Faulkner House Books is a full service new and used book store located in the French Quarter in a property where William Faulkner himself penned his first novel. The store specializes in literature unique to the city and by authors who lived or wrote here. It's a great place for new and experienced collectors to find limited and first edition prints of books by Faulkner, Tennessee Williams and other classics. Manager Miss Joanne is supremely knowledgeable and can match make you with a satisfyingly good read. Sifting through the dusty classics and finding a signed first edition has been known to happen here.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: With its historic setting and crowded shelves, Faulkner Books is a throwback to a pre-e-reader age.
Beth's expert tip: There are a handful of good used book stores in the city, but this is the one to visit for collectors and lovers of the classics.
Fleurty Girl is wildly popular clothing and accessories shop with multiple locations and a decidedly local accent. The boutique's specialty is screen printed tees that feature New Orleans witticisms, catchphrases and pop culture references that make the shirts trendy yet timeless. Owner Lauren Thom started Fleurty Girl out of her house a while back, and her shirts have now become a staple around town, along with all kinds of Nola-centric gifts. Besides shirts, there are hats, boots and other accessories, many featuring the New Orleans Saints football colors black and gold.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: There's always something offbeat at this fun stop won Magazine Street or multiple locations including Mandeville on the North Shore and Old Metairie.
Beth's expert tip: If you miss this shop there's a location in Concourse C at the Louis Armstrong International Airport.
Oak Street has many claims to fame, including great local music and amazing food, but the eight-block street is also an olf fashioned Main Street with tons of shopping options. Take the St. Charles Avenue streetcar from the French Quarter and make a day of it. There are a handful of vintage clothing shops, a few great second-hand stores and an amazing antique shop (Driscoll). Live Oak Cafe is a super spot for java and live music. Blue Cypress Used Book Store is one of the top book stores in the city, and More Fun Comics always entertains. There are also a few local art galleries where you can find a great deal on authentic streetscapes. Head towards the river and have lunch at Cowbell.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Oak Street is best known for the Maple Leaf music club, but its shopping is worth the trip.
Beth's expert tip: Call or check websites for stores you really want to visit because many of them keep zany hours of operation and most close Sunday.
The Shops at Jax Brewery, located in what once was the largest independent brewery in the South built in 1891, combine a riverfront location with a portfolio of national and local brands including H&M and Gumbo Kids. The property has four floors of shops, cafes and boutiques, with the top floor offering some pretty spectacular views of the city. A few of the shops offer witty screen print t-shirts with local sayings and attractions that are sure to be a hit. Home Team Sportswear is a great place to pick up New Orleans Saints memorabilia. There's also an emphasis on local artisan jewelry.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Visitors love to shop, and this inviting indoor mall along Decatur Street fills the bill in the French Quarter.
Beth's expert tip: This light-filled former brewery offers stellar views of the Mississippi from its top floor.
The Shops at Canal Place is adored by locals for its upmarket shopping collection. Anchored by the fashion leader Saks Fifth Avenue, the tony Shops includes the swank Prytania Theater, Anthropologie and Tiffany & Co., home to the coveted little blue box. Situated at the foot of Canal, this shopping experience delivers retail élan for visitors and locals alike. There is a food court and the full-service movie theater serves nibbles, wine and cocktails right at your seat, which could turn "The Shops" into one of the best ways to survive a hot summer afternoon. A Shake Shack, Starbucks and Morton's Steakhouse offer tasty eating and drinking options.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Saks is a much-loved institution here, right on the edge of the French Quarter.
Beth's expert tip: For shoppers who like the comfort of shopping for established name brands, this mall fills the bill.
Redone in 2014, The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk is gorgeous, airy, filled with natural light and river views, something the cavelike original center sorely lacked. Situated in the heart of downtown, first Outlet Collection in any downtown in America is next door to the Convention Center and close to the Cruise Terminal and the French Quarter. For city-dwelling New Orleanians, the siren call of discount parking and mouthwatering brands like Neiman Marcus Last Call (the first in the state), Nordstrom Rack, Kenneth Cole, Coach and Forever 21 are irresistible.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: This buzzworthy shopping destination in the CBD is easily accessible to convention-goers and cruise passengers.
Beth's expert tip: Discount parking is available at 740 Convention Center Blvd.
The French Market is a bustling, open-air shopping center that can hold as many as 220 vendors on a given day. Shop for paintings, clothing and specialty items while enjoying New Orleans street music and smells of fresh gumbo and jambalaya. The market has a ton of history, having existed on the same piece of land for more than two centuries. Some of the best items to find here are stylish sun hats, all kinds of t-shirts, beads galore, prints and original art, great shawls and sarongs. Although geared towards tourists, locals know the market is a lively experience with decent prices.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: The French Market offers all kinds of goodies for souvenir shoppers.
Beth's expert tip: There are tasty food stalls in the market, including an oyster bar with fresh local seafood.
While offering similar types of shops, the Royal Street experience differs significantly from Magazine Street. First, located a block away from Bourbon street, the French Quarter location is reflected in stunning architecture and cobblestoned streets. Higher-end jewelry, art and antique shops are the specialties on this strip, which also has a handful of very nice hotels. And don't forget that the French Quarter is a living neighborhood, complete with an elementary school, hardware store, vet and a supermarket. The heart of the street is closed to car traffic during the day, making it an easy pedestrian destination.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Royal Street is an ongoing - and family-friendly - street party of shopping, buskers and good eats.
Beth's expert tip: Visit during the day and the street is a hub of live buskers showcasing all kinds of music.
Magazine Street, which runs from Canal Street to Audubon Park, is a six-mile-long shopper's paradise. With dozens of funky boutiques, galleries, and restaurants to choose from, Magazine Street is a terrific place to connect with local owner/operators and sample some famous New Orleans hospitality. Gallery and shop owners are all super friendly, displaying the New Orleans charm that never seems aggressive or pushy. Named for a "magazin," a warehouse that Spanish Governor Esteban Rodriguez Miro y Sabater built to house products awaiting export in the late 1700s, the street is lined with Greek Revival homes and Victorian shotguns, many now turned into shops. Expect a treasure trove of housewares, country and period furniture, chandeliers, clothing, books, silly toys, china, antiques, art, food, clothing and jewelry.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Hunting for antiques and enjoying century-old cottages, there's always something of interest along this six-mile retail stretch.
Beth's expert tip: Magazine Street merchants plan eight Saturdays of special events leading up to the holidays.
In the market for a 400 karat David Webb aquamarine bracelet? How about a 121 karat David Winston diamond and ruby necklace? These and other baubles are in the newly carved out 8,500 sq. ft. jewelry showroom at M.S. Rau, a family owned treasure trove of antiques and collectibles since 1912. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, this part museum, part sales floor labyrinth specialized in 18th century English and French antiques, with room after room overflowing with furniture, watches, art and porcelain among other specialties. The brand new jewelry gallery opens with the exhibition Crowning Jewels, which highlights museum-quality gemstones and stunning designer jewelry creations including a one-of-a-kind brooch owned by Elizabeth Taylor, an over the top ring owned by Elvis Presley, bespoke necklaces owned by the musician Prince, and much more.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: A city block full of treasures is too good to pass by.
Beth's expert tip: You don't need to buy a thing to ogle jewelry work by the likes of Elvis, Liz Taylor and Prince.