If you’re new to the area like I am or you just don’t know where to look, holiday shopping can be a nightmare.

I usually send gift cards, but this year I wanted to be more personal.

Searching for gifts was a great way to discover some of the shops Anne Arundel County has to offer.

I moved to Baltimore in October, so we’re discovering these places together. Here’s what I found:

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Tea gift box
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The Spice and Tea Exchange of Annapolis

This shop has a variety of spices, over 85 seasonings that are hand-mixed in the store daily, loose-leaf teas, salts and sugars, making it a great place to shop for tea connoisseurs and people who love to cook.

Gift boxes range from about $20 to $120. The Tropical Tea Tin Gift set includes green tropical tea, coconut oolong tea and a mesh ball infuser for $18.99. The Best Selling Teas 9 Tin Gift Box includes mint-chilla chai-nilla tea, hazelnut cookie tea, strawberry meadows and other flavors for $82.19.

Part of a franchise, the Exchange has been in Annapolis for 12 years and is downtown at 155 Main St.

Franklin's Toys train set
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Franklin’s Toys

This toy store, open for 42 years, has classic toys, wooden toys, foreign toys, LEGO, Playmobil toys, train sets and more, making it great for children of all ages.

One of the most popular gifts this season is a train set. They range from $20 to $300.

The Severna Park location is 558A Ritchie Highway, and the Annapolis location is 2327C Forest Drive.

Woodcraft Artisans Chesapeake clock
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Woodcraft Artisans

For maritime lovers, Woodcraft Artisans has nautical charts carved in wood and over 7,000 three-dimensional wood-crafted maps of lakes and coastal areas around the world.

Woodcrafts Artisans has been in business for over 20 years: 10 years in Puerto Rico and since 2009 in Maryland.

The store has two brick-and-mortar locations: in downtown Annapolis at 155 Main St. and in St. Michaels at 200 South Talbot St.

The Chesapeake tide clock is the newest map, for $68, and is becoming increasingly popular.

Annebeth's wine basket
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Known for its selection of boutique wines, craft beer, specialty foods and unique gifts, Annebeth’s is an Annapolis staple.

You can design your own gift basket or have an associate assist you. One of the premade gift baskets includes German Gluehwein, Italian holiday prosecco, a Swedish dish cloth, Darvilles’ Christmas tea blend, Mrs Darlington’s Christmas preserve, English toffees, assorted holiday beers, holiday rice crispy treat, Chouquette or Annapolis Chocolate Bar sea salt caramels, Annapolis candle votive and holiday dish towel for $140.

Annebeth’s 25th anniversary in business is at the end of November. It started as a video rental store combined with wine, beer and snacks, and evolved to include gifts pertaining to entertaining.

It is in downtown Annapolis at 46 Maryland Ave.

Jewelry dishes at Lou lou
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Lou lou

If you’re looking for a gift for a fashionista, lou lou is the place. The family-owned boutique has jewelry, handbags, scarves and candles from local vendors. The wide price range fits any budget.

Ponchos, bracelets and candles are a few items listed on the website as bestsellers.

The store in historic downtown Annapolis at 179 Main St.

Mission Escape Rooms in Annapolis
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Mission Escape

If you know anyone who likes mystery and a challenge, give them an experience with a gift card to the Mission Escape rooms.

A real-life escape experience designed for small groups can be unforgettable. Teammates work together to escape from a locked room in 50 minutes or less by finding clues and solving puzzles.

Prices range from $27.99 to $39.99 per person. The Annapolis location is 40 West St., and the Arundel Mills location is 7000 Arundel Mills Circle.

Annapolis pottery
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The Annapolis Pottery

Do you know anyone who loves art? The Annapolis Pottery shop has the right selection.

This local shop has handmade goods that are beautiful yet functional from local artisans. The highly recommended ridge mug is a handcrafted pottery mug that costs $32.95.

The Annapolis Pottery has been in Annapolis since 1969. Owned by Pat & Melanie Murphy, the store prides itself on offering a curated selection of products that brighten everyday life.

Varuna Aveda Salon Spa
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Varuna Aveda Salon Spa

Varuna Aveda Salon Spa will be an excellent experience for someone in need of stress relief.

The salon and spa offer haircuts, balayage, highlights, color corrections, hair extensions, blowouts, waxing, facials and massages.

One of the spa packages, Calming Embrace, includes a 60-minute massage and a 30-minute facial, followed by a classic blowout and a 30-minute makeup application.

This is suited to anyone who could appreciate relaxation and pampering. Gift cards are available.

The locally owned small-family business is co-branded with Aveda. Varuna’s goal is to help you escape life’s stress by providing a holistic sanctuary to nourish your mind, body and soul. It’s located at 1 Park Place, Suite 11, in Annapolis.

🎁 Looking for more gift ideas?

🎁 8 places to shop for holiday gifts in Baltimore City

🎁 9 great gift ideas to buy in Baltimore County

🎁 8 places to shop for holiday gifts in Howard County

🎁 7 places to shop for holiday gifts in Bel Air and Harford County

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🎁 7 places to shop for the holidays in Sykesville and Carroll County


Royale Bonds attended Southern Illinois University. Go Salukis! She previously worked as an affordable housing reporter in Greenville, South Carolina. Royale enjoys long naps, snacking and endless scrolling on social media. She looks forward to reporting on Anne Arundel County and covering the stories that matter.

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