It’s never too early to start thinking about gift-giving.
The holiday season is in full swing, meaning thousands of residents across the region are fighting through long mall lines to pick up items on Santa’s list. Some may even be loading their online shopping carts in preparation for Cyber Monday.
But why not get your family and friends a one-of-a-kind gift from a local mom-and-pop shop? Not only will your special someone appreciate the locally sourced item, but you can also support your local economy and have a festive time while doing it.
We compiled a list of the best Greater Cincinnati neighborhoods to shop for your loved ones based on responses from our readers. We also threw in a few of our favorite destinations for your shopping pleasure. So, skip the national retailers and visit these local shops instead.
When it comes to Christmas shopping, you can’t go wrong with Over-the-Rhine, downtown Cincinnati’s go-to shopping neighborhood. The neighborhood, fondly referred to as OTR has a wide variety of boutiques and specialty stores, from home décor to high-end fashion. When you’re done browsing, grab a drink and a bite at one of the area’s many eateries. Make sure to catch one of the many holiday performances at the Cincy Shakespeare Company, the historic Music Hall, the Know Theatre or the Ensemble Theatre.
Local shops: The Native One, Main Street Shop & Studio, The Most Beautiful Thing in the World Is, Rad OTR, HOMAGE Over-The-Rhine, MiCA 12/v, Continuum, Idlewild, Deerhaus Decor, THe Rhined, The Candle Lab OTR, Another Part of the Forest, Bee Haven, SKT Ceramics, Maverick Chocolate Co., Cosmic Gorilla and more.
According to the Walnut Hills website, the neighborhood has a variety of businesses, including bars, restaurants, live music venues, hair salons, boutiques and more. After you’re done shopping, make sure to explore the range of historical and cultural sites in the area, including the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and Eden Park, which contains the Cincinnati Art Museum, Krohn Conservatory, Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park and more.
Local shops: &Sundries, Fern, Impossible Colors LLC, Household Books, and Certified Excellence.
How about shopping with a view? In the Village of Mariemont, located just 15 minutes from downtown Cincinnati, you will find some of the most unique shops the area has to offer and stunning scenery reminiscent of a quaint English garden, per Visit Cincy. If you weren’t in the holiday spirit before, you will be after strolling through Mariemont’s tree-lined streets, gazing at the Tudor-style buildings and soaking up the neighborhood’s historic charm.
Local shops: Pomegranate & Lime, Inscribed Books & Gifts, The Wardrobe Cincinnati, Coolest Toys On Earth, Capsule and Mande Goods.
The city of Madeira, located just outside Cincinnati, is known for its vibrant central business district where visitors and residents can shop and dine, per its website. If you decide to venture north of Cincinnati this holiday season, make sure to check out The Bookshelf, the suburb’s premier independent bookstore since 1975.
Local shops: The Bookshelf, Boris Litwin Jewelers, Camargo Trading Company, Honey on Miami, M + P Boutique, Romualdo, Rory Maxwell Boutique, The Pink Box, Vinyl Depot and more.
Hyde Park, founded in 1896, is one of Cincinnati’s oldest and hippest shopping areas, featuring a wide array of independent shops, boutiques, art galleries, shoe stores, jewelers, outdoor outfitters and gourmet food shops.
Local shops: Fig Leaf, Nest, Soho Boutique, Cockerill Gallery, Leeli + Lou, Ossie, North Star, Cincy Shirts, Jacob James, Knickers of Hyde Park, Hyde Park Gourmet Food & Wine, 45/46 Fine Men’s Apparel and more.
Liberty Township, located in Butler County, is one of the fastest-growing communities in Greater Cincinnati, per its website. But where can you do some holiday shopping in this Cincinnati suburb? Grab your wallets and make it rein this Christmas (get it?) at Liberty Center, which features both large retail chains and local independent stores.
Local shops: A&R Perfumes, BirdBrain Apparel, Blush & Bubbly, Hannoush Jewelers, Jake’s Toggery, Occasionally Yours, Pen + Nash Co. and more.
Although there may not be as many places to shop in Pleasant Ridge as compared to some of the other communities on this list, the neighborhood is developing with more retail opportunities on the way, Keep It Cincy reports. But there is one iconic shop in Pleasant Ridge where you can find the perfect gift for the music lover in your life: Everybody’s Records.
Local Shops: Everybody’s Records, Queen City Comic & Card Company and Terps Smoke Shop & Gallery.
Clifton’s Gaslight District is an “eclectic urban village” with several independent shops where you can pick up those holiday wishlist items, per Cincy.com. Take a stroll down Ludlow Avenue, where you can find niche stores ranging from handmade jewelry to authentic African art.
Local shops: The Hansa Guild, Kilimanjaro African Heritage, Lentz and Company, Maya, Pangaea Trading Company, Paolo A Modern Jeweler, Toko Baru, Torn Light Records and more.
Located just 16 miles from downtown Cincinnati, historic Milford has something for everyone, especially Main Street, where you can find anything from antiques, bicycles and jewelry to specialty gifts for the home and garden.
Local shops: Scintilla on Main, That Shop In Milford, LeiMarie Limited, Villa Sanctuary, Tickled Sweet, Spiral Groove Records, Kirk & Company Jewelers and more.
According to TravelButlerCounty.com, High and Main Streets in Hamilton have some of the most popular boutiques, shops and specialty stores in the Greater Cincinnati region. “From home decor to trendy fashion to art galleries, a day in Hamilton, Ohio, isn’t complete without a quick visit to a local shop or two,” the travel site writes.
Local shops: Fleurish Home, Front Room on 7th, Sara’s House, Secretly Shabby, Main St. Throw Shop, The Posh Pagan, Bourbon & Fire, Petals & Wicks, Lahvdah, Oliver’s Toy Chest and more.
Head down to this vibrant Greater Cincinnati community for all your holiday shopping needs. Downtown Lebanon is a lovely place to spend the day browsing around Broadway, Mulberry and Main streets, going into any given shop or restaurant to find that perfect holiday gift for your loved one.
Local shops: Broadway Antique Mall, Ambassador’s Antiques & Fine Linens, Blume, Oh Suzanna, Black House Co. Lebanon, Burlap & Birch and more.
Covington’s MainStrasse Village is a quaint old German neighborhood with over 40 unique businesses. According to the Covington Neighborhood Collective, the eclectic Northern Kentucky village “draws neighborhood residents and visitors seeking live entertainment, casual or fine dining, a bohemian atmosphere and a spectacular view of the Cincinnati Skyline.”
Local shops: Handzy Shop + Studio, Hail Records & Oddities, Grainwell Boutique, Hierophany & Hedge, Earth To Kentucky, Sole by Style, Kaleidoscope Stained Glass and more.
According to USA Today’s 10Best, a visit to the historic shopping district of Bellevue is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. The Northern Kentucky town has a variety of locally owned shops that offer everything from artwork to jewelry to doll clothing, making it an ideal destination for Christmas shopping.
Local shops: Le Sorelle Boutique, Splendid Things, Home Style, Coda Co., Schneider’s Sweet Shop: Homemade Candies & Ice Cream, Kentucky Botanical Co. and more.