Like most things in Louisiana, the best shopping is found in New Orleans. Consumerism here is rampant, playing into the whims and fantasies of hordes of tourists who descend on the city throughout the year. That’s not to say the shopping in New Orleans is dull, quite the opposite, in fact. Aside from the myriad of souvenir and t-shirt shops along Bourbon Street, there are some real artistic treasures to be found here. Stroll down Royal Street and you’ll find a row of swanky antique shops interspersed with clever boutiques selling home décor from around the globe. If Royal Street is too pricey, try the Garden District for better bargains. Magazine Street runs for six miles between Audubon Park and Washington Street, featuring over 150 businesses to check out.
There’s no single product that Louisiana is famous for, but you can bet you will find a few things that simply must be added to your home decor. New Orleans is a music nirvana, with vinyl, instruments and memorabilia in spades. Folk art from the Creole and Cajun communities runs the gamut from high-end masterpieces to affordable trinkets. Most towns of note in Cajun country have a collection of little shops with an eclectic mix of crafty items for sale including elaborate and incredibly decorated Mardi Gras masks and costumes.
Louisiana is a popular place for artists to hang out. New Orleans in particular has some fantastic galleries, most of which are concentrated in the area surrounding the Contemporary Arts Center. Look around Royal, Julia and Camp Streets for street painters and sculptors. If you need more of a traditional mall environment, there’s none better than the Riverwalk Marketplace with its big window views of the Mississippi River.