The South's Best Boutiques 2020
If you want to discover a thing or two about a city's style and design sensibilities, pop into a few independently owned boutiques. Of course, wherever you travel, you're sure to find those shops that could belong in Anywhere, USA. But the best stores—and the ones we love most—are those that feel like they're woven snugly into the fabric of their hometowns. These soulful shops reflect the unique personalities of locals and invite visitors to feel, for a moment at least, like they belong there too. Given the phenomenon that "Chip and Jo" have become, we would be stunned if they didn't take first place with their Magnolia Market at The Silos. They've not only created a brand that the whole South—make that the whole county—is excited about, but they've launched a revitalization of their hometown. Want to know who else is on the list? Here are the ten best stores in the South, as voted by our readers.
10. Rifle Paper Co. (Winter Park, Florida)
From the worn wooden floors underfoot to the twinkly lights overhead, the stationery and lifestyle brand's flagship store is warm and inviting, not unlike the cheery greeting cards and whimsical collaborations it has become known for over the past decade.
riflepaperco.com, 407-622-7679, 558 New England Avenue No. 150, Winter Park, FL, 32789
9. PW Short General Store (Savannah, Georgia)
Scott Hinson didn't have to look far for shop inspiration: His grandfather once owned a small-town general store in Delaware. Like him, Hinson has created a gathering place for locals and tourists alike. The inventory, however, looks a little different: Instead of overalls and seed, Hinson carries tiny luxuries, like South Carolina-harvested sea salts and vintage silver.
pwshort.com, 912-349-6378, 414 Whitaker Street Savannah, GA, 31401
8. Hampden (Charleston, South Carolina)
Stacy Smallwood's King Street shop peddles high-end established and emerging designers in a bright, welcoming space, with no trace of pretention. Her sister stores are also worth a stop: JAMES is a neighbor to Hampden, and SMALL is just a few doors down.
hampdenclothing.com, 843-724-6373, 314 King Street, Charleston, SC, 29401
7. The Hour (Alexandria, Virginia)
It's always happy hour here! Owner Victoria Vergason keeps more than 10,000 vintage cocktail-related items in stock (think Art Deco glass ice buckets and Baccarat crystal coupe glasses), plus her own line of vintage-inspired barware and glassware, The Modern Home Bar.
thehourshop.com, 703-224-4687, 1015 King Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314
Check Out The South's Best Boutiques
6. shopSCAD (Savannah, Georgia)
You'd be hard-pressed to discover a more splendid (and unexpected) mix of fine art, accessories, jewelry, and décor than the one in residence at the gallery-boutique composite featuring the work of Savannah College of Art and Design's students, faculty, and alumni.
shopscad.com, 912-525-5180, 340 Bull Street, Savannah, GA, 31402
5. The Art of Simple (Seaside, Florida)
The colorful beach town boutique declares they carry "Curiosities and Necessities," but a quick lap around the fancifully stocked shop, with its selection of fine china and quirky timepieces, suggests that curiosities and necessities very well may be the same thing.
theartofsimpleonline.com, 850-231-6745, 25 Central Square, Seaside, FL, 32459
4. White's Mercantile (Nashville, Tennessee)
It's not your old-fashioned general store, but singer-songwriter Holly Williams's contemporary take feels just as cozy. Pick up everything from Southern-made cocktail syrups to organic dog treats at her repurposed gas station in Nashville's 12South, or visit one of her six other locations across the region.
whitesmercantile.com, 615-750-5379, 2908, 12th Avenue South, Nashville, TN, 37204
3. Draper James (Nashville, Tennessee)
Positioned right in the middle of the action of Nashville's 12South neighborhood, the flagship store for Reese Witherspoon's clothing and accessories brand is a blue-and-white, wallpaper-wrapped celebration of classic Southern hospitality—glass of sweet tea included.
draperjames.com, 615-997-3601, 2608 12th Avenue South, Nashville, TN, 37204
2. The Paris Market and Brocante (Savannah, Georgia)
Wander into the two-story Victorian on West Broughton Street (you'll know it by the freshwater-blue trim, striped awnings, and the collection of bistro chairs out front), and find yourself whisked away into an enchanting, French-inspired gallery of treasures that run the gamut, from antique oddities to children's toys. Don't miss the beauty counter's selection of soaps and fragrances, and stop at the café for macarons on the way out.
theparismarket.com, 912-232-1500, 36 West Broughton Street, Savannah, GA, 31401
1. Magnolia Market at The Silos (Waco, Texas)
For fans of Chip and Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Market at The Silos is a veritable amusement park. The Market itself features an impressive and inspired collection of home goods designed and curated by the Fixer Upper stars—a sweet consolation prize for anyone missing new episodes of the HGTV show. And the grounds are equally impressive and inspired: A fleet of food trucks and Silos Baking Co. provide plenty of options for noshing; Magnolia Seed + Supply celebrates gardening; and the sprawling lawn offers a place for families to gather and play.
magnolia.com, 254-235-0603, 601 Webster Avenue, Waco, TX, 76706