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Sunday in Los Angeles: Melrose Avenue Shopping Walk

Melrose Avenue—the other famous shopping street in Los Angeles—is accessible, diverse, and, luckily for us shopaholics, long. Melrose hosts some of L.A.’s favorite stores, offering everything from hard-to-find sneakers to healing crystals. Ideally, you’ll take this walking route on a Sunday morning, when Melrose Trading Post (a fancy flea market) is up and running at the corner of Melrose and Fairfax.

Total Distance: 1.3 miles
Walking Time: 1-2 hours

fresh gorditas at a los angeles restaurant
Gorditas from Gracias Madre. Photo courtesy of Gracias Madre.

Start at the east end of Melrose and fuel up with some vegan tacos at Gracias Madre.

Wander around the West Hollywood Design District, speckled with high quality shops and galleries. Get some inspiration for your next home remodel.

The highlight of the Design District, the Pacific Design Center is an awesome place to visit even if you’re not buying an outrageously oversized chair to bring home. Arts meets interior design at the MOCA’s satellite exhibition space next door.

Keep walking west for a bit, window-shopping and people-watching, before you reach Melrose Place. Here you’ll find the hip, popular Alfred Coffee. Grab a Stumptown brew to go and take a selfie with its huge “But first, coffee” mural.

Also in Melrose Place is the luxe Balmain, one of two in the U.S. The beautiful, Parisian pieces are nice to look out even if you can’t afford any of them.

Go back to Melrose Avenue and cross the street for a fun shopping break at Duff’s Cakemix, run by the famous Ace of Cakes man himself, Duff Goldman. You can bake and decorate your own cupcake masterpieces here. (Or just eat someone else’s.)

You can’t miss the huge, ivy-covered Fred Segal store. You also can’t leave the iconic California shop without buying some cute clothing, accessories, or home goods.

people walking between a line of commercial tents at an outdoor market in Los Angeles
Head to Melrose Trading Post on Sunday for unique clothing and handcrafted goods and accessories. Photo © Steffany Ayala.

A few blocks east, you’ll hit the corner of Melrose and Fairfax, where the Melrose Trading Post is held every Sunday 9am-5pm. Angelenos from all over the city head to the parking lot of celeb-attended Fairfax High School to find unique clothing and handcrafted goods and accessories at reasonable prices.

Continue east on Melrose and in a few blocks you’ll get to Japanese clothing and accessories store Joy Rich. If you’re looking for a cool background for your selfie, consider Joyrich’s flower-painted exterior.

If you’re in the mood for a drink, pop into the divey Snake Pit Alehouse next door and take a break with a beer (or whiskey) and some jukebox tunes.

Once you’ve refueled, cross the street and find Anthem, a big, cool shoe store with fashion-forward footwear for men and women. Check out the creative street art on the sides of the buildings on the north side of Melrose and Sierra Bonita (the same side of the street as Snake Pit).

storefront of a metaphysical accessories store in Los Angeles's Melrose neighborhood
Stop in at the House of Intuition for all of your metaphysical shopping needs. Photo courtesy of House of Intuition.

Two blocks down, House of Intuition is a one-stop shop for all of your metaphysical shopping needs. Grab some spiritually-minded books, incense, crystals, and jewelry.

End your journey at Wasteland on Melrose, a haven for gently worn high-end clothing. If you don’t have any shopping bags in your hand at this point, now’s a good time to stock up.


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11 Gifts for Hikers and Campers

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Looking for the perfect present for the outdoor enthusiasts in your life? Get them geared up for adventure with these gifts for hikers and campers.

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1. Moon USA National Parks

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This comprehensive guide to all 59 national parks in the US covers the best outdoor adventures in every park, including backpacking, biking, mountain climbing, kayaking, rafting, and more, plus detailed hike descriptions and trail maps marked with distance, duration, effort level, and trailheads.

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2. Darn Tough Socks

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There’s nothing worse than a mid-hike blister. Avoid the pain and bandages with these durable, built-to-last socks that regulate temperature, wick moisture, and provide just the right level of cushioning.

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3. GoPro HERO Camera

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The GoPro Hero is an excellent hiking companion, even for the less tech-savvy: it’s intuitive to use and auto-adjusts for contrast, focus, and color. All you have to do is strap it on and let it document your wild adventures!

