UNION STATION, Washington D.C.
Union Station is a real working train station. The metro also stops here. And, who can ask for more...Lots of upscale retail stores, nice restaurants, movie theater (lower level) and mall food. I think it's worth checking out if you have some time on your hands.
Go to the official website and check out the shopping coupons.
I'll confess it...I'm a shoe junkie. And I love shoe stores. But probably not too many people travel to Washington especially to shop at one particular shoe store, especially in this day when you can order things (with free shipping both ways) from Zappo's. Comfort One makes it worth the trip. They carry a range of brands that I've never found elsewhere (and believe me, I've looked!), and it would be difficult, maybe impossible, to find a single shoe that feels uncomfortable when worn. They are also very knowledgeable about their merchandise and the customer service is really superb. Don't want to carry your shoes onto the train? No problem, they'll ship (and save you the sales tax, too). Second floor of Union Station, next to Ann Taylor.
What to buy: Although they do have standard brands (Merrell, Ecco, Dansko, Born, Rieker, etc.) I have yet to find BeautiFeel, Roby and Pier, Thierry Rabotin, Lazio and other brands in most local stores, and some of them aren't even available at the internet sites or Nordstrom, one of my other shoe faves.
What to pay: You can buy Crocs for $30 but most of the lines they carry are upwards of $100 a pair and many are north of $200 (or more).
Union Station offers a variety of stores. Specialty stores, clothing stores, and a vast variety of food choices. This is a good place to stop and spend an hour or two and grab a bite to eat. I managed to spend $40 in the 20 minutes that I spent shopping. Their food court is located on the lower floor and they offer a good variety of food at reasonable prices.
What to buy: They offer souveniors that you may not find in the museum gift shops and often at a cheaper price.
What to pay: Average.
OK, depending on how your business trip went you may need a drink to carry you through that train ride. That way the little crum cruncher in back of you kicking your seat non stop may not get on your nerves quite as much.
What to buy: T-Shirts, sweat shirts and hats. We got sweat shirts that say Air Force One. Everyone always askes us if they are 'real'. We say..."if I tell you that...I'll have to kill ya" ha ha ha...
I was surprised to see Kent (kentbein) who came to meet us with a small flag of Poland. Now I know where he found it. There is a small but busy store at the Union Station which offers countless number of flags including national flags of many coutries, Poland among them. There are various US flags, ancestral, military (US), seasonal, territorial & historic flags of the United Nations and flag related accessories.
Monday - Saturday: 10 am - 9 pm
Sunday: Noon - 6 pm.
What to buy: Whatever flag you need.
What to pay: Average.
If your are taking a trip on the train may I suggest you stop in to B Dalton Books before you board. It never hurts to read! So pick up a good book to pass the time on the train, I did when I went to DC for business and it made the trip go much quicker!
All sorts of stuff!! If you can't find it here you probably won't walk the rest of DC and find it! Though stuff can be pricey it's still the best place to shop other then a specialty from a certain museum like the NLEOM.
What to buy: Bus pass for the Metro!!
What to pay: Spend as little or as much as you please but remember to be discreet!!
This place has a lot of restaurants and shops, but it's easy to get lost here. The cool thing is the train station right in the middle of all these shops... or I guess it's probably the other way around, huh? :-)
Union Station is a design and restoration success. It's full of shops and restaurants...or catch a train or Metro. Absolutely knock out architecture. Incidentally, that is a restaurant which is elevated in the center of the grand hall.
America! is a gift shop that sells all manner of political memorabilia. The stores are located mainly in the Washington, DC area: Union Station, Pentagon City Fashion Mall, Reagan National Airport, and Dulles Airport (concourses B, C, and D). There is also one at Newark's Liberty International Airport (C3). Hours: 10am- 9pm (Monday-Saturday); 12 noon- 6pm (Sunday).
What to buy: Afghans & home linens, apparel, books & music, Christmas & holiday whatnots, collectibles, flags & accessories, hats & caps, home decor, jewelry, kids' stuff, neckties & scarves, prints & wall decor, polos & dress shirts, sweats & jackets, and t-shirts are all for sale here. I have bought postcards and keychains at the Union Station store and a "White House" Christmas ornament at the one at Reagan National Airport.
What to pay: The prices are fairly reasonable.
There are two levels of concourses, each lined with stores whose names you're sure to recognize. You will find specialty boutiques, fashion and gift stores, shops offering Washington souvenirs, and much, much more.
It's common to see imported goods being sold in all variety of small kiosks or on local street corners. Here we see the imports displayed below an American flag at Union Station.