While most people visit D.C. for the national monuments and internationally recognized sites, it's got a very strong small business sector. D.C. shopping is worth carving time out for whether you're a lifelong resident or just in for the weekend. And while most people expect to overspend when on vacation, there are ways to find great deals there.
Here are just six places where you can find some lovely bargains in the city.
1. Fia's Fabulous Finds
If you're tooling around Petworth, you won't find a better shop than Fia's. The store specializes in women's clothing and accessories. They're known for great prices for those who are willing to take the time to search.
This is a deep diver's delight. Fia's has a basement with some of the best deals in town. You may have to dig around for a while but don't be surprised if you find some real deals if you're willing to put in the time.
While you might walk out of the shop emptyhanded, you should always come back. Some shoppers find them to be overpriced, but there are some great work-appropriate clothing and accessories that are worth the sticker price.
However, the basement is where you'll find all of the deals. Look out for their weekend "fill a bag for $25" promotion because this can net some serious deals.
2. Georgia Avenue Thrift
This thrift store at 6101 Georgia Avenue is beloved by both locals and real bargain hunters. It has one of the biggest selections you'll find anywhere in the area.
Before you take a trip out here, you want to schedule plenty of time to look around. There's a lot to dig through in this store and you'll find a wide variety of things for every kind of buyer.
Bring a friend or two on this trip and you're sure to discover some great finds. Whether it's clothing or knickknacks, there's something for everyone in your crew to find.
3. Martha's Outfitters
There's a Northwest and a Southeast DC branch of this local shop. Martha's has a varied selection in each, so they're each worth a separate visit.
You'll find clothing and accessories that you need to own and you'll be supporting local charities as well. Martha's is committed to helping the needy in the D.C. area and helps to provide to those in need. When you support them, you're also supporting both household items and quality clothing for people in need.
It's always a win when you can help the community and help yourself out with a great deal.
4. Potomac Mills
If you're more of an outlet mall type of person than a thrifter, you'll love shopping at the region's largest outlet mall. The mall has more than 200 stores with some outposts really outshining the rest.
There are high-end designer wares at a discount and well as some of the most notable brands on the planet.
Bargain fashionistas will love hitting up Nordstrom Rack or Saks Off Fifth. Jewelry lovers will delight at the Neiman Marcus Last Call where you can find some of the best jewelry deals in town.
It also has one of the best Forever 21 stores in the region.
5. Value Village
This is a massive thrift store that has everything from clothing to knickknacks to books and furniture. Good luck walking out of here empty-handed.
The people who work at these stores are friendly and if you ask, they'll tell you about something interesting that just came through the door. The shop in Adelphi is massive and well organized.
Anything from a designer dress to brand new shoes or even a gumball machine might end up gracing the shelves here. Things are priced to sell, not based on perceived value. If you're a furniture hunter, you might find something that's much cheaper than you'd find anywhere else.
What's great is that if you come with donations, you get a discount on your entire purchase. Imagine saving 30% off on your entire purchase for bringing in some older items.
There's even one location in the Maryland suburbs that's right next to a Unique Thrift store, another comparably large one. If you're taking the trip out there by car, you might as well go to them both. You might even find some rare works of art.
6. St. Alban's Church Opportunity Shop
Opportunity shops are one of the best places to get things that wealthier neighbors have tossed away. Because this shop is located in a pretty nice neighborhood, you'll find some items that were merely tossed away to free up closet space.
The shop is hit or miss according to most visitors but there's often something that you'll add to your "must-haves" list. Much of the collection is from the 60s and 70s though you'll occasionally find something much older.
There's only a small selection of men's clothing compared to the women's section, but this is the case in most thrift stores. There are always nice home goods and a strong selection of only gently used books.
While the shop is closed on Sundays and they close by 3 PM most other days, it's worth carving out some time to take a visit. Your new favorite shirt awaits you.
D.C. Shopping is Chockful of Deals
If you're in town to do a little bit of D.C. shopping with your sightseeing, you might as well go where the locals go. All of the above locations are places where you'll find local residents hunting for the best deals the region has to offer.
While you're out shopping, make sure you check out some of these great outdoor sites to get double the fun on your adventures.