One of the oldest and largest flea markets in the country, Canton's First Monday Trade Days (located around 50-miles southeast of Dallas) is every magpie's dream, with over 5,000 dealers, pavilions and stalls sprawled across 100 acres. From apparel (new and vintage), antiques and collectibles to crafts and jewelry, whatever it is you are looking for, you're likely to find it here. But don't let the name fool you, the main event actually takes place the Thursday through Sunday before the first Monday of each month. Whichever day you go, be sure to arrive early if you want to beat the crowds. Also, take plenty of cash and be prepared to haggle.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: First Monday is the place for everything from vintage gems and to cowboy attire.
Ilene's expert tip: Be sure to download the First Monday Trade Days app so you can guide your way to the treasures you're searching for. To make getting around easier, there are scooter rental stations installed at each entry point. Also, note that there are ATMs here.
Whether you're a kid or an adult, it's hard to walk into this whimsical little toy shop and not be dazzled by its seemingly limitless array of playthings. From robots, dinosaurs and puppets to kites, games, trucks and even toy drones, every inch of its 3,700 sq. ft. space is packed with eye-catching goodies at every turn. As well, Froggie's is a veritable treasure trove of playthings from the past. There are tin toys, action figures, old-fashioned lunchboxes, Slinkys, yo-yos and even retro candy. You'll also find a stockpile of gag gifts: Farting calendars anyone?
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Froggie's is arguably the best place to shop for toys in Dallas.
Ilene's expert tip: Check out the Facebook page to find out about new arrivals and special sales.
Located in North Dallas, the Galleria is home to over 200 retail shops spread out over four levels. Expect to find everything from Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom to Gucci, Le Creuset and American Girl alongside most all the major brands you can think of (from Abercrombie & Fitch to J. Crew). Add in a swanky Westin hotel, a plethora of eating options, a rain forest-themed kid's play space, an ice-skating rink and an impressive glass vaulted ceiling modeled after the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, and you can see why this place is consistently a major draw for locals and tourists alike.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Year-round ice skating, convenient multi-level parking and a wide variety of stores make the Galleria Dallas one of the city's prime go-to shopping destinations.
Ilene's expert tip: Shoppers traveling more than 50 miles to visit the Galleria Dallas can receive a VIP Privilege Card filled with special offers and discounts. Just bring a valid photo ID to the Guest Reception Center located on Level 1, Center Court to score one.
Tucked in on the east side of downtown, the Dallas Farmers Market (founded in 1941) is widely recognized as one of the largest markets in the state. Not only will you find over 150 vendor stalls showcasing seasonal produce, naturally raised meats, cheese, eggs and honey in an open-air pavilion (the Shed), but there's also a massive indoor food and shopping hall (the Market) boasting artisanal food stalls and eateries along with shops peddling everything from T-shirts to Mexican imports and antique furniture. In addition to shopping and eating, the Farmers Market hosts regular activities, ranging from yoga classes and cooking demonstrations to live musical performances and special seasonal events.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: The Dallas Farmers Market not only offers fresh produce and food items, but it also is home to a variety of unique shops.
Ilene's expert tip: There are a variety of parking lots and metered parking spots available nearby. Visitors can also get here via the complimentary D-Link shuttle (dart.org) as well as call the Dallas Farmers Market free shuttle at 469.445.0720 for pickup at Akard and Main, and Akard and Commerce.
This Allen based outlet complex is a magnet to shoppers from across the country. The draw? It's possibly the area's best place to score a raft of luxury labels and name brands for 25% to 65% off retail prices. There are over 100 stores, including Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, Cole Haan, Kenneth Cole, Armani, BCBG Factory Outlet and Lacoste as well as True Religion, Under Armour and Converse. The list goes on with children's apparel, jewelry and accessories to housewares, leather goods, luggage and even snowboards. Speaking of housewares, there's a Le Creuset outlet store located here too. In short, if you're into scoring some real bargains on quality merchandise and name brands, this is the place for you.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: For those who like getting the best for less, Allen Premium Outlets offers some of the best bargains in town.
Ilene's expert tip: Sign up for the VIP Shoppers Club for free access to exclusive deals and coupons online. And be sure to check under deals on the website to take advantage of even more bargains.
