Sale and Return:
Top 5 Cities for Shopping

Sale and Return:
            Top 5 Cities for Shopping

Sure, there are
pre-holiday and post-holiday sales, but some destinations
are hot shopping spots year-round. Consider visiting one of
the five states that don't charge sales tax: Alaska,
Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. If
you're in need of some retail therapy but are feeling
crunched by credit, shop around these cities for a bargain:
Portland, Oregon; Anchorage, Alaska; St. Thomas, USVI, and,
of course, New York and L.A.

No state sales tax makes a shopping spree to the Rose
City extra enticing. Add to that a slew of appealing
promotions at some of the city's most chic hotels,
restaurants, and shops -- courtesy of the Travel Portland Big Deal
-- and the Rose City is impossible to
resist. For more on shopping Portland, scour the Discover. Portland. Shopping
for steals and deals.

Sale rail
Visit Powell's City of Books (1005
W. Burnside; 800-878-7323), an entire city block of
literary goodness. Stock up on decadent organic chocolates
from around the world at Cacao (414 S.W. 13th Avenue;
503-241-0656). Hit Columbia Sportswear (911
S.W. Broadway; 503-226-6800) in its hometown flagship
location and stock up on gear for kayaking, climbing,
and exploring the nearby outdoors. For hipster crafts and a
taste of Portland's funky side, visit Crafty Wonderland, Portland's
monthly art and craft extravaganza, every second
Sunday of the month at The
Doug Fir
(11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 830 E. Burnside
Street; 503-231-9663).

New York is a shopper's paradise, especially for gay
travelers. Whether you're interested in spending a lot
or saving even more, you've got a myriad of options.
From high-end boutiques to vibrant street markets and
funky stores, the city is world-renowned for its diverse and
trend-setting shopping opportunities -- and rightly so.

Sale rail

Uniqlo (546 Broadway;
917-237-8800) is the Japanese bargain trendsetter whose
slick SoHo outlet is the growing chain's global
flagship. For authentic kitsch, Love Saves the
(119 Second Avenue; 212-228-3802) saves the day
with more Pez dispensers, Jesus action figures, and
mid-century shtick than you can shake a stick at. For
your favorite flight attendant or travel buddy -- or
even for yourself -- check out Greenwich Village's Flight
(96 Greenwich Ave; 212-691-1001), part of a
chic travel minichain selling items of a "global"
nature, such as rain hats, Italian toothbrush kits,
and hard-to-find guidebooks.

3. L.A.
Los Angeles offers shopping at its finest: great
shopping districts, easy parking, lots of sales, and
stores from the ridiculous to the sublime. California
fashion has a unique style, tailored to the pleasant
climate, outdoor living, movie glamour, and laid-back

Sale rail
For fresh, hip attire that won't frighten the bank, head
to Los Feliz Village, bounded by Vermont and Hillhurst
Avenues north of Hollywood Boulevard. Half Off
Clothing Store
(1806 N. Vermont; 323-665-1526)
sells brand-new, casual men's and women's clothes for ...
guess how much. Titles at Skylight Books (1818
N. Vermont; 323-660-1175) include gay-themed
publications, and there's a regular schedule of readings by
local and nationally renowned authors. Finally, the Rose
Bowl Flea Market
(1001 Rose Bowl Drive,
Pasadena) is the Mother of All of L.A. Flea Markets, 5
a.m.-4:30 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month. The de
rigueur outfit: sunscreen, shades and a big floppy hat.

Alaska is another state with no sales tax and offers
some unique shopping opportunities, including musk ox
knitwear and other Native Alaskan wares. Many downtown
shops in Anchorage carry Native Alaskan arts and

Sale rail
Don't miss the 4th Avenue Market Place (411 W. 4th
Avenue; 907-278-3263) if you have any interest in
Native art. The Alaska Native Arts Foundation
(6th Avenue and E Street) is a nonprofit
promoting the best work of indigenous artists, both in
traditional and contemporary forms. Nowhere else will
you find another business like Oomingmak
Musk Ox Producers' Co-operative
(6th Avenue
and H Street; 907-272-9225), located in the house with
the musk ox on the side. Owned by 250 Alaska Native
women living in villages across the state, the co-op sells
only scarves and other items they knit of
qiviut (ki-vee-ute), the light, warm,
silky underhair of the musk ox, which is collected from
shedding animals.

Tiny, tony, tempting St. Thomas is another duty-free
delight. Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the U.S.
Virgin Islands, is a town of shops and historic
buildings reflecting its Danish colonial past. Look
for the 17th-century red and yellow Fort Christian, the
19th-century lime-green Legislature Building, and
Emancipation Park, a tropical version of a New England
town square commemorating the 1848 proclamation
freeing the slaves.

Sale rail
The central cluster of shops along Main Street is
bracketed by two open-air markets: Vendor's Plaza
catering to souvenir hunters on the east, and Market
Square serving mostly locals on the west. In-between in
well-maintained, pastel-colored, 200-year-old warehouses
with the most spectacular 18th-century doors, lies a
duty-free shopper's paradise: Gold, jewels,
electronics, perfumes, china, crystal, and linen are all
tax free up to $1,200 to U.S. citizens.

Tags: Travel, Travel

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