Top 5 Gift Shops in Moscow, Idaho

There's nothing quite like finding that perfect memento when you're on vacation. Whether you're visiting the Palouse hills of Northern Idaho for a family vacation, to drop your kid off (or pick them up) from college at the University of Idaho, or a local looking for an eclectic gift, Moscow, Idaho — known as the "heart of the arts" — has plenty of off-beat stores to help you find something truly Palouse.

5. The University of Idaho VandalStore
Nothing is as uniquely Moscow as VandalGear from the University of Idaho's VandalStore, 710 Deakin Ave. Located on the edge of campus within walking distance of downtown, the VandalStore offers a variety of cool items to help you remember your trip to Moscow. It also has a wonderful assortment of Palouse-themed gifts made by local artisans: Including local photography and artwork, postcards, stationary and coasters. You can also find Vandal-themed mugs, cups, growlers, keychains, stickers, stuffed animals and clothing for every member of the family. Hit the clearance racks at the end of each semester for an extra deal!

4. The Prichard Art Gallery
The Prichard Art Gallery, 414 S. Main St., is located in heart of downtown Moscow. The gallery features rotating displays of local, regional and national artists. It also has an awesome gift shop filled with works by local and regional artisans. The gallery gift shop carries jewelry, leatherworks, word carvings, pottery, children's toys, paintings and baskets, among other items. The selection is always changing as new artists come into the shop and established artisans bring in new goods.

3. The Moscow Food Coop
Moscow has a large population of locals dedicated to organic, natural living. And their mecca is the Moscow Food Co-op, 121 E. Fifth St. The locals simply call it "the co-op." If you're looking for sustainably made gifts, local produce or even an awesome lunch, the co-op is the place to be. The co-op has a really eclectic selection of stuff, including kitchen utensils and cookbooks (focused on organic, sustainable cooking, naturally), magnets, organic-cotton clothing and odd novelties. If you really want to look like a local, be sure to pick up an "I Heart Co-op" magnet, T-shirt or reusable grocery bag (except in their version, the heart is a beet).

2. Ampersand Oil & Vinegar
If you have a foodie in your life (or are one yourself), no trip to Moscow is complete without stopping in at Ampersand Oil & Vinegar Taphouse. This shop specializes in, surprise, oils and vinegars — with 24 cooking oils and 19 vinegars on-tap. During your first trip, you'll pay $3 for a glass bottle, and then you can bring back the empty one for a refill. Ampersand has an awesome selection of nut, seed and olive oils — infused to help you get just the right flavor profile. The vinegars include selections of balsamic and wine. The shop also has seasonings, salts, kitchen tools and offers cooking classes on a regular basis.

1. The Moscow Farmers Market
Open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday from May through October, the Moscow Farmers Market is the best place to go if you really want to capture the flavor of the Palouse. The market fills downtown Moscow from Third Street down to Sixth Street, with overflow creeping up Fifth Street toward the co-op. Vendors sell regionally produced wines, honey, photography, stationary, glassworks, pottery, jewelry and hand-crafted kitchen utensils and furniture. You can buy a candelabra made from a wine barrel. Or build your own terrarium out of a toy dinosaur. Stock up on regional produce, grab a bite for lunch, and enjoy live music in the downtown plaza or from the many buskers playing the street corners.

Savannah Tranchell is a former journalist who has lived in Moscow, Idaho, for four years. She likes to spend Saturday mornings down at the market, grabbing lunch at co-op and enjoying Palouse living.