Here's Cincy's guide to fabulous retail in every part of town as well as a chance to reward your hard work with a sweet treat or a great meal.


EAST

Whether those on your shopping list have been naughty or nice, Cincinnati's east side has the perfect present for anyone at its many small, independent locations as well as the super-sized mall anchored by flagships Nordstrom and Macy's.

Shoppers' Wonderland

Essentially a one-stop spot for holiday needs, Kenwood Towne Centre is the ideal place to start a day of shopping. Just make sure to get there early to beat the crowds.

After taking in the towering trees and glittering light displays, stop by Williams-Sonoma to find a culinary treat for the gourmet cook on your list. The store carries kitchen gadgets, cookbooks and décor. Sample the hot apple cider to shake off the winter chill.

Don't miss other hot shops: The Apple Store to satisfy an iPad craving; Victoria's Secret for fuzzy new PINK pajamas and Cardboard Heroes for the diehard sportsfan. Need a latte yet? Visit Starbucks across Montgomery Road and stroll through a stretch of stores that includes Old Navy, Jared Galleria of Jewelry and Barnes & Noble. How about a kayak for the kid? Check out Dick's Sporting Goods.

Kenwood Towne Centre, 7875 Montgomery Road, Kenwood. (513) 745-9100 or www.kenwoodtownecentre.com.

Up the road


Head north on Montgomery Road, and you'll uncover a selection of stores ranging from Half-Price Books to the Party Store. Or stop by Mitchell's Day Spa and spring for a gift certificate.

Musical Holidays

Next stop, Everybody's Records in Pleasant Ridge. Pleasant, indeed, with a helpful (but not in-your-face) staff that allows customers to browse or seek assistance.

Though CDs are a safe bet for a music-loving friend, vinyl records are seeing a resurgence. Whether you're buying for a hip 20-something just discovering vinyl or a 50-something dusting off the turntable, check out Everybody's impressive selection.

Everybody's Records, 6106 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge. (513) 531-4500 or www.everybodysrecords.com.


Tasty Treats

Head farther east and include a stop at inspiringkind Boutique Bakery.

The buttery shortbread cookies come in a variety of designs (Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's), but can also be customized for any occasion. They're ideal treats for catering a holiday party or as a sweet thanks to co-workers.

inspiringkind Boutique Bakery, 7757 Five Mile Road, Anderson. (513) 321-1705 or www.inspiringkind.com.

As long as you are that far east, keep shopping! Malls and specialty shops line the highways.
 
"” Gretchen Keen


NKY

With the range of shopping and dining options available in Northern Kentucky from malls to stunningly unique boutiques at MainStrasse and along the river, it's easy to find something for even the hardest person to please on your holiday list.

Although Crestview Hills Town Center and Newport on the Levee are both worth a visit, there are plenty of other places to check out off the beaten path.

Something for Everyone

Crestview Hills Town Center is a veritable shopping paradise, offering everything from big-name retailers including Dillard's, Banana Republic, Eddie Bauer, Victoria's Secret and White House Black Market to lesser-known gems like Francesca's Collection and Charming Charlie.

Go early and beat the rush or take your time. You can stop in for a facial or hot stone massage at Spa413, design and paint a platter for the holidays at Color Me Mine, or grab South American coffee and homemade quiche from Argentine Bean.

Crestview Hills Town Center, 2791 Town Center Blvd., Crestview Hills. (859) 341-4353 or www.shopcrestviewhillstowncenter.com.

Meet on Main

Next, take the highway north to MainStrasse Village, the charming 19-century German neighborhood in Covington. Stroll the quaint streets and admire the bronze Goose Girl fountain in the center of the village.

Don't forget gifts for Fido at the Strasse Dog, then pick up some vintage clothes for the trendy person on your list at Julie's Inspiration Consignment Shoppe. Linden Noll Gift Haus is another can't-miss. Peruse gifts and collectibles from around the world and holiday items like nutcrackers and nativity scenes.

To end the visit on a sweet note, pop into Candy Bar, filled with candy favorites from the 1950s to the present, and ask for some goodies to go.

MainStrasse Village, Main Street, Covington. (859) 491-0458 or www.mainstrasse.org.

Sweet Spot

It's a short drive to Newport on the Levee, which has plenty of delectable dessert choices, so treat yourself. Meander along the river walk as you try a new ice cream cupcake from Cold Stone Creamery, an old-fashioned root beer float from Johnny Rockets, salt-water taffy from Sweet Dreams Candy Co., or a handmade smoothie from Smoothie King.

Newport on the Levee, 1 Levee Way, Newport. (866) 538-3359 or www.newportonthelevee.com.

Wrap it Up

On the way home, it's worth stopping at the Fairfield Avenue historic district in downtown Bellevue.

In addition to the nostalgic buildings and myriad mom-and-pop restaurant options, dainty, independent shops like Ball Embroidery & Gifts and The Cozy Cottage dot the sleepy street.

Shops of Bellevue, Fairfield Avenue, Bellevue. (859) 431-8866 or www.shopbellevueky.com.

"” Colleen Weinkam

 
CENTRAL

Central Cincinnati is ideal for one-of-a-kind gifts. The eclectic, diverse neighborhoods lend themselves to artsy shops, upscale eateries and an eyeful of holiday décor.