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4. GSI Outdoors Collapsible Coffee Maker

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For those of us that require a caffeine fix: this collapsible pour-over coffee maker will give anyone that burst of morning energy needed to start a new day of hiking.

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5. Justin’s Nut Butters

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These nut butter packets are a perfect stocking stuffer. They’re non-GMO and naturally made from only two ingredients, packing a powerful protein punch when you need a little pick-me-up on the trail.

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6. PlatyPreserve Wine Preservation System

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Who says you can’t hike and drink at the same time? Okay, maybe not at the same time—but with this lightweight collapsible flask that holds a full bottle and protects wine from oxygen, they’ll have a delicious glass to toast with when they reach their campsite.

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7. MSR PocketRocket Travel Stove

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This ultralight, compact stove is a backpacking favorite. It boils a liter of water in under 4 minutes, has adjustable flames from simmering to boiling, and is super easy to set up and operate.

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8. LifeProof Frē Cell Phone Case

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These phone cases are definitely a lifesaver. They come in a variety of styles for Apple, Samsung, and more, and are built to ensure your phone’s safety even in the wildest conditions: they can handle water, mud, snow, and even hard hits when dropped (it’s okay, we all do it).

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9. America the Beautiful National Parks Pass

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Give them the gift of nature by…giving them access to it! The National Parks Pass gives them access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the country. More than 80% of the proceeds go directly to causes protecting the parks—and if you purchase through REI, they’ll donate 10% of the proceeds to the National Park Foundation!

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10. SPOT Gen3 Satellite GPS Messenger

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Any seasoned hiker will tell you: safety and preparation are key. This satellite messenger is great if they’re headed out on a backcountry trek where service is spotty: they can use it to reach emergency responders, check in with family and friends, and share GPS coordinates—or just track their adventures!

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11. Suunto Core Watch

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This altimeter watch means business: its many (many) functions include a temperature gauge, compass, pressure-based altimeter, weather forecast, and ascent/descent rate measurer. It’s also water-resistant up to 30 meters underwater. So it’s basically the outdoor adventurer’s new best friend.

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13 Gift Ideas for Road Trippers

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Not sure what to get the road-warrior in your life? From practical to cozy to just plain fun, these gifts will help your loved one hit the open road in style.

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1. Road Trip USA

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The quintessential guide for turning America’s highways into an unforgettable vacation, Road Trip USA features 11 of the best road trip routes in the country, with mile-by-mile highlights like roadside curiosities, parks, diners, and more.

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2. Moon USA National Parks

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Moon’s comprehensive guide to all 59 national parks is packed with tips for taking a national parks road trip—ideal for adventurers who want to cross off multiple bucket-list items at once.

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3. Ranger Polarized Aviator Sunglasses

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Don’t leave your loved ones squinting in the sun: these sunglasses are polarized, with UV protection and thin temples that keep a driver’s peripheral vision wide open.

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4. FlyHi Portable Car Jump Starter

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Getting stranded with a dead battery on a lonely road sounds like the stuff of horror movies—but it doesn’t have to be. This portable jumper is small enough to fit in a glovebox, has a helpful LED strobe light, and can charge up to eight laptops at once. You know, just in case.

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5. Awake Dark Chocolate Bars

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Just the right size for a stocking stuffer, these caffeinated chocolate bars will keep drivers focused for long stretches when there’s no coffee stop in sight.

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6. Matador Mini Pocket Blanket

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This tiny blanket is downright magic. When packed away, it’s smaller than your hand, but unfolds into a durable picnic blanket for two—perfect for rest stops and mountaintops alike.

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7. Hydro Flask Water Bottle

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This stainless-steel water bottle keeps water cold without any condensation, and the sport cap makes it easy for drivers to keep a hand on the wheel and avoid spills. It’s a win-win.

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8. EverBrite Mini LED Flashlights

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In a sticky situation, it’s best to have more than one flashlight on hand. These LED flashlights come in fun colors and have a soft rubber grip. They also glow in the dark, so you can locate them quickly in an emergency.

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9. MadLibs on the Road

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The longest and most tedious highway journeys call for Mad Libs. Stuff this in the stocking of your favorite road-tripping family and they’re sure to have a _________(adjective) time.

