Window display of books

Best Gift Shopping in Charlottesville


This year, it’s more important than ever to shop local. Charlottesville’s storefronts offer curated, quality gifts from local makers–and you can dodge supply chain issues, give your mail carriers a break, and skip the “Will it ship by Christmas?” stress. 


No gift is truly complete without just the right card, so start your shopping spree off at Rock Paper Scissors. You’ll find a wide array of cards, and also leave with stocking stuffers galore. Their whimsical, curated collections are irresistible, and they stock lots from small-batch and local artisans. Our favorites right now are this papermaking kit by Oblation, for the ultimate DIY-er in your life, and their custom-print stationery. If there was ever a time to start hand-writing letters, it’s now. 


While you’ve got paper on your mind, stop in New Dominion Bookshop and pick up a shiny new novel by a local author (Charlottesville has tons!), or Second Act Books, which specializes in great-quality second-hand reads and features broad YA and Children’s sections. Looking for something a bit more academic? Blue Whale Books is your source for rare books, fine prints, and a very cool collection of vintage maps. Not sure which shop has what you’re looking for? Read more about Charlottesville’s bookshops on our blog here. 


For the new parents (or new babies) on your list, head to O’Suzannah for Littles, which carries every babyhood accessory you can think of arranged in impeccably designed displays as irresistible as the items themselves. Need a broader array of toys? Try Alakazam a little further down the Mall, a cool, play-focused shop with a secret safe. Alakazam is currently open for in-store shopping, but they’re also taking appointments for patrons to shop privately which, this year, is a truly magical treat. Another option to find playful gifts for playful people is Shenanigans on West Main Street. Owner Amanda Stevens visits the NY Toy Fair every year and stocks only the best quality toys at very accessible prices. 


For the truly local gift, you need to stop into C’ville Arts. Part gallery, part shop, this storefront stocks one-of-a-kind pieces by Virginia artists ranging from this delightfully functional cheese guillotine by Alex Pettigrew to these funky bead beings by Bead Brothers. We love this shop for people who “have everything” as there’s always something wonderfully made to be found behind its glass doors. 


For someone in your life who makes wonderful things–to eat, that is–visit The Happy Cook in Barracks Road Shopping Center. Stocked with some of the best tools of the kitchen trade you’ll find anywhere, this is the perfect place if you want to make the cook in your life happy. Even a microwave cook can show some gourmet flair– we like this nifty popcorn maker for easy snacking. The Happy Cook is offering free delivery in Charlottesville, too.

Finally, for a gift that will make the wearer feel wonderful, Derriere de Soie on West Main is the place to go. Proffering well-made, professionally fitted lingerie, lounge, and sleepwear, this shop’s selection is perhaps the ultimate in 2020 apparel; after all, it’s the year we spent in sweatpants, if we bothered to put on pants. Shop online or by appointment.

For our complete Guide to area shopping, click HERE.