From Brand Names to Bargain Buys, Great Shopping Abounds in Lexington
Shopping and travel have been a favorite combination for centuries. Remember Marco Polo? He made history by bringing home those spices and silks from the Orient. Your own goal may be more modest — a new outfit, an addition to a favorite collection; or an interesting gift — but the fact remains that here in 21st century America, shopping is the #1 favorite pastime, at home or away. Lexington definitely rises to the occasion in responding to this national passion. Whether you’re a bonafide browsing junkie or just looking for a special souvenir, you’ll find plenty of interesting shops full of fun and fascinating stuff. It isn’t just your imagination that there are shopping centers on virtually every corner here: Lexington has a high concentration of retailers for its size.
Lexington stores range from charming boutiques to mega centers; bargain-priced places to the totally upscale, and the classic to the trendy. You can find your favorite national retailers and without looking too hard, and are sure to discover locally- owned shops that are pure Kentucky. Here’s an “insider’s guide” to get you started. We’ve focused on making you aware of a variety of interesting local shops; showcasing the one-of-a-kind places you’ll find only in Lexington; and directing you to the high-volume shopping areas.
Bluegrass Note: How about hours? Malls and large stores are open seven days a week. Many specialty shops are closed Sundays and evenings. Hours may also vary seasonally, with extended shopping during the holiday season. Call to verify hours.
For many shoppers — and especially if there’s a teenager in your group — the essential shopping
question is: “Where’s the mall?” Lexington has several indoor malls and large shopping areas that are a good bet if you’re looking for concentrated volume and variety.
The big one: The main mall in town is Fayette Mall, and it’s a big one — more than 120 stores covering about 1.1 million square feet. It’s the largest mall in Kentucky. Along with department stores Macy’s, Dillard’s, and JC Penney, you’ll find many of the best-known specialty shop names in America — Banana Republic, The Gap, Victoria’s Secret, J. Crew, The Disney Store, Abercrombie & Fitch and many more — plus restaurants including BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, The Cheesecake Factory and The Olive Garden. There’s a large food court as well with more than 25 eateries. And if you have a non-shopper in the group, he or she can pass the time by catching a movie at one of the 16 theaters at Cinemark Fayette Mall. Fayette Mall is located at 3401 Nicholasville Road, just south of New Circle Road. This is the heart of a retail corridor. Several other shopping centers and discount stores are nearby.
The new one: And now for something completely different: The Summit at Fritz Farm. Just across from Fayette Mall, this new development is a vast collection of upscale shops and eateries and celebrates, by design, the rich heritage of Lexington. A sampling of tenants: Anthropologie, Arhaus, Ariat, Brooks Brothers, Frye, Fabletics, Draper James, Kendra Scott Jewelry, Pottery Barn, Scout & Molly's, BONOBOS.
Books to briefcases to food and fashion: The centerpiece of Lexington Green, just north of Fayette Mall, is Joseph-Beth Booksellers, one of the region’s largest independent bookstores. A large, attractive store with CDs, gifts, and a good restaurant as well as books, “Jo-Beth” is a favorite see-and-be-seen spot. Lexington Green is also home to LOFT, Chico's, EVEREVE, Logan’s, Total Wine and more.
Easy Access: Lexington, like other cities across the United States, has become home to numerous megacenter shopping zones in recent years. At Exit 108 off I-75 you’ll find an area the locals refer to as “Hamburg”. The entrances and parking areas are mazelike, but shoppers happily brave them in droves to take in the array of shops ranging from big
discounters Target, Meijer, and At Home to teen haven Old Navy to the immense pet-and-tack shop PetSmart.
Take home a true Kentucky original from Savane Silver at the corner of Short and Broadway. Designer pieces include unique jewelry made from Kentucky agate. Agate, a form of quartz, is only found in six counties in Kentucky. Further north on Broadway, you can find everything you need for your next black-tie event at Miss Priss. There's a wide selection of formal wear including pageant and prom gowns. If you need a lesson on how to dress like a Lexington gentleman, head over to Howard & Miller at 400 Old Vine Street. They’ll show you how to be trendy, classy and Southern all in one outfit.
Bluegrass Note: Headed to Louisville next? Or traveling to Lexington from Louisville? You'll want to be sure to stop at the Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass near Simpsonville on I-64. It's 366,750 square feet of retail heaven. (502) 722-5558
Other Fashionable Places
Women’s clothing boutiques in Lexington suit a wide range of personal tastes — from furry to funky. Shop around a little, and you just may decide that Lexington should be called the “clothes-horse capital of the world.”
There’s always something tempting on display in the windows of Bella Rose, 126 West Maxwell Street (between downtown and the University of Kentucky campus). This women’s boutique offers fashions for all occasions, casual to formal, and carries such chic lines as Nicole Miller, Shoshanna and Milly.
Tucked away at 867 East High Street in Chevy Chase is AJ's, a little boutique that can drop some big names - like Trina Turk, DVF, Tori Burch and Tibi. Dazzling designs and friendly service are the shop's hallmarks.
Hopscotch, on Clay Avenue, offers classic children’s apparel for newborns through preteens, plus a charming assortment of wooden toys and stuffed animals.
If you are a fan of Monkee’s, you’ll be happy to discover that we have one in Lexington at 116 Clay Avenue. If your tastes turn more to the fun-and-funkier end of the fashion spectrum, check out Pink Spider at 507 East High. Hip clothes and unique accessories make for a colorful browsing experience. This is a "boutique with a bite."
Brand names like Gretchen Scott, Jude Connally and Mik +Zoe— along with great service that even includes an entertainment room for kids so mom can shop — have won Cotton Patch a loyal following of local customers. The boutique carries casual, career, and tennis wear, and is located in the Lansdowne Shoppes shopping center at 3367 Tates Creek Road.
Bluegrass Note: Gift shops at Lexington’s favorite tourist attractions are worth a trip in themselves. The Kentucky Horse Park has everything for the horse lover from artwork to jewelry.. Many items are Kentucky-made. Another haven for equine-themed items is The Keeneland Shop, with products ranging from jewelry to kid stuff. There’s a great selection of Keeneland Race Course shirts, hats, and jackets. Julep cups, watercolors, and regional cookbooks can be found at the Museum Shop at Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate, along with books relating to Henry Clay. A visit to Shaker Village (about 40-minutes from Lexington via US 68) isn’t complete without browsing their lovely gift shop, with handmade Shaker-style furniture and mirrors, Kentucky-made pottery, and handwoven textiles.