Many people go to Ashland specifically to see thespians leap around in tights reciting Shakespeare, which is fine and well, but if you're more into retail therapy than theater or simply need a break from your cultural immersions, here are a few of the city's best shops.
Years ago when I used to have time to bead, this fantastic shop would have set my heart racing faster than the prospect of 15 minutes of free time does nowadays. Super selection of glass beads and crystals, tons of tools and charms, and both group classes and one-on-one instruction offered.
A magical, multi-level house of wonders, this busy shop might quite literally have it all. I don't know of many places where you can find every kind of wig imaginable, lace parasols, swords, sexy undies, candy and mustache bandaids all under one roof. Treat yourself to a good browse and come the holidays, it's an excellent gift shopping spot for both serious presents and white elephant exchanges.
Should you need a harp, mandolin or banjo, this neat folk instrument shop is your place. Tons of instruments spanning all musical genres to buy (they also rent them), and a repair shop onsite.
A little pep-talk for your spirit, this relaxed shop sells all manner of inspirational books, cards, journals, music, prayer flags, and gifts. Check their events calendar for cool to-dos like Tibetan singing bowls workshops.
Darling children's book shop filled with all sorts of tomes for young'uns aged toddler to teen. They've also got a nice array of puzzles, toys, and games for gift-shopping, and on First Fridays they host a fun fairy party with face painting, fortune telling, and a parade.
Love this comfortable throwback bookshop, which has all the new titles you need, plenty of old favorites, and the cutest coffeeshop ever upstairs.
Three levels of just about everything under the sun--clever cards and sticky notes, fart books, costume jewelry, cake molds, and come the holidays, an admirable selection of ornaments and Christmas trinkets. Perfect for gift shopping or to find that obscure kitchen gadget that will make your life complete.
Bursting with color and fun finds, this flower and gift store right on the Ashland plaza is an ideal spot to gift or garden shop. Love the bluebird piggy banks and jasmine-scented soap leaves.
The most exquisite shop in downtown Ashland, and one of my favorites anywhere, this perfectly curated space screams oo-la-la, from the Parisian tchotchke to the high end candles, books, handbags & housewares. Love the candy table & its assortment of almost too pretty to eat confections.
Delightful Parisian-themed shop down a cute downtown side street. Perfect for Francophile gift-shopping--whether they need an Eiffel Tower light switch plate, something sparkly, or just a few fancy soaps. Love the miniature spiral staircase lined with floppy sun hats!
Don't expect to be fawned over when you walk in, but enjoy a good leisurely poke around this neat and tidy antique and book shop. Excellent selection of vintage literature, organized by topics both general and more specific (e.g., Marxism).
Located next to Hemporium in the punny names block of Ashland's downtown core, this cute shop does indeed have hats, plus jewelry, gloves, handbags, and scarves galore.
Beautiful gallery (the town's oldest) neighboring Standing Stone brewpub in the middle of downtown Ashland, featuring all sorts of paintings, sculpture, and ceramics. Visit on First Friday for opening exhibitions in tandem with the local gallery association's art walk.
Love this plaza-front decor and gift shop, from the gorgeous hanging lanterns to the high end soaps and candles. Ogle the golden owls, gobs of glittery stuff, and impressive selection of Kusmi teas.