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Shopping in Dallas


In Dallas, shopping isn't merely a mundane chore necessary to outfit yourself, your kids, and your home. Shopping is a sport and a pastime, a social activity and entertainment. The locals don't pull on sweats and go incognito to the mall; they get dolled up and strut their stuff. The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau likes to tout that there are more shopping opportunities per capita in Dallas than any other city in the United States. So if you're a shopper, and come from a place less rich in retail mania, you've got your work cut out for you.

If you need to focus your shopping attention, incline it toward Western duds (especially Texas-made cowboy boots) and upscale clothing and accessories (this is the home of world-famous Neiman Marcus, after all). Texans aren't fond of taxes (there's no state income tax, still), but there is a state sales tax, and it's one of the highest in the country: 8.25%.

Shopping Areas

Downtown Dallas largely has been eviscerated of shopping outlets as inhabitants flocked to the suburbs. Only Neiman Marcus, the mother of all Dallas purveyors of luxury goods, has stayed put. The West End MarketPlace ( was carved out of an old candy and cracker warehouse to draw hungry tourists and get things going downtown. The real high-volume shopping is done north of downtown, in Uptown as well as Highland Park, North Dallas (north of LBJ Freeway), and suburbs like Plano and Frisco. The best spot in Plano is the chic Shops at Legacy (Legacy at the Toll Road).

In the area real-estate agents have designated Uptown, a vintage trolley line travels along McKinney Avenue, allowing shoppers to jump off to duck into its many antiques shops, art galleries, furniture stores, restaurants, and specialty shops. West Village is an outdoor, European-style mall full of chic shops, restaurants, bars and a movie theatre at the north end of McKinney Avenue. The streets Knox and Henderson, bisected by Central Expressway, are lined with home furnishing stores and antiques dealers, with an eclectic decoration shop or two mixed in. Routh and Fairmount streets have a large number of art galleries and antiques shops. Greenville Avenue is home to a dizzying array of funky shops, including antiques dealers and vintage clothing stores. The avenue gets a little funkier the farther south you travel, with Lower Greenville in particular home to plenty of bars and restaurants that make great pit stops. Deep Ellum, which rules the alternative night, is loaded by day with funky furnishings stores, art galleries, folk art shops, and vintage resale shops. Of course locals head straight for the malls, and if you're in Dallas doing some big-volume shopping, you might do the same.

Dallas Farmers Market, 1010 S. Pearl Expressway, spread over 12 acres just south of downtown Dallas, is one of the nation's largest open-air produce markets. First opened in 1941, it looks across at the glittering Dallas skyline. Farmers from around the area sell directly to the consumer. The market is open daily from 7am to 6pm.

Department Stores & Malls

It would be impossible to cover Dallas's dozens of major shopping malls here – and more difficult still to hit them all on your visit to Dallas. A few of the best are the following, both for the number and quality of stores and their general ambience

NorthPark Center, Northwest Highway/Loop 12 at I-75, is the most traditional mall and, the most elegant. NorthPark has 160 shops and major anchor stores (including Neiman Marcus, Tiffany's and Nordstrom), as well as natural lighting and best of all, a rotating display of owner Ray Nasher's fabulous sculpture collection of modern masters throughout the mall. NorthPark is undergoing construction that will double its size and make it the largest mall in the Metroplex. And you can bet, for once, that it will be done in very good taste. Not a mall, but not far from NorthPark, is one of the favourite shopping stops in Dallas: the sprawling flagship store Half Price Books Records & Magazines at 5803 E. Northwest Highway, just east of Central Expressway. The massive selection of books – including art and architecture books, coffee-table books, books on tape and language books – blows away almost any new bookstore, and everything at half-price or less. It's a place to load up.

The Galleria, LBJ Freeway and Dallas Parkway North (, is a huge mall with a light-filled atrium. It attracts some of Dallas's most sophisticated shoppers to Macy's, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Versace, Cartier and Hugo Boss. You'll also find an ice-skating rink, a Westin Hotel, and a host of restaurants.

Highland Park Village, Mockingbird Lane at Preston Road, is as close as you'll get to Beverly Hills's Rodeo Drive in Dallas. This ultrachic corner of high-end shopping in the midst of Dallas's most exclusive neighbourhood was built in the 1930s – it was reportedly the first shopping mall in the US – and sports an eclectic mix of today's most fashionable boutiques (such as Calvin Klein, Prada, Chanel, Bottega Veneta and Hermès). Shops aren't enclosed like a traditional suburban American mall; rather, they face inward for a more enjoyable shopping experience.





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