All right, we'll admit it – every once in a while, we take the brave plunge down Interstate 4 to the Orlando International Premium Outlets, brawl with out-of-towners over parking spaces and push through the masses to get that sweet, sweet discount on Coach bags. Or we trudge through the Mall at Millenia, trying not to drool directly on the Jimmy Choo and Gucci storefronts, because it's the only place to buy that Chanel gloss we gotta have.
Having said that, you don't have to run the tourist gauntlet to discover cool finds in metro Orlando. There are plenty of boutiques, emporiums, pop-up markets and shops around the city where you can get neat gifts for others or treat yourself. You just have to know where to look – we've curated this list to help you get started:
745 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-636-9304, avalonexchange.com
Fashionistas in town come here for vintage, designer and contemporary resale pieces to build iconic looks.
East End Market
3201 Corrine Drive, 321-236-3316, eastendmkt.com
While you're having a snack at this culinary hub, check out the artisans selling their merch nearby, like grooming and leather one-stop Freehand Goods, cheese goddess La Femme du Fromage and botanical necessities booth Porch Therapy.
Gods & Monsters
5421 International Drive, 407-270-6273, godmonsters.com
Comics, games, trades and nostalgic collectibles have a home at this pop-culture retail shop. While you're there, check out Vault 5421, the store's post-apocalyptic gaming bar.
1620 N. Orange Ave., gypsetcollective.com
Gypset sells handmade jewelry for all the wandering souls who look at the open road and sigh. Find their mobile boutique at pop-up shops around town or visit their retail store.
Park Ave CDs
2916 Corrine Drive, 407-447-7275, parkavecds.com
This local record store is a haven for people who still appreciate the sonorous magic of a good LP. Browse through an eclectic mix of CDs and vinyl records, plus T-shirts, zines, books, posters, buttons and other cool gifts.
Rifle Paper Co.
558 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-7679, riflepaperco.com
This international stationery company keeps its outpost in Winter Park stocked with their own visually enthralling notebooks, agendas, greeting cards and calendars alongside a carefully curated selection of other tokens perfect for small gifts.
451 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs, 407-961-5936, rileyrose.com
This cosmetic Technicolor dreamland at the Altamonte Mall is the brainchild of the daughters of Forever 21's founders. Browse everything you need to live your best (looking) life, whether it's a 10-step Korean skincare regimen or a color palette from a trendy Internet brand for the millennial in your circle who spends more on makeup than food.
1800 E. Colonial Drive, 407-898-9785, samflaxorlando.com
Find all the supplies for your artistic creations at this art store that's been a proud member of Orlando's community for decades, plus take one of their many classes and workshops.
Three Masks Inc.
1023 W. Colonial Drive, 321-278-5072, threemasks.com Discover the different cultures of Africa by browsing this store's masks, jewelry, statues, pottery, paintings and trinkets; also check out the art gallery and regular community gatherings.
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