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Shopping in Washington DC almost competes with politics for attention. The USA's capital offers everything from trendy boutiques and shopping malls, to 24-hour bookshops and renowned farmer's markets. Visitors to Washington DC will walk (or fly) away with their bags full!

Some of the best shopping opportunities are in Georgetown, the nation's oldest neighbourhood, home to up-scale designer boutiques, or The Shops at Georgetown Park, containing designer labels like Ann Taylor, Polo, and Ralph Lauren. The Georgetown Flea Market is good for antiques, jewellery, books, rugs, toys, and linens. Dupont Circle, also an attractive historic neighbourhood, has designer boutiques such as Betsy Fisher and vintage shops like Secondi, as well as a good farmer's market. The Adams Morgan area, previously somewhat dilapidated, now contains a number of eclectic independent shops and boutiques. Penn Quarter is also a good shopping neighbourhood, particularly for antiques, art, home décor, and collectibles.

On Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House Visitor Center and Political America sell authentic and reproduction campaign buttons, signed photos, letters, and other American memorabilia, which make wonderful patriotic souvenirs. The National Mall has great gift shops and museum stores, and is the best place to find popular Washington DC souvenirs like miniature replicas of the White House and various monuments. The National Archives Gift Shop also offers reproductions of the Declaration of Independence and other famous documents.

Shoppers should keep in mind that a non-refundable sales tax is charged, but not included on the sticker price of items. Tax is added at the register in Washington DC shops, so prices will be a bit higher than first expected.

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