We’re headed straight for the holidays, and there's no better way to get in the winter spirit than by exploring the charming streets of Covington, Kentucky. Nestled on the southern banks of the Ohio River of the Cincy Region, Covington is a perfect hidden gem for holiday shopping. Its historic neighborhoods, local boutiques, and shops offer a delightful array of unique and handcrafted gifts that are perfect for everyone on your list this year. 

For the perfect day of shopping, you can easily park in Mainstrasse and walk through Mutter Gottes on your way to the Covington Central Business District on Madison Avenue. Don’t worry about food and libations, there are endless options for you every step of the way! Start early and make a day of it. 

Here is the ultimate guide to holiday shopping in Covington this year 

Find the perfect Christmas gift in Mainstrasse

Mainstrasse Village Covington, KYMainstrasse Village Covington, KY

Mainstrasse is Covington’s National Register Historic District full of entertainment, restaurants, and nightlife. It’s also a great place to shop for one-of-a-kind gifts. Within just a few blocks, you’ll find so many unique storefronts that you might not even need to leave the neighborhood to knock out your list! 

Handzy Shop + Studio offers a wide variety of feminine clothing, accessories, stationery, home goods, and more. Everything is impeccably curated and full of vibrant colors. Their goods are sourced from local artists, national vendors, and international brands, so the shelves are always changing. You will easily find a whimsical card, some adorable socks, or the coziest sweater as soon as you step inside. Their sister store, Gumdrop, shares the building with them and offers equally adorable clothing and toys for babies and toddlers ages 0-5. Did someone say coordinated outfits? You can find more clothing options just around the corner at Julie’s Inspiration Consignment Shoppe and SoHza Sister Boutique

For some truly unique gift ideas, stop into Hail Records & Oddities “to satisfy all your weirdo needs” or Earth to Kentucky for rare toys. Hail has the perfect gifts for that spooky friend on your list: from bones and skulls, taxidermy animals, wet specimens, and medical curiosities to rare vinyl and VHS tapes, jewelry, and apparel. They also offer classes where you can learn to mount and display your own insects in case you want to add a handmade touch to your gift this year. Earth to Kentucky is full of cool prints from local artists, vintage action figures, enamel pins, and limited-edition art toys. Their store is a haven for nerds and nostalgia-seekers. 

Earth to Kentucky (Photo: Callie Budrick)Earth to Kentucky (Photo: Callie Budrick)

If you’re still on the search for that perfect something, be sure to add Mainstrasse’s Christkindlmarkt to your calendar. On Dec. 3, 2023, Mainstrasse Village will be taken over by vendors from all over the tri-state in a traditional German-style Christmas market. There will be live music, fun activities, and plenty of shopping opportunities. 

Best holiday shopping in Covington’s Walkable Neighborhoods

Mainstrasse isn’t the only part of Covington with tons of walkable shops. Just a few minutes east on Pike St. are gorgeous historic townhouses, hip bars and restaurants, and some amazing holiday shopping opportunities.

Have you ever received a gift so thoughtful that it brought tears to your eyes? Sisters Melyssa Kim and Michele Tibbs built their business around that exact experience. They make bespoke signage and wooden gifts at Grainwell Boutique. “We handcraft beautiful objects from unique materials,” explains the duo. Personalized cutting boards are one of their top-selling items, but they also offer gift sets, wooden prints, decor, and so much more. It’s the perfect place to find gifts for mom or for that newlywed couple in your life. They also have adorable wooden ornaments, which make the perfect finishing touch. Purchase a premade design, or work with their in-house team to create something together from scratch. 

Keep walking, and as you begin to enter the Central Business District you’ll find several uniquely Covington businesses sharing the same strip of Pike St. There’s Hierophany & Hedge offering “fine eldritch goods and services,” meaning everything from magical supplies and wands, to tarot cards and adorable bat plushies. Kentucky Botanical Co. has tons of organic CBD gifts all grown, extracted, and formulated in the bluegrass state. Hometown Vintage has an incredible selection of quality-made and one-of-a-kind vintage clothing. They specialize in masculine and unisex apparel, although they do provide some femme options and children’s clothing. And North South Baking has the perfect pastries for that person whose stomach is the key to their heart. Order ahead online to ensure your goods will be available!   

Take a stroll down Madison Ave. for even more shopping

Madison Ave (Photo: @drum679)Madison Ave (Photo: @drum679)

Madison Ave., which interests Pike St., is home to even more independently owned shops and boutiques that have amazing gift offerings. There’s Coda Co.—your go-to for boho-style femme clothing, home goods, and macrame decor—and Peachy and Vintage for one-of-a-kind thrifted vintage finds.

If it’s fine spirits you’re after, the Revival Vintage Bottle Shop has you covered. It serves as both a tasting room and a retail space for rare and vintage spirits, specializing in bourbon. Their ridiculously knowledgeable staff will sit down with you and take you on a unique tasting tour to help you find the perfect bottle for your needs. If your dad loves bourbon as much as mine does, this is the place to find gifts for him! Plus it’s a great excuse to take a break and have a drink during your shopping spree. Then pop around the corner for some truly amazing local art at Purple Paisley. They offer a dynamic selection of “beautiful and functional art for the home and the person.”  

Revival Bottle Shop (Photo: @sarahkaterealtor)Revival Vintage Bottle Shop (Photo: @sarahkaterealtor)

Further north on Madison Avenue and on the edge of the breathtakingly beautiful Historic Licking Riverside neighborhood, you’ll find Roebling Books & Coffee. This independent bookstore carries a carefully curated collection of rare books and local authors. It’s a great spot to discover new titles and find gorgeous copies of classics. If they don’t have the title you’re looking for, they’ll place a special order for you! 

Roebling Point Books & Coffee (Photo: @jennyfromthe_bullock)Roebling Point Books & Coffee (Photo: @jennyfromthe_bullock)

Need something stylish for the trendsetter in your life? The Native One is a feminine clothing boutique just one block from Roebling Books and they’re constantly getting new items in stock. They carry a curated selection of “clothing, home goods, plants, and everything in between.” It’s like Pinterest and Etsy had a baby with Marie Kondo. 

Cincy is more than just a place—it’s a community. By choosing to shop local this winter, you’re not only finding unique gifts, but you’re also investing in the heart and soul of some of the seriously talented people who make this area so special. Find the perfect gifts, support local businesses, and fuel the dreams of this vibrant region when you shop in Covington this holiday season.

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