|Home||Global Price Changes||Hotel Prices Around the World||How Much Was Your Room?!||American Travel Habits||What Drives You to Travel?||Prices Paid at Home and Away||Affordable Luxury||A Look at Canada|
Chapter 5: What Drives You to Travel?
When considering which cities in the world would be best to shop in, London, New York, Paris, and Milan stand out at the top of the list – and rightly so. As the biggest fashion capitals of the world, who would not want to experience the glamour and glitz of the “Big Apple” or “City of Lights” at least once? But for those who have been there and done that or are looking for something a little less conventional, here are a few city suggestions from hotels.com that also boast some of the world’s best shopping destinations.
San Francisco, CA – $165
Making a strong debut on the list of Top Global Fashion Capitals for 2011 for its quirky, eclectic style, San Francisco has come in at number 38. Ranked seventh on the Top 10 Domestic Destinations for Americans, San Francisco’s hotel price increase of 18% only reflects the boost in the city’s popularity. For a place that offers some of the best shopping in the world for both tourists and local shopaholics alike, it is no wonder that San Francisco has finally made the fashion capital list. Shoppers can enjoy Union Square, a famous shopping mecca that houses department stores and luxury brands of all kinds, such as Saks 5th Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Coach, Bulgari, MaxMara, Diesel and Prada, just to name a few. For a more down-to-earth location, visitors should head to Chestnut Street, a great place that retains a distinctive and cozy neighborhood feel. Unique and offbeat in nature, Chestnut street is lined with sophisticated boutiques, beauty outlets and restaurants alongside brand name retailers, truly offering something for everyone.
Miami, FL – $167
Moving across the country, the next highest ranking east coast city after New York on the Top Global Fashion Capitals is Miami, which comes in at 26. This hot spot is 13th on top domestic destinations for Americans with hotel prices increasing 13%. With all the sun, surf, and shopping one can get, this city has some of the best goods to offer travelers from all around. To experience South Florida’s largest super regional mall, shoppers can go to Aventura Mall, voted Best Local Shopping Destination by the Miami Herald’s “Hot List.” This vast mall features dramatic new architecture and distinctive design for all visitors to enjoy as they choose from over 280 stores and restaurants, a 24-screen movie theater, or an artist-designed interactive playground. Other shopping destinations include the quaint shops in Little Havana and one-of-a-kind retailers in Miami Beach. With all this available, it is no wonder that Miami is among the top fashion cities in the world.
Sydney, Australia – $191
Included in the hotels.com list of “Americans’ Top 50 Favorite International Cities” and ranked 11th in the list of Top Global Fashion Capitals for 2011, Sydney is the perfect place for a truly unique shopping experience. For those who devour vintage treasures, handmade originals, and chic finds, there are dozens of markets held every weekend in Sydney, each distinct from the next. For example, Glebe Market, located in the inner Sydney area, has a lively urban vibe with a great alternative character and style. It is a showcase for the cutting edge of fashion and design and also offers gourmet foods and a comfortable lawn for relaxing while listening to live bands. Other must-see markets include The Rocks Market, Paddington Market and Paddy’s Market. For those who care to experience a bit of history while shopping, visit Queen Victoria Building (QVB) on George Street. This grand building, built in the 1890s as a Municipal Market, retains its beautiful architecture while housing over 180 of Sydney’s finest fashion boutiques, jewelry shops, and brand name retailers, as well as charming little cafes and restaurants.
Hong Kong, China – $197
Coming in at number six on the list of the Top Global Fashion Capitals for 2011 is Hong Kong, also one of the Top 10 International Destinations for U.S. Travelers. Hong Kong offers a wide variety of shopping experiences from trendy shops to street markets. However, if there is one thing travelers should not miss when parading through the streets of Hong Kong, it’s the convenience of the themed shopping streets dedicated to specific product categories found all over the city. For instance, the Luxury Brands Street features all the latest items of legendary luxury brands where visitors can enjoy an unrivalled shopping experience all on one street. The Flower Market on Flower Market Road is a magical experience where shoppers can admire the colorful displays, sweet scents, and exotic blossoms of varieties of houseplants. For shoppers visiting with their kids, Tai Yuen Street – a toy paradise – is the place to go. This street houses many toy shops and stalls that offer unique and often inexpensive children’s toys that everyone is sure to love.