The holidays are over and now all that’s left in their wake are twinkly memories, gifts to put away, and—if you’re lucky—some new holiday cash burning a hole in your pockets. Sure, you could save that cash for a rainy day, but why not put it to work in your community. Go shopping! Buy the things you never knew you wanted, or that didn’t make it under the tree for Christmas. You deserve it.
Even better, support the awesome T-Town community while you put those holiday dollars to work. Here’s a list of local shops around town that offer up a bit of everything.
Downtown Tacoma has a number of great shops right along Pacific Avenue with such variety, you may not even need to go anywhere else. Stocklist opened in 2016, but is off to a strong start with an eclectic and fun mix of gift items, from sassy socks to artwork to candles to jewelry. Right next door is UrbanXchange, a used clothing store with both vintage and modern items specifically chosen by the staff to fit with the aesthetic of the shop. You’ll also find some housewares, gift items and a pleasant shoe selection.
Have an art project on the mind? Tinkertopia is yet another block down Pacific and features Tacoma’s most interesting collection of art supplies, consisting of everything from what you might consider “normal” art supplies like paint and brushes, to more unusual ones like bits of wire, crushed stain glass, cardboard tubes and more.
Downtown Tacoma is also home to a number of museum gift shops as well as UW Tacoma’s bookstore, all worth a stop. A little farther afoot, Freighthouse Square near the Tacoma Dome. Freighthouse is filled with gift shops, a gallery and even one of Tacoma’s most unique stores (think…creative taxidermy)—Wunderkammer Curiosities.
Not far from downtown in Tacoma’s Theater District is Antique Row. If you yearn to spend your holiday cash on treasures from yesteryear, this is the place to go. If you love vintage furniture and homewares, look to Broadway’s Best. If you want to peruse a bit of everything, wander the many shops within Sanford and Sons (including a candy shop or two). Or stop by Lily Pad Antiques for vintage toys and collectibles (including plenty of toys from the 1980s).
The best part about shopping on 6th Ave is that you’ll have no shortage restaurants and pubs to stop in for lunch or your own custom pub crawl as you shop. You’ll also have no shortage of local stores to choose from, especially in the blocks between Pine and Steele.
Tacoma Thrift and Consignment brings on vintage housewares, records, toys and other carefully curated items, while just across the street you’ll find equally well-curated vintage clothing at Scorpio Rising. Also nearby, shop for records at Hi-Voltage Records, for indie literary, handmade and art gifts at the Nearsighted Narwhal, or more spiritual gift items at Crescent Moon.
Simply wandering around this area is best. Peek into storefronts, say hi and explore what the shop has to offer.
The Proctor District is small, yet mighty. Within just a few blocks, you’ll find a couple dozen local stores, from the Pacific Northwest Shop with all things—you guessed it—Northwest, to places to shop for clothes, toys and food. Don’t miss consignment and secondhand stores like Blue and Megs & Mo if you fancy some new duds for the year, but also don’t miss the many treats at Metropolitan Market. There’s a cookie there (aptly called “The Cookie”) that deserves to be included on any shopping spree.
Gig Harbor Downtown
If you live on the other side of the Narrows Bridge, or if you want a waterfront shopping experience, head to downtown Gig Harbor for a nice selection of local shops in a cozy, old town atmosphere. Where downtown Gig Harbor really shines is in the art department. Wander among the galleries and you’ll find large works of fine art, as well as plenty of smaller items like pottery or artsy earrings that make great gifts for yourself. Other highlights include not one, but two bookstores—Gig Harbor Book Company and No Dearth of Books—as well as gift shops, clothing boutiques, jewelers and specialty stores. Like the Proctor District, there’s a whole lot in a relatively small space.