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6 Best Places to Go Shopping in North Carolina

If you’re looking for some great places to shop while you’re on vacation, or… if you’re looking for a great shopping destination for your vacation, look no further than North Carolina! The Tarheel State is full of great places to shop, from outlet and discount shopping, all the way up to some of the finest retailers in the world. From quaint downtown districts with unique boutiques to massive, sprawling outlet malls, there’s something for the person who just wants to get in and out, the leisurely shopper who could browse all day and everyone in between.

Brightleaf Square, Durham The shops in Brightleaf Square are located in two historic tobacco warehouses.
Credit: The shops in Brightleaf Square are located in two historic tobacco warehouses. by www.historicbrightleaf.com

Brightleaf Square, Durham

If what you’re after is quaintness, character and charm (plus a few solid finds), then you have to visit Brightleaf Square in downtown Durham, NC. Made up of two historic tobacco warehouses, the Square has been renovated into a popular destination spot full of locally-owned restaurants and shops. You’ll find a wide selection of goods including designer jewelry, antiques, clothing, books, flavored oils and even a full service record store. After you’ve worked up an appetite, stop at Mt. Fuji to enjoy some Asian food or try the best pizza in Durham at Satisfaction – a Durham institution for over 20 years.

Mayfaire, Wilmington
Credit: by Facebook

Mayfaire, Wilmington

Mayfaire – a sprawling shopping, dining and entertainment complex in Wilmington, NC – is so big that it begins to feel like its own town when you start meandering through it. It’s a shopper’s paradise, with everything you could ever need from large stores like Belk and Barnes & Noble, to over 60 smaller shops including clothes, beauty supplies, electronics, shoes, bath products, sporting goods and more. There are also over 20 restaurants to choose from including sit-down restaurants and grab-and-go establishments. For entertainment, there’s the Regal Mayfaire Stadium 16 and IMAX, as well as pleasant background music that seems to magically fill the air as you stroll the streets.

The Cotton Exchange, Wilmington The Cotton Exchange is located on the waterfront in historic downtown Wilmington.
Credit: The Cotton Exchange is located on the waterfront in historic downtown Wilmington. by www.facebook.com

The Cotton Exchange, Wilmington

Also in the beautiful coastal city of Wilmington, The Cotton Exchange is a completely different type of shopping experience. Spread across eight restored historic buildings in downtown Wilmington, The Cotton Exchange is a maze of unique specialty shops and restaurants connected by brick paths, open air courtyards and exposed wooden beams. Here, you’ll find everything from pottery, jewelry and books, to food items, pet supplies and stationary. It’s the perfect place to find a unique souvenir or gift to take back home.

Concord Mills, Concord Concord Malls has a full scale aquarium right inside the mall!
Credit: Concord Malls has a full scale aquarium right inside the mall! by www.facebook.com

Concord Mills, Concord

For shoppers that can go all day, there’s Concord Mills – a 1.4 million square foot mall in Concord, NC. The giant outlet mall is the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the entire state and is home to more than 200 stores that are uniquely broken out into different “neighborhoods.” It is one giant loop, so you can make it to all the stores if you just keep walking, but you’ll definitely want to wear comfortable shoes! In addition to all the shops, the mall also has a large food court, several casual dining restaurants, a 24-screen movie and IMAX theater, a Dave & Buster’s, a go-kart track, miniature golf course, ice skating rink and a full-blown aquarium… all under one roof!

Southpark Mall, Charlotte
Credit: by Facebook

Southpark Mall, Charlotte

Located in the affluent Southpark neighborhood of Charlotte, Southpark Mall is an upscale shopping destination with over 140 shops and restaurants. It is the largest mall in both Charlotte and the two Carolinas combined, as well as the 10th largest on the East Coast. Anchor stores in the mall include Nordstrom, Macy’s, Belk and Neiman Marcus (the only one in the Carolinas), while the rest of the directory spans the entire spectrum from lower level stores like the Gap and H&M, all the way up to Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. In fact, it’s the only place to find these high end retailers for hundreds of miles, as well as Armani, David Yurman and Burberry.

Biltmore Village, Asheville The shops in Biltmore Village have the look and feel of authentic mountain villas.
Credit: The shops in Biltmore Village have the look and feel of authentic mountain villas. by www.facebook.com

Biltmore Village, Asheville

For a quaint, charming shopping experience surrounding by breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, check out Biltmore Village in Asheville, NC. Named after the historic estate home located just across the street, the Village is made up of more than 40 shops and features Tudor-esque architecture, tree-lined streets, brick walkways and lush greenery. You’ll find a blend of national chains and locally-owned boutiques offering a variety of goods including clothes, jewelry, home décor, gifts and children’s items. There are also over a dozen dining establishments, from fast food all the way up to fine dining, as well as several craft breweries.

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