Guides

Washington, D.C. Shopping Guide – where and what to shop and buy

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Washington, D.C.’s extensive shopping scene is as eclectic as you'd expect from the sprawling US capital. Visitors searching for a unique buy will discover the upscale antique stores and open-air craft markets. There's also a handful of shopping malls, rows and rows of independent and brand name boutiques, and small hidden clusters of weird and wacky thrift stores. In other words, there’s enough in D.C. to satisfy the pickiest shopper.
U Street

 

 

U Street Corridor is a famed residential and commercial neighborhood situated in northwest D.C. The area boasts remarkable stretches of stately Victorian architecture mixed with mid-20th century designs. With a hip, bouncing nightlife of bars, clubs, and toe-tapping live jazz venues, U Street has a wild side that won't quit. Don’t expect endless high end fashion here. Instead, discover the inspiring independent art galleries and thrift stores, and the many bohemian vintage clothing stores - where feathered caps, old school dungarees and beat-up Doc Martens decorate the storefronts.

 

Capitol Hill

 

 

Capitol Hill is a large, mostly residential neighborhood that sits to the east of D.C.’s iconic, white-washed Capitol building. It’s a largely affluent area, where wide tree-studded streets and lined by grand, pastel-painted townhouses with Beaux Arts exteriors. Head down to Eastern Market for a riveting retail experience. The red-brick hall holds dozens of delectable eateries week-round, from bakeries to divine delicatessens. On weekends, an outdoor market pops up, where you can browse locally crafted sculptures, vibrant paintings, and a host of arts and crafts. If you’re in need of a real antique-hunter fix, visit the stores along 8th Street SE.

 

Chinatown

 

 

Chinatown is a small central D.C. neighborhood that bustles with round-the-clock energy and excitement. The streets are home to dozens of family-run restaurants and eateries, chic bars and art galleries, including Smithsonian Museums. Chinatown also hosts one of D.C.’s most central shopping centers, the refined Gallery Place. With pristine marble-floor interiors and arching glass ceilings, Gallery Place provides a paradise for serious shoppers. Check out the huge brand name fashions and electronic gizmos, before enjoying some retro entertainment at the bowling alley and cinema.

 

Dupont Circle

 

 

Dupont Circle is a hip neighborhood known as the epicenter of gay life in D.C., not to mention a burgeoning artistic quarter dotted with independent bookstores and cool cafés. There are also shops selling vintage clothes, beaded accessories, and handmade chocolates. You can also pamper yourself at the sublime, scented cosmetic stores, and run your hands over some classic guitars and banjitars – they're a guitar banjo hybrid, don't you know.