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10. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

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This instant camera is both practical and trendy, complete with a built-in selfie mirror and an extra close-up collapsible lens. Get this for the young road-tripper in your life who wants to document everything along the way.

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11. Regal Games Travel Bingo

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Bingo is an old-school classic, fun for the whole family (or group of adults, no judgment here!).

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12. Yeti Roadie 20 Cooler

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Made for the most serious road-tripper on your list, this Yeti cooler means business. With extra thick walls and a freezer-tight seal, it protects against extreme temperatures—and bears!

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13. AERIS Travel Pillow

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This super-soft travel pillow also comes with earplugs and an eye mask, so passengers can rest up for their next stint behind the wheel.

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9 Self-Care Gift Basket Ideas

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From forest bathing to outdoor meditation, we’re all coming to understand the importance of getting outside and unplugging from the business of our daily lives. It’s a sensation for a reason: there’s a unique serenity to be found in nature. Here are 9 self-care gift basket ideas to help your loved ones tap into the outdoor wellness world (or just go ahead and treat yourself—you deserve it).

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Moon USA National Parks

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From misty mountains to lush forests to colorful canyons, there’s boundless beauty to be found in America’s wilderness. Give the gift of inspiration with Moon’s guide to all 59 national parks!

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Rite in the Rain Bound Notebook

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While you’re out there…Journaling is one of the best forms of self-care, and what better place for creative expression than the great outdoors? This journal is filled with all-weather, wood-based paper that repels water, oil, mud, and just about everything else, leaving you free to soak up the wilderness.

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Jade Harmony Yoga Mat

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This highly-rated yoga mat is perfect for the yogi that likes to take their practice outdoors. It comes in 15 different colors and is sustainably made in the USA with renewable resources and no synthetic plastics—and the best part? Through their partnership with Trees for the Future, the company plants a tree for every mat sold.

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Sloth Yoga Travel Mug

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This insulated, stainless steel mug keeps coffee or herbal tea hot (or cold!) for hours—and will definitely add some zen cuteness to anyone’s day.

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Beyond Yoga x Parks Project Woodland Candle

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This soothing candle’s scent of freshly chopped wood, mountain stone, cedarwood, and wildflowers will transport anyone straight into the calm of nature. It’s the perfect addition to a meditation practice, and proceeds go towards conservation projects in our national parks!

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The Clarity Cleanse

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The Clarity Cleanse is the powerful book written by Gwyneth Paltrow’s very own health and spiritual advisor. It makes an excellent gift for anyone starting their journey to self-love and self-compassion.

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Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock with Sunrise Simulation

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Help your loved one start their days on a more peaceful note with this colored sunrise simulation alarm clock. They’ll wake up gradually, with natural light and sounds filling their bedroom. Ahh.

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Classic Mini Waterproof Ugg Boots

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Treat their feet! These classic Ugg boots are updated for outdoor wear, with waterproof construction, a non-slip traction sole that’ll keep them balanced even on wet ice, and a sheepskin lining that feels like walking on a cloud.

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Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen

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Taking care of your inner self also means taking care of your outer self—and protecting your skin while outside is top priority! Not only is Babo’s zinc sunscreen good for you, it’s also good for the planet: the sulfate-, paraben-, basically-everything-free formula is totally ocean-safe.

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Self Care Gift Basket Ideas Pinterest graphic

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Top Western Wear and Boot Stores in Nashville

The appetite for boots, hats, and other cowboy goods is real. If cash is burning a hole in your pocket, head to these Nashville shops to buy western wear.

Row of elaborate boots on display in a boot store in Nashville.
Photo © muffinn, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

It’s all about the boots. Boot Country (304 Broadway, 615/259-1691; Mon.-Thurs. 10am-10:30pm Mon.-Thurs., 10am-11pm Fri.-Sat., 11am-7:30pm Sun) stocks a huge variety and organizes them by size. If you want boots, this is the place to go. If, in fact, you want three pairs of boots, this is the place to go, as they are always “buy one get two free.” If you can’t fit three pairs of boots in your luggage, organize a couple of friends and each get a pair. Buying a single pair is somewhat pricey.

U.S. boot- and shoemaker The Frye Co. (401 11th Ave. S., 615/238-6170; 10am-9pm Mon.-Sat., 11am-7pm Sun) is a relative newcomer to Music City, but not to the leather game. The company has been around since 1863, and its 3,000-square-foot store in The Gulch shows off its timeless designs well. There’s also space in the shop for live music events.

