Shop big or shop at home. The choice is yours, but the super-sized selection of superstores in D-FW makes any Amazon find feel, well, anticlimactic. Dust off your old 20th-century bargain hunting skills and see what you can find at these stores.
Nebraska Furniture Mart
Spread across 100 acres of land, the new Nebraska Furniture Mart seems like a Texas-sized retail idea, but the chain started small in a basement in Omaha, Neb,. in 1937. Other large stores opened throughout the Midwest. The new store in The Colony is the largest in the country, with at least 560,000 square feet of retail space backing up to a distribution facility that's the size of 20 football fields.
Swedish but not Spartan in its design style or size, Ikea in Frisco has furniture, too, along with room after room showcasing the latest trends in décor for interiors and out-of-door spaces. And then there are the meatballs. Yes, style and meatballs join forces at Ikea and the most seasoned shoppers will plan for all of this to happen in a day's time, if possible. Read the how-to tips page before planning and don't shy away from the lingonberry sauce that accompanies those tasty meatballs -- or the new veggie balls if you're vegetarian.
Furniture taking up a lots and lots of showroom space makes sense, but baubles and beads? Please. These things might need even more space to be showcased. When I want to see them all on display, I parade around any Sam Moon for what feels like forever checking out what's hot and what's not. The prices are so cheap you can buy without feeling bad about what I like to call "disposable jewelry."
Various locations. sammoon.com
Camp, climb, or cycle? REI off Northwest Hwy is 34,000 feet of what you need in terms of gear and information. The store also offers a super-sized selection of classes and informational sessions through the outdoor school. Whether it's backpacking basics or beginning bike maintenance, you can scout for help on whatever you need.
Disney might have Mickey, but Texas has Buc-ee the Beaver and his magical gas-station world. The store that opened in Terrell in June measures up, offering visitors more than 60,000 square feet of space to buy gas and just about every souvenir known to man (and some that shouldn't be known, like Buc-ee's undies). The chain also serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but if you're in a hurry, grab a bag of Buc-ee's nuggets -- corn puffs dipped in Southwestern spice (Nug-ees) or caramel coating (Beaver Nuggets).
506 W. Interstate 20, Terrell. buc-ees.com