Intimate shops offer serious finds

Beyond the towers of downtown Bethesda and the massive department stores looming over Friendship Heights are smaller, more intimate boutiques and shops that offer almost anything you could hope to find. 

Coco Mio (4700 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda, Md.): Don’t be fooled by the small, downstairs location — there are some serious finds at Coco Mio, a boutique with French-inspired clothing, jewelery and accessories. The shop is ablaze with color, popping with tie-dye scarves, a range of colorful knitted hats, and boldly designed necklaces.

Tugooh Toys and Yiro (4823 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda, Md.): Find clothing and fun for children and adults all in one place at this combined toy and children’s clothing store. Yiro offers organic clothing that is preciously soft to touch. Once fitted with new clothes, children can find enough games to keep them occupied forever. Options range from wooden European toys to massive LEGO sets to family staples such as “Apples to Apples.” On the more educational side, check out the selection of children’s books.

Daddy and Son Camiceria Italiana (4836 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda, Md.): This shop is a slice of Italy, through and through, from the crisply displayed ties on the wall to the attentive and personal service to, of course, the quality of the clothing itself. Daddy and Son offers men’s clothing imported from Italy every two weeks. A helpful attendant suggests pairings of shirts and ties, often in bold colors to break up the monotony of the typical white-shirt, red-tie suit.

Bang and Olufsen (7243 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, Md.): Stepping inside this audio/video is like taking a step into the future. A curving, banana-like phone brings some cool back to the landline. Rectangular headphones reinforce that there is an audio world beyond little white iPod earbuds. The loudspeakers are sleekly designed, but not just for aesthetics — their unified, single-piece construction eliminates dissonance problems caused by joints and corners.

Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market (7155 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, Md.): There is a flea market, complete with small-town feel, right in the middle of Bethesda. Outside, vendors set up tables with everything from $45 leather handbags and $59 sterling silver jewelry to a dining room table set. Inside, grab a snack at the bakery or pick out some fresh produce from local farms.

World Market (5335 Wisconsin Ave., Washington, D.C.): Think of World Market as a warehouse of surprises waiting to be gifted or just added to your home. The relatively expansive interior is home to kitchenware, specialty food, furniture and other assorted items. Find Japanese-style plates with flower blossoms, banana leaf woven chairs and Spanish wildflower honey. Look around the towering shelves and you are sure to encounter even more unique finds.

New Balance (5301 Wisconsin Ave., Washington, D.C.): Whether you’re looking to win the next Marine Corps Marathon or just want comfortable feet walking around town, check out the only D.C. area location of the company famous for its running shoes. More casual and stylish footwear is also on offer, and friendly, passionate staff are just waiting to help you work through all the options to find the perfect fit.

Kellogg Collection (5215 Wisconsin Ave., Washington, D.C.): While the big-ticket items of beds and couches are most prominent here, you do not have to be making a major purchase to find something worth your while. Shelves of table lamps ensure you do not have to settle for monotony. Some look more like decorated vases than lamps. Colorful picture frames decorated with stars and other shapes fill a nearby table. Old-fashioned wooden jigsaw puzzles are nestled between other items. Whether re-decorating the house or looking for a nice touch-up, there is something at Kellogg Collection.