BY SHANNON BARRIENTES / PHOTO BY HERRONSTOCK
Austinites love to shop and they love to shop locally! Visitors and locals love the originality of the Austin spirit, and spending a portion of your budget with local merchants helps to preserve what is distinctive about Austin. Some of the most original treasures and finds such as art, jewelry, clothing, toys and more can be found at one-of-a-kind stores that can only be found here.
A lot of fun retail and dining is nestled in Austin’s small communities. Allandale—just off of MoPac between Anderson Lane and Shoal Creek at 45th Street—is a treasure trove of historic homes and bustling activity. There you can find local favorite TURQUOISE TRADING POST, which carries Native-American-made jewelry, Zuni fetish carvings as well as pottery, pipes, rugs, sand paintings and countless other rare finds.
Just south of Allendale is Rosedale—between 38th Street, Shoal Creek, Hancock Drive and Lamar. The historic area contains the beautiful Ramsey Park surrounded by historic homes from as early as the 1930s. If you’re in the area, follow Shoal Creek Boulevard just a bit to the downtown area where the road encounters 12th Street. There are dozens of locally owned retail, coffee and dining spots to explore right in that area. CRYSTAL WORKS is one of our favorite resources for gifts and everyday tools. They carry gemstones, fossils, minerals and crystals from all over the world, as well as literature and gifts that will educate you on the beliefs and cultures associated with these precious items, going back thousands of years. Here you will find religious and Christian gifts, as well as jewelry and Swarovski crystal prisms.
South of downtown is the South Lamar district, known as SoLa to locals. This area is great for walking, discovering hidden parks, eating at food trucks, and exploring little dives with live music. If you’re there during the day, swing into BEAD IT to see a bead store like no other. The local (and Austin-native) owners pride themselves on the rarest selections of goods, including merchandise carefully collected from flea markets, antique stores and thrift stores that supplement their already rare collection of beads and jewelry items. And before you ask, yes, they do have classes for novice and savvy beaders alike! Hop online today (beaditaustin.com) to sign up—you’ll be glad you did!
If you love Austin, find the culture here interesting or just want to explore retail you can’t find anywhereelse … be sure to love your locals! Visit the AUSTIN INDEPENDENT BUSINESS ALLIANCE (AIBA) website at ibuyaustin.com for a list of locally owned businesses. The AIBA is a nonprofit organization of locally owned and operated independent businesses that have joined together to promote the cultural and economic benefits of shopping locally. AIBA works to ensure the success of Austin’s local independent businesses so that we can continue to contribute to Austin’s rich character and vibrant quality of life. We hope you enjoy the finds there as much as we do!
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Established in 2005, Lucky Lizard Curios & Gifts began life as a humble brick-and-mortar shop in the heart of the Sixth Street entertainment district. Mom-’n’-pop owners Steve and Veronica Busti got the inspiration to name the shop from Steve’s beloved pet lizards, who were initially housed in a giant terrarium in the back of the shop. Simone the Iguana and Torgo the Nile Monitor soon became the store’s star attractions. In fact, people would come in just to see the lizards!
Soon after opening, Steve converted an unused section of the shop into a showcase for some of his more, shall we say, “unusual” items: shrunken heads, Fiji mermaids, suits of armor. And all were for sale.
But it was getting harder for Steve to find such items. After parting with many rare, one-of-a-kind—in some ways priceless—artifacts, Steve realized he would never get those things back. So he decided not to sell his oddities anymore, and instead kept them so he could share them with the public.
Hanging a big, red, handpainted sign on the front gate to announce its arrival, the Bustis officially opened the Museum of the Weird in 2007, an homage to the dime museums and cabinets of curiosities of old.
It became an instant hit. Laying claim to the title of “America’s Strangest Attraction,” the museum began to grow both in size and fame, expanding its exhibits while appearing on television shows such as Oddities and Mysteries at the Museum. Lucky Lizard has since grown into one of the largest retailers of Keep Austin Weird merchandise, and the museum draws tens of thousands of visitors each year.
The Museum of the Weird is one of the last true dime museums in the U.S. Originally introduced to the mass public by P.T. Barnum in the 1800s, dime museums became popular forms of entertainment (and pseudo-education) in the late 19th and early 20th century, and were also the birthplace of the sideshow.
Austin’s Museum of the Weird includes curiosities like those you might have found in an old dime museum—authentic freak animals, real mummies, Fiji mermaids, shrunken heads, and life-size wax figures of historic sideshow celebrities (including Barnum himself). These are just some of the many more oddities to peruse in their hallowed halls. The Museum also explores paranormal subject matter like local haunted places and the Texas Bigfoot. They even have a classic movie monster Chamber of Horrors, including a life-sized King Kong to take your photo with!
The mission behind the Museum of the Weird was not only to preserve this disappearing part of Americana—the dime museum, the sideshow, and roadside attractions—but also to give people the chance to wonder again. Could this artifact be real? Or is it a clever fabrication? Are these stories true, or are they tales concocted to entertain, frighten and amaze us? We won’t tell you. We want you to decide.
Crystal Works in downtown Austin is a second- generation family business. Founded in 1977, they are Austin’s longest-running new-age gift shop. Their passion lies between fashion, design, geologic science, and metaphysical esoterica, forming a contemporary take on classic Austin cool. They are intentional in creating an inclusive space steeped in the spirit of fascination, learning, and exploration.
