On your mark, get set, shop! No, no, not at the mall, but on New Orleans’s Magazine Street instead. With dozens of specialty boutiques, galleries, and restaurants to choose from, your quest for the perfect presents will be in the bag.
Shopping Strategy Before tackling Magazine Street, you need to know a couple of important things. First, this “avenue of dreams” is 6 miles long, so don’t think about attacking it all on foot. Drive your car, catch the Magazine bus, or take a cab (my favorite means of New Orleans transportation) to one of the farthest-away shops you want to browse. Work your way back to a restaurant or coffee shop for a break; then begin again. To plan your attack, order a free Magazine Street Shopper’s Guide online at www.magazinestreet.com, or call 1-866-679-4764.
Start with The Bead Shop (4612 Magazine). Pick up a fleur-de-lis ring for $22. Rooms are filled with beads, silver charms (many specific to New Orleans), and gold-dipped leaves. Next door is Jezebel’s (4610 Magazine). Vintage costume jewelry and other one-of-a-kind gifts (such as hand-painted window shades) await here. For the best of the best in jewelry, visit Mignon Faget (3801 Magazine), a Louisiana artist and designer known for her stunning baubles.
Continue on to Empire Antiques (3617 Magazine). Even if you aren’t in the market for an 18th-century Dutch marriage armoire ($9,500), you’ll love browsing here. Time to indulge your girly side at Make Me Up (3426 Magazine), a skin-care-and-makeup boutique. The big seller? Cellex-C, a skin-care product used by actress Joan Collins. Say no more. Next door, Bellini awaits with its edgy clothing and accessories.
Check out As You Like It Silver Shop (3033 Magazine) to see more things that glitter. Silver napkin rings, a set of eight miniature salt and pepper shakers, and odd pieces of silver flatware sparkle at every turn. Before taking a break, peruse Sputnik Ranch (3029 Magazine), a real kick of a place with designer vinyl toys, men’s and women’s vintage and vintage-style Western wear, and a fun vibe.