Spring into Shopping!

Original gifts for all occasions can be found on Magazine Street.

Whether you’re shopping for yourself, your home, or friends and family, the shops on Magazine Street carry such a wide variety of gifts that nearly every occasion is covered. From weddings to Easter to graduation, spring is a time of rejuvenation and celebration – the perfect time for discovering what wonderful rarities New Orleans has to offer. As the weather warms, Magazine’s diverse selection of local treasures is more inviting than ever! Take a day and explore the boutiques, specialty shops, and indulgences on one of New Orleans’ most dynamic and original destinations – enjoy the weather, the food, and especially the thrill of finding the perfect outfit, antique, or gift for your loved one. Saving money and striking gold go hand in hand this spring at Magazine Street shops (in alphabetical order) – just see for yourself! 

Angelique Baby is looking to undergo several changes this spring. For the first time, the boutique will offer “tween” sizes with clothes up to size 14. Jennifer Atkins of Angelique Baby says, “There is some beautiful maternity [clothing] coming in. And a new line coming in from Great Britain that’s just exquisite.” While Angelique Baby may be expanding its merchandise, it will still carry and focus on old favorites for children, including the perennial must-have for young girls this spring: the party dress. “We have really beautiful party dresses and Easter dresses,” Atkins says. Angelique Baby is also working on creating a T-shirt to sell in the shop with all proceeds benefiting children in Haiti. 3719 Magazine St.; 301-2538

The Audubon Nature Institute has plenty to offer in the way of unique entertainment. You could spend an entire day exploring either the Aquarium of the Americas, the Audubon Zoo, or the newest addition, the Insectarium; you could also spend the weekend experiencing the trifecta (Insectarium and Aquarium are easily reachable by riverboat). Or, as Richard Buchsbaum recommends, you could try out the more laid-back side of Audubon: the Golf Course Clubhouse, which is open to the public. “A lot of people like to start off here in the morning: have breakfast, then go out shopping on Magazine Street,” Buchsbaum says. “It’s a real nice connection with free parking and a beautiful environment – you can look out over the oak trees.” Another attractive feature of the Audubon Golf Clubhouse is its lighter menu options – perfect for spring, shopping and keeping up with New Year’s resolutions. “[We’re] adding a few new ‘light-for-spring’ menu items,” explains Buchsbaum. “Nice salads and nice sandwiches – leisure on the go.” For breakfast, the Clubhouse offers traditional menu options: croissants, pancakes, eggs and bacon. Lunch features a wide variety of salads and sandwiches, including the Audubon Salad – a spring mix with mandarin oranges, bleu cheese, avocados and toasted almonds – and the Repopulation Turkey Reuben. Audubon Tea Room 6500 Magazine St.; 861-5101; www.auduboninstitute.org

Ballin’s, Ltd./Joan Vass, New Orleans first opened in 1981 on Dante Street but now boasts five locations in Louisiana, including one on Magazine Street (there is also a location in Mississippi and one in Alabama). This upscale boutique offers clothing, shoes and accessories in the latest sophisticated fashions. “We have our new spring catalogue going out with our new collection of New Orleans knitwear in spring colors,” says Martha Duval of Ballin’s. The shop will also be carrying a new line from Europe, Amelline, as well as popular lines such as Lilli Sucré and Eileen Fisher. “It’s all pretty for spring, beautiful colors, for a perfect and easy lifestyle,” continues Duval. 2917 Magazine St.; 891-4502

Bella Nola is a perfect shopping spot for the passionate New Orleanian – this shop features an impressive selection of Crescent City-themed merchandise, including fleur-de-lis cookie cutters and New Orleans water meter cover coasters, doormats, soaps and more. Bella Nola also caters to the littlest Saints fans with baby clothes emblazoned with “Who Dat Baby!” This Magazine Street stop also sells high-heeled Christmas stockings with several New Orleans themes, including Mardi Gras and Saints.

4236 Magazine St.; 897-9499

Since spring is usually a time for important events – graduation, baptisms, weddings, etc. – it is also a time for invitations! And what better place to shop for custom-made designer invitations than Betty Hunley Designs. Betty Hunley has been in business for 32 years, providing New Orleans with original options for calling cards, birth announcements, save-the-date cards and invitations to any event imaginable. 6057 Magazine St.; 895-2870

Burke’s was located in the Fairmont Hotel before Hurricane Katrina led to its new location on Magazine Street. “Burke’s has returned to New Orleans with a bang,” says Shawn Reed. “[We opened] a new salon on Magazine Street featuring gorgeous hair designs, state-of-the-art foils and color, as well as manicures and spa pedicures.” Burke’s offers a unique salon experience, giving customers the chance to go antique shopping while getting pampered. “Patrons can shop for the finest antiques, porcelains, mirrors and gifts while enjoying first class treatment with Schwarzkopf products.” 4610 Magazine St.; 451-9696 

Coquette Bistro & Wine Bar offers classic, upscale New Orleans dining with a unique delivery. In lieu of lengthy descriptions of each dish, Coquette’s menu consists of single-word descriptions such as “Duck: Thai curry, quinoa, almonds.” The refreshing simplicity of its menu belies a complex array of foods sure to please. 2800 Magazine St.; 265-0421

