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Holiday shopping trips

Courtesy Visit Milwaukee

Once an Irish and Italian neighborhood, the historic Third Ward, along the Milwaukee River, is a revitalized community with contemporary and classic shops with their original facades.

“Groups can take their pick of boutiques, specialty shops and gallery gift shops, and enjoy a carriage ride amidst the holiday lights,” said Wendy Dobrynski, group tour manager with Visit Milwaukee.

The Third Ward is also the place to pick up a Wisconsin gift. “The Milwaukee Public Market, such a fun place, