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Shopping in New Orleans promises a great selection of antiques, arts, vintage clothing and unique jewellery. There are various malls, markets, boutiques and specialist shops that satisfy most retail desires. Like the city itself, the shopping experience tends to be quirky.

The French Quarter is unsurpassed as a sightseeing or boutique shopping experience. It's also home to legendary New Orleans voodoo shops and some fantastic costume and mask shops, great for extravagant Mardi Gras celebrations or Halloween.

Magazine Street also has costume and mask shops, as well as stores offering elegant furnishings, hand-smocked garments and local arts. There are various jewellers in town offering unique, custom-made adornments.

New Orleans confectioners have a special touch, and sweets like pralines make popular gifts. Some of the best are sampled at Southern Candymakers, Leah's Candy Kitchen and Aunt Sally's Praline Shop. For those into food markets, there's Crescent City Farmer's Market, which sells exotic vegetables, beautiful flowers and fresh seafood.

Don't forget to sample the best in local music. Dixieland records make fabulous souvenirs, bought at many vibrant music stores. Items such as Louis XIV chairs and African masks are available from numerous antique stores, while art galleries of Royal Street also hold infinite treasures.

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