Readers Choice

WINNERS: Best U.S. City for ShoppingChosen by readers of USA TODAY and 10Best

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    #10 - Washington, DC

    Shoppers spend a lot of dollars in D.C., and for good reason – the retail scene is vast and varied. Find household names like Zara and Anthropologie in Penn Quarter, while options trend toward boutiques and book stores near Dupont Circle. The U Street Corridor hosts trendy vintage boutiques and Georgetown’s M Street is lined with major labels and brand names. Browse world-class gift shops in legendary museums and attractions along the Mall as well.  

    Photo courtesy of Destination DC

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    #9 - Seattle, WA

    Outdoors enthusiasts love Seattle, not only for its natural surroundings, but for its shopping.  Many of the nation's top outdoor outfitters, like REI and Eddie Bauer, got their start here, and the city's many eclectic neighborhoods often create shopping fans for life. Downtown's Ranier Square has plenty of high-end boutiques like Gucci and Brooks Brothers, while Pike Place Market is filled with hundreds of unusual shops and stalls selling more than just produce. For Pacific Northwest Native American art, collectors head to the galleries of Pioneer Square.

    Photo courtesy of David Herrera

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    #8 - Orlando, FL

    Orlando offers a much more relaxed shopping experience than some of the larger cities in this contest category.  The idyllic setting of Celebration - thanks to its Disney design - lets shoppers step into a postcard-perfect shopping experience. Outlet malls across the city attract a steady stream of loyalists each year - including lots of Europeans - while Downtown Disney holds Once Upon A Toy, a 16,000-square foot eye-popper.  Winter Park is lined with upscale boutiques while resorts and hotels offer their own wealth of options. 

    Photo courtesy of Prayitno

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    #7 - Dallas, TX

    From trendy boutiques to indulgent malls, shopping in the Big D provides a workout for any wallet.  Shoppers flock to the Galleria Mall,  West End MarketPlace and the Neiman-Marcus flagship, a destination in and of itself.  For exclusive goods they won’t find anywhere else, shoppers look to Forty Five Ten.  They also head to Uptown and its charming vintage trolley for easy access to McKinney Avenue’s collection of art galleries and specialty shops.

    Photo courtesy of Dallas CVB

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    #6 - Atlanta, GA

    Atlanta devotees can’t get enough of the variety of shopping offered in the eclectic neighborhoods throughout this Southern city. Upscale Buckhead allows buyers to consider splurging on Versace, Armani and Jimmy Choo. In the more bohemian Little Five Points, vintage tees and high-end labels collide. The 138-acre Atlantic Station offers up more than 50 retailers and plenty of dining spots for breaks. 

    Photo courtesy of Pawel Loj

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    #5 - Las Vegas, NV

    Excess comes in all iterations in Las Vegas, and for true fashionistas, this city is as much a destination for shopping as it is for gambling or entertainment.   There's a trifecta of temptation: the shops in the Esplanade at the Wynn (Cartier, Chanel, McQueen and Hermes); the Fashion Show Mall; and The Forum Shops at Ceasar’s. The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian, however, shuttle buyers from shop to shop on gondolas.  What can beat that for unique?  Every major designer (like Louis Vuitton) has not one, but as many as five shops along the 4 mile strip. 

    Photo courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau

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    #4 - Nashville, TN

    With so much love for Music City in evidence right now, Nashville retailers at all levels are stepping up their game.  Up-and-coming east Nashville is the hottest of the hot, with Hip Zipper Vintage a stalwart of the area (and a local hang for the city’s many stylists).  The Gulch neighborhood is a Mecca for hipster shopping.  Nashville's high-end Mall at Green Hill (Louis Vuitton, Tiffany) just announced a 125,000-square-foot expansion, while casual Hillsboro Village appeals to students. Upscale western wear easily be had for those ready to take the plunge.

    Photo courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation

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    #3 - Chicago, IL

    Chicago is a culturally-diverse city with a network of neighborhoods, each with its own distinctive style and shopping clientele. The Magnificent Mile is a must for visitors who think of shopping as an adventure, not a pastime. Oak Street is where the well-heeled got for Prada, Hermès and Pratesi, while over on Armitage the trends run more toward Cynthia Rowley. Water Tower Place, conveniently located near the always-packed American Girl Place, houses seven floors of stores.

