It is the season for shopping, and if you plan on braving the crowds in search of the perfect gifts, you will need to be prepared. Use this guide to Virginia retail destinations, both large and local, to find the best places for shopping during the busy holiday season and throughout the year.
—OUTLETS & MALLS—
This 1.1 million-square-foot mall has been operating since 1999 and is located adjacent to the General Douglas MacArthur Memorial in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia’s coastal region. See all of the shops in MacArthur Center.
Shops Include: Apple store, Barnes & Noble, Brookstone, The Children’s Place, Eddie Bauer, Pottery Barn, Talbots, White House Black Market, Williams-Sonoma, Nordstrom, Dillard’s
Extra Entertainment: 18-screen movie theater, 7,200 square foot outdoor ice rink, Chrysler Museum of Art
Tysons Corner Center—McLean
The 5th largest mall in the U.S., Tysons Corner has over 300 specialty shops and restaurants. Only 12.5 miles from Washington, D.C., the mall’s close proximity to a booming city makes it a popular shopping destination year-round.
Shops Include: Apple. Bloomingdales, Gucci, L.L. Bean, Michael Kors, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Armani Exchange, Louis Vuitton, and Macy’s. L’Occitane, Free People, Brooks Brothers, Coach, LEGO, Sephora, Restoration Hardware. The North Face, Under Armour
Extra Entertainment: Great Falls National Park
Williamsburg Premium Outlets—Williamsburg
More than 100 stores make up the Williamsburg Premium Outlets, and you’ll find discounted prices throughout the year at almost all of the retail shops in the massive shopping center.
Shops Include: Dooney & Burke, Calvin Klein, Coach, Polo Ralph Lauren, J Crew, Burberry, Adidas, Brooks Brothers, Carter’s, Kate Spade, Nike Factory Store, Sunglass Hut, Vineyard Vines, Talbots
Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets—Leesburg
Situated a few miles from the Maryland/Virginia border in Loudoun County, the Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets offer discounted shopping much like the Williamsburg location for Northern Virginia residents and visitors.
Shops Include: Michael Kors, Coach, Burberry, Barneys New York, Juicy Couture, Calvin Klein, Jos. A. Bank, Lacoste, Armani Outlet, Banana Republic Factory, Bose, BCBG Max Azria, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th
Potomac Mills Mall—Woodbridge
With a total of more than 225 retailers, the Potomac Mills Malls off the Interstate 95 corridor was one of the largest outlet malls in the country when it was built in 1985. Today, it is still one of the most well-known shopping destinations in the Commonwealth.
Shops Include: Bloomingdales, DKNY, the Lego Store, Vans Outlet, The Children’s Place Outlet, Tesla, Sears Outlet Store, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Nordstrom Rack, Polo Ralph Lauren, Nike, Marshalls, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Ikea, Disney Outlet
Fashion Centre at Pentagon City—Arlington
Informally known as Pentagon City Mall, this shopping destination has four stories of retail stores and can be accessed by the Blue and Yellow Lines of the Washington Metro. A total of 170 retailers and restaurants fill the bustling mall.
Shops Include: Henri Bendel, Nordstrom, Lego, Sperry, Vince Camuto, Steve Madden, the Children’s Place, Swatch
Extra Entertainment: Arlington Arts Center, cross into Washington D.C. for visits to the various Smithsonian Museums, including Natural History, American History, Air & Space, and the National Art Gallery.
Short Pump Towne Center—Richmond
Short Pump Towne Center, about 15 minutes northwest of Richmond in Henrico County, opened in 2003. The mall is an open-air retail center that holds a mix of over 140 upscale local, national, and even international shops. Since its opening, the region has become a shopping hub for the area, with dozens of strip mall buildings surrounding the original structure.
Shops Include: Apple, Godiva, Urban Outfitters, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Saxon Shoes, Tommy Bahama, Macy’s, Madewell, Lilly Pulitzer, Hollister, Express, The Children’s Place, Eddie Bauer, Build-a-Bear Workshop
Find more outlet and large shopping districts in every region of Virginia.
—SMALL & LOCAL—
A western portion of Cary Street, Carytown acts as an urban retail neighborhood near the famous Fan District of Richmond. There are more than 230 shops, restaurants, and offices in the district, many of them in restored historic buildings.
Located in Old Town Alexandria, the historic district on the Potomac River, King Street’s shopping district spans one mile of shops, restaurants, and outdoor cafes. The brick sidewalks and cobblestone streets add to the charm of this upscale shopping area situated across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
Extra Entertainment: Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Alexandria's film and TV location self-guided tour, Mount Vernon Bike Trail
Charlottesville Historic Downtown Mall—Charlottesville
Charlottesville’s Historic Downtown Mall is an outdoor pedestrian mall made up of 120+ shops and about 30 restaurants, many with outdoor seating areas open during the warmer months. The brick-paved walkways that map out the mall are lined with shops that reside in the restored and renovated buildings along Main Street.
Over 40 shops and restaurants make up this 18th-century style retail village in Williamsburg. Merchants Square is adjacent to the Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area and only a few miles from Busch Gardens Williamsburg theme park.
Mason Avenue—Cape Charles
On the southern end of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Cape Charles is a charming community on the Chesapeake Bay. Small local shops line the streets, keeping the town close knit and loyal to buying chiefly from the residents.
Extra Entertainment: Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge, biking at Kiptopeke State Park
Virginia and Tennessee split State Street directly down the middle, and this well-known avenue has plenty of shops, restaurants, and live music on the Virginia side. After you get in a little retail therapy, head over to the Birthplace of Country Music museum only a few blocks from State Street to learn about the region’s rich musical history.
Extra Entertainment: The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace in Abingdon
Downtown Main Street—Harrisonburg
A variety of commercial, residential, and governmental buildings make up the historic downtown area of Harrisonburg, and while there is shopping around every corner, Main Street acts as the chief shopping route. Many old buildings and warehouses have been renovated into charming shops run by the locals, adding to the burgeoning home-grown movement occurring throughout the Shenandoah Valley.
Whether you’re supporting local or looking for the best deal in a nearby retail chain store, this guide will get you through the bustling holiday season of shopping. Tell us where you go to find great shopping deals and unique gifts!