STORY IDEAS

A Shopping Experience Like No Other

Shopping in Texas is as big and exciting as its scenic vistas and rich cultural history. No matter what type of shopping experience travelers are seeking, they are sure to find it in the Lone Star State's premier shopping malls, historic small towns or hip urban shopping districts. From high-end couture to outlet centers to antique treasures, Texas has it all.

Dallas, known for its world-class shopping and home to more shopping centers per capita than any other city in the country, features the original Neiman Marcus and two premier shopping centers – NorthPark Center and the Dallas Galleria. For the adventurous shopper looking for an experience outside of a mall, head to Uptown where shoppers can take a vintage trolley up and down McKinney Avenue, where specialty shops and furniture stores are aplenty. Drive a short way to the suburbs for shopping galore in places like Plano and Frisco where retail centers deliver great value, selection and deals. Located between the two cities are the Allen Premium Outlets offering impressive savings and an exciting collection of over 100 stores of the world’s finest designers and name brands. Nearby, Fort Worth embraces its cowboy heritage with the shops at The Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District, where western wear is expertly crafted.  Visitors can find a pair of authentic custom boots at M.L. Leddy’s, one of the city’s oldest western wear shops. To complete the western look, have a traditional cowboy hat custom-fitted at one of the many other western wear stores in the downtown historic district including Finchers White Front.

No matter what part of Houston travelers venture to, they will be within distance of many shopping destinations. The city is home to the Houston Galleria, which has established itself as the city’s number one shopping and tourist destination, with more than 24 million annual visitors to its more than 375 fine designer, couture and retail stores.  Houston’s newest outlet shopping center, Houston Premium Outlets, offers shoppers a wide variety of designer fashions and impressive bargains at over 145 stores. Don’t forget the neighborhood shopping centers across the city; one of the most popular sites to visit is The Village, 16 blocks hosting a mixture of small shops, boutiques and established brands. Located conveniently next to Rice University, The Village is crawling with students, visitors and local residents on any given day. For more eclectic items, venture to the Montrose and The Heights neighborhoods. Here shoppers will find several antique stores as well as unique, traditional, and vintage clothing stores. Just west of Houston is the Katy Mills Mall, an outlet mall which hosts a variety of more than 200 specialty stores on over 1.3 square miles of land. Travel 30 minutes north of Houston to visit The Woodlands Town Center which includes The Woodlands Mall, The Woodlands Waterway and Market Street. All three shopping areas are located on 1,000 acres and are home to renowned brands, local and luxury boutiques, and high-class fashion. Just minutes from The Woodlands are the Outlets at Conroe. This convenient, open-air shopping center offers extraordinary savings and exceptional quality.

Austin is known for its pockets of unique neighborhoods, each offering a different kind of shopping experience that will leave some laden with wonderful discoveries. Austin’s up-and-coming hip areas of South Congress Avenue and South Lamar offer small-label designer clothing boutiques, folk art, vintage goods, western wear and antiques. While enjoying downtown Austin, shoppers can explore the Second Street District, finding trendy boutiques, salons, and one-of-a-kind restaurants. The avid mall shopper has many selections that will leave them happy including Barton Creek Mall, The Arboretum and the newest and most high-end of them all, The Domain, located in the Northwest area of the city.  Just 20 minutes north of Austin, the Round Rock Premium Outlets feature 125 stores and premier brands. For even more incredible deals, drive south to San Marcos, an outlet shopper’s paradise. Two outlet malls, the San Marcos Premium Outlets and the Tanger Outlet Center, sit adjacent to each other and bring in eleven million visitors annually to browse the more than 260 shops located here.