    Photo courtesy of City of Chicago

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    #2 - New York City, NY

    The fashion capitol of America is undoubtedly one of the greatest cities in the world in which to shop. Whether you're looking for individual designers, small boutiques or massive department stores, New York has it all. Any city that has a designated zip code for a shoe department (10022-SHOE at Saks) must be taken seriously. While tourists flock to 5th Avenue and the 57th Street luxury shops, locals know where to find the best goods in SOHO and Greenwich Village.    OR   With so many options, it’s best to just pick a borough and begin the retail hunt slow and steady. The Lower East Side is still a bit edgy, but quickly growing more and more upscale, while in SoHo young and trendy stores can’t open fast enough. Like Bebe, Topshop H&M, and Club Monaco. Of course, there is still a place for iconic Prada’s flagship store too. Hit up Nolita for accessories from Push or the East Village for a more bohemian flair.

    Photo courtesy of NYC & Company

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    #1 - Santa Fe, NM

    History and commerce collide in Santa Fe, a mix of western wear, western decor, fine art and chic fashion jostling for retail space. The city has also embraced the 'shopping local' mantra and a wealth of local artists and artisans are well-represented.  Resorts and hotels all have amazing boutiques and gift shops, while the city's famed historic downtown area and Canyon Road are must-dos for any avid shopper.  Savvy shoppers head to the Tesuque Flea Market northwest of the city for art, decor, rugs, jewelry and vintage western wear. 

    Photo courtesy of newmexico.org

Readers vote Santa Fe Shopping Tops over New York

Chicago, Nashville, Vegas, other metros finish strong

Our readers apparently like retail purchases with a native american or western flair.  Santa Fe, New Mexico - with its historic but chic old town and artful Canyon Road and Railyard districts - has toppled even mighty New York in votes received for Best U.S. City for Shopping.   

NYC finished a strong second with shoppers, followed by other beloved American cities which offer a wealth of retail options.  #1 Santa Fe and #4 Nashville were the only smaller cities to finish in the top 10, which was flush with major metros.  

The winners in the 'Best U.S. City for Shopping' contest category for 10Best Readers' Choice are as follows:

  1. Santa Fe, NM
  2. New York City, NY
  3. Chicago, IL
  4. Nashville, TN
  5. Las Vegas, NV
  6. Atlanta, GA
  7. Dallas, TX
  8. Orlando, FL
  9. Seattle, WA
  10. Washington, DC

Congratulations to all the winners!  

To see the contest categories which are underway, as well as all the previous winners, please visit http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/ 

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Meet the Experts

Taryn Scher

Taryn Scher, “The Sparkle Boss” at TK PR, gained the necessary shoes- er- tools for success in the industry by serving as the in-house PR director for a luxury fashion house in Manhattan, hosting store openings and product launches, runway shows and more. In 2010, Taryn produced the first ever Fashion Week event in Greenville, South Carolina. Taryn is a regular on both WSPA’s Your Carolina morning show and Carolina Now on the CW and serves as the Contributing Fashion Editor for US Airways in-flight magazine.  

Ruta Fox

Ruta consider herself a "stealth" shopper, with a sharp eye for taste, style and value. As a former Los Angeles-based magazine editor, and a fashion executive at Bloomingdale's in New York City, fashion has always fascinated Ruta. Whether in a designer flagship, an off-the-beaten path boutique or a weekend flea market, Ruta enjoys the thrill of the hunt for that perfect piece.  She says that "ooking great is not about price."

Stacie Standifer

As the founder of acclaimed titles Nashville Lifestyles, Nashville Weddings and AT HOME/NL, Stacie has been involved with every level of fashion, celebrity and home design in her city for over 14+ years. An avid traveler, she is a respected resource in sharing trends with thousands of followers in the South. Since selling her publications and ultimately leaving her publisher post in mid-2013, Stacie continues to freelance as a contributor and also acts as a consultant for select luxury retail and entertainment clients. Shopping, travel and entertaining tips are posted weekly on her popular website, SouthernSophisticate.com.