One of the top tourism activities no matter where you travel is shopping. People love to buy something from their travels to remind them where they have been, whether it's something to spruce up a home or a wardrobe. There are hundreds of places to shop in ILLINOISouth — some may take a couple of hours, others could be enjoyed for the entire day!
For an ever-changing assortment of vintage, rustic, shabby-chic home goods, check out Warehouse 300 in Trenton. Items sold here are made by a rotating group of local artisans! For a really unique shopping experience, check out Ten Pin Antique Mall in Carlyle. Ten Pin is a former bowling alley that still features everything from the floors to the scoring monitors, not to mention they have nearly a million items to browse! If shopping for local foods is more your speed, Higginson Farms in McLeansboro is the place to go. They offer all-natural, farm-raised beef in bulk or by the pound; and they also keep their store stocked with dozens of goodies and food items like honey and cheese, made by other local farms and makers. Nor far north of Higginson lies The Country Closet in Flora, which features clothing for the entire family as well as books, shoes, purses and more! Another very popular place to buy women's and children's clothing is Wild Rose Boutique in Robinson. Wild Rose features "trendy" clothing from Sherpas to boots, if you're looking to spice up your wardrobe.
The Rusty Nail in Salem is another favorite shopping place among ladies. You can find everything from crafts and candles to antiques and an array of seasonal items.
Whippoorwill Antique Mall is our last stop on this portion of the shopping journey, and this shop may take all day to peruse. Whippoorwill has over 100 dealers selling thousands of items in a 12,000 square-foot space. You could leave with almost anything!
PC: Matthew Stropnick
If you go to Chester to visit all the Popeye statues, you'll need a Popeye souvenir...right? Head to Spinach Can Collectibles, the only Popeye Shop and Museum in the World. They have everything from t-shirts and comic books to figurines.
There are several communities in ILLINOISouth that have many different shops within walking distance of each other, where someone could take a day and do some serious cluster shopping. Columbia is one such community where you can hit up a few different boutiques, gift shops, a bike shop, a quilt shop and their one-room schoolhouse in town turned POP-UP Shop Columbia! Pinckneyville is another such town where you can visit boutique after boutique and shop from several different styles, and wrap up your day with some wine and food at the Twisted Vine. Fairview Heights is a very well-known shopping town, with St. Clair Square Mall and several other shopping centers; folks travel from counties away to spend a day here. If you've never been on Belleville's Main Street, that is most definitely a great place to do some cluster shopping. We're talking everything from candy stores and flower shops to jewelers and eateries!
Much like Belleville, The Downtown District in O'Fallon offers up some great niche shopping that you won't find many other places in southern Illinois! There's a pet boutique and a couple of different bakeries, along with Vine Street Market at O'Fallon Station to purchase locally-made goods. Just east of O'Fallon is Lebanon, where some amazing treasures can be found, from art and boutiques, to coffee and antiques.
If you're in the mood to shop in eclectic antique and boutique shops, give Market Street in Mt. Carmel a try. You'll also find a jeweler and some consignment stores that will likely have something that tickles your fancy.
We'll wrap up with a complete hidden gem when it comes to shopping — tucked away in Crawford County is the small town of Oblong. There are a handful of shops just within steps of one another, including Vault Antiques, which is located inside the former Oil Belt National Bank building.
We hope you find what you're shopping for — and maybe a few other unexpected gifts, too!
Discover more shopping spots here!