With Black Friday starting even before you finish your second helping of turkey and stuffing, I figure this is the perfect time to talk about shopping. Personally, I don’t do Black Friday – too much commotion, not to mention the idea of getting up before the crack of dawn to stand in long lines. Not my idea of fun. However, I do love shopping and believe a vacation isn’t complete without it. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, shopping is the number one tourist activity in the United States. So here are my Top Five Favorite U.S. Shopping Destinations…
- New York – Bergdorf’s, Barney’s, Tiffany’s, and my favorite for “orgasmic” deals, Century 21. Let’s face it: New York is the CAPITAL of shopping. You have to make a pilgrimage at least once!
- Chicago – Michigan Avenue. Sadly historic Marshall Fields – which had a wonderful shopper’s tour — is gone, but there’s still plenty of shopping to be had on Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile”.
- Minneapolis – The 520-store Mall of America. This place blew me away! It’s like Disney for shoppers! You can even get married at the mall!
- Los Angeles – Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Where the stars shop! But one of my best shopping finds is It’s a Wrap in Burbank, a thrift shop that exclusively sells clothes worn by TV and film stars. The tags even have the name of the celebrity who wore the couture, or the TV show/film where the wardrobe was worn!
- Sunrise, Florida – When I visit Fort Lauderdale I make a stop by the country’s largest outlet, value retail and entertainment center, Sawgrass Mills. It’s one of several shopping destinations that plan to open 10pm today and stay open for 24 hours.
If you’re looking for a fun way to get your holiday shopping done, check out Shopping America Tours http://www.shopamericatours.com/ for shopping, dining and cultural tours in 40 U.S. cities. It makes for a great girlfriend getaway or 40th birthday trip. To find out what’s new in shopping tourism, travel to the One Travel Conference in Orlando, January 15-17.
Finally for those of you who plan to go straight from dinner to discounts – check out this site for the latest Black Friday deals. What you save on prices, I’ll be saving in sleep time! Shop ‘til you drop and tell me about your favorite shopping destinations!
And remember: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain
Kalin Thomas is Women at Forty’s Travel & Leisure Editor. She is also Senior Writer/Photographer for SoulOfAmerica. Before starting her own multimedia company, Kalin spent 17 years at CNN where she won several awards for her work as producer/correspondent for CNN’s weekly travel program, CNN TravelNow. She is currently writing a book about her travels. For more information on Kalin, visit www.seetheworldproductions.com.