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Everything’s bigger in Texas and that includes the shopping malls. In Houston, the Galleria is king when it comes to retail therapy. With 400 stores and restaurants found in 2.4 million square feet of space, if the Galleria doesn’t have what you’re looking for then it’s probably not necessary. Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and not one, but two Macy’s, anchor the mammoth shopping center. High-end designers like Gucci, Burberry, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Tory Burch, and Valentino, as well as jewelry stores such as Cartier, Bvlgari, and DeBeers, all have stores in the Galleria. Never fear, there are also more budget-friendly shops such as Ann Taylor, Gap, J. Crew, Urban Outfitters, and Zara. Find your inner geek at Apple, Brookstone, and Microsoft. If shopping is your thing, then the Galleria is the place to be. One could be there from open to close and still not see all there is.
1. The Galleria. Houston's largest shopping complex boasts some of the world's best designer ateliers: Carolina Herrera, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Ermenegildo Zegna, Gucci, Tory Burch, and more. The three-part complex attracts more than 26 million visitors per year, and is anchored by Macy's, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus.
2. Highland Village. The boutique shopping experience that is Highland Village offers choices like Anthropologie, Francesca's, Victoria's Secret, and more to flagship furniture stores for Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel, Z Gallerie, West Elm, and Pottery Barn. For the electronically inclined, Apple just opened a huge outpost; for the bath and body geek, Kiehl's is a big draw. You can't shop 'til you drop without sustenance, and Highland Village delivers on that score as well, with cupcakes from Sprinkles, New American in the beautiful dining room at Up, Chinese at P.F. Chang's, sushi at RA Sushi, and steak at Smith and Wollensky.
3. Rice Village. Named after its close proximity to Rice University, the Rice Village spans about five square blocks of retail shops, dining, and bars. You’ll find cute boutique shops like that of Bravo Project Runway winner Chloe Dao, retail shops like The Gap, White House Black Market, Express, along with restaurants like D’Amico’s, Kubo’s Sushi, Mi Luna Tapas Bar, and pubs like Baker St. Pub, Brian O’Neill’s and the Ginger Man.
4. CityCenter. This brand new retail complex located West of Downtown in Memorial City is the destination for boutique shopping. Browse through Anthropologie’s endless array of dresses and shabby chic accessories, admire the window art at the flagship Urban Outfitters, look for preppy chic at J Crew, or hit up Sur La Table for some fine cookware. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxing meal at one of the many fine restaurants like Bistro Alex, Eddie V’s, Straits Asian Bistro, or go casual and grab something at Ruggles Green, Red Mango, or Sweet.
5. Houston Premium Outlets. A bit off the beaten path, as most outlets are, Houston Premium Outlets is located in Cypress, Texas, approximately 45 minutes from Houston proper. The trek is worth it, however, with 145 shops including Armani Exchange, Burberry, Coach, Kate Spade, Tory Burch, True Religion, and much, much more.
Ask any local fashionable lady where they are shopping these days, and inevitably the words Cakewalk Style Shop will saunter off of their lips. Style loving ladies are drawn to it’s fabulous mix of designer clothing, accessories, and stunning baubles designed by co-owner Gina Cartwright. With Cartwright’s designs, and co-owner Jennifer Grigsby’s background as a wardrobe stylist, you know a visit to Cakewalk is going to truly be something special. Like shopping around the clock? You are in luck, Cakewalk not only exists as a beautiful brick and mortar, but also an online shop so you can browse to your content 24/7. My current obsessions: The Sunburst mirror necklace, the classic Halston Heritage Belted Shirtdress, and their Tibi Amber Mint Heels.