Fall Into Easton

Hip stores and haute cuisine await those who visit this charming Eastern Shore town.

Focus On Shopping

October 19, 2003|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Sun Staff

You may think of Easton as a place to buy duck decoys, not designer duds. And if you didn't know, you'd never guess this quaint Eastern Shore town has more restaurants serving cutting-edge cuisine than crab houses. Easton is famous for its fine antique shops, and rightly so; but underneath that charming, 18th-century town facade is a hip little community filled with art galleries and specialty boutiques. There are so many places to shop, in fact, that you can spend a whole day at stores within walking distance of the court house.

Street parking in Easton is free with a two-hour limit. You get the sophistication of a big city (it's a wealthy community) with small town parking. What more could a shopper want?

Fall is Easton's busiest season, reaching its height with the Waterfowl Festival Nov. 14-16. Make your reservations early if you plan to stay overnight. But if you just want to shop, you can do it comfortably as a day trip.

As for the shopping itself, the following places hardly scratch the surface. But they do give you an idea of what's there. (For more information, go to www.eastonmd. org or call 410-770-8000.)

Andrea's Papillon

7 N. Harrison St.


Easton's newest boutique is owned by a mother and daughter, Jane and Andrea Kelley, who specialize in accessories for all occasions, particularly imported and handmade handbags. If you can find it in a department store, you won't find it here.

* Signature item: Charming purses in the shape of Chinese takeout containers ($39.99)


26 W. Dover St.


Cherry's is Easton's most famous store. It carries work clothes and casual wear for men and women, particularly for people who spend time outdoors. There are sweaters, rain jackets, shoes, socks, khakis, chamois shirts, hats and warm coats. You won't find anything frivolous.

* Signature item: Fifty or 60 different work boots ($85-$165)

Easton Maritime Antiques

27 S. Harrison St.


Is it a museum or is it an antique store? There are items here, used by seamen from the 1600s to the 20th century, that are comparable to what you might find in the Smithsonian: nautical instruments, scrim-shaw, ship models, charts, porcelain, silver, paintings and more.

* Signature item: The oldest known American-made ship's compass ($10,000)

Janet K. Fanto Antiques & Rare Books

13 N. Harrison St.


Fanto's is a wonderful place to browse. When it opened, it specialized in 18th- and 19th-century traditional antiques -- and there are still some fine pieces -- but now it's become more eclectic, with things that strike the owners' fancy, such as a 20th-century leather sofa or a lamp and table made of antlers.

* Signature item: Selection of early Wedgwood pieces ($500-$1,500)

Jonas' Attic

14 N. Washington St.


You can call Jonas' a metaphysical five and dime, but never a New Age shop. That's in spite of the fact that it sells crystals, massage oils, tarot cards, relaxation music, books, incense, clothing from India, yoga paraphernalia and other alternative lifestyle stuff.

* Signature item: Gemstone jewelry of lapis, amethyst, coral or turquoise ($10-$200)

Kathe & Company

20 S. Harrison St.


If you're claustrophobic, get over it. Tiny rooms, one leading to another, are crammed with home accessories, furnishings and some antiques -- almost anything but contemporary pieces. The owner, Kathe Waskin, is an interior designer, so you can order window and wall treatments here as well.

* Signature item: One-of-a-kind slipcovered sofas ($1,200 to "as expensive as you want")

M. Randall & Co.

17 N. Harrison St.


What you'll notice first are the sweaters, unusual and often handmade in the U.S. You'll find lots of cashmere, for men and for women. But there are also dresses, separates and accessories. Owner Marc Randall, who has a flair for color and a chic sensibility, carries lines like Garfield & Marks and Canvasbacks.

* Signature item: Striking novelty sweaters ($200-$400)


9A Goldsborough St.


Owner Pama Morrow's shop is filled with whimsical, woodland, winged things and glittery gifts -- starting as low as $10. She has Victorian flying pigs, fairies and mermaids, ornaments, floral designs, grapevine intertwined with berries, vintage bags, hand-knit scarves and artisan jewelry.

* Signature item: A sparkly garland of dragonflies ($30)

Talbot Kitchens

31 N. Harrison St.


This handsomely contemporary shop is a kitchen store for elegant kitchens. Its wares are functional but good to look at, including cookware, linens, Henckels knives, lots of pepper mills, Zyliss gadgets and Wearable Vegetable aprons with sayings like "shiitake happens."

* Signature item: Elegant kitchen trash cans (who knew?) in plastic and brushed stainless ($16-$200)

Tharpe Antiques and Decorative Arts

30 S. Washington St.


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