Accidental Tourist in my Hometown of Galveston Part 3
Now that I live on Galveston Island, I have frequent and welcome visits from my Mainlander Friends. After the beach, the parties and the historic sites, and of course lots of good food, it takes a good round of shopping to make the visit a complete success. Galveston is known for its Antiquing as well as its wide variety of unique shops – filled with Treasures you just have to take home. I can’t list all of them – you have to come down here and see them for yourself, but I am going to highlight of few of my favorites.
Antique Warehouse. 423 25th Street. You may have seen the charismatic owner Scotty on the Magnolia Channel -, and if you visit the shop – you will most likely see him there too. It is located in an old Hotel/Brothel from the Roaring 20’s. It is not so much an antique store as a Victorian-era Museum and Architectural Salvage store. Don’t get me wrong – it does have its share of antiques as half of the 1st Floor and the entire 2nd Floor are bursting at the seams. I visit twice a month, as the inventory is constantly changing and I always find something that just has to come home with me.
Emily’s Design Center. 2410 Church Steet. Walking through the door is like opening up a Pandora’s Box – filled with affordable rugs, furniture, pillows, light fixtures, and art – much of it being the epitome of the Coastal Grandmother Aesthetic (which is based on the clean and classic style of middle-aged, wealthier women living in luxurious oceanfront properties.) I should disclose that Emily and Hubby Brian were the designers and contractors for the restoration of my adorable beach cottage. They also own and operate the bijoux Oleander Hotel located at 520 20th Street.
Tippy Toes. 212 22nd Street. Celebrating a milestone in your life and can’t commit to a Tattoo? This eclectic shop specializes in fitted toe rings and also carries small-batch apothecary, accessories, and jewelry. If you can’t make it to Galveston or Port Aransas (their Sister Shop) for a personalized fitting the owner has provided step-by-step instructions on their website to measure and fit your toe ring right at home. This is such a cool thing to do for a Bachelorette Party or a Girls’ Weekend.
Strand Brass. 2115 Strand. This great gift shop has something for everyone – including people who can’t get enough of Christmas. I consider this shop to be extra special as they carry a wide selection of Consuela Bags. Consuela is an Austin, Texas-based company founded by artist Conni Reed. She uses vivid colors and textural juxtapositions to get our happy endorphins flowing. I have one of her iconic shopping bags – that I have used for years as it is perfect for carrying groceries, road trips, and as the perfect beach bag.
Hendley Market. 2010 Strand. Dogs are welcome. I have visited this shop since the 1980s. It is filled with unique antiques and gifts with a global vibe. It is my go-to place for hostess and quirky birthday gifts. They have a wide variety of the most precious Nativity Scenes and proudly support Fair Trade Goods from Vietnam, Costa Rica, Peru, India, Guatemala, Thailand, and Nepal as well as from local artisans. You could spend a whole day here and still not discover all the unique stuff offered for sale. Part of the charm of this shop is that it is located in the 1859 Hendley Greek Revival Style Building.
La King’s Confectionery and Ice Cream Parlour. 2323 Strand Street. This candy and ice cream soda fountain shop will take you back in time. It is a big space with massive amounts of atmosphere as well as Good Air Conditioning. The cozy atmosphere and cool service are part of its charm. Serves Purity Ice Cream, Galveston’s very own Ice Cream Company which began production in 1889, in scoops, sundaes, floats, shakes, and malts. You can also get specialty coffee drinks, handmade chocolates, Salt Water Taffy as well as all the old-time candy favorites.
Women Boutiques. All girls have their favorite – and sometime they won’t share – but I will. There are lots of shops that cater to women for festive clothes and accessories that can dress you for Mardi Gras, Mother’s Day, Beach Party, or for your Cruise. All are located in the Strand/Downtown District. Salty Southern Chic, Tina’s on The Strand, Haba’s Clothing Store, and Tangerine Boutique.
Men’s Clothing. Cruz Cortez Clothiers. 2227 Postoffice Street. The place to go to get the “perfect” Hawaiian Shirt for the Island or Cruise lifestyle. They also have a wide selection of quality men’s hats so that you can be cool from head to toe. Texas Haberdashery. 2125 Church Street. Carries Blue Quail Clothing – shirts and shorts that epitomize the Island/Texas Vibe.