A boot is not just a boot—at least not in Nashville, where boots are a status symbol as much as footwear. And in a town that loves boots, people really love Lucchese (pronounced “Lu-K-C,” 503 12th Ave. S., 615/242-1161; 10am-7pm Mon.-Sat., noon-6pm Sun). This luxury brand has been around since 1883, but only since 2012 has it had its own retail shop in the Gulch. The boots (and belts and clothes) are made in the United States, and custom orders are taken.

The name says it all: Manuel Exclusive Clothier (800 Broadway, 615/321-5444; 9am-6pm Mon.-Fri., or by appointment). Manuel Cuevas goes by just his first name, and he’s the man who outfits all the stars with their stage-worthy clothing. The cowboy shirts start at $750 and jackets at more than $2,000, so this isn’t the place for an impulse buy. This is the place to go when you’ve made it. You can stop by to admire the work even if you can’t order your own Manuel suit…yet.

Map of Midtown Nashville, Tennessee
Midtown Nashville

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Shopping for Venetian Carnevale Masks

Shakespeare never imagined writing a play called the Merchant of Paris or London. He wrote the Merchant of Venice because that’s where the shops were. In the 16th century the streets, markets, and docks around the Rialto were jammed with traders. Merchants came from all over Europe to Venice—the most active port in the Mediterranean—to trade with their Ottoman, Indian, and Chinese counterparts. Pigments, leather, textiles, spices, perfumes, precious wood, and foodstuffs were exchanged for gold, silver, and armaments. Local workshops transformed these materials into valuable objects that brought the city wealth and fame.

crowds of people shopping on the Rialto bridge in Venice
Many commercial shops line the Rialto Bridge. Photo © bluejayphoto/iStock.

Many trades have survived, making Venice shopping an adventure. The most celebrated of these use glass, lace, and papier-mâché. Although the number of craftspeople has declined, they can still be found plying their trades across the city. Historic workshops are common in Dorsoduro, where both and Calle Bastion and Calle della Chiesa are dotted with one-room galleries where artisans work in the back and display textiles, prints, and jewelry in the front. You can find glass and lace in showroom boutiques and souvenir shops around San Marco, but if you want to go to the source you’ll need to board a vaporetto and head out to the furnaces of Murano or the back streets of Burano where lacemaking refuses to die. Be sure to ask permission before taking pictures of artisans’ creations.

Venice has no fashion megastores, but many designer boutiques. Major brands cluster along the most trafficked areas, such as the streets north and west of Piazza San Marco or in the Strada Nuova in Cannaregio, which stretches from the train station all the way to the Rialto. Both sides of the Rialto Bridge are heavily commercialized, and the arcades and market stalls on the San Polo side are a good place to search for T-shirts, jewelry, and masks. Rio Terra Lista di Spagna, the gateway to Cannaregio, is lined with shops, but it’s very touristy and best avoided.

Venetian shops are generally open from 9am to 1pm and 3pm to 7pm, though many sacrifice the traditional lunch break, especially during summer. Most shops close on Sundays and many remain closed on Monday mornings.

a variety of colorful Italian masks on display
Head to the Castello neighborhood to search for traditional masks. Photo © JqnOC/iStock.

Shopping for Masks

Throughout the 18th century, Venetians used masks to enjoy stigma-free decadence. Nobles wore masks to visit brothels, youth to escape from parents, the poor to frequent the rich, the rich to frequent the poor, aristocratic ladies to enter dark alleys, clergy to temporarily break vows, and so on. Famous Venetian Giacomo Casanova wore a mask as he went to meet his lovers at the Cantina Do Mori, where he was a regular.

Masks are still used today and are one of the most common sights at street-side stalls and gift shops around the city, where cheap versions can be had for €5-10. These have little to do with the papier-mâché versions carefully made in a dozen or so ateliers around the city. These versions sell for €30 to €300 and are based on classic molds that have been used for centuries. The most common is the white Bauta mask that allows the wearer to eat and drink while remaining hidden from view. It is worn by both men and women and often paired with a black tabarro cape. Another popular mask is the Medico della Peste, recognizable by the long nose that resembles a bird’s beak. It was invented by a doctor in the 17th century who didn’t want to be recognized by his patients dying from the plague and was later adopted by Carnevale goers. The Colombina is a half-mask that covers eyes and cheeks. It continues to be favored by Venetian ladies and often comes painted in silver or gold and adorned with feathers and beads.