The quintessential symbol of New Orleans, of rebirth, of Drew Brees, of Mardi Gras: the fleur-de-lis. And the quintessential destination for all-things fleur-de-lis: Fleur d’Orléans. This one-stop shop offers such an array of merchandise featuring the New Orleans emblem that shoppers may have trouble choosing between them. Fleur d’Orléans carries jewelry, pendants, cufflinks, paperweights, money clips, note cards and gift-wrap, all emblazoned with the fleur-de-lis. 3701A Magazine St.; 899-5585

Gott Gourmet offers not only delicious and quick dining options but also an environmentally conscious attitude. They use compostable cups, lids and straws made from U.S.-grown corn and also utilize food containers derived from sugar cane fibers that are actually stronger than Styrofoam. They also offer several special spring options, including a signature sandwich called the St. Patty’s Day Massacre. “It’s a classic Reuben with a twist,” says Christy Parker of Gott Gourmet. “We also have the Breakfast Version on our Weekend Brunch Menu as our signature breakfast dish.” Their shaded outdoor seating is also perfect for a spring day. 3100 Magazine St.; 373-6579

Walking into Interior Designs is more than just shopping – it’s an experience, says Elizabeth Sullivan. “The entire store is cream, pale, ivory – it’s a fresh, bright, clean look for the spring and summer,” Sullivan says. But the seasons aren’t the only thing that’s influential this spring: The newest shipment of accessories is sure to make a splash. “It’s all exotic skins,” Sullivan says. “I think that’s going to be the biggest thing this year.” R&Y Augousti products feature unique material such as stingray and snakeskin. “There’s parchment, stone and wood for people who don’t like animal skin,” Sullivan says. Along with a fresh look and new products, Interior Designs is having an upholstery sale the entire month of April. 3814 Magazine St.; 895-5110

Lili Vintage Boutique offers shoppers the fun and novelty of shopping vintage without having to sacrifice quality. Lili carries everything from casual to formalwear, from 1940s sexy slips to ’50s party dresses. “Lili Vintage Boutique specializes in dresses, so spring is exciting,” says Laura Hourguettes of the boutique. “I have many beautiful vintage spring and summer dresses that I will begin displaying after Mardi Gras. Florals and prints will be big for spring and the vintage prints are beautiful.” 4514 Magazine St.; 891-9311

Marion Cage is a woman of many skills: architect, professor, world traveler, and now jewelry designer. After years studying, practicing and teaching architecture all over the world – including Paris and New York – New Orleans native Cage decided to bring the sleek lines and designs of architecture to her jewelry collection on Magazine Street.

Her store features simple and elegant earrings, necklaces, bracelets and other hand-crafted jewelry. “My gallery currently features my jewelry collection but in the coming months I will be adding pieces from my hardware and tabletop collections,” says Cage. 3719 Magazine St.; 891-8848

Almost every New Orleans woman owns at least one piece of jewelry from the classic local jeweler Mignon Faget. You are probably no stranger to the turtle shell, the fleur-de-lis, the garden snail, the animal crackers and the bamboo.

There are even more Louisiana-centric designs such as hot peppers, streetcars, red beans, crawfish and les batons rouges. You may even be familiar with the newer collections, such as the snoball, which comes in flavors instead of colors. But the latest from Mignon is the 40th anniversary archival collection. This new line features striking pieces that include hearts, bows and arrows, crowns and other images perfect for a loved one. 3801 Magazine St.; 891-2005
Orient Expressed is known for its selection of hand-smocked children’s clothes, but this Magazine Street fixture also carries an array of gifts, ranging from practical to ornamental. Orient Expressed offers a great selection of linens, antiques and other items perfect for the home or a wedding gift. It also carries accessories such as scarves, purses and evening gloves. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find some interesting treasures, such as traditional Chinese burial figures, which would make quite the unique gift. 3905 Magazine St.; 899-8060

perch. is the ideal destination for shoppers with an eye for art. From antique, vintage, contemporary and custom furniture pieces to textiles and artwork, perch. offers a selection of unique seating, tables and accessories that will give any home an instant boost. 2844 Magazine St.; 899-2122

For more than 70 years, Perlis Clothing on the corner of Webster and Magazine streets has catered to the fashion needs of men, women and children. Most people probably know Perlis Clothing from the trademark crawfish logo on many of its clothes, but this flagship store carries a variety of styles, from fleur-de-lis boxer shorts and Saints polo shirts to seersucker. 6070 Magazine St.; 288-9635

Pippen Lane offers a wide variety of clothes for girls, both young and old, featuring the latest trends.  The latest styles at Pippen feature a flower child motif: tie-dye outfits, peace signs, and other trendy throwback looks. Girls of all ages will love these looks. 2929 Magazine St.; 269-0106

Stationary and invitation stop Scriptura describes its store as “essential paper for artful living,” providing shoppers with “the old-world charm and elegance” of their products, ranging from handmade papers, custom wax seals, inks and writing instruments, to wedding and party invitations perfect for the hustle and bustle of the event-heavy spring season. 5423 Magazine St.; 897-1555

Though always proud of New Orleans, sometimes women want to channel looks from other places, namely Paris, New York and Milan. To achieve this, a New Orleanian need not look further than Weinstein’s. Founded in 1971, this fashion haven features designs by Stella McCartney, The Row and Dries van Noten, to name a few. Weinstein’s boasts a passion for fashion that’s evident not only in the impeccable style of clothes but also in the design of the shop itself. With a suspended staircase and original terrazzo floors, Weinstein’s is truly an en vogue shopping experience.

4011 Magazine St.; 895-6278.

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