Austin may be a city known for its experiences – like live music and great meals – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t also a ton of great shopping. From big-box retailers to local makers, there’s something for everyone to take home this holiday season. Read on for the best places to shop around town to find that certain something and please everyone on your list.
Don’t call Round Rock “the outskirts” of Austin. This suburban boomtown has become an epicenter of tech and is home to plenty of great shopping. Round Rock Premium Outlets, conveniently located on Interstate 35, offers 125 shops boasting big-name brands from Adidas to Zales. Just south of the outlet mall is IKEA, ideal for affordable home furnishings, and for a more local experience, downtown Round Rock holds a few mom-and-pop gems worth a visit, like Mays Street Boutique, The Dowdy House, and 3 Star Candy. While you’re downtown, take a break from your retail adventures with a flavored latte at Star Coffee Texas or sweet treat from Round Rock Donuts.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for at The Domain, you’re not looking hard enough. That’s because this mixed-use development, which began as a two-phase outdoor shopping mall in the late 2000s, has since blossomed into a booming retail and dining megaplex. It offers everything from upscale department stores (Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom) and mainstream staples (Restoration Hardware, Apple) to Austin-based brands like Kendra Scott, W3LL P3OPLE, Raven + Lily and Viva Day Spa. For a break between stores, check out the bars, cafes, and eateries in the dining district known as Rock Rose at Domain Northside, the newest addition to the sprawling hub.
Perhaps the most idyllic avenue for retail therapy in Austin is the 2nd Street District, a leafy downtown area where a four-block stretch of local and global boutiques is punctuated with popular restaurants (North, Flower Child, Torchy’s, Numero 28) and an independent cinema. Beloved local institution Toy Joy sells quirky objects for kids of all ages alongside Yummi Joy, a new twist on an old-fashioned candy shop with bulk sweets and a vegan ice cream counter. Local jeweler Eliza Page and upscale boutique Sikara & Co. sell beautiful baubles and luxury gifts for discerning recipients, while UAL offers designer duds at deep, deep discounts.
Eclecticism is the word of the day in East Austin, where small local shops, bars and creative businesses are popping up in clusters amid historic residential neighborhoods. A few worthwhile stops in this ever-changing area are the innovative fragrance shop PHLUR, the quirky botanical oasis of East Austin Succulents, and gift boutiques like Take Heart and Byron & Blue.
The easiest way to check off a wish list in South Austin is to escape the cold and make a classic indoor shopping mall sweep through Barton Creek Square Mall. For an enriching local shopping experience, explore the iconic section of South Congress Avenue that often appears in movies and television shows featuring the capital city. From a cool candy shop, a wild costume wonderland, and the laid-back headquarters of the Austin-made YETI cooler brand to rare bookstores and chic boutiques with handmade gifts and stylish, sustainably made clothing, SoCo’s shops cover pretty much everything. Just a few blocks to the east and west stand South First Street and South Lamar Avenue, each of which has its own fair share of local gems like South Austin Music, Noah Marion Leather Goods, Criquet Shirts, and Esby Apparel.
Last but not least, Austin is flanked with outlet malls on the way to Dallas and San Antonio, and if you’re due south and need to stock up on some brand-name merchandise, you have your choice of two malls right next door to one another. The San Marcos Premium Outlets are perfect for picking up top-shelf styles by Armani and Prada or wardrobe essentials from Nike and The North Face. A quick walk across Centerpoint Road leads to Tanger Outlets, offering everything from Le Creuset and West Elm to H&M and Disney.
Headed to Austin for some retail therapy? Book your stay through Hilton and enjoy great deals no matter what you’re looking for.