These and many other historical masks and newer creations are available at workshops around the city where you can learn more about the origins of your disguise. Castello is a good neighborhood to start shopping for masks, and the four shops below are definitely worth a look.

The historically accurate costumes, papier-mâché masks, tuxedos, wigs, capes, hats, and shoes at Atelier Flavia (Santa Marina, Corte Spechiera 6010, tel. 041/528-7429, appointment only) could transform anyone. It’s the ideal place to come before Carnevale for an Eyes Wide Shut (or any other) look. Costumes can be rented or purchased.

The walls of Ca’ del Sol (Castello, Fondamenta dell’Osmarin, tel. 041/528-5549, daily 10am-8pm) are covered in masks. All the classics are here, including bauta, columbine, harlequin, plague, and scores of one-off creations that are handmade using papier-mâché, leather, ceramic, and iron. The shop has been around since 1986 and helped revitalize the art of maskmaking in the city. It’s run by a collective of artisans who patiently answer questions and aren’t uptight about letting customers try on as many masks as they like. They organize maskmaking courses and rent elaborate costumes during Carnevale.

It takes a while to distinguish between the different mask types, but the quality of the structure and painted detailing is immediately evident at Papier Maché (Castello, Calle Lunga 5174, tel. 041/522-9995, Mon.-Sat. 9am-9pm). Four decades of maskmaking experience is on display in the windows of this boutique, which has a large selection of ornate masks with designs you won’t see anywhere else. Prices are a little high, but this is the real deal—and perhaps the finest way to keep your identity hidden.

Ca’ Mancana (Calle de le Botteghe 3172, tel. 041/277-6142, daily 10am-7:30pm) is one of the finest and uses traditional papier-mâché techniques to create both classic Carnevale and fantasy characters. Anyone can hide their identity for as little as €30. This is where Stanley Kubrick came when he wanted masks for Eyes Wide Shut. If you want to learn how masks are made or are traveling with kids, ask about the maskmaking workshops that last a couple of hours and will keep young and old entertained.


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Pin For Later

Vendors and craftsman selling glass, lace, and papier-mâché can still be found plying their trades across Venice. Check out these shop recommendations and tips when shopping for authentic Venetian Carnevale maskse.

Shopping in Hanalei

A souvenir to take home, a new swimsuit to hit the beach, and a healthy snack: We’ve rounded up the best spots for shopping in Hanalei.

A boar skull carved with cut out patterns in Dayak tradition.
A boar skull hand carved by the Dayak, the indigenous peoples of Borneo. Photo courtesy of Havaiki Oceanic and Tribal Art.

Kauhale Center

In the Kauhale Center (4489 Aku Rd.), on the oceanside of the road, The Bikini Room (808/826-9711, 10am-5pm Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat., 12pm-5pm Tues. and Thurs.) is where unique and quality Brazilian bathing suits can be found. A sale rack can often be found in front of the shop, and the staff is especially helpful with insight on what suits are best for swimming or sunning.

The Root (808/826-2575, 9:30am-7pm Mon.-Sat., noon-6pm Sun.) has an array of fun, funky, simple, sweet, and trendy women’s clothing. From dressy to relaxed, it’s of high quality and pretty.

Hanalei Center

The historic Hanalei Center (5-5121 Kuhio Hwy.), on the mauka side of the highway, has an array of shops and eateries. Harvest Market Natural Foods and Cafe (5-5161 Kuhio Hwy. #F, 808/826-0089, 8am-7pm Mon.-Sat., 8am-6pm Sun.) brings healthy food to Hanalei. The shelves are stocked with organic and natural food, produce, body products, and vitamins.

At the west and back side of the center is Havaiki Oceanic and Tribal Art (5-5161 Kuhio Hwy. #G, 808/826-7606, 11am-5pm daily), where a visit feels like an exploration through the Pacific. The collection resembles what you may find while visiting a museum, with all the most prized gifts the area has to offer. Interesting and amazing artifacts, statues, carvings, jewelry, and much more pack this store full, ranging from affordable to outrageous. Every piece tells a story.