A mainstay in the West End Historic District of downtown Dallas, Wild Bill's has supplied authentic western gear to everyone from Elton John and Mick Jagger to the cast of the TV series Dallas. This is where you'll find handcrafted boots by the likes of Justin, Lagarto and Lucchese as well as everything from clothing, belts, buckles and wallets to bolo ties and jewelry. And of course, no cowboy or cowgirl's wardrobe is complete without a hat. There's also stuff for younger cowpokes too. Don't miss the kitschy Texas souvenirs. Did we mention the free beer?
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Wild Bill's Western Wear has been the go-to place in Dallas for cowboy attire for over 50 years.
Ilene's expert tip: Be sure to double check any item you find in-store with the same item online, if there is a price difference, the store will honor the lowest price. Note that there is metered parking in front of the store.
No trip to Dallas would be complete without a pit stop at the flagship Neiman Marcus store, a Dallas icon dating back to 1914. Here, you'll find five floors filled with everything from luxe designer labels for women, men and children to toys, gifts and home decor. More than just another high-end department store, Neiman Marcus' downtown location still echoes the old world charm of a bygone era, it's a true standing monument to the classic style of Dallas. Not to be missed is the Zodiac restaurant on the 6th floor where lunch includes complimentary popovers with strawberry butter and a demitasse of chicken broth.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: For the quintessential Dallas shopping experience, look no further than the legendary Neiman Marcus store downtown.
Ilene's expert tip: Receive a 15% discount off your next purchase by signing up for emails on the website. You can reserve a table at the Zodiac online. Note that there is valet parking offered.
Retail therapy doesn't get much better than at this four-level, 37,000 square foot luxury boutique--where you'll find plenty of posh threads for men and women from the likes of Stella McCartney, Proenza, Marc Jacobs and Thom Browne. The store also carries a phenomenal collection of handbags, shoes and jewelry, as well as beauty products and decorative items for the home. Everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Oprah and Laura Bush shop here-- so as you might expect, prices tend to run on the steeper side. Though, even if your budget can't stretch far enough to squeeze in a little Victoria Beckham number, you can still walk away with one-of-a-kind trinkets without breaking the bank. Not-to-be-missed is Mirador, the store's ultra-chic eatery perched on the top floor.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Forty Five Ten has garnered an international reputation as being one of the top luxury boutiques in the country.
Ilene's expert tip: Free valet parking is available across the street at the Joule hotel. Follow Forty Five Ten on Twitter to find out about secret sales and new arrivals.
Tucked in among the stately mansions in the Dallas suburb of Highland Park lies the iconic Highland Park Village, Dallas' chicest, and the country's oldest, open-air shopping center. Opened in 1931, the Mediterranean Spanish-style complex is a one-stop spot for everything luxury, boasting a who's who list of names in fashion. There's Escada, Fendi, Chanel, Hermes, Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney and Jimmy Choo as well as trendy retailers like Rag & Bone, Theory and Anthropologie. And that just covers the half of it. You don't need to have an AMEX Platinum card to window shop, but it sure will come in handy should you decide to purchase anything. Easier on the wallet is a handful of places to refuel, ranging from Tex-Mex stalwart Mi Cocina to the Royal Blue Grocery.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Highland Park Village is one of the premier shopping spots for luxury labels.
Ilene's expert tip: If it's too difficult to park within the village, additional parking is available in the lot at Mockingbird Lane and Douglas Avenue. There is also complimentary valet parking.
With over 2,000,000 square feet of retail and dining, plus a museum-quality art collection and a 16-screen AMC theater, it's no wonder that Dallas' crown jewel of shopping centers ranks among the top five shopping destinations in the country. Here, you'll find more than 235 retailers, ranging from legendary department stores (Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Dillard's and Nordstrom) to designer boutiques such as Gucci and Burberry as well as familiar brands like H&M, Gap and Apple. If you need to refuel, there are around thirty dining options to tempt your taste buds, from upscale eateries and cafes to a food court peddling everything from tacos to sushi and pho.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Welcoming 26 million visitors annually, NorthPark Center is cream of Dallas' crop when it comes to shopping centers.
Ilene's expert tip: Score free valet parking by dining at one of NorthPark's restaurants. Just be sure to have your ticket validated at the restaurant. Out of town visitors can visit NorthPark's Concierge for a VIP Traveler Offers brochure featuring special offers and discounts for travelers.