The Best Shopping in Washington, D.C.'s Georgetown and Dupont Circle

Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Pixabay
Georgetown is and always will be Washington, D.C.'s main shopping area, though nearby Dupont Circle can certainly give the neighborhood a run for its (and your) money. Most of the stores sit on two main, intersecting streets, Wisconsin Avenue and M Street NW. You’ll find both chain and one-of-a-kind shops, chic as well as thrift. Sidewalks and streets are almost always crowded in these areas, and parking can be tough, especially on the weekends. But our favorite retail spots make a visit more than worth your while.
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Cady's Alley in Washington, D.C. Payton Chung/Flickr

Not long ago, the location of this grouping of about 20 stores was all industrial space and abandoned lofts. Now, if you walk through a bricked archway off M Street and descend a flight of stairs into a hidden alcove, you’ll discover shops such as Contemporaria for Italian furniture, Bulthaup for ultraluxe culinary gadgets, Circa Lighting for European lighting, and Poggenpohl Studio for German kitchen fixtures.

  • Where to find it: 3300 block of M St. NW
  • More info
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Intermix in Washington, D.C. Elvert Barnes/Flickr
What started in NYC has landed in D.C.: a satellite store for Marc Jacobs jackets, Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses, rhinestone cowboy boots, Norma Kamali jumpsuits, and oversize shades—priced to make you feel as though the paparazzi are waiting at the front door.
  • Where to find it: 3300 M St. NW (at Wisconsin Ave.)
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Dean & Deluca in Washington, D.C. Mack Male/Flickr
Crave a dark chocolate bar from Switzerland? How about a custard fruit tart? Gourmands with a nose for fragrant cheeses, fresh fish, out-of-season fruit, choice-cut meats, aged wines, Kona coffee beans, and European crackers nosh and shop here. In fine weather, try lunch at the outdoor cafe.
  • Where to find it: 3276 M St. NW (at Potomac St.)
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Cusp in Washington, D.C. Elvert Barnes/Flickr
Sister to the Neiman Marcus chain, this one-off boutique carries the latest designer duds, plus the best up-and-coming names. Shoes, handbags, and other accessories are also found here. 
  • Where to find it: 3030 M St. NW
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Tiny Jewel Box in Washington, D.C. Tiny Jewel Box
Thinking of popping the question or surprising your sweetie with a fabulous bauble, expensive watch, or eye-popping ring from an estate sale? Look no further than this D.C. mainstay, a peddler of romantic, unique adornments.
  • Where to find it: 1155 Connecticut Ave. NW
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Lou Lou in Washington, D.C. Elvert Barnes/Flickr
Head to this boutique for a bonanza of accessories, from beaded necklaces to brooches to headbands and handbags—all at very reasonable prices. Then visit its adjacent clothing store for fun apparel.
  • Where to find it: Five locations in D.C., including 1601 Connecticut Ave. NW in Dupont Circle and 1304 Wisconsin Ave. NW in Georgetown
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Home Rule in Washington, D.C. Elvert Barnes/Flickr
Funky furnishings, housewares, kitchen gadgets, and bath items are packed into this storefront. Have a kid who likes to cook? You’ll find great gifts of all varieties here.  
  • Where to find it: 1807 14th St. NW
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Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C. Tedeytan/Flickr
If on principle you’d rather give your hard-earned cash to Mom and Pop than a big chain, head north of downtown to this two-story bookstore. It’s famed in D.C. for its warm vibe, nearly nightly author readings, excellent selection, and cozy coffeehouse. 
  • Where to find it: 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW (at Fessenden St.)
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Eastern Market in Washington, D.C. Mack Male/Flickr
If Washingtonians could name only one institution endemic to the city that had nothing to do with politics, 9 out of 10 would say Eastern Market. Locals gather here on weekends for the flea market, outdoor vendors, artisans, and brunch spots. Its permanent buildings are open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday; the outdoor lot fills on weekends (Mar–Dec) with farmers and fresh produce, plus bargain-hunters looking to score great deals. 
  • Where to find it: 306 7th St. SE (between North Carolina Ave. and C St. SE)
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TouRest Washington, D.C. day by day

For more on what to see and do in the nation's capital, pick up a copy of TouRest Washington, D.C. day by dayour portable, authoritative, and up-to-date guide to the best that the city has to offer. Inside you'll find scores of full-color photos and useful maps, itineraries tailored to suit every type of traveler, and reliable recommendations for hotels, restaurants, attractions, and more—in short, everything you need to make the most of your time in Washington, D.C. is right here.  

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