One of the most stressful parts of the holiday season is finding the perfect gift. From locally-made gifts to high-end trends, cities and towns across Georgia have a variety of stocking stuffers and one-of-a-kind gifts that will make your holidays brighter and fill your loved ones with cheer. These top destinations are all great places to start shopping this 2021 holiday season.
Make the holidays a little bit brighter with something Georgia-made. Athens, Georgia is the perfect place to hunt for such treasures. For handmade dinnerware for every season, look no further than R. Wood Ceramics. Phickles Phun Foods is a small-batch pickle producer with a name that’s fun to say five times fast! For something unique and beautiful, stop by Bee Natural for one of their famed Honeypots. These handcrafted artisan luminaries are made with beeswax and naturally-dried botanicals embedded in the shell, giving off a fragrant honey aroma as well as a serene glow. For jewelry, The Pearl Girls hand-select 100 percent genuine pearls in the Far East, with which they create classic and contemporary pieces of jewelry. There are numerous locally-made shops in Athens, and the Athens Welcome Center carries a large variety of merchandise as well as a list of other shops where Georgia-made items can be found.
Visitors to Helen, Georgia will feel like they’ve gone back in time—and across the ocean! The Bavarian-style village boasts unique gifts with a German flair. From authentic Appalachian artwork to handmade toys, Helen offers breathtaking views of the North Georgia mountains, more than 40 restaurants, wineries, and over 150 local shops in which to shop for the perfect gift. Create an extra special gift at The Willows, a working potter’s studio where you can paint your own stoneware masterpiece. Elfmade Wooden Toys lets you paint your own toys, including airplanes, puzzles, rocking horses, and other great wooden toys. The InsideOut Sautee is filled with works of art, home furnishings, jewelry and other fabulous gift ideas made by local artisans. For more than 100 years, Damron’s Glass Engraving has been hand engraving glassware, stemware, pitcher sets and more. Damron’s is also the perfect place to shop for sterling silver jewelry, Russian nesting dolls, and a variety of collectible merchandise.
Looking for a whole lot of shopping all in one place? Look no further than the Premium Outlet in Dawsonville, Georgia! With more than 140 shops filled with treasures to match every taste, your Christmas list will be a lot shorter when you leave. Dawsonville has more than outlets though. It’s also a great place for antiquing, gallery hopping, and browsing the aisle of some pretty unique boutiques. Need something truly southern? Take a trip to Rocky’s, where 200 regional artists display their work. Take home a hand-carved cane, birdhouse, or something whimsical. While in Dawsonville, one cannot pass up a visit to the Outside World. With a 30,000-gallon indoor pool and the only indoor simulated river in the world, the store is a haven for gifts of the outdoor variety.
Not all outlets are made the same. The smaller, more intimate Calhoun Premium Outlets features 50 stores located right off Interstate 75 in Calhoun, Georgia. Downtown offers a variety of quaint boutiques featuring women’s apparel, kid’s clothes and accessories, home furnishings, jewelry, and more. Check out 365 On Piedmont for decorative paintings and tablescapes. Busy B’s Boothtique is a great place to browse through various vendor booths of consigned furniture and home decor. The Art Market is the perfect place to find handcrafted pottery, paintings, blown glass, turned wood, dolls and other great gifts by local and regional artists. Need something upscale? Something vintage? How about something both upscale and vintage? If so, Pintage Antique Market is the place to shop for repurposed, handmade, and boutique-style merchandise.
Any time is a great time to visit Savannah, Georgia, the oldest city in the state, but especially for some holiday shopping. The City Market is the perfect place to start. This two-block area boasts an assortment of eclectic retail shops, art galleries, and eateries. Need a gift for the chef in your life? Stop by Lowcountry Gourmet Foods and try out their selection of 40 aged balsamic vinegars from Italy, their assortment of 20 different olive oils from across the globe, and their collection of gourmet food items. And don’t forget about man’s best friend. The Black Dog Savannah General Store has unleashed an array of high-quality apparel, accessories, and gifts for around the house, as well as a collection of items and gear for dogs.
