Best Gift Shop - 2012
If we could, we'd give this award to downtown White Bear Lake as a whole. This charming little district has a variety of gift-shopping opportunities, within steps of one another, to rival Uptown and Grand Avenue. There's the Enchanted Tree House for adorable kids' stuff, Truly for handmade items by local artists, the Floral Trunk and Gifts for whimsical garden accessories, and the Nest for eclectic clothing and home decor, nontoxic cleaning supplies and toys, and more. And those are just a few examples. But if we have to pick a favorite, and we do, we'll go with the one-stop gift shop Goodthings. This cute but spacious boutique has something for everyone in its seasonally changing stock (and its location right next door to the delicious treats at Grandma's Bakery is another plus). Pick up sleek bar accoutrements for the cocktail aficionado on your list, lightly scented Thymes hand lotion (made locally) that just about any woman will appreciate, unusual toys for the kids (or get nostalgic and choose from reissued classic Little Golden Books titles, just $3 each), unique handmade bags and jewelry, or old-fashioned candy like Turkish Taffy and Fruit Stripe gum. The store sells beautifully hand-painted glassware and uncommon items such as chandeliers made from wine bottles. There is some carefully chosen clothing and wall art as well, and of course a wonderful selection of greeting cards. Get some splashy new kitchen towels for Mom and a trendy, photo-heavy cookbook for the newlyweds: It's hard to go wrong with a present picked out here.