Off the Beaten Path: 5 Unique Places to Shop for Great Local Gifts

Massive crowds, parking struggles and lots of long lines can make mall shopping an overwhelming experience during the holiday season. Avoid the hustle and bustle of the mall by shopping local.

A leisurely stroll down Magazine Street may just be exactly what you need this holiday season. With more than 100 shops to choose from, you can always find great gifts. Here are a few cool shops that focus on New Orleans-themed items.

Bywater Clothing

What originally started as a pop-up t-shirt business on the festival circuit has now grown into a brick-and-mortar store on Magazine Street. The “authentic NOLA store, authentic NOLA culture” concept started by NOLA Girl, Jo Anne Casey, features her original shirt designs, as well as jewelry, local art, books, household items and clothing from various local artists. Bywater Clothing is a great place to explore and get gift ideas. While you’ll still see Casey selling her goods on the festival circuit, you’ll get much more of a variety by visiting her store. Photo courtesy: Bywater Clothing

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Terrance Osborne Gallery

After several years of working out of his Gretna home, Terrance Osborne decided to open up a gallery on Magazine Street. The internationally-acclaimed artist is known for using vibrant colors to depict unique New Orleans scenes. While Osborne’s original works sell for thousands, he makes his art affordable for everyone by selling prints of those original pieces for $50.  On most days of the week, you’ll find Osborne and his wife, Stephanie, working the gallery which is another reason to visit. It’s rare that you get to talk to the artist about his work. This dynamic duo is the nicest people you may ever meet. Stop by and say hello, you won’t regret it.

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Zele

You could easily stroll by Zele without realizing that you are missing a treat by not going inside. It’s one of the larger art stores on Magazine Street and features more than 100 local shops. Tiny sections of the store are dedicated to various artisans that rent space in this building. From candles to wall art, there are tons of fun, local items here.  Photo courtesy: Zele

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Fleurty Girl

We can’t talk about shopping on Magazine Street without mentioning Fleurty Girl.  Every inch of this store pays homage to our great city. From the t-shirts to the knick-knacks, there is never a lack of creative items hanging on the walls or perched on the store shelves. Fleurty Girl is the type of place you wind up bringing something home for yourself while shopping for someone else. Photo courtesy: Fleurty Girl Facebook

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Magic Box Toys

Forget about Toys”R”Us and all of those other big box stores. Explore the magic that this local toy store has to offer. The quirky Magazine Street shop has a unique collection of gifts, both nostalgic and new. From Chinese checkers to magic wands, you’ll be amazed at what you may find in this place. Photo courtesy: Magic Box Facebook

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