The Yellowfish Trading Company (808/826-1227, 10am-8pm daily) is an interesting store that feels like a journey through Hawaiian history and memorabilia. The store is loaded with Hawaiiana, collectibles, hula girl lamps, aloha shirts, carvings, swords, candles, jewelry, and so much more.

At the far east end of the old Hanalei school building is the Hanalei Surf Company (808/826-9000, 8am-9pm daily), which sells and rents boards and water gear, along with a good stock of clothing and swimwear for the whole family.

Ching Young Village

The bustling Ching Young Village (5-5190 Kuhio Hwy., 808/826-7222) has many shops, including Divine Planet (808/826-8970, 10am-7pm Mon.-Fri., 10am-6pm Sat.-Sun.) and Aloha From Hanalei (same phone and hours), which are two connected shops, but with different themes. The former features bamboo women’s clothing, beads, Asian-themed collectibles, and pretty and fun paper star lanterns. The latter shop has a unique array of local gems, handmade creamy soaps and lotions made by a local goat dairy, and Hawaiiana.

On the east end of the shopping center is Backdoor Surf (808/826-1900, 8:30am-9:30pm daily). It rents and sells surfboards, and offers a large array of men’s, women’s and children’s swimwear, surf gear, and clothing.

Colorful and cute describes the clothing in Kokonut Kids (808/826-0353, 11am-4pm Mon.-Fri.), which offers all things local for children. From play clothes to dress clothes, Kokonut Kids can deck out the children for the whole trip. The Hanalei Toy and Candy Store (808/826-4400, 10am-6pm daily) has a unique selection of quality toys and candy.

Hanalei Colony Resort

Further down the road, Na Pali Art Gallery & Coffee Shop (5-7132 Kuhio Hwy., 808/826-1844, 7am-5pm daily) is a wonderful art gallery filled with local art, jewelry, house decorations, tribal carvings, and more. The collection of Ni‘ihau and sunrise-shell jewelry at the back of the small shop should not be missed. Paintings, scratchboard art, and local shell puzzles decorate the place. Coffee, smoothies, and bagels are offered too.

Travel map of Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii
Map of Hanalei

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Denver Gifts: Unique Items from the Mile High City

Life is about experiences, not stuff. But sometimes you want stuff to remind you of the experience. There’s something to be said for thinking of others during your travels and getting that gift you just know no one else did—or could. It’s kind of like bringing home seashells from the beach: you want something that you had to be there to get.

Despite the age of online shopping, there are still a few things you can only buy when you are in the Mile High City.

Denver skyline at twilight
Bring home a piece of the Mile High City with these unique-to-Denver gifts. Photo © f11photo/iStock.

Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey is all about the small batches, but once year they go hyper-local with the coveted Snowflake batches, and folks line up to buy it. Seriously, hundreds of folks—sunny skies or snowy flurries—line up outside the Stranahan’s Distillery to pay about $100 per bottle of the custom-finish blend made by master distiller Rob Dietrich.

“People ask me if I’m ever going to make Snowflake available nationally and I always tell them no, because that’s what makes this release so special. It’s only available for sale at the distillery for one day a year. If you want to get a bottle, you have to come out to Denver and wait in line like everyone else,” Mr. Dietrich said. “Snowflake is my favorite project every year because I get to color outside of the lines, and nose and experiment different cask finishes to see how our original single malt whiskey captures all the nuances of the special barrels.”

The Snowflake single malt whiskey is different from year to year, and 2017’s will be named Quandary Peak (it’s the 20th batch of Snowflake). You can get Stranahan’s other whiskey—including the new Sherry Cask—online, and even request personalized engraving on the bottle, but you’ll have get in line for the limited-edition Snowflake on Dec. 2, 2017. Since you’re here, plan time to tour the distillery, sip some whiskey in their lounge, and shop for hats, t-shirts or blankets, which are also only available on-site.

bottle of snowflake whiskey from Stranahans by the fire
Once a year, people line up to get a coveted bottle of Stranahan’s Snowflake whiskey. Photo courtesy of Stranahan’s.