Finding a gift for that special golfer or golf-lover is inevitable in Augusta, Georgia. Home of The Masters, Augusta lives, breathes and sleeps golf, but there’s a lot more to this charming town than teeing off. A stop at the Augusta Visitors Center is a must since they carry a selection of authentic Augusta merchandise such as hats, polo shirts, and t-shirts. The center also carries an array of Georgia-made items including peanut butter, honeys, jams, jellies and other delectable gifts. Just down the road is the Tire City Potters. This pottery studio and retail shop is located inside of an old automotive garage. Now, it’s the perfect place to find high-quality, functional ceramics for a gift, or for a more personal touch, make your own. A stop at the Morris Museum of Art is also a pleasant surprise for shoppers who will find everything from soy candles and pashminas to jewelry and handcrafted wooden bowls.
Blue Ridge, Georgia was originally a destination for tourists looking to bask in the pure mineral waters of the local health resort. That was in the early 1900s. Today, visitors to Blue Ridge come for the shopping! From unique boutiques to crafts and antiques, this town offers inspiration to the creative and treasures galore for those doing a little holiday shopping. Fly fishermen will love to get the gift of a handcrafted bamboo fly rod crafted by internationally-recognized Bill Oyster of Oyster Fine Bamboo Fly Rods. Handcrafted jewelry and canvas bags designed and made by Lynn Kemp of Canoe & GawdyBobbles have also attained international success and would make for a cherished keepsake. For a shopping adventure, go on the hunt for something extra special at one of the 32 local shops listed on the Antique & Thrift Store Self-Guided Tour.
Enjoy some history and heritage in downtown Clayton, Georgia, located on the Southern Highlands Trail and the U.S. 441 Heritage Highway. The downtown square features the Persimmon the Square wine tasting room, where visitors can try out a few selections until they find their favorite spirits and purchase a bottle or two to give as gifts or take home themselves. In addition, the Moonrise Distillery produces high-quality whiskey, bourbon, and fruit brandies, each made with ingredients supplied by local sources. Shoppers can enjoy a distillery tour and tasting, as well as purchase some of the distillery’s products—a rye whiskey, bourbon whiskey, and corn whiskey, a.k.a. moonshine. The Road to Tara Museum is a must for “Gone with the Wind” fans, not only for the tour, but also for the gift shop, featuring items and collectibles based on the Margaret Mitchell best-selling novel and movie, which was set in Clayton County.
The “City of Roses,” Thomasville, Georgia, boasts a Victorian-style downtown district with more than 80 shops for visitors to check out. From antique shops to bookstores and art galleries, this historic downtown is the ultimate southern shopping destination. Kevin’s Fine Outdoor Gear & Apparel is a popular stop. Kevin’s mounted grizzly bear welcomes guests to the shop, while folks can check out the latest in apparel lines for men and women, from hunting gear to polos to sport coats. Home decor, knives, guns, and apparel accessories can all be found at Kevin’s, which boasts gifts for every occasion, from Yeti tumblers to Peter Milar jackets. Firefly is another unique local shop filled with eclectic treasures sure to provide character and charm to anyone’s home. Books, jewelry, and home decor are among the items lining the store shelves.
Buckhead, just 10 miles north of Atlanta, Georgia, is a chic neighborhood filled with high-end retail shopping opportunities within a two-mile radius. Often touted as the “Beverly Hills of the South,” Buckhead is home to award-winning restaurants, boutique shops, and posh shopping centers. Lenox Square features 250 premium stores, from Neiman Marcus to Club Monaco. Phipps Plaza houses 100 luxury retailers, including Hugo Boss, Dior, and Gucci. The Shops Buckhead Atlanta is the newest upscale shopping destination. This 250,000-square-foot outdoor shopping complex features over 50 fashion retailers and restaurants, including Hermes, Christian Louboutin, and Jimmy Choo. Antiques, boutiques, and award-winning restaurants also line the streets of Buckhead.
