Tysons Corner Center has something for everyone including gifts for football fans at the Washington Redskins Official Store fun holiday decorations and glittery makeovers at Club Libby Lu.
Just a few years ago, Tysons Corner, Virginia, had but one store--a simple butcher's shop. Today, it has blossomed into a glittering big-city suburb with some of the finest shopping outside of New York City.
Paradise found. Located just 14 miles west of downtown Washington, D.C., Tysons Corner has three different shopping areas, each with its own personality. The elegant and luxurious Tysons Galleria caters to upscale customers with stores such as Neiman Marcus and Burberry. Across the street, shoppers find Tysons Corner Center more casual. This mall offers more than 250 shops anchored by Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, L.L.Bean, and Hecht's. The ultraexclusive Shops at Fairfax Square count only eight tenants, including Gucci and Hermès. In all, shoppers may choose from nearly 400 stores.
Sweet dreams. Splurge on a weekend at The Ritz-Carlton,Tysons Corner. Many elements make this hotel special, but an unparalleled level of customer service tops the list. The concierge will store your bags while you shop; wrap your packages; and address, stamp, and mail your holiday cards. Shopping packages start at $269 per night. Call (703) 506-4300 for reservations. Other fine choices include Hilton McLean ($69-$319;  847-5000), Embassy Suites ($79.95-$289.95;  883-0707), Tysons Corner Marriott ($89-$299;  734-3200), and Courtyard by Marriott ($66-$239;  790-0207).
Shuttling around. It's possible to walk between the malls, but you have to battle the elements and cross busy thoroughfares. Avoid this mess by parking your car at the hotel and taking the shuttle. Most offer free service, either on demand or at regularly scheduled intervals. Taxis service the area as well. The mall or hotel concierge can help you arrange transportation. Parking perks. Not staying over-night? For just $5, you can drop your car off with the valet at Tysons Corner Center and have it retrieved when you've finished shopping.
Teatime. Even if you choose to stay at another hotel, treat yourself to afternoon tea at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. It's an elegant and relaxing way to avoid midday shoppers crowding the malls. For $28, you get a selection of tiny sandwiches and sweets, plus your choice of tea. Dine divinely. Chains dominate the food scene, but there are a few exceptions. Maestro at The Ritz-Carlton takes top honors with heavenly Italian cuisine. Try Bombay Tandoor for Indian food and Morton's, The Steakhouse for a savory slab of beef. For lunch, Neiman Marcus Cafe and Cafe Nordstrom offer a nice change of pace.
Tysons Corner: Three to See
All of the shops in the Galleria Dallas offer fabulous finds, but here are three we think are particularly unique.
- Teavana, Tysons Corner Center: Select your favorite from more than 100 different kinds of tea harvested around the world.
- Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, Fairfax Square: A trip to this spa makes the most wonderful gift--for yourself or your special someone. The Red Door Signature Spa Experience costs $230 for a half-day, $475 for a full day.
- Chanel: Stop by the newest store at Tysons Galleria to see what's in style.
Lighten the Load
Before you leave home, decide whether you plan on lugging your purchases back with you or if you want to ship them. Here are some tips.
- Don't bring wrapped packages on an airplane. They'll just unwrap them in security.
- Pack an empty collapsible bag. You can fill it with your purchases.
- Shop early and late, and rest at midday. This will help you to avoid the madding crowds.