San Antonio boasts other great opportunities for the eager shopper. Nowhere else in the state will you find a downtown mall with a natural river running through it. Located on the banks of the Riverwalk, Rivercenter Mall is known for its unique style in addition to its undeniable Riverwalk spirit. As accessible as the mall is to downtown, so are the other assorted retailers along the Alamo Plaza. From Texas souvenirs to fine jewelry, travelers will be able to find the perfect something for themselves or for someone else. Two other shopping malls surely will not disappoint – Northstar Mall and The Shops at La Cantera. Not only is Northstar Mall conveniently located next to the airport and internationally acclaimed for its one-of-a-kind and brand name stores, but here visitors will be able to observe the world’s tallest cowboy boots, standing 40 feet tall and 20 feet long outside of Saks Fifth Avenue! The Shops at La Cantera offer upscale shopping in a unique outdoor atmosphere. To get an authentic and cultural experience wander over to San Antonio’s unique Market Square known as El Mercado, the largest Mexican marketplace outside of Mexico, and discover bright, bold and beautiful Mexican culture.

Even more shopping experiences await visitors in South and West Texas along the border of Mexico. The La Plaza Mall in McAllen serves the entire city of McAllen in addition to the many border and interior cities in Mexico, and is known as the leading shopping, dining and entertainment destination for the entire Rio Grande Valley. Centrally located nearby are the Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets featuring 140 stores with impressive savings and discounts. For even more retail therapy, visit Mall del Norte in Laredo, one of the biggest malls in Texas with over 160 stores and restaurants. While in Laredo, shoppers can’t miss strolling along the historic San Bernardo Avenue where 40 plus city blocks present an array of different stores and boutiques. Looking for the perfect pair of cowboy boots? In West Texas, El Paso is known as the “Boot Capital of the World” and is home to some of the most famous boot makers including Tony Lama, Justin, Lucchese, Cowtown, T.O. Stanley, Black Jack, J.B. Hill, Stallion, Champion and Rocketbuster. Shoppers can find endless options suiting every taste and budget in addition to custom-made boots that are always within easy reach. Bargain hunters can find exceptional deals at The Outlet Shoppes of El Paso, where sales are offered year round at some of the most well known, brand name stores in the country.

Travel to some of the state’s hidden gems to find some of the best one-of-a-kind items. Some of the most unique shopping in the Lone Star State can be found in quaint town squares and along main streets of Texas small towns. Southwest of Fort Worth, Granbury offers a slice of Americana with shops galore on the square surrounding the picturesque Hood County courthouse. Nestled between Dallas and Fort Worth, historic downtown Grapevine offers both sophisticated charm and antique shopping, while the nearby Grapevine Mills Mall is a shopper's delight, with over 1.6 million square feet and nearly 200 retail stores in which to shop.  

Southeast of Dallas, the town of Canton hosts outdoor “Trade Days” the first weekend of every month, bringing thousands of vendors from across the country to turn this friendly community into a shopper's paradise. Visitors can stroll along the aisles of pavilions where rare antiques and collectibles, furniture, fine home decor, arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, tools, produce, and much more are in endless supply. It will take even the most aggressive shopper more than a day to cover all the ground. South of Waco, the charming town of Salado features a fascinating variety of shops - art galleries, antiques, crafts and women's fashions. Several outstanding craftsmen and artists also reside in Salado.

For the diehard antiquers, travel to the small towns of Carmine, Round Top and Warrenton, all located halfway between Houston and Austin. Twice a year, dealers from the area and from every region across the country gather for the Annual Antique Week extravaganza – an event deemed as one of the largest antique and collector events in the world. Comfortable shoes are a requirement for visitors as they’ll want to cover every square inch of the grounds for amazing finds.

Fredericksburg has long been a hot spot for leisurely shopping along the Main Street of downtown.  The town’s Hauptstrasse (or Main Street) presents its own distinct character and is home to an eclectic collection of over 150 specialty shops and boutiques. The combination of German cultural influences and beautiful hill country scenery makes Fredricksburg tough to beat and an absolute must-stop for visitors who want a bit of history mingled with their shopping.
 
With many miles of road to cover, the ultimate shopper will find exactly what they are looking for in Texas, from traditional western wear to couture shopping centers. Previous visitors would suggest bringing an extra suitcase… or just picking up a new one at one of the many Texas shopping venues.