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Gifts Galore: Best Christmas Shopping in Nashville, 2013



Even if you got all the best deals you could on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, odds are there is still a person or two on your list who is notoriously hard to shop for. Luckily, Music City shoppers have a plethora of offbeat shops, high-end retailers and everything in between so you are sure to make everyone smile on Christmas morning. At GasLamp Antique and Decorating Mall, one of the state's largest antique malls, spend hours digging through vintage finds, amazing jewelry and so much more from the 160 vendors. Climate controlled, snacks and rocking music? What more could you want? Maybe it's the high, high end retailers that can only be found at The Mall at Green Hills - think Tiffany, although if you can't bear the thought of leaving your own neighborhood - whether that's 12South, East Nashville, Hillsboro Village, or even Franklin and Gallatin, there is no need. Nashville is full of a million treasures, so Christmas shopping can be as much of an exploration of the city you love as much as it is finding just the right gift for everyone in your life. The one downfall will be reigning in your spending to just the loved ones while making notes about what you have to come back later for yourself. 


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The Marketplace at Amberleaf on on the historic downtown square in Gallatin is the perfect place to shop for creative, artistic and artisanal finds. Owner Patti Hall has opened the doors of the 7,500-square-foot building to more than 30 artists and their "micro-shops," making perfect use of the space in the restored building from the turn-of-the-century. It's easy to find gifts for the hard-to-shop-for from the eclectic mix of goods that includes repurposed furniture, vintage clothing and all manner of interesting finds. The Marketplace focuses on handmade merchandise and original artwork of all styles, and there is a Smoky Joe's Coffee Cafe on the premise serving Bongo Java roasts. If you are craving something more substantial to get you through the day's shopping, try a sandwich from nearby Lime Deli or The Whipporwill.


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Hillsboro Village

This college district is ideal for completely losing an afternoon. There are many small shops offering 'on trend' items including handcrafted jewelry and housewares. Browse the captivating selection in the used bookstore and decades' old cook's resource shop. It's a bit of future and past here, and definitely worth exploring. One must-stop shop is Nashville Chic for family and friends who can't get enough of Music City. Finish off with a late lunch at Sunset Grille, Jackson's or Cabana. This area is constantly evolving and energetic, so expect whatever is young, fresh and fun to be found here.




Every day there's a new reason to stop into this shopping mecca. It's never too crowded, houses only the best stores (Nordstrom, J.Crew, Tory Burch, Restoration Hardware, Apple, Louis Vuitton) and boasts unique designer clothing/accessory boutiques such as Gus Mayer, and Judith Bright where you will find original, Nashville-inspired style. The most incredible gifts in the city are to be found at Absolution. Eateries are abundant, including a Cheesecake Factory, Jonathan's, Carrabba's and the lovely Table 3 French Bistro (which also boasts a take out market and bakery). The hot spots don't stop at the mall, but extend in both directions on Hillsboro Road. This includes Bluebird Caf� and King Jewelers, where the state's most exclusive brands of watches and estate jewels are a celebrity draw.


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Leave your downtown hotel and cross the river to explore a true artist's haven in one of the city's most energetic neighborhoods. The store-owners are creative, fun and display merchandise that is totally unique. The heart of the area is Five Points, where the food and cocktails gain national praise. But, equally enticing are original works for home and fashion created by East Nashville's most gifted residents. One of the best ways to see it all in a swoop is to plan your visit when a festival is happening (and they have many). There's even a new storefront for The Trunk (the innovative, followed) fashion truck on the shops at Fatherland. Old Made Good is another must-visit. Repurposed is an understatement, as this estate-sale-finds vintage store might just be the best store for unique home and collectors items in the country.


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12th Avenue South
12th Avenue South
Photo courtesy of iStock/Thinkstock

Strolling through 12th South is a bit like taking a step both forward and back in time. Porches are commonplace and most doors are kept open (weather permitting). The residents here have a true walking neighborhood (and even their own farmer's market and park).The offerings inside establishments are modern-day cool and representative of the eclectic vibe of the entire city. Country crooner Gary Allan owns a trendy designer men's clothing destination in the same building as Cadeau Home and Jeni's Ice Cream. A block away, custom denim is created daily for the likes of Luke Bryan at Imogene+Willie. Katy K's may be one of the oldest retailers in Nashville, but is still wildly popular. There are consignment shops, coffee haunts, and a slew of independent designer stores to explore in this district, so plan to stay awhile. Keep your energy up with a bit of Edley's Barbeque or a grass-fed, gourmet selection at Burger Up.


