OPINION: Need to shop? Check out one of these fun stores

Golden Lines Staff

Last month, the “Golden Lines” staff shared with you their favorite childhood TV shows that needed a reboot. This time, we’re mixing it up a bit and sharing some of our favorite stores to visit. The next time you’re in the mood for shopping, running errands, or just killing time with friends, swing by one of these places and revel in their glory. 

Elliott Seng ’25: Buc-ee’s

Imagine a gas station on steroids, crammed with hoodies, stuffed animals, barbeque, and fudge… and that’s Buc-ee’s for you. There’s probably not anything more Southern than this place, with their chicken sandwich allegedly rivaling Chick-fil-A. 

Even better, there’s absolutely no way to be bored in a Buc-ee’s. It’s the size of a Costco, but way more entertaining. Every kind of toy, type of clothing, or souvenir is here, trust me. You haven’t really lived until you’ve been in a Buc-ee’s; it’s a one-of-a-kind experience. If you’re ever hungry or bored on a road trip, this is the #1 place to stop. 

Madeline Randa ’25: Home Depot, specifically the kitchen appliances

When it comes to home improvement products, if you can’t find it at Home Depot then you don’t need it. The aisles are endless and you can roam them for hours. 

Home Depot pulls out all of the stops for Christmas with pre-lit trees, dancing Santa statues, poinsettias, and so much more. Stepping into a store is what I imagine Santa’s workshop to look like, especially if Santa had a secret home improvement side hustle. 

The real crown jewel, though, is the kitchen appliance section. Their unlimited variety of kitchen appliances represents everything from fun to functional. The promise of fresh baked cookies or an ice cold beverage fills the store with hope and happiness. I have managed to spend hours comparing and observing each product. 

This store is not just my depot for home goods but also my second home. 

Olivia Piontek ’23: Target

You are hanging out with your friends on the weekend looking for something to do, so you decide to go Target. Many teenagers will agree that late night trips to Target just to walk around are the best. Most have a Starbucks right inside the entrance, and who doesn’t like food and beverages?

Once you’ve got a drink in your hand, the first stop is always the dollar section just a few feet away. This is a favorite for kids, and I remember growing up I was always told I could get something from the dollar section. 

Target stores have also recently been adding an Ulta pop-up shop, so if you don’t like the makeup products that Target sells you can get it from this beauty retailer. Along with beauty supplies, Target also sells toys, food, clothes, electronics, books, and home decor. What more could you want?

No matter what, I end up buying something at Target every time I go. Even if I don’t intend to buy anything, just walking up and down the aisles and looking at the items is a good way to pass time.  

Katie O’Mara ’24: Barnes & Noble

“More than just books,” is the bookstore’s slogan, and it’s definitely true. You can easily wander in with the innocent intention of picking up a book to read over break or vacation and then find yourself an hour later walking out with not only a book, but an empty Starbucks cup and a few other small items that you unconsciously bought. 

When entering a Barnes & Noble, you’ll probably be greeted by a friendly employee who can go on endlessly about books. From there, you can meander around the labyrinth of bookshelves in the company of other wayward shoppers before finally settling on one or two books to bring to the checkout counter. 

But before you can reach the register, you also have to go through the sea of knick-knacks: stationary, calendars, and a multitude of Funko Pops. After checkout, if you didn’t already stop by on your way in, a trip to the Starbucks cafe is basically mandatory. 

True to its slogan Barnes & Noble is less about the books and more about the experience it provides customers.

Trip Buhler ’23: Dick’s Sporting Goods

Dick’s Sporting Goods is a heaven for all kids interested in sports…and for teenagers that have nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon, messing around with the sports equipment is a blast. You can play hide and seek, buy a ball to mess around with, or even play on the putting green. 

What makes it even more exciting is hiding from the managers. As a past employee, I know that the managers are hyper vigilant of kids messing around, so avoiding them is a big adrenaline rush. The giant store has so much room to mischievously explore and so many products to shop for. 

Lucas Tillery ’25: Laredos Western Wear

Laredos Western Wear is a store that provides quite literally anything in association to the true cowboy/western life. Right when you walk into the store, you are instantly overwhelmed with a massive wall full of every color, style, or size of boot you could imagine. Moving down the store into the clothes section, you see rack after rack of rodeo shirts and all different types of jeans. And just like the boots, there is an immense variety of hats that you can choose from. 

Finally, for extra points, every single person that works there is in a bright and excited mood. The customer service is a 10/10 and makes everyone feel extremely comfortable. 

All in all, Laredos Western Wear is a store that can endlessly occupy my time whenever I’m bored. 

Rylee Tozier ’25: Office Max

Office Max is hands down one of the best stores of all time. While I don’t have any beef with Staples or any other office supply store, there is a better vibe at Office Depot. While sometimes the prices can be higher than many other stores, it is most definitely worth it for their high quality products.

Additionally, their customer service is fantastic. I have never had a bad encounter with any employee in their stores. They never have a look on their face that screams “I don’t want to be here” like some Walmart employees are not afraid to express. 

Lastly, I would like to mention my favorite part of Office Max: their huge Sharpie wall right before checkout. While this can sometimes lead me to buy more than I intend to, it helps me feed my Sharpie addiction. 

Andy Swartz ’23: CVS

No other convenience store compares to CVS. If you want to get a bag of candy, antibiotics, makeup, and sunglasses all in one shopping trip, then CVS has got you covered. Anywhere in metro Atlanta has a CVS within walking distance, with any item that you might need being easy to find and always in stock. 

Everytime that I spend the night at a friend’s house, a trip to CVS to purchase snacks is always part of the nightly itinerary. Commonly on these excursions, we will meet some very interesting people that you would never meet anywhere else, adding to the incredible CVS experience. Lesser convenience stores such as Walgreens just do not have the same versatility and reliability as CVS, cementing CVS as the best store. 

Miles Johnson ’23: Walgreens

There’s a huge gap between Walgreens and CVS. Walgreens is the best convenience store of all time, and I could easily spend half an hour and leave with a light lunch. At CVS I spend 15 minutes looking for food and leave disappointed.

Walgreens is better than most of the stores on this list. I would go grocery shopping there if they had all the meat I usually order. Plus the free samples at Walgreens come right out of the box.