When you’re headed on a big trip, there are a few things that usually come to mind—relaxing, eating and shopping. Of course, depending on what type of trip it is, you’ve probably already planned a few different excursions as well whether it’s waterskiing in the Caribbean or taking a historic tour of a cool city. But, almost every traveler plans to shop during their trip. Sometimes we seek out unique gifts to commemorate our time or bring back to friends and family, and other times we’re just looking for some cool new items to add to our home or wardrobe.
However, when visiting a different place, especially one you’ve never traveled to before, it can be tricky to find the best shopping and avoid the more tacky, touristy places, which is why dunesproperties.com has compiled a list of some of the best streets in the country for shopping.
How to Find the Best City Streets for Shopping
Consider What You’re Looking for
Before you can start searching for the cutest, trendiest or most unusual shops in any city, you need to know what you’re looking for. You don’t necessarily have to have a specific item in mind, but you should know what kind of purchases you’re hoping to make. Mentally make a list of what you’d like to buy—souvenirs for the family, a new addition to your spring wardrobe or even a piece of art. Once you’ve determined the kinds of items you have in mind, it will be much easier to locate the best places to head to for your shopping experience.
Ask Locals for Their Opinion
Travelers often fall into the trap of shopping in the areas where everyone else is shopping. Unfortunately, this is also usually the place you’re going to find the most tourist-centric kinds of shops. Try asking people who actually live in the city where they would suggest shopping for whatever it is you may be looking for. It’s likely that they’ll steer you in a direction you may have never even thought to go.
Seek Out Independent Shops
The bigger the city, the more chain stores and big-name brands you’re going to find. If this is the kind of shopping you’re looking for, it won’t be hard to find your nearest department store or designer handbag brand. But, for those seeking something more specific to the destination, independent shops and boutiques are the places to go. Here, you’ll find items that not every brand name store is carrying, and you’ll probably discover handcrafted local items that will remind you of your trip for years to come.
Top City Streets for Shopping in the U.S.
1. Fifth Avenue in New York, New York
When people think of shopping, Fifth Avenue is often a name that comes to mind, but this staple of the New York City shopping scene is not for the budget shopper. This is the place to go if you’re looking for top-of-the-line designer clothing, shoes and handbags. Even if you’re not planning to shell out the big bucks here, it’s worth walking around the area to see what all the hype is about. If you are looking to drop some serious money on a new wardrobe while exploring the Big Apple, Fifth Avenue is your go-to area of the city.
2. Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, California
When looking for a similar experience on the West Coast, Rodeo Drive offers all the same glitz and glam of Fifth Avenue with a slightly different clientele. Both the epicenter of L.A. shopping and celebrity sightings, Rodeo Drive is regarded as a must-see destination in the city. Again, this area is great for shopping at high-end stores, but it’s also a great experience for a traveler because it gives some insight into the atmosphere of L.A. If you’re prepared to spend a lot of money shopping at big-name stores, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for on Rodeo Drive, but you can also spend the day people-watching, taking photos in front of the famous Via Rodeo section of the street and enjoying a coffee or a cocktail at one of the beautiful hotels nearby.
3. King Street in Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina has become one of the most popular travel destinations in the U.S. over the last decade. With gorgeous Southern architecture, a flourishing culinary scene and a nearly endless list of water-related activities, this city is the perfect place for a unique getaway. And, if you’re looking to shop, you’ll find the perfect mix of brand names and local shops. King Street is the shopping district of historic Charleston, S.C. and you could spend the entire day roaming the area. For the usual shopping stops, you can pop into Forever 21, H&M or Urban Outfitters, but for a more unique experience, you should spend some time in boutiques like Hampden Clothing or explore art galleries for a distinctive work of art and locally made jewelry.
4. Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois
Avid shoppers and travelers alike agree that Michigan Avenue in Chicago may offer some of the best shopping opportunities in the country. For upscale purchases, head to the section of Michigan Avenue known as the Magnificent Mile, a one-mile section with hundreds of shops and a plethora of great restaurants. Though shoppers flock to this area, there’s also many historic landmarks and other attractions to explore in between your day-long shopping spree. Take a ride on the 360 Chicago, a 150-foot Ferris wheel with unparalleled views of the city and check out a local comedy show in the evening.
Whether you’re planning a visit to historic Charleston, S.C. or hitting the glitzy streets of L.A., you’ll find fantastic shopping opportunities. Those seeking out expensive, brand-name stores will want to pay a visit to Rodeo Drive or Fifth Avenue while those seeking a more authentic shopping experience should explore Charleston’s King Street or parts of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. During your trip, immerse yourself in the area’s culture by staying in a vacation rental in Charleston, S.C. or booking a fancy hotel room in two of the country’s biggest cities. Wherever you decide to go, remember to ask locals for shopping advice and have a concrete idea of what types of items you’re looking to bring back to remember your trip for the rest of your life.