Shopping in Washington DC almost competes with
politics for attention. The USA's capital offers everything from
trendy boutiques and shopping malls, to 24-hour bookshops and
renowned farmer's markets. Visitors to Washington DC will walk (or
fly) away with their bags full!
Some of the best shopping opportunities are in
Georgetown, the nation's oldest neighbourhood, home to up-scale
designer boutiques, or The Shops at Georgetown Park, containing
designer labels like Ann Taylor, Polo, and Ralph Lauren. The
Georgetown Flea Market is good for antiques, jewellery, books,
rugs, toys, and linens. Dupont Circle, also an attractive historic
neighbourhood, has designer boutiques such as Betsy Fisher and
vintage shops like Secondi, as well as a good farmer's market. The
Adams Morgan area, previously somewhat dilapidated, now contains a
number of eclectic independent shops and boutiques. Penn Quarter is
also a good shopping neighbourhood, particularly for antiques, art,
home décor, and collectibles.
On Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House Visitor
Center and Political America sell authentic and reproduction
campaign buttons, signed photos, letters, and other American
memorabilia, which make wonderful patriotic souvenirs. The National
Mall has great gift shops and museum stores, and is the best place
to find popular Washington DC souvenirs like miniature replicas of
the White House and various monuments. The National Archives Gift
Shop also offers reproductions of the Declaration of Independence
and other famous documents.
Shoppers should keep in mind that a non-refundable
sales tax is charged, but not included on the sticker price of
items. Tax is added at the register in Washington DC shops, so
prices will be a bit higher than first expected.