SHOMIZ/GETTY; MARUMARU/GETTY; COURTESY OF GENERAL STORES
If the last time you’ve seen a general store was in a movie, it is definitely time to pack your bags for a road trip. Historically, general stores are hallmarks of small towns, one stop shops where locals—and visitors— can stock up on everything they needed to prepare dinner, an axe for firewood, or unique collector’s items. But if you think this concept is a thing of yore (or Hallmark movies), think again: Recent buy local movements and celebrations of craftsmanship and heritage have spurred a renaissance in the humble general store, whether it’s a stop for the basics or something more. To honor the magic of one-stop shopping, we searched high and low for the best general stores that deliver nostalgia, charm, and surprises for a memorable shopping spree with family and friends.
The best part? Even if you have no idea what you’re searching for, these general stores are packed with gems you’ll bring into your home or gift to friends! Shop vintage or fall in love with something new—either way, there are treasures waiting to be found in a general store near you. From the west coast to the east coast, check out the general stores worth stopping for.
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The adventurous friend in your life will feel right at home in a general store filled with everything you need for camping in the Smoky Mountains: water filter adapters, hand warmers, knives, or a dutch oven. And if you have a major sweet tooth, the massive assortment of treats in barrels is a dream come true (even your favorite sweets from childhood)! You can also sort through many quality homewares, apparel, and pet-friendly finds. Make sure to leave room in your suitcase because it’s impossible to leave empty-handed.
Prepare to bookmark this store on your travel bucket list. Design lovers will swoon upon entering this Parisian-inspired general store located within an 1874 Victorian grocery store. Founders Paula and Taras Danyluk brought the store to life in 2001, filling it with antique and one-of-a-kind finds like original alluring oil paintings, custom lighting, or artisan-made barware. The design of the store will transport you to France—no passport required!
New York, NY
In 1971, Taiwan natives Ming Yi and Ching Yeh Chen founded Pearl River Mart in New York City to serve as a storefront for Asians to feel at home with quality Chinese goods. 50 years later, the store is a stage for thousands of Asian entrepreneurs. From the nostalgia of Chinese snacks you can’t find anywhere else in the city to eye-catching ceramics to deck out your tabletop, this wonderland happily opens its doors to new shoppers and loyal customers to discover something new.
Santa Monica, CA
A weekend in San Francisco feels well spent after visiting Brentwood’s General Store for thoughtful gifts to bring home. The offerings are a hostess’ dream including a lively section for dishware you’ll happily reach for when hosting summer soirees and al fresco lunches. You’ll try leaving with one item in mind and walk out with plenty.
After giving in to the scent of the bakery with a freshly baked pastry, you’ll have all the energy you need to roam through home decor, books, personal care products, and the perfect gift to remember your visit. The Station also has a beautiful garden that plant parents will adore! If your thumb isn’t so green, there are experts around to teach you which budding blooms would thrive in your home. Make a day out of the trip to the store and enjoy a delicious lunch there as well.
General Store Cooperative
Take a stroll in suburbia with a general store that supports its community, artisans, and mission-led organizations. The General Store Cooperative showcases over 60 local businesses, with an exciting rotation of upcoming brands and pop-ups for entrepreneurs. The store even has New Jersey’s first-ever zero-waste refill shop, Good Bottle Refill Shop for essentials like cleaning supplies, baking ingredients, and coffee (yes, you read that correctly).
Take everything you know about a General Store and elevate it. For the days that you have a million things on your to-do list and need a pick-me-up, this store will make you grateful that you skipped the long line at Target. Choose from tasty cocktails, accessories for your dog, luxurious match cloches, and so much more. Founded by Holly Williams, the singer-songwriter was able to take an old gas station and transform it into a designer lover’s playground. If you aren’t able to visit Nashville, visit 7 other White’s Mercantile locations!
Prim’s Carmel General Store
Carmel General Store captures the beauty of beach life in southern California. Known for art and scenic views, this modern general store is a luxurious shopping spree of a curated selection of homewares, decorative accents, outdoor furniture, kitchen essentials, and more. If you love taking your time to shop until you’ve found a special item you won’t find anywhere else—Prim is filled with gems you’ll cherish for years to come.
Whether you’re a fan of design or fashion, Bellport General will charm you into looking through the store with a delicious cup of coffee in hand. You can get all of the essentials: snacks, sunscreen, casual attire, gifts for kids and adults and pets, candles, decor, and more. The curated inventory is all from top-tier brands in amazing patterns and colorways, so shopping there feels more like a treasure hunt than a standard corner store visit.
Get into the groove of shopping at Rooftop Fruit, (also known as Onatah General) for a fun day with friends. The store celebrates the work of minority-owned businesses and eco-friendly goods for a thoughtful shopping experience. With bold cobalt blue accents running throughout the store and a disco ball to keep the party going, this eclectic store makes shopping easy and fun. Shoppers can find the work of various artisans in the store, but if you can’t make the trip, their online store offers a wide range of products, like candles, jewelry, plants, homewares, self-care, and cleaning accessories.
Since 1895, Shaw’s General Store has stood strong as a staple of its community. Nestled in the picturesque downtown area of Stowe, Vermont, the store has all the charm needed to feel like a scene from a Hallmark movie. Guests can enter with their shopping list and leave with much more than what they expected. If you’re looking for a unique gift like a mechanical handmade carousel or a maple-flavored snack.
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