Long gone are the days when the urge to shop could only be scratched with a road trip. Sure, Short Pump is just a 45-minute hop and skip east down I-64, and there's certainly big city shopping delight found in trips to Tyson's Corner and Ikea. Still, Charlottesville has grown, and the coming year promises a variety of additional Charlottesville shopportunities as the Shops at Stonefield finally fill up and other shopping centers spruce up. That's good news for local shoppers— after all, there's nothing quite like the warm afterglow of a major purchase, and it's even better when the trip home with your new stuff is quick.
Shops at Stonefield- While most of the storefronts are still empty, Stonefield— best known as home of Trader Joe's and the new stadium seating Regal movie theater— is already home to several stores including Pier One and Brooks Brothers. Coming soon, we've been promised, are upscale kitchen goods purveyor Williams-Sonoma and home furnishings giant Pottery Barn, sure to draw throngs. Also opening this fall: the flagship store of Blue Ridge Mountain Sports; the high-end body, face and home product store L'Occitane; and fly-fishing, hunting and sporting goods store, Orvis.
The Corner: Not just for fashion-fearless undergrads, The Corner offers serious Charlottesville shoppers a respite from faceless brands and bland store fronts. While most of the shopping trends towards chick-wear, there's something for all Cavaliers at stores like Mincers (434-296-5687) and the Student Book Store (434-293-5900). Athletes of all genres must stop by Ragged Mountain Running Shop (434-293-3367) to get their stride checked by a member of the Lorenzoni family, (Mark and Cynthia have owned the store since 1982) or snag comfortable and functional workout gear for all occasions. Shopping for that unique, one-of-a-kind Foxfield dress? A stop at Finch (434-244-0050), Duo (434-979-1212), or Jack Wills is likely to turn up a preppy, glamorous, or quirky outfit suitable for dinner out or a sorority function!
Downtown Mall: Truly, the heart of Charlottesville, the Downtown Mall is a shopper's delight with dozens of locally owned shops offering goods ranging from handcrafted stationary to jewelry to clothing to housewares to lingerie and bedding. For gorgeous paper goods check out Rock Paper Scissors (979-6366) and Caspari (817-7880). Looking for a cute dress, skirt or top that won't break the bank? Check out Bittersweet (977-5977) or Jean Theory (296-5326). Have a bit more to burn? Verdigris (293-4747) and Spring Street (975-1200) have dresses so gorgeous they hurt, and some fantastic jewelry to boot. For something special to wear under the dress, check out Derriere de Soie (977-7455) for high-end lingerie. O'Suzannah (979-7467) is a perennial favorite for gifty knick-knacks; New Dominion Bookshop ( 295-2552) is a cozy shop for browsing, as are several used book stores up and down the Mall and on side streets. All this walking may get you thinking about shoes— you'll find cute, stylish footwear for men, women and kids at the shoe side of the Boutique Boutique clothing store (293-8400). Just across the way, men can find their own styles at the Young Men's Shop (975-3131), where, apparently, men are always considered young, no matter their actual age (magic, that, eh?). The truly young can get outfitted in high style at Petit Bébé (244-9400), and find the perfect birthday present at Alakazam (971-1717). Tuckered out from all the shopping? Make your bed a sanctuary with bajillion thread-count sheets from Palais Royal (979-1581)– and pay attention for notice of their great sales.
Barracks Road Shopping Center: One of the first shopping centers in Virginia, Barracks Road— divided into two parts including the North Wing across Barracks Road from the main section— has undergone some freshening renovations recently and is home to several popular anchor stores including Old Navy (434-984-0167), make-up purveyor Ulta and home goods superstore Bed Bath & Beyond (434-971-3098), as well as two grocery stores (the recently merged Kroger and Harris Teeter). But the shopping center is also packed with popular national women's clothing chains that include Anthropologie (434-295-1749), White House Black Market (434-293-6448), Talbot's (434-296-3580), Banana Republic and Ann Taylor Loft (434-295-3232). New in 2013 is Trade (529-8455), a second hand boutique with some high fashion, fabulous finds. There's jewelry shop Lynne Goldman Studio (434-977-9644), Levy's, and shoe store Scarpa (434-296-0040). Men can get themselves looking sharp at Joseph A. Banks (434-244-0015) or splurge at Beecroft & Bull (434-977-9010). Other highlights include The Happy Cook (434-977-2665), The Virginia Shop (434-977-0080), Michael's (434-971-1087) and,of course, Barnes and Noble (434-984-0461).
Seminole Square: It's best known as the home of Marshall's (974-9375), Big Lots (975-6440), and Office Depot (975-1000), but among the mom and kid set, Seminole Square is the home of rainy day savior Bounce n' Play, the giant jumporium. Smaller shops at Seminole include the Party Starts Here (973-7359), not one but two bike stores, and Downtown Athletic (975-3696) and its offshoot, Total Soccer (220-2460).
Charlottesville Fashion Square: As the largest mall in the region, Fashion Square houses a bulk of big-name shops to which students and local residents flock. There are your basics: American Eagle Outfitters (434-973-0144), Aeropostale, Gap (434-973-9636), J.Crew (434-975-2889), and Eddie Bauer (434-973-8695). For women, Ann Taylor (434-975-2300), Cache, Claire's (434-973-1261), Coach (434-964-4693), Express, New York & Company (434-973-7019), Victoria's Secret (434-978-3771), and Wet Seal (434-973-8721) are all housed in Fashion Square. And for those who just like department store shopping, Sears (434-974-8200), JCPenney (434-973-7851), and Belk (434-973-7878) hold down the fort.
Rio Hill: Wanna get plugged in? Thanks to electronics hotspot Crutchfield (817-1100), you can do that with a trip to Rio Hill. You can also outfit yourself and your kids for just about any sport at Dick's Sporting Goods (974-5640). And if you have a household task, a trip to the nearby Lowe's (975-7140) is likely called for. In addition to a Kroger grocery store and several eateries, Rio Hill is also a good place for discount clothing prospects for men, women, and children: Rugged Wearhouse, Rack Room Shoes (974-7303), Payless Shoes (973-0389), and TJ Maxx (974-7410) are there, as is hipster thrift store Plato's Closet (977-4722), where they guarantee none of their brand name duds are older than a year or two (but where shoppers over the age of 30 may feel woefully old.)
Hollymead Town Center: Its official name may be the Hollymead Town Center, but most people in town know it best for its largest tenant, Target. A Kohl's department store also opened there in recent years, and there are a variety of other reasons to hit Hollymead, which is located about three miles north of Walmart on 29N. There's Pet Smart (964-9213), a Game Stop location (973-5981), a Harris Teeter grocery store (872-009), and several restaurants including Bonefish Grill and TGI Friday's.
West of town: Shopping's scattered as you head west, but if you're taking the scenic ride out 250 toward Crozet, there are a few places to stop and shop along the way including Kenny Ball Antiques, the Ivy Nursery and Savvy Rest. In warm weather, we've found a funky little antiques store on top of Afton Mountain.
Looking for antiques or consignment? Charlottesville has tons of places to rummage for vintage or low-cost finds. If you have a few hours to spare or are just looking for that perfectly classic piece to complete your (or your home's) look, these are the shops for you: Downtown— Circa Inc (434-295-5760), Oyster House Antiques (434-295-4757), Rosewood Antiques (434-977-5008), Low Vintage Clothing (293-9082). Ivy Road– Joseph Joseph & Joseph Antiques (434-970-7998), And George (434-244-2800), House of Jacobus Antiques (434-977-0024), The Curious Orange (984-1042). Route 29— Harlowe-Powell Auction Ltd (434-293-2904).