The Best Shopping in Lexington, Kentucky

Downtown Bars and Businesses Lexington Kentucky USA
benedek / Getty Images

Many years ago, shopping in Lexington, Kentucky was mostly about choosing between malls and department stores. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. A “local first” approach has taken root, allowing friendly mom-and-pop shops to stage a comeback, and while Lexington still has a few shopping developments that sprawl for many concrete miles, you can easily find independent boutiques and vintage/secondhand shops scattered around the city. Discovering unexpected treasures and meeting the proprietors in these lesser-known shops are part of the fun.

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Julietta Market

Treehouse Goods, a shop in Lexington's Julietta Market

Treehouse Goods

Lexington’s 23,000-square-foot Julietta Market breathed new life into an abandoned Greyhound bus station at the intersection of North Limestone and Loudon Avenue. More than 60 small-business kiosks inside the historic building allow entrepreneurs from all walks of life to sell their creations. Additional shops and eateries ring the outside of the market.

With a communal space and pop-up events, Julietta Market is a social place to purchase creative products that support a good cause. The market itself is nonprofit and warmly welcomes marginalized groups. Treehouse Goods, one of the many kiosks inside owned by local artists, sells handmade jewelry and other items that make memorable gifts.

101 W Loudon Ave, Lexington, KY 40508, USA
Phone +1 859-379-2049
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Fayette Mall

Entrance at Fayette Mall in Lexington

Fayette Mall Management

Only one indoor shopping mall survived in Lexington, but it’s a big one. Fayette Mall on Nicholasville Road boasts more than 175 shops and over 1.1 million square feet of retail along with kiosks, restaurants, and a food court. Many more shops and restaurants, both standalone and in plazas, surround the mall, making the area one of the busiest places for shopping in Lexington. The mall is only open until 6 p.m. on Sundays but usually extends hours during the holidays.

Although Fayette Mall is anchored by large retail chains such as Dillard’s and Macy’s, you can find beautiful products from local artists inside Artique Gallery.

3401 Nicholasville Rd, Lexington, KY 40503, USA
Phone +1 859-272-3493
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Joseph-Beth Booksellers

Joseph-Beth Booksellers and Lexington Green by the lake

Mike Kalasnik / Creative Commons

Joseph-Beth Booksellers, located in Lexington Green opposite of Fayette Mall, evolved from a bookstore into one of the coziest places for shopping in Lexington. A fireplace, couches, bistro, and outdoor space set on an artificial lake lure people to linger. Along with two floors of books, Joseph-Beth sells unique Kentucky products and tasteful souvenirs. Palmers Fresh Grill in the back is one of Lexington’s best restaurants for seafood. Just across the parking lot, Peacocks & Pearls is a trendy boutique owned by a mother-daughter team.

161 Lexington Green Cir # B, Lexington, KY 40503-3323, USA
Phone +1 859-273-2911
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The Summit at Fritz Farm

Exterior of the Apple Store in the Summit at Fritz Farm

The Summit at Fritz Farm

The Summit at Fritz Farm, or simply “The Summit,” is an upscale, outdoor shopping area located at the corner of Nicholasville Road and Man-O-War Boulevard. Lexington’s only Apple Store and Whole Foods can both be found at The Summit along with more than 60 other trendy shops.

The Summit’s compact layout means you can park and walk to everything, including the more than 20 restaurants. An outside hangout space with fire pit encourages people to socialize when the weather is nice. The Summit feels a little boxed in when things get busy on Nicholasville Road—which happens often. Fortunately, a parking garage and some alternate exits provide relief.

120 Summit At Fritz Farm #155, Lexington, KY 40517, USA
Phone +1 859-309-9682
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Boutique Shops

Outside of Calypso Boutique in Lexington, Ky

Calypso Boutique

Lexington is home to a colorful mix of independently owned boutique shops scattered throughout the city. These little shops need your support, and they offer a personalized shopping experience that’s difficult to find in larger stores. You’ll discover a high density of boutiques along stretches of East Maxwell Street, High Street, and in the Chevy Chase area. Black Swan Books has been selling rare and antique books for over 30 years. For designer fashion, check Bella Rose or Calypso Boutique—both are on Maxwell.

