You can easily fill an afternoon window-shopping, people-watching and thrifting in Little Five Points. Long regarded as Atlanta's arty neighborhood, the area is known for quirky shops and thrift stores like Psycho Sisters, Rag-O-Rama and The Clothing Warehouse. You'll find a colorful, largely youthful crowd in these parts that's part eclectic, part grunge and always interesting. A walk in front of Criminal Records (a music store with an excellent selection) usually includes a performance by a street musician. Check out music there and buy a weird souvenir from Junkman's Daughter. Buy a burger at Vortex Bar & Grill. Beer snobs, welcome home. The Porter Beer Bar and Wrecking Bar Brewpub both offer a large beer selection and good food.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Pick up an unusual souvenir, score a unique vintage find and get some great lunch in quirky Little Five Points.
Kelly's expert tip: Don't expect to find a parking spot directly behind the business you're visiting. Opt for street parking in one of the adjoining neighborhoods.
Enjoy Decatur's homespun charm and meander through the boutiques and shops around the Decatur Square. Highlights around the Square include whimsical children's book store, Little Shop of Stories, fine jewelry emporium, Worthmore, boho-chic clothier Squash Blossom, and arty gift shop, Vivid. Art galleries and gift shops are aplenty, and include The Seen Gallery and Wild Oats & Billy Goats. Further down Ponce, you can shop for flirty dresses at Boogaloos, colorful office and design goodies at Heliotrope and old (and new) records and CDs at Decatur CD. Your Dekalb Farmers Market, a gigantic warehouse filled with fresh produce, meats and fish definitely warrants a visit if you don't find yourself pulled in by one of the area's fabulous restaurants for dinner. We suggest Taqueria del Sol or Farm Burger for lunch and The Brick Store Pub, Leon's or No. 246 for dinner.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: The inviting town square is an inviting place to spend an afternoon and offers a generous helping of fine dining options.
Kelly's expert tip: There are only a handful of parking spots on the actual square. Look for a spot in the courthouse lot (if you leave after 6 it's free).
Leafy side streets and a scattering of clothing stores, bars, and restaurants give this historic neighborhood an appeal that's hard to resist. Named for the main streets in this area, Virginia Avenue and Highland Avenue, the neighborhood has a wide selection of shops that will speak to a range of people. Men and women can snag trendy garb from atelier Bill Hallman Original; camping gear from Half Moon Outfitters; handcrafted, gourmet chocolates from Cacao; or American-made gifts and home goods from the Indie-Pendent. Fashion-minded ladies can score Michael Kors, Free People and Rebecca Minkoff styles at Winter Wren, while trendy workout fiends will want to stock their closets with cute gear from Atlanta Activewear.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Virginia Highland is a beautiful place to wander with friends, to shop and to grab lunch. Abundant sidewalks and eateries lend to the pleasant atmosphere.
Kelly's expert tip: Don't be fooled. Virginia Highland seemingly starts and stops a couple of times. If it seems like you haven't reached your destination yet... it's because you haven't reached your destination yet. Pay attention to street numbers.
Design-centric stores are a large basis of the shops on the industrial-chic Westside at and around Westside Provisions District. Bungalow Classic, Environment Furniture, Jonathan Adler and Room & Board all offer ample opportunities for eying incredible furnishings. Atlanta MADE meanwhile highlights jewelry, accessories and home goods made locally, while locals Sid and Ann Mashburn continually set the bar (and gain national acclaim) for impeccable Southern fashion at their eponymous men and women's boutiques. When not grabbing goodies from spots like Anthropologie or the aforementioned interiors stores, gourmet grocery shopping at Star Provisions or lunch at Taqueria del Sol are in order.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: It's a trendy, walkable destination with excellent local shops and restaurants.
Kelly's expert tip: You have to stick around and eat after you've shopped. Miller Union, Bacchanalia and JCT. Kitchen & Bar are among the best in the country.
It's easy to miss The Shops of Miami circle when flying down Piedmont Road while heading from Midtown to Buckhead--but don't. There are great prizes to be found among the small galleries, gift shops and home design shops that make up this shopping circle. Get in the art mood and begin your adventure with strolls around Thomas Deans Fine Art, Anne Irwin Fine Art and Bill Lowe Gallery, three local art galleries with an ever-changing line-up of local and national artists. Select handsome accessories and give your digs that extra flourish after a trip inside The Gables Antiques, Acquisitions or Foxglove Antiques & Galleries. Post-shopping fun can be had at the newly opened boutique bowling alley, The Painted Pin, which sells craft cocktails and gourmet grub lane-side.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Antiques, art, bowling and even hot yoga are yours for the taking in this nearly hidden shopping circle.
