She...  More About Gina