When it comes to shopping in Atlanta, the city offers districts on both the east and west sides of town. You'll find everything from luxury brands to major department stores and independently owned boutiques native to the area. Grab your credit cards and a pair of comfy shoes and embark on a day or weekend of browsing and buying in The ATL. If you're wondering where to shop in Atlanta, use this list as a guide.
"Va-Hi," as locals call it, is not only one of Atlanta's most desirable areas to live but it's beloved for a string of terrific restaurants, bars and shops. (You can eat and drink before and after your shopping spree.) North Highland Avenue is the main artery and it intersects Virginia Avenue midway through the neighborhood. Virginia-Highland features four well-defined mini-villages with residential areas connecting each, and it's completely walkable. Shop Art Bath Soul for beauty products, Dakota J's for clothing, jewelry and gifts, Cacao Cafe for chocolate, and Urban Cottage for home goods. There's also a frame shop, vintage tea store, tattoo shop and stationery store, among other unique spots.
2. Inman Park/Little Five Points
Called Atlanta's first planned suburb, Inman Park is one of the city's most picturesque neighborhoods, but it's gained a bevy of stylish shops in recent years. Development on the eastern end of North Highland Avenue has attracted several new retailers, as well as the migration of Bill Hallman, a trendsetting boutique with both men's and women's fashions that had a location for several decades in Virginia-Highland. Also within the neighborhood is City Issue, a showroom for midcentury modern furniture, and Juliana's coffee and crepes, to-die-for Hungarian crepes for when you need a break from browsing.
To experience the heart of Atlanta's bohemian culture, head to Little Five. The oldest shopping section in the neighborhood, Little Five Points – an offbeat area where Moreland Avenue meets Euclid Avenue – continues to surprise with unusual stores like the novelty outpost Junkman's Daughter, A Cappella Books, Criminal Records, and the fun shoe store, Abbadabba's.
Probably the epicenter of shopping in Atlanta, this upscale neighborhood promises a plethora of high-end clothing shops, art galleries and furniture stores, as well as two of the city's most visited malls. At Lenox Square, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale's anchor 250 stores, and nearby Phipps Plaza is home to Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom as well as luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss and Prada. On Peachtree, The Shops Buckhead Atlanta provide a six-block stretch of more luxury retailers. Off Piedmont Avenue, Miami Circle – a strip dedicated to home furnishings, both old and new – caters to antique enthusiasts and those with the decorating gene. Meanwhile, more galleries and antique shops mingle with studios and eateries on Bennett Street, located off Peachtree Road on the southern end as you approach Midtown.
It's a city six miles northeast of downtown, but Decatur is also considered an Atlanta suburb. Wander on Ponce De Leon, Sycamore, and Church Street and you'll feel as if you've left the big city for a small yet progressive southern town. Probably one of the best yet off-the-beaten-path districts to shop in Atlanta, Decatur promises a terrific dose of retail therapy for all budgets. Fan favorites include Sq/Ft for unique, snarky gift items and Vivid Boutique for handmade jewelry and home decor.
5. East Atlanta Village
Probably one of Atlanta's funkiest neighborhoods, East Atlanta offers a lively main street of unusual shops. At the intersection of Flat Shoals and Glenwood Avenues, "EAV" as it's now called, has grown into a diverse community of creatives and families. Don't miss Eryn Erickson's brick and mortar location of So Worth Loving, a shop selling products that encourage self-love; The Beehive for industrial-chic wares by Atlanta artists, and Hodgepodge Coffee House & Gallery where you can chill out with a cup of Joe and a sandwich and browse the locally crafted merchandise.
6. Westside Provisions District
While you'll encounter mostly chain stores in this district on the west side of downtown Atlanta – think Room & Board, Knoll, Kolo Collection and Design Within Reach – this mini design district on Howell Mill Road is also home to some local outposts. Great for upscale furniture and home accessories, Bungalow Classic was started in Atlanta more than a decade ago and it remains one of the go-to shops for interior design inspiration. Selling both Old World and New World bottles, Perrine's wine shop was started by sommelier Perrine Prieur. These are just a sampling of the shops in the Westside Provisions District.
7. Atlantic Station
For shopping deals in Atlanta, stay on the west side and peruse the many retailers at Atlantic Station. Choose from Gap, IKEA, Pandora, Express and big stores like Target and Dillard's. With more than 30 stores, Atlantic Station is a one-stop place for buying everyday items as well as splurging on gifts for yourself and friends and family. There's also a Regal IMAX theater for catching a flick, and the dining and drinking options abound.
8. Ponce City Market
Many flock to the food hall for delicious eats, coffee and craft cocktails, others make a trip here to hang out in one of Atlanta's most innovative development projects. And shop, did I mention the lineup of shops? The former Sears & Roebuck building has been reimagined as a food-court-meets-mall where contemporary stores like Williams Sonoma and West Elm lease space, along with a slew of independent lifestyle brands. The industrial vibe permeates the 2.1 million square feet of Ponce City Market, which also features apartments, office space and Skyline Park, a rooftop with panoramic views of Atlanta.
If you're looking for the best shops in Atlanta, check out this list from Atlanta Magazine.