For over 20 years, Waterloo Records has been one of Austin's favorite record stores. Why? The selection of music is unbeatable. Shoppers will find every genre of music here, including current popular favorites and many Texas artists. Waterloo has supported the local music community for years, allowing bands a place to sell their handmade tapes, vinyl and CDs. The store is also famous for its large selection of imports and world music. If you are looking for music that is a little off the beaten path, this is a good place to start. If you are not sure what you are looking for, grab a set of headphones at one of the listening stations and sample anything your heart desires. The shop also carries a great selection of music-related books, magazines, posters and T-shirts. You will also find an excellent blank tape and CDR selection with pro-recording tapes available.
This is by far Austin's most notorious vintage shop, and its most flamboyant. This fabulous store is largely a costume shop packed with thousands of choices ranging from gorilla suits to bullfighters to princesses; and the store carries all the necessary accessories to boot. If your personal style is unconventional (to say the least), there is a huge selection of retro clothing suitable for everyday wear as well.
Walk in and breathe deeply. You're within range of 300,000 titles, all arranged on three floors, along with a coffeehouse and complete music department. This is one of the bookstore-as-community places, where shoppers are encouraged to put their feet up and read, or to sit at a convenient desk and copy a recipe from the latest cookbook. Children gather for story time every week, and a community room is available for book clubs and other meetings. Of course, they have a huge selection in every conceivable category, from anthropology to zoology. Notable are the shelves of small-press and foreign-press titles, as well as spiritual and religious books.
Crystal Works features a broad spectrum of crystals and minerals, loose or in various artistic settings. This dazzling shop carries a range of ethereal New Age products, including tabletop fountains, jewelry set with semi-precious stones and crystal window ornaments. There is a great selection of stone and polished amber fossils. A collection of Feng Shui books and literature details where to best place items like these calming decorative pieces in your home. The staff is friendly and very helpful. First time visitors receive complimentary lavender.
For aficionados of the chic movement, there is no better stop in South Austin than Uncommon Objects. It is crammed full of antique items and collectible furniture. Need a faded piece of crockery for the kitchen? You will find it here. Looking for a soft, old quilt for baby's bed? Most likely you will find a plethora to choose from. If you like to decorate your home with something that has character, then this is the place for you.
A toy shop for grown-ups, Monkey See Monkey Do carries toys, games, and funky collectibles that run from kitschy to just plain silly. The mind-bogglingly large inventory is meticulously organized into an explosion of carefully controlled craziness. It's a great place to find gifts for the hard-to-shop-for person. Monkey See Monkey Do offers a wide array of toys and games, from sock monkeys and sea monkeys to action figures and robots.
This unique shop showcases gifts with a Texas music theme, offering jewelry, furniture, T-shirts, posters, books and more. The large gallery space features sculptures and oil paintings, among other artworks, all capturing the music spirit of Austin and the state. At Wild About Music, local, national and international artists are represented and all work is for sale. One of the featured artists, Larry Plitz, creates beautiful and eclectic aquariums made from old television sets. Explore the gallery's website for a tour of the online Virtual Art Gallery.
Royal Blue Grocery has become a fixture in the Austin community. It provides the basic needs a person could need in foods, drinks, magazines and newspapers, medicine and even housewares. This contemporary general store offers a certain convenience in both its proximity and accessibility. The store's long hours means it'll likely be open when you're having a late-night craving. The staff is friendly and go out of their way to aid customers. This is a neighborhood corner store that the locals enjoy.
Have you ever heard of a toy store that's open at midnight? This is not your typical toy store. Rather, Toy Joy is a wonderland for unconventional "children" of all ages. Though the inventory includes some popular kids' items like Beanie Babies and Pokemon collectibles, they specialize in the unusual. This boutique of the bizarre is filled to capacity with selections like sumo wrestler alarm clocks, cube-shaped bubble wands, over-sized lava lamps and creative sound makers. It's a great place to shop for a gift or for yourself.
Whole Foods began in the early 1980s in a small flood-prone site farther north on Lamar. Whole Foods Market has since expanded to cities across the United States and into its current limestone home thanks to its healthy success. Of course, the store carries tempeh, tofu, miso and a plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables, but customers will also find organic wines, natural beef and free-range chicken. The quick carryout deli offers a variety of worldly foods including Greek dolmas, grilled eggplant, Mexican empanadas and chicken salad. Shoppers will find much more than just food; also offered is a full line of organic cosmetics, skin and hair care products, essential oils, fresh flowers, jewelry, hemp clothing, a good selection of books and magazines and many home accessories.
This is your one-stop shop for all your outdoor needs. Whether you're into climbing, hiking, camping, cycling, or paddling, REI provides all the clothing and gear you'll need for your next excursion. The friendly and knowledgeable staff will steer you in the right direction for your needed products. This store also provides a wide array of outdoor rental equipment for those willing to try something new. There's also a bike shop service here that'll keep your bike in pristine condition.