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6 Best Places to Shop in Washington, D.C.
From designer brands to unique local wares, find what you're looking for in the nation's capital.
Georgetown in Northwest D.C. is one of the area's top places for shopping.(Getty Images)
Travelers to the District of Columbia have an array of shopping experiences to choose from. Whether it's browsing Georgetown's eclectic boutiques, the craft stalls at Eastern Market or CityCenterDC's high-end stores, you're certain to find a retail scene that suits your tastes and needs.
Local experts suggest that visitors try out these six shopping spots in the Greater Washington area:
Known for its quaint, historic homes and scenic views of the Potomac River, this Northwest D.C. retail hub has about 500 shops.
[Read: The Best Washington, D.C., Tours.]
"You will not find a more eclectic grouping of antiques, boutiques and luxury retailers than in Georgetown," says Erich Hosbach, director of sales and marketing at The Graham Georgetown hotel. "My favorite is a series of small townhouses along M Street that house antique and collectible galleries, like the fine art nouveau collection of Cherub Antiques Gallery, or the precious art and sculpture pieces in the gallery of Keith Lipert."
Experts suggest stopping in at Lynn/Louisa, or Hu's Wear and Hu's Shoes, two separate shops across the street from each other that are owned by Marlene Hu Aldaba. Kitt Vidnovic, senior concierge at The Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown, loves the consignment shop 2nd Time Around, on 31st and M Streets.
Located along New York Avenue and Ninth, 11th and H Streets, CityCenterDC is the capital's hot new shopping experience, featuring brands such as Gucci, Dior, Paul Stewart and Louis Vuitton. "It's the first truly high-end Fifth Avenue-type retail and residential living to come to the District, within relative walking distance to most of downtown D.C.," says Greg Leinweber, general manager at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco, Washington, D.C.
This spot in Northwest has revitalized the area around the District of Columbia's old convention center and has an inherently walkable, neighborhood feel to it, with interior sidewalk streets and fantastic restaurants. "If there's an open seat at DBGB Kitchen and Bar by Chef Daniel Boulud, I'm apt to grab it and have dinner with friends. Other good options in the area are Centrolina [and] Dolcezza," Leinweber says.
Union Market and Eastern Market
[Read: The Best Washington, D.C., Bus Tours.]
In Northeast's Union Market, "whether it's the artists themselves, or if they're making clothing or cutlery, this place [offers] a little bit of everything," says Joaquin McPeek, director of communications with the District of Columbia's Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.
Eastern Market near Capitol Hill is another great place to go on the weekends to buy a piece of handcrafted clothing or jewelry.
Visitors looking for a more traditional mall with established brands should visit Tysons Corner Center in Northern Virginia. With more than 300 stores to choose from, plus numerous restaurant options and a movie theater, it has everything you need, McPeek says. The mall is easily accessible from the Capital Beltway if you're traveling by car, and has its own stop on Metrorail's Silver Line. To extend your shopping experience, hop on over to nearby Tysons Galleria for more retail and food options.
If you're willing to take a short ride on Metrorail's Red Line to the District of Columbia-Maryland border, you can find high-end stores at Mazza Gallerie, suggests Bria Del Villar, concierge at the Rosewood Washington, D.C. hotel. This Friendship Heights shopping mecca has a plethora of dining options, a good selection of jewelry stores and a Neiman Marcus.
If it's an outlet experience you're craving, Julie Saunders, head concierge at the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, recommends Tanger Outlets at National Harbor, a 15- to 20-minute drive from the nation's capital. Brooks Brothers, Coach, Hugo Boss, Gap, Nike, Michael Kors and Banana Republic all have factory stores at this shopping center.
Once you're done burning the pavement, enjoy a meal at one of the National Harbor's 30 dining spots, or take a ride on the water taxi to Old Town Alexandria or the National Mall for more sightseeing.
To experience more of what the District of Columbia has to offer, check out the U.S. News Travel guide.
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