Crystal Works boasts the best selection in Central Texas of Swarovski hanging crystal and hypoallergenic stud earrings. Their offerings feature exclusive jewelry designs from local and regional artisans.
You will find staff-curated books, music, jewelry, and craft offerings from friends around the world. This shop endeavors to provide a dynamic selection and are always introducing new material to their storefront.
Guests can count on rock shop staples such as tumbled, raw, and spectacular display-sized mineral specimens. They also offer a full compliment of sage bundles, palo santo, stick and resin incense, perfume oils, hydrosols, and smokeless sprays.
Crystal Works provides a boutique experience that can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of budget. First time guests get a prize, and gift wrapping is always complimentary. Be sure to give them a visit!
Locally owned and curated Austin music-inspired apparel, accessories and gifts for men, women and kids. Check out our official ACL merchandise offerings and our “Austin Rocks the Cradle” shop for the little ones. Visit us on Willie Nelson Blvd. just across the street from ACL in downtown’s trendy 2nd Street fashion district.
Nature’s Treasures of Texas
With something for everyone and located just north of downtown on IH-35 (lower deck), this locally-owned Austin treasure houses one of Texas’s largest selections of minerals, fossils, crystals, natural home & garden decor, sterling silver set jewelry, and gift ideas. Open 7 days a week or shop online at Nature’s Treasures of Texas
Delight the eye, soothe the spirit – Crystal Works offers a unique gift-shopping experience. Featuring 14 kt and sterling jewelry handcrafted by local jewelers, and spotlighting crystals, fountains, Feng Shui items, music, harmonically tuned wind chimes, aromatherapy products, and spiritual reminders. An Austin original for 30 years.
Austin’s iconic toy store for fun, weird and nostalgic toys for more than 30 years! Come see why we are voted a “Top Ten Toy Store in the World”! Fun, zany, chaotic, colorful, ironic, nostalgic and collectible toys, books and games for “kids” of all ages. Check out our newly added organic espresso bar and art gallery.
2 locations: 403 W. 2nd St. / 4631 Airport Blvd.
1-512-904-0209 (Airport Blvd.)
Hatbox: A Modern Haberdashery
Local and serving Texas since 1974! The best hat selection in town! All price ranges and styles, from top hats to flat caps and fascinators to fedoras, we have the hat for you! Come see us for a professional fitting and shopping experience unlike any other. For your next event, think hats and the Hatbox Events Team! Life’s better in a hat!
Wild About Music
Austin’s unique art, gift and guitar gallery for more than 25 years. We bring Austin “Live Music Capital Of The World” alive with music-themed art, gifts, guitars, ukuleles, apparel, accessories, decor and collectibles for music lovers of all ages and genres. Stop by for Austin music tees and insider tips from our friendly staff.
Herron Sky View & Aerial Photography
These businesses provide cinematic real estate drone footage and images from the heavens! Get the very finest quality in aerial real estate images and more for the benefit of your company, event or special occasion. Hiring an unmanned drone service has never been faster, easier or more rewarding!
Austin, TX 78701
Downtown’s sweetest new shop featuring Austin’s own Sweet Ritual Dairy Free Ice Cream, Housemade Fudge, Little City Espresso, Texas-made Truffles and hundreds of nostalgic and pick-and-mix candies. We have nut-free and vegan options! Always FREE fudge samples.
An Austin tradition since 1977, Allen Boots specializes in fine Western wear, from casual, to work, to dress. Allens Boots will complete your Texas shopping experience in one stop.
Ao5 Gallery (formerly Art on 5th)
Austin’s largest contemporary art gallery was chosen recently as the best gallery in all of Texas. With 7,500 square feet oforiginal fine art from Texas and around the world, a museum-like experience awaits you. Their famed Secret Art of Dr. Seuss collection is the country’s largest.
Comfortable, captivating children’s clothing. Modern designs, natural fibers– durable, U.S. cottons. Go anywhere– stay cool – keep warm. Children love them; you’ll love the look. Infant–10 girls. Infant–7 boys. Accessories, jewelry, outerwear. 100% USA made.
Classic, fun, beautiful toys from around the world – intriguing for infant or architect. Children’s bookstore, art supplies, science, novelty candies. Wooden toys, puzzles, games, dolls, miniatures, major plush collection. Landmark store founded in 1978, 16,000 sq. ft.; worth the visit.
Fifty-six brands of top-quality, fashionable children’s shoes, socks, shoelaces and accessories. We specialize in brands from Europe. Check out these developmentally healthy selections for children from birth through middle school.
Turquoise Trading Post
Best selection of contemporary and traditional Native American jewelry in Texas. Where Austinites bring their East Coast relatives for gifts to take home. Features Zuni fetish carvings, Navajo kachinas, Pueblo pottery, dream-catchers, carvings, plus distinctive furnishings with a Southwest flair.
Magnum has a huge selection in trailers from food, concession, car haulers, goosenecks, boat and cargo—along with a fantastic selection of BBQ pits, fire pits, hunting blinds and feeders, and truck accessories. They design, build and service a complete line of trailers and are celebrating 40 years of service.
10806 Hwy 620 N
Austin, TX 78726