Many top hotels offer daily shuttle service to this quaint and historic location. Nashville's elite make the 15-20-minute drive on a regular basis to browse the eclectic women's clothing at Haven (owned by coveted celeb stylist) or to try on Frye Boots and designer denim at Emmaline Boutique. The impossibly chic Iron Gate home d�cor showroom never disappoints with European furnishings, linens and gifts. Casual eateries pepper the historic streets alongside stately storefronts. If you are an entertaining guru, don't miss The Registry. The selection of quality, crafted table and barware is expansive and seriously impressive. While you're close, catch a glimpse at the dozens of galleries and shops as well as the Viking Cooking Store and School in The Factory at Franklin.


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The Gulch

The city's fastest-growing urban neighborhood is The Gulch. Walking distance from downtown and home to top high-rise residential developments, it's literally humming from the buzz. That starts at men's/women's clothing store, Two Old Hippies (complete with a guitar selection and random live music) situated across from an organic grocery and eatery, Turnip Truck. A celeb stomping ground. E. Allen is another clothing stop just steps away from Kenny & Company, a home resource store featuring sought-after contemporary tile, fixtures and interior design elements. The most dynamic store in the area is Galerie Ravin where jewelry designer to the stars, Vincent Peach, offers affordable leather and pearl creations alongside the gallery's authentic, collector series art pieces by Andy Warhol. It's also home to some of the area's most hopping local bars, pubs and restaurants. You may come for Urban Outfitter necessities, but stay for happy hour at Rumours Wine Bar.




This open-air, pet-friendly avenue in the Green Hills neighborhood is home to a few of the city's most popular retailers. You will find Anthropologie, Whole Foods Body, West Elm, Calypso St Barths and other upscale national chains. But, the real reasons to go are to peek into the exclusive clothing boutique H. AUDREY (owned by Hank Jr.'s stylish daughter/recording artist, Holly) or to get lost in the vast selection in the Cosmetic Market. Famed southern designer Billy Reid also has an outpost here. The adjacent street of Bandywood is equally enticing with 25+ local retail choices (less than a block away). Stop into Ronnie Dunn's chic daughter's adorable shop, The Perfect Pair for shoes and baubles, and don't miss grabbing a healthy lunch at Firefly.




Known as the apple barn, Opry Mills is Tennessee's largest outlet mall with household names like Bath and Body Works, Game Stop, Earthbound, Old Navy, Payless and Verizon. Located between the airport and downtown Nashville, Opry Mills has over 200 stories as well as an Imax theater, TGI Fridays, and Rainforest Café. The mall was closed for nearly two years after the flood in 2010, but has since reopened and is just as packed as it always was. On-site restaurants fill up fast, so if you want a shake at Johnny Rocket's or a table at Rainforest Cafe, prepare to wait. A while.


GasLamp Antique and Decorating Mall


You could spend hours browsing the unique merchandise at this 25,000 square-foot antique mall in Nashville. GasLamp Antiques - one of the largest antique malls in Tennessee with two huge buildings - boasts more than 160 space sfull of fine antiques, home decor, jewelry, books, vintage clothing, fine furniture, lamps, collectibles, and even the occasional kitchen sink. The buildings are built for comfort, climate controlled and handicapped accessible, there is even a snack bar, coffee, and plenty of shopping carts to tote your treasures. Vintage 50's and 60's rock and roll music is piped through the sound system, adding to the ambiance. In the large showcase room, you can find great prices on an assortment of antiques and vintage items, such as clothing, furniture, jewelry, lamps, china and silver.


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Meet Hollie Deese

Hollie Deese is a Nashville-based writer who has spent the past 10 years falling in love with the sights, sounds and flavors of Music City. Hollie has 15 years experience as a writer and...  More About Hollie

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