Kelly's expert tip: Workout junkies, you can score top-notch fitness programs here, too! Operation Boot Camp and Red Hot Yoga both have studios here.
The always bustling Perimeter Mall is a choice spot for grabbing clothes, gifts, food, home items and more when you're near the north perimeter. Hotels are abundant in this area, making a shopping spree convenient for out-of-town guests staying close by. The complex is huge, and often confusing, so take your time as you drive the loop around the mall. Department stores include Nordstrom, Von Maur, Dillards and Macy's, while smaller stores include ALDO, The Gap, bebe, Abercrombie & Fitch, Express, Guess, H&M, Urban Outfitters and Swarovski. Nearby are a slew of restaurants, including the always outstanding Alon's, Eclipse di Luna and Cafe Intermezzo as well as Barnes & Noble.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: This is a go-to for great shopping when you're hanging by or outside of the perimeter.
Kelly's expert tip: Traffic can get hectic. Shrug it off with a glass of wine and a gorgeous salad at Alon's.
Located across the street from Lenox Square Mall on Lenox Drive, this semi-circle of small shops and eateries packs an impressive punch with its diverse lineup of stores. Crate & Barrel and Paper Source will satisfy the design-minded shopper looking for stationery or appealing items to fill an office or home. American Apparel is chockablock with bright tights, short shorts and hipster gear, while Cosabella thrills with lacy lingerie. Suitsupply sports modern men's stylings in a triumphant space, and Ona is filled to the brim with beautiful giftables. Women's boutiques put their best heels forward with Tootsie's, The Impeccable Pig and Bill Hallman.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: You can pop in and out of a wide range of stores without battling the crowds at Phipps or Lenox.
Kelly's expert tip: Enjoy the surrounding restaurants for lunch after your shopping spree. Seven Lamps has excellent cocktails, and Roots Juices is a healthful post-shopping pick-me-up!
The gargantuan Atlantic Station is a mixed-use development located just west of Midtown near Georgia Tech, and feels very much like a small town unto itself. A massive IMAX movie theater finds a place alongside numerous shops, a grocery store and various fast-casual restaurants. The pedestrian-friendly location is great for families and regularly hosts concerts and festivities in the summer months, including the BB&T Atlanta Open tennis match (attracting pros like John Isner). Major store anchors include Ikea, Target and Dillards, with shops like American Apparel, H&M, West Elm and Banana Republic rounding out the mix. Restaurant offerings include Tin Drum Asia Cafe and Chick-a-Biddy.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Kid-friendly entertainment; good, casual dining; a mega-movie theater; and a range of brand-name shops; and IKEA make this a destination all its own!
Kelly's expert tip: There are more than 7,000 parking spaces at Atlantic Station. So, if you're the type who forgets where they've parked, download the free Spot Finder app, which helps you locate your car. http://atlanticstation.com/parking/
Buckhead's posh shopping mall is located just across the street from Lenox Square and claims a handful of the city's most expensive stores. Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue both make a base at Phipps. Other elite designer shops include Tiffany & Co., Hugo Boss, Bottega Veneta, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Hublot, Jimmy Choo, Valentino and Tory Burch, among others. There are exquisite promenades and beautiful courts to be found, and the Simon Mall regularly plays home to fashion shows and events attended by the city's well-heeled. Going hungry won't be a problem. Yebo., The Tavern at Phipps and Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse are among the delicious restaurants onsite and nearby. Ample hotels are within walking distance as are a fab movie theater and kid-favorite, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Go here for big designer names and high-end luxury brands.
Kelly's expert tip: End your shopping splurge with dinner at Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse inside Phipps.
If there's a brand you adore, there's a good chance you'll find it at this sprawling Buckhead mall, located across the street from Phipps Plaza and surrounded by upscale hotels and great places to eat. More than 250 businesses occupy the mall, ensuring visitors won't leave empty-handed. Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus are among the anchor department stores at the multi-floored mall. Brand-name shops include Burberry, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Prada, C. Wonder, Gap, Pottery Barn, Sephora and several others. A large selection of restaurants have been added to Lenox recently, the most notable ones being, Sprinkles cupcakes, True Food Kitchen and Zinburger.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: A wide range of shops appealing to all ages and prices make this four-level mall a crowd favorite.
Kelly's expert tip: Avoid Peachtree--and much of the traffic--by taking Lenox Road in. Good parking is by Neiman Marcus and at the entrance to the food court.