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Southland Drive

Entrance to Southland Drive in Lexington, Kentucky

Drew Mackell

Southland Drive in Lexington is lined with old-school shopping centers and mom-and-pop businesses selling everything from homemade candy to guitars. The neighborhood has leaned into its groovy appeal with retro signage and some outdoor art installations.

Locally loved Good Foods Coop anchors the west side of the neighborhood. A Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Local Lex Market, leather store, pipe store, several comic stores, and music shops are found along the strip. For entertainment after shopping, head to Marikka’s Bier Stube for some German beer and food. The Sunday version of the Lexington Farmers Market takes place on Southland Drive.

Southland Dr, Lexington, KY 40503, USA
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SQecial Media and CD Central

CD Central sign

CD Central

The SQecial Media opened in 1972 and has become the go-to place in Lexington for wonderfully weird items you never knew you needed. SQecial carries books, incense, religious items, journals, trinkets, and obscure gifts you’d have trouble finding elsewhere.

CD Central next door is another “local first” Lexington business that’s been serving customers since 1995. Some well-known performers have played in the store!

371 S Limestone Suite 220, Lexington, KY 40508, USA
Phone +1 859-255-4316
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Vintage Shops

A vintage 7-Up sign inside Street Scene

Street Scene

Street Scene (connected to Coffee Times on Regency Road) is a classy, second-hand shop with a rotating assortment of eclectic items. Customers enjoy looking through the vintage clothing, jewelry, furniture, household decor, and nostalgic curios from decades past. Coffee Times next door is one of Lexington’s favorite cafes and offers a small selection of fun and quirky gifts. J&H Lanmark across the street is Lexington’s premier shop for outdoor clothing and adventure gear.

Located 15 minutes away on Leestown Road, Pop’s Resale has been selling vintage, pre-owned items since 1996. Clothing, accessories, records, and artifacts from times past (boombox, anyone?) are displayed in a delightfully grungy setting filled with eye candy.

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Justins’ House of Bourbon

Interior of Justins' House of Bourbon in Lexington, Kentucky

Justins' House of Bourbon

Coming to the heart of the Bluegrass region and not taking home a bottle of Kentucky bourbon would be unthinkable. But where to start? Instead of trusting reviews, go learn from some local experts who can turn your purchase into a memorable experience. The two Justins opened House of Bourbon on West Main Street in February 2018 for exactly that purpose. Customers can schedule a visit or simply wander in anytime for a tasting and lesson in bourbon culture. No need to worry about parking on Main Street: Justins’ House of Bourbon has their own adjacent lot.

601 W Main St, Lexington, KY 40508, USA
Phone +1 859-317-8609
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Shopping aisle inside Costco

Steve Proehl / Getty Images

Lexington’s largest concentration of big-box stores is located on the eastern edge of town in a busy area collectively referred to as “Hamburg.” Costco, Meijer, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Cabela’s, and many more well-known chains are represented. Restaurants and slightly smaller stores squeezed between the behemoths compete for attention. The large theater in Hamburg with IMAX is one of the most popular in Lexington. Although parking is abundant, the Hamburg area requires extra patience (or a helicopter) to navigate during holiday shopping gridlock. Man-O-War Boulevard serves as the main artery in and out of Hamburg, but you can sneak in the back way on Liberty Road or Sir Barton Way.

Hamburg Area, Lexington, KY, USA
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Shopping in Downtown Lexington

Buildings in Lexington - old and new.
benkrut / Getty Images

People are often hesitant about heading downtown for shopping in Lexington, but parking is relatively easy thanks to several garages and scattered meter spots. If staying at a downtown hotel such as the 21c Museum Hotel, you’ll have numerous cute shops and galleries within easy walking distance. Located on Broadway, Creatures of Whim is a fair-trade shop and cafe selling everything from crystals and herbal remedies to metaphysical supplies. Failte on South Upper Street has been the Bluegrass region’s premier Irish shop for more than 20 years. For Kentucky souvenirs and classy, equestrian-themed gifts, pop into the Keeneland Mercantile store on Main Street.

Check out some of the historic places and museums while downtown. If shopping in Lexington on a Saturday morning, begin by heading to Cheapside Park for the year-round farmer’s market—it isn’t just about the veggies.

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The Best Shopping in Lexington, Kentucky