Dahlonega, Georgia achieved fame as the first major Gold Rush site in the United States. Today, Dahlonega features a charming courthouse square surrounded by shops and restaurants, all located in the foothills of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. While visitors to the area can still pan for gold in the river, they might find a day of shopping more rewarding. The General Store is a must-see. Filled with many items that would have typically been on hand in the 1830s, the store is packed with apparel, from t-shirts to shoes, food items such as jams, jellies, honey, and salsa, locally-sourced coffee, which is still sold at five cents a cup, rustic and novelty merchandise, toys and trinkets, and items pertaining to the area’s rich history and culture. Other local shops on the square include Dahlonega’s Fudge Factory for some scrumptious homemade chocolates and fudge, Cranberry Corners, which features custom gift baskets filled with goodies from local artisans, and Amy’s Attic, a shop filled with hand-crafted bowls and jewelry, gift items to engrave, home decor, and faith-based gifts.
LaGrange, Georgia is part of the “Southern Loop” of antique shops that runs across Midwest Georgia. Antique shops, boutiques, trendy stores, and old-fashioned sweet shops make up the downtown landscape. Boutiques like Serendipity and Plum Southern make Main Street a must-stop place for shopping. Plum Southern is known around the area as the place to go for upscale registry items as well as unique gifts for every occasion. From birthdays to graduation to special holidays, their wide array of merchandise features everything from dinnerware and furniture to handbags and keepsake ornaments. Antique lovers can’t miss a chance to explore Bradley’s and Red Door Antiques shops. Solomon’s Department Store is another great place to visit, not only because it’s been a local institution for more than 80 years, but also because they specialize in trendy outdoors-wear for men, women, and kids.
The heart of Columbus, Georgia is bustling with activity, as shoppers explore some unique local hotspots and overindulge in retail therapy. Rivermarket Antiques is a great place to traverse the Antique Mall for some great steals and exciting finds, but visitors can also take a break to explore out the world’s largest Lunchbox Museum, Museum of Southern Stoneware, and Museum of Transportation Memorabilia. The Shoppes at Bradley Park offer upscale shopping and unique boutiques that are perfect for holiday shopping. The Landings offer pedestrian-friendly shopping at both local shops and national retail chains. Big Dog Running Company is a unique, full-service specialty running store, providing quality products such as clothing and nutritional items, as well as training for both beginner and marathon runners and upcoming race and event information.
From kid’s boutiques to women’s apparel, Dalton, Georgia offers an excellent selection of boutique shops for everyone in the family. In addition, shops like The Cherry Tree feature everything from embroidery and engraving to custom-made furniture, handbags, bridal gifts, and jewelry. For birdwatchers and bird lovers, The Yellow Bird is a charming downtown store with unusual and vintage finds. From antiques to garden-related items, not to mention birding merchandise, this store will be a hit with birding enthusiasts. Raspberry Row is another local favorite, providing customers with handpicked gifts from Ahava, Aromatique, and Southern Tide, to name a few. Their custom lamps and lighting helped catapult them to success, and over the years, they’ve increased their merchandise to include keepsakes for kids, candles, edible gifts, and bridal registry items.
The hometown of Little Richard, visitors to Macon, Georgia will be singing the city’s praises when they drop in to do their holiday shopping. The Macon Mall’s 581,000 square feet of indoor shopping space features more than 40 restaurants and national retailers including Macy’s and Burlington. The Shoppes at River Crossing boasts 750,000 square-feet of open-air shopping, dining and entertainment. The Shoppes including more than 40 specialty shops as well as major and mid-sized department and anchor stores. Looking for a deal? Drop by Smiley’s Flea Market, the largest yard sale in middle Georgia, every Saturday and Sunday. For antiques, look no further than Yesterday’s Antique Market for the best vintage finds. The Downtown Visitors Center carries Macon souvenirs, which also make great holiday gifts, and downtown is filled with eclectic boutiques.