The I Heart Denver Store is your happy place for all things made locally that celebrate Denver and Colorado—t-shirts, hats, soaps, key chains, little blue bears (a miniature version of the city’s iconic sculpture), tea towels, and lots more. The concept is to support the makers, so proceeds of all in-store and online sales go to the designers and artists. When you shop at one of their two brick-and-mortar locations, the makers get 70%; online they get 60%. Additionally, not all of the products sold here are available online; for example, Vital Industries has an assortment of pint glasses printed with maps of local neighborhoods that can only be purchased in this store.

Even if you don’t get to do the free tour at the United States Mint in Denver, you can go to the on-site gift shop and buy a trinket or treasure only available here. There are gold layover Colorado quarters (not sold online), and for .51 cents a novelty machine will crank out a commemorative penny with your choice of Denver images, including one of the U.S. Mint building. These aren’t the only items for sale in this popular gift store—you can get piggy banks, t-shirts, a variety of coins, puzzles, satchels, and more—but these coins are unique to shopping in person.

It’s true, no one comes to Casa Bonita for the fine cuisine, but you must buy a meal to enter. You may have heard of this themed Mexican food restaurant with actual cliff divers from watching South Park. Once inside, watch the diving show, listen to the mariachi band, and buy a souvenir t-shirt only available on site at El Mercado.

If you need another shirt, make the drive to Red Rocks Amphitheatre’s Trading Post store for a “Red Rocks” t-shirt. The world-famous concert venue allows hiking when there aren’t bands playing, and this little shop is on a trail loop.

red t-shirt with black silhouette of rocks in Denver
Visit the Red Rocks Amphitheatre and buy a commemorative t-shirt. Photo courtesy of Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre.

Then there are the things you can buy only in Denver, but can’t take with you. These finds are so quintessentially Denver that you might want to check them out between shops:

Stop in at the Wynkoop Brewing Company for a sip of Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout on draft. Hint: do you have the balls to ask what a Rocky Mountain oyster is?

Definitely do not try to take recreational marijuana out of state. Instead, splurge on a cannabis experience with a local. Laws requiring use of this drug to be done in private led to a cottage industry of smoking (or ingesting) pot in a person’s home or business before embarking on a painting class, hike, cooking class, or cannabis-infused massage.

When people ask how you found that special something, just say, “You had to be there!”


Related Travel Guide

Best Places to Find Ireland Souvenirs

Even if you’re on a shoestring budget, you’ll want to find something quintessentially Irish by which to remember your trip. Here are the best places to find souvenirs during your Ireland vacation.

a street in Galway City lit during Christmas
If you’re looking for a signature Aran sweater, head to Inis Mór or Galway City (pictured here). Photo © rihardzz/iStock.

Serious tweed lovers must make Donegal the centerpiece of their itinerary. Visit the workshops or showrooms of John Molloy (tel. 074/954-1133) and Eddie Doherty (Front St., tel. 074/954-1304) in Ardara and Clare O’Presco (Donegal Craft Village, Ballyshannon Rd., 1.5 km west of town, tel. 074/972-2225) in Donegal Town. Studio Donegal (west end of Main St., tel. 074/973-8194) in Kilcar is the place to go for Irish tweed yarns for knitting and weaving.

For the signature Aran sweater, you’ll ideally visit the speed-knitting ladies at the Kilmurvey Craft Village (by the entrance to Dún Aengus, tel. 099/61233) on Inis Mór, but if you can’t get to the source, definitely stop by Ó’Máille’s (16 High St., tel. 091/562-696) in Galway City.

a variety of aran sweaters hanging in a closet
Aran sweaters on display. Photo © gabe9000c/iStock.

If you’re hoping to pick up some Waterford crystal, note that much of it is no longer produced in Ireland; instead, visit the crystal studio showrooms at Criostal na Rinne (signposted off the R674, tel. 058/46174) on the Ring Peninsula southwest of Waterford or Kinsale Crystal (Market St., tel. 021/477-4493) in Kinsale, County Cork. Tipperary, Cavan, and Kilkenny have their own crystal studios as well.

Irish pottery varies greatly in style; for something unique, skip the assembly-line “cottage” businesses and pay a visit to Yvonne McEnnis (The Pottery Shop, Church St., tel. 065/683-7020) in Corofin, County Clare, or Louis Mulcahy (4 km west of Ballyferriter on the R559, tel. 066/915-6229) on the Dingle Peninsula in Clogher, County Kerry.

