Earlier this week, we looked at locally owned gift shops around Minneapolis and St. Paul. Now we’re going to focus on one Twin Cities community–and don’t worry, St. Paulites, we’ll have a post about the east side next week.

Amy Rea

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Downtown Excelsior is always a charming place to visit, but even more so than at the holidays. It’s got that old-fashioned vibe dressed up for December. And it has plenty of shops with all kinds of gift ideas. Here is just a sampling of what you can find within just a couple of blocks.

For the yarn enthusiast in your life, you can’t go wrong with a stop at Lakeside Yarn. This warm and cozy shop is full of enticing knitting and crochet products, and the friendly, knowledgeable staff can steer you in the right direction.

Photo by Amy Rea

Next door to the yarn shop is Artworks. Artworks can frame pieces for you, and they have a wide variety of art supplies for both children and adults. Besides, how can you not love that mural?

All in a row, we have Donald Douglas Jewelers, Brightwater, and Que Sera: Jewelry, quality outdoor clothing and gear, and interior design and home decor.

Meridian is a women’s clothing and accessory shop, with a unique collection of hand-selected clothing and jewelry. The shop also hosts trunk shows and other events where shoppers can meet the designers.

Amy Rea

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Primp is an expansive boutique focused on attractive, fashionable clothing choices for women that don’t break the bank. Think cheap-chic.

Amy Rea

Just steps from the Lake Minnetonka shore is Water on Water and Excelsior Bay Books. Water on Water is full of eclectic, hand-made gifts, and Excelsior Bay Books is, of course, a bookstore, but it’s also got plenty of gifts and games, along with children’s items.

Amy Rea

Fleurish is a fun stationery and paper goods store that’s also chock-full of quirky, unique gifts. You can also order custom-made gift baskets here.

Amy Rea

The Excelsior Mill is home to several shops, including DB & Company, a wonderful source of home decor and gift items for all ages; Something Safari, a delightful toy store: and Provisions, full of tempting home and kitchen goods, as well as note cards and other gifts. Bonus: After all that shopping, you can revive yourself with a coffee drink–or a beer or wine–at 318 Cafe.

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What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Tuesday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.