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The 2nd Street Shopping District is one of Austin's most colorful and entertaining shopping districts. This six-block locale offers some of the shopping, dining, and entertainment venues in the city. Some of the stores at 2nd Street include Ann Taylor Loft, Authentic Smiles, Austin Rocks, Delish Bakery, Cru Wine Bar, Design Within Reach, and Flor. So whether you're looking for a night on the town, or a perfect place for an afternoon shopping spree, the 2nd Street District is not to be missed.
The 23rd Street Artists' Market is one of the highlights of the area known as the Drag, located just across the street from the UT campus. It is open year-round and features the handiwork of some great local artisans. There is no set schedule for vendors as far as participation or time slots—a general rule of thumb is that weekends and around the holidays are the most bountiful. Street performers like mimes and jugglers are often around during these heavy traffic times and add to the lively atmosphere. Selections may include handmade jewelry, purses, tie-dyed T-shirts, paintings, prisms, toys, leather goods and more. Open everyday from 10a till dusk, this market makes for an interesting visit.
The section of Guadalupe Street that borders the western edge of the University of Texas campus is called The Drag. It's filled with a variety of shops popular with the student body, such as underground bookstores, tattoo parlors, music stores, gift shops, and thrift stores. There are also numerous restaurants and cafes along the street to stop in when you're getting hungry. The Drag is only about a few blocks long, so it makes for a nice stroll on a sunny day.
Cross the river from downtown and enter the wonderful South Congress Avenue District. Browse through its many shops and check out eateries that tantalize the taste buds and the pocketbooks. Check out Uncommon Objects, a wonderful import and knick knack shop, or The Armadillo Market, which carries everything Texas. For the famished shopper, there are more than enough options: Tex-Mex at Guerro's or the eclectic Magnolia Café are all favorites with the locals. After a cup of coffee or lunch, you should browse the retro resale shops along the avenue.