And for Celtic and Celtic-inspired jewelry, you might try Kinsale Silver (Pearse St., tel. 021/477-4359) in Kinsale or one of Dingle Town’s well-established jewelry designers: Brian de Staic (Green St., tel. 066/915-1298) or Niamh Utsch (Green St., tel. 066/915-2217).


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Best London Markets

London, in all its hip, fashionable glory, is a shopaholic’s nirvana. From Harrods and Mayfield, to just about any shop on Regent Street, there’s no shortage of tempting window displays and designer goods. Oxford Street alone, the city’s most popular bustling shopping district, has over 300 designer shops and unique boutiques to browse.

But ask a seasoned Londoner, and they’ll tell you there’s a no better way to spend a weekend morning than navigating the city’s famed street markets in search of that one perfect piece, that one-of-a-kind antique, or that fresh, farm-to-market produce—the stuff you just can’t find at the department stores (sorry, Harrods).

For some of the best street shopping and market stalls in London, check out these popular spots.

a variety of cheeses on display at the Borough Market in London
Borough Market is a foodie’s dream. Photo © Victor Huang/iStock.

Borough Market

Borough Market (Borough Market, se1, t: 02074071002, open Wed–Thurs 10am–5pm, Fri 10 am–6pm, Sat 8am–5pm) is the stuff of foodie dreams, and happens to be one of the oldest and largest markets in London. From Wednesday to Saturday, vendors and suppliers flock here from around the country to peddle their delicious treats: fruits and vegetables, freshly-caught seafood, still-warm-from-the-oven breads, homemade chocolates, jams, olives…you get the idea. Bon appetit!

Sunday Upmarket

This diverse and popular market is sort of part-flea, part-pop up, part-sample sale—you might find a handmade piece of jewelry direct from the artisan, or you might find designer shops discounting their threads for a limited time. Whatever you’re after, Sunday Upmarket (The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, e1, t: 02077706028, open Sunday 10am–5pm ) is the perfect spot to buy unique, quality products from over 140 vendors—and it doesn’t hurt that more than a few of them sell delicious baked goods. Just follow the scent of scones wafting through the market.

vintage military coat hangs with other items in the Portobello Market in London
Portobello Road Market offers a variety of items, including antiques. Photo © kateafter/iStock.

Portobello Road Market

The famous Portobello Road Market (Portobello Road, w11, open Monday–Wednesday & Saturday 8am–6:30pm, Thursday 8am–1pm ) isn’t the place to go for bargain-hunting, but it’s definitely a unique and worthwhile experience. There’s no telling what you’ll find, as the market stalls tend to change every day, but that’s part of the fun. If you’re in the market for antiques, head to Portobello on Saturday, when the market expands to accommodate a huge variety of sellers. The farther down the street you go, the more unique the offerings get—so don’t worry about going under the somewhat shabby overpass. There may be treasure lying just ahead.

Alfie’s Antique Market

To get to Alfie’s Antique Market (13-25 Church Street, nw8, t: 02077236066, open Tuesday–Saturday, 10am–6pm), you’ll have to deviate a little from the standard tourist route, but it’s absolutely worth the detour. This market is a treasure trove for antique and vintage shopping aficionados. More than 100 vendors sell their wares in this enormous covered labyrinth, from teaspoons to sideboards. Tin Tin Collectables is a great spot for vintage clothing (don’t freak out, but Kate Moss is regularly spotted here). Added bonus, the Rooftop Kitchen is an excellent spot for a classic English breakfast or a quick lunch.

Broadway Market

Broadway Market (Broadway Market, e8, open Saturday 9am–5pm) is where the city’s uber-cool hipsters flock to. It’s also a great spot to sit with a coffee on a Saturday morning and watch said uber-cool hipsters pass by. The market itself has been running for years—historical records show there were vendors here hawking their wares as early as the 1890s. It hit a bit of a rough patch in the 1980s, but the locals loved it too much to let it fall into decline; passionate residents pitched in and fully revived the market to its new, trendy splendor. Favorite businesses include the Spinach & Aguchi stall for delectable chicken stew with peanut sauce, Donlon Books and Artwords for exclusive photography and art books, and Off Broadway for cocktails.


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Go shopping in London's bustling markets for vintage treasures, artisan foods, and unique flea market finds. These five markets from Southwark to Notting Hill offer the best of each!


Moon City Walks Guides - Explore seven amazing cities, one step at a time.

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