If you find yourself stationed in or around Washington DC you'll realize that shopping here is a little different than other duty stations. Usually where we are stationed we have several malls, strip malls with tons of shopping, and all of this is easily and quickly accessible. That's not exactly true for Washington DC. Spread Out is the name of the shopping game here! It all depends on what type of experience you are looking for and be prepared to drive on a beltway or two to get to most of the shopping in DC. The great news is that just about everything you are looking for can be found somewhere here!
Shopping in DC at Upscale Malls
Tyson's Corner Mall and Pentagon City Mall are two very clean, very nice, big malls that we have shopped at. These malls are definitely more upscale than the average mall with common name stores such as GAP, Gymboree, Pottery Barn, and Macy's to upscale unique boutiques and couture shops as well. Apple Stores can be found in both malls.
A new addition to Tyson's Corner Mall is The American Girl Store! If you have a little girl, you know about American Girl. You can eat a meal at the American Girl Cafe, have your dolls hair restyled in the American Girl Salon, and shop till you drop in the American Girl store. It's a fun adventure with your favorite little girls.
Outlet Mall Shopping & Ikea Outside of Washington DC
Let me be honest, the above malls are nice to visit, however, my favorite mall to shop at is The Potomac Mills Outlet Mall! This is a large indoor outlet mall that also has a TJ Maxx Home Goods and Marshalls connected to it and the best part is that Ikea is less than 100 yards across the parking lot! When we first moved here, I was at the Potomac Mills Outlet Mall and Ikea almost weekly. This is located in Woodbridge. If you need to spruce up your new home at your newest duty station, this is a great place to go for great finds at great prices!
Shopping in DC at National Harbor Mall
The National Harbor Mall has it ALL! They have chain stores, boutiques, and Tanger Outlets opening this 2013 Holiday Season! Create fun filled family day with stops at places such as Build a Bear, watch an evening outdoor movie (check the website for dates and times), have a bowl of frozen yogurt at Pinkberry, or shop at a favorite store. Thing to do at National Harbor Mall include visiting the National Children's Museum, the Awakening, sightseeing cruises, rent pedal boats and kayaks, and movies on the Potomac.
National Harbor Mall boasts 350 premium acres along the shimmering Potomac, 70 enticing shops and restaurants, six spectacular hotels with views of downtown D.C. and Old Town Alexandria, four distinctive waterfront residences, and it's all just a 15-minute drive or water taxi ride from the heart of the nation's capital. Travel information here
Quaint Shopping in the DC Area
Are you interested in strolling along historic buildings filled with quaint shops and restaurants? Old Town Alexandria is the perfect shopping spot for you! King Street in Old Town is packed with fantastic specialty shops, quaint places to have breakfast, fun ice cream shops, my favorite used book store, and lots of other unique shopping places. There is a trolley that runs up and down King Street so take a break and enjoy a free ride for a few minutes.
Of course there are strip malls and local stores around the various suburban neighborhoods of Washington DC and these are too numerous to name, but if you are looking for a fun day of shopping pick one of the above experiences and enjoy!