• September 5, 2023
  • Lauren Critzer
  • 0

Discover Austin’s Hidden Gems: Your Ultimate Guide To The Top 5 Souvenir Shops From A Local’s Perspective

Are you planning to visit Austin, Texas… or perhaps you’re already here? Maybe you’re searching for a unique and meaningful souvenir to take home, or an Austin-themed gift that will capture the essence of this vibrant, quirky city? You’re in luck.

Austin is not just the “Live Music Capital of the World”; its local artisans and designers capture the city’s distinct culture and eclectic spirit in a range of tangible keepsakes. In this guide, we explore the top 5 souvenir shops in Austin, unearthing hidden gems that offer a unique Austin shopping experience.

So let’s dive in, shall we?

1. Austin Gift Company: Your One-Stop Souvenir Destination

In the heart of the bustling South Lamar neighborhood, the Austin Gift Company stands out as an inviting oasis for shoppers. Akin to a brightly lit, sprawling emporium, the store boasts an incredible selection of “everything Austin”. Here you can find items you’re unlikely to come across elsewhere.

  • Wide-Ranging Collections: The store’s offerings are as diverse and eclectic as Austin itself. From iconic “Keep Austin Weird” t-shirts and Texas Longhorns merchandise, to Texas-shaped coasters and locally-made barbecue sauces true to Austin’s culinary delight. Don’t hesitate to explore their abundant collection of wall art, magnets, postcards, stickers, mugs and even fashionable flip flops advocating Austin’s laid-back lifestyle.
  • Home-Grown Artisans: Austin Gift Company prides itself on being a hub of local culture. The majority of its items are sourced from Austin’s creative community, including an impressive array of handmade jewelry, greeting cards, t-shirts, blankets, and even custom-engraved drinkware. Look out for their rotating art installations, featuring local artists and photographers.
  • Budget-Friendly: Whether you’re on a shoestring budget or ready to splash out, you’ll find something here. Its range of affordable yet quality items makes it a popular destination for savvy shoppers.

2. Prima Dora: Capturing Austin’s Charm and Quirk

If you’re exploring the vibrant South Congress (SoCo) district, don’t miss Prima Dora, a charming store tucked in the midst of lively activity.

  • Distinctive Items: Prima Dora stands out among other souvenir shops. Its unique selections include Austin-centric phrase tees, eclectic jewelry, ornaments, glassware, and home goods that reflect the city’s creativity. The enchanting store layout generates a treasure hunt-like shopping experience.
  • Collaboration With Local Artists: Prima Dora is committed to supporting local creatives. As such, you’ll find items made by local artists, ranging from witty socks with Austin-related puns to beautifully handcrafted wind chimes for your garden.
  • Lovable Mascot: Don’t leave without snapping a picture with “Big Boy”, Prima Dora’s massive, lovable rabbit sculpture. It’s an iconic part of the shopping experience and a popular Instagram snap!

3. Parts & Labour: Your Portal to Austin’s Creativity

In the heart of South Congress lays Parts & Labour, showcasing a diverse range of Austin-made goods with a strong sense of community pride.

  • Exclusive Austin Items: All items at Parts & Labour are locally made, ensuring your purchase relates closely to Austin. From stylish Austin-themed t-shirts and unique home decor items, to affordable prints and magnets, truly it’s home to all things Austin.
  • Extensive Vendor List: By partnering with over 100 local designers and vendors, this shop offers an expansive and eclectic selection. Not just souvenirs, you’re also buying stories, from independent artists who pour their hearts and talents into their creations.
  • Beyond Traditional Souvenirs: The store caters to every need. Be it Austin-themed apparel, jewelry, greeting cards, home goods, or even pet supplies, your something special is here.

4. Wild About Music: An Ode to Austin’s Musical Roots

Music transcends through Austin’s DNA. What better way to acknowledge this than a visit to Wild About Music.

  • Music-Themed Merchandise: At its core, the store is all about music—you can find items ranging from vintage concert posters, unique music-themed apparel, to stylish home decor that echoes Austin’s love for tunes.
  • Thematic Sections: Dedicated to music legends like Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley, Wild About Music pays homage through merchandise, creating a virtual shrine to these iconic figures.
  • In-store Experience: Once inside, you’ll feel like you’re in one of Austin’s famous music festivals. Enthusiastic staff are ready to share their passion for music and the city’s rich cultural history, enhancing your shopping experience.

5. Atown: Representing Austin’s Creative Spirit

In the energy-filled surroundings of Central Austin, Atown, a lively boutique filled with Austin’s unique spirit is an awesome stop.

  • Wide Range of Souvenirs: What makes Atown exceptional is its diverse collections, representing the city’s creativity and individuality. Discover uniquely patterned dishware, Austin-inspired clothing, handcrafted beauty products, books about Austin’s history and music, and much more.
  • Variety of Vendors: The store hosts a staggering number of creations from over 100 local designers, offering limitless options for a unique and authentic souvenir.
  • Sustainable Products: Atown’s environmentally-friendly approach means that with each purchase, you are also contributing to the health of our planet.

These top 5 souvenir shops in Austin offer more than just material mementos. They reflect Austin’s soul and individuality, making your shopping experience an integral part of your Austin adventure. Remember, the most valuable souvenirs are not the ones that cost the most, but the ones that carry a story—of the city’s history, its peoples, and its vibrant culture.

Austin is waiting for your discovery. Happy shopping and happy exploring!

Lauren Critzer

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and after college, I moved to San Francisco to explore new opportunities and broaden my horizons. I fell in love with the city's vibrant culture and unique atmosphere, but eventually, I moved again, this time to Austin, Texas.

As much as I loved living in different parts of the country, having a baby boy brought me back to my hometown in Charlottesville, where I now live with my husband, our little one, and two furry friends. I enjoy going to wineries, taking my pups everywhere, and spending quality time with my family.

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