Finds in the Rhine

Creative, inspired gifts are just the ticket in unique areas of town including Over-the-Rhine's Gateway Quarter.

A brisk stroll down Vine Street will reveal a bounty of gifts. Metronation is the perfect spot to buy for an impossibly hip friend, while nearby, The Little Mahatma's funky jewelry options are fit for the free spirit in your family. Stop in MiCA 12/v for locally crafted, high-end art, home décor and clothing, or pick up holiday treats at Shadeau Breads, where orders are recommended to beat the rush.

Metronation, 1213 Vine St. (513) 564-0095 or www.metronationcincy.com.

The Little Mahatma, 1205 Vine St. (513) 723-1287 or www.littlemahatma.com.

MiCA 12/v, 1201 Vine St. (513) 533-1974 or www.shopmica.com.

Shadeau Breads, 1336 Main St. (513) 665"”9270 or www.shadeaubreads.com.

On the Mount

Stunning silver pieces or handbags from Paris? The Gilded Age gift shop on St. Gregory in Mount Adams has a wonderful collection of gifts, antiques, art and jewelry.

The Gilded Age, 1120 St. Gregory St. (513) 421-6122.

Bohemian Beacon

Clifton's Gaslight District is a trendy, urban shopper's paradise. Pangaea has a selection of women's clothing and jewelry that begs browsing, while the nearby Mustard Seed Boutique is an upscale and re-imagined consignment shop ripe with stylish vintage finds. Duck inside Toko Baru for a multicultural, art-filled shopping adventure with organic lotions and potions, or try offshoot Toko Kidz for creative toys and books for children.

Pangaea, 326 Ludlow Ave. (513) 751-3330.

Mustard Seed Boutique, 311 Ludlow Ave. (513) 221-4022 or www.themustardseedboutique.com.


Toko Baru, 325 Ludlow Ave. (513) 751-3338.


Toko Kidz, 323½ Ludlow Ave. (513) 751-1500.


"” Gretchen Keen

NORTH

For those who live in the northern suburbs, there is plenty of great shopping including Voice of America Center and the Streets of West Chester. The area is flush with chain stores, but unique options can also be found in more historic areas and the iconic IKEA. Venture a little farther to Lebanon or Waynesville and discover a world of antique wonders. Don't forget Frontgate Outlet, too.

Furniture Finds

For a thoughtful, stylish gift for a new renter or homeowner, consider a trip to IKEA. The trendy, sleek styles will mesh well with a younger person's lifestyle. But furniture isn't the only find to bring home. Rugs, curtains, pillows and kitchen tools can make a dorm room or new home feel a little more like "” well "” home.

IKEA, 9500 IKEA Way, West Chester. (513) 779-7100 or www.ikea.com.

Deck the Halls

Need a bit of seasonal décor? Or maybe that holiday collection is in need of the annual addition.

Whatever the missing piece, King's Mills General Store & Christmas Shop probably has the answer. The family-owned store has style ranging from classic Victorian ornaments and nutcrackers to hot pink trees and jungle animals.

King's Mills General Store & Christmas Shop, 5687 Columbia Road, Kings Mills. (800) 327-5639 or www.kingschristmas.com.

Picture Perfect

Anyone will enjoy the pretty little things sold at The Loveland Art Studios on Main. The historic building, formerly a schoolhouse and shirt factory, now draws a hoard of artists. Pottery, beads, painting and jewelry can be found among other treasures.

The Loveland Art Studios on Main,
529 Main Ave., Loveland. (513) 683-7283 or
www.studiosonmain.com.

"” Gretchen Keen


WEST

Cincinnati's west side offers plenty of options for shopping all on one street: Harrison Avenue.

Beyond Sugarplums

When stuffing stockings, make sure to include treats from The Fawn Confectionary.

The candy company is stocked with truffles, chocolate coins and fudge that satisfy the sweet tooth of children and adults alike. Need a hostess gift in a pinch? Pick up a holiday gift basket packed with peppermint bark, carmellos and truffles.

These decadent choices will make visions of sugarplums fade into history.

The Fawn Confectionary, 4271 Harrison Ave., Bridgetown. (513) 574-9612 or www.fawncandy.com.

Holiday Spirits

In need of seasonal cheer? Another hot spot on Harrison is Henke Winery. The family-owned winery supplies reds, whites and everything in between.

For reds, try the cabernet sauvignon (smooth, dry) or Cin Zin (slightly sweet). Vidal blanc (fruity, semi-dry) and Riesling (smooth, semi-dry) would be crowd-pleasing whites.

Henke Winery, 3077 Harrison Ave., Westwood. (513) 662-WINE or www.henkewine.com.

Wrap It Up

Not yet finished? Stop in Stone Creek Towne Centre.

The open-air setting cuts out the congested mall feeling and allows for package drops in the car as often as needed. Get new clothes for the whole family at JC Penney or Old Navy, or get some snazzy shoes for family portraits at Famous Footwear. Best Buy is another excellent spot to get music, DVDs and all kinds of technology for anyone on the shopping list.

Stone Creek Towne Centre, 3657 Stone Creek Blvd., Colerain.

"” Gretchen Keen