The Market District Offers A Vibrant Shopping Experience Rooted In The Community
Just a short hop off Interstate 10 sits a unique shopping district with a diverse offering of shops, eateries and personal services that cater to nearly every whim.
The Market District, slightly west off Thomasville Road, features more than 50 specialty shops. Located mostly on one street, the shops are within easy walking distance of each other and feature plenty of parking.
This dynamic shopping destination - encompassing Market Square, The Verandas, The Gallery at Market Street, The Pavillions, Cornerstone Place and Market Plaza at Timberlane - offers a unique experience that visitors should include on their list of things to do while in town.
"It's the premier shopping district that has something for everybody," explains Sam Varn, president of the Market District Merchant's Association and owner of Awards4U/Glasshopper Gifts, which specializes in fine gifts, awards and engraving. "We offer the widest variety of dining and shopping in our area."
Find everything from ice cream to formal dinners, American to Japanese cuisine, from kids clothes to evening dresses to supplies to brew beer at home. All within a stone's throw of each other.
The district offers plenty of dining options. If you've got a yen for classic comfort food, try the Old Town Cafe. Great choices for a casual lunch include Hopkins' Eatery, a favorite of the locals, and Chicken Salad Chick, which offers 15 different versions of chicken salad. At Momo's Pizza, you'll find a large selection of craft beers - and if you order pizza, whole or a slice, you'll need to turn the box sideways to get out the front door. Morelia's cooks up authentic Mexican cuisine while you will find Japanese delights at Kitcho or a creative fusion menu at Mozaik.
Want to bring dinner's main course to friends that you're visiting or staying with? Check out the offerings at Southern Seafood, a perennial "Best of" Tallahassee winner, or a meal prepared by Simply Entertaining. For fresh produce, check out the Saturday morning farmer's market, where local farmers share their bounty. (But get there early for the best choice).
To satisfy your sweet tooth there is Peterbrooke Chocolatier, French pastries at Au Peche Mignon, bakery goods at Tasty Pastry and, for a unique treat, the offbeat flavors of Lofty Pursuits. (If you're lucky, you'll see them making hard candies.)
While at The Market District you can outfit yourself from head to toe and find plenty of decorations for your home.
Narcissus is known for its big city, fashion-forward style. Gidget's Boutique and Spriggs Laid Back Luxe have casual fashions. There's also a Talbot's and Chico's. For the men, try Nic's Toggery and Joseph A. Bank. For tweens, you'll find the latest fashions at Chameleon. And children haven't been forgotten at Kid's Pointe and Eldridge's Kids Shoes.
As you walk around, you'll find plenty of shoe options (Heels & Handbags, Walking Shoe Shop). When it comes to beverages, check out the Wine Warehouse, the Homebrew Den and Eternal Grounds Coffee. And to relax or freshen up for a night out on the town, look to So Pure Salon for that facial or massage, and Tony's Haircuts or Patty's Place for a new hairstyle.
Need to get your car washed? You can do two things at once. Hop over to Super Suds. While your car is getting some special attention, the Super Suds shuttle will take you to grab a bite to eat, do some shopping or sneak in a workout at Premier Health and Fitness Center - and then pick you up when you're done.
Gift stores abound in the district. My Favorite Things offers a variety of dish ware and home decor while Cotton Colors has tableware sporting whimsical and seasonal designs and specialized ornaments. Chrysalis offers a selection of fine fabrics and home furnishings, while Bedfellows has fine linens, gifts and accessories. Joie de Vivre offers a wide selection of items imported from France for your home. And don't forget Killearn Antiques. If you're looking for new carpet, tile or wood floors, stop by the Market Floor Center.
Looking for personalized gifts? Check out Bela Lili Monogramming and Gifts, That's Mine! Monogramming or The Polka Dot Press. And at Ten Thousand Villages, you'll find unusual fair trade gifts from around the world.
What makes The Market District so unique is that it offers the highest concentration of locally-owned businesses in the area, says Marina Lickson, owner of Honeytree Natural Foods.
"Since our location is right off I-10 and in an area with a density of homes, we attract travelers and locals alike," she says. "We get customers looking for a unique experience."
There are plans to make the district even more attractive for shoppers and families, including the provision of new public spaces, improved traffic safety and promotion of local businesses. Specific improvements will include a way finding signage system to help visitors find their way around, landscaping for medians and pedestrian crosswalk striping. As an area with characteristics that provide a unique sense of place, the Market District is one of several areas within the city designed for "platemaking" says Earnest McDonald, Principal Planner for the Tallahassee Leon County Planning Department.