I originally went to Sqecial Media for candles, incense, and stones. (Don’t ask.) I had always been a little intimidated by it because whenever I drove past I would see odd looking people standing outside. Well, after finally venturing in I was really impressed. Yes, they have many New Age items and shelves and shelves of incense and candles, but they also have a lot of other things. Their New Age and alternative religion book selection is really outstanding and they also have a good selection of used books for very low prices. It also works as a gift shop and you can find funny little trinkets for hard to please people, as well as international gifts such as handmade Indian purses and other nice items.
The prices aren’t bad at all and it’s definitely worth going in and having a peek. On a side note, check out their magnets. The person who was with me bought one that said: “I’m sorry I didn’t go to church: I was too busy practicing witchcraft and becoming a lesbian.”
What to buy: This is off of their website:
"Books new & used: Buddhist, Tao, Zen, Cooking-veg+, Fiction & non, Gay & Lesbian & Thesbian pride, Wiccan, Artcards, Posters, Incense, Jewelry, Indian-Tapestries, Tons-o-Tarot, Crystals-n-Stones, Massage Oils, Essential-Oils, Soap, Doctor-Bronner's, Candles, Postcards, Blank-Journals, Magazines(*** mag, Relix, Ad Busters, High Times, Music mags.. etc), Buttons, Bumperstickers, Kids-Toys, Wooden & Stone Boxes, Bells, Hindu & buddhist Statuary and many other things from around the world."
What to pay: I have found their items to be quite cheap. Incense starts at about 10 cents a stick and stones around 75 cents. The used books are a great bargain.
Hamburg Pavilion: interesting collection of shops
An impressive grouping of major department, discount and retail stores.
What to buy: If you are in Lexington and on the East side this seems like a wide variety of shops. But there are four enclosed malls in Lexington and other shopping districts
What to pay: range
Victorian Square: Victorian reconstruction
15 buildings were abandoned and left to be taken over by homeless and transients in the center of what is now part of the historic district. A “makeover” of the area saved the exterior of the buildings but gutted the interior. The buildings were combined on the inside to create a beautiful and historic looking “mall” with many shops and restaurants.
What to buy: Art, millinary, antiques, books, jewelry.... There's a little bit for most everyone.
What to pay: $1-$$$$$$$ The art can be pricey.
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
Michael’s is like the Mecca of craft items. You can find almost anything in here from wedding stuff to candles and scrap booking and fabric. To me, someone who is technically not that crafty, it can get really overwhelming. They have classes that you can take in scrap booking and they offer other smaller classes throughout the year. Really, there is no better place to go for your arts and crafts needs. One word of warning, however. You might want to buy a little bit more than you think you need. I found this out when I was doing a mosaic. I only bought two bags of colored glass and I ran out quickly. When I went back to buy more, they had discontinued the brand. I should have bought a few more bags.
Note: photo taken by me.
Marshalls is another great place to shop in Lexington. Different people like it for different reasons. I used to like the clothing a lot, but then I got into the international ware aisles and really liked them as well. My ex boyfriend really liked buying his fedoras there. It’s similar to TJ Maxx (owned by the same people) or TK Maxx in Europe. They basically sell overstock from other stores. You can buy brand name clothing for a lot less than you would pay in department stores, and they usually have a good selection of items. I have been able to find everything from Waterford crystal to Austrian coffee. One of my favorite sections is the purse aisle. I’ve bought Etienne Aigner, Ralph Lauren, and Nine West for a little of nothing. It’s worth checking them out frequently because things change in a matter of days.
Note: photo taken by me
What to buy: The last great buy I got was an Etienne Aigner purse for $50. I have also found much cheaper things there as well.
I love Plato’s Closet-a really upscale second-hand store. Although they advertise it as “clothing for teens”, I am still the size that I was in high school (unfortunately at times because it’s difficult to find “grown-up” clothes) so I am able to find things here as well. I just have to make sure it isn’t too young looking. They supposedly only take brand name clothing (Tommy, Abercrombie, American Eagle, etc.) but will take other items if they’re in really good condition. All of their clothing has to do with the latest styles so if you’re into vintage you won’t find it here. The prices are not those of Goodwill or the Salvation Army, but they are still way cheaper than what you would find at the mall. What I really like about it is that they seem to be confused as to what good brands are. I love it when I find a Tommy Hillfiger shirt for $18 and a Bebe shirt for $5. (Bebe being way more expensive.) I’ve been able to find some good buys there.
What to pay: You can count on spending anywhere between $5-$15 for a shirt, depending on the brand. Jeans go for around $12 on average. Purses are really cheap.
Joseph Beth Bookstore
Yes, it is a bookstore. And yes, it is huge. A lot of people are divided between JoBeth and Barnes and Noble, but I definitely prefer the former. It takes up most of what used to be the Lexington Green Mall (well, it’s still called that but the store bought out the entire atrium area) and extends over two levels. The host author events and readings on a regular basis and also have a nice café that serves café style food as well as regular meals. They recently added al fresco dining as well. The bookstore is littered with comfy chairs and reading areas and they don’t mind if you stick around all day. On the bottom floor they have a really nice travel section, although like most Kentucky stores the books cater to people who are either going to Italy, England, or Ireland. They also have a travel agency and some good travel items like earplugs, journals, and maps.
On the top floor you can find other interesting items scattered throughout the floor like bubble bath, magnets, and assorted Kentucky crafts. They have a really nice local section. (You can find my book there!) In the local section they also carry local photography and stuff.
In a separate room they have a really good CD selection, as well as DVDs.
If you don’t want to eat in the café there is a Ruby Tuesdays downstairs and a really good seafood place called Regatta.
Lexington has a love/hate relationship with Hamburg Place. On one hand, they took up some valuable farm land to build it on and we all wanted to hate it. On the other hand, well, it does have some nice shopping and restaurants. If only they had modeled it after some other good shopping districts, like the outlet malls in Pigeon Forge. This one is NOT user friendly. While you can park and walk, the store area really spread out and the traffic is not controlled very well. I think they would make a killing it they had a little trolley system at Christmas time.
Some stores of interest: Kohls, Dick’s Sporting Goods (where I got my backpack), Marshall’s (where I get many things), Barnes and Nobles, Michaels, Meijers, Fashion Shop, Babies R Us, Talbotts, Target, Kirklands…Actually, the list goes on and on. There are quite a few stores.
There are also some good restaurants as well. We mostly eat at Carrabas, Max and Erma’s, and the ice cream place (can’t think of what it’s called at the moment) but there are also some fast food, bars and grills, and steakhouses. You won’t have trouble finding a place.
If you don’t feel like eating or shopping, there is also Regal Cinemas, the largest cinema in Lexington. They have stadium seating and student discounts.
Third Street Stuff
Third Street Stuff, located next door to the Atomic Café, has a little bit of everything. They’ve recently expanded and opened a coffee shop and although I haven’t tried it yet it always smells good. There’s an eclectic mix of things to buy at the shop-you can tell it’s going to be interesting just from looking at the bright colors from the outside. I have bought everything from henna mix to bumper stickers and bindis here. It’s a great place to go around Christmas time if you have someone who’s hard to buy for. And I’m all about shopping downtown.
What to pay: It's not an expensive shop. Henna kits go for around $16. Jewelry starts at $10. Different prices for different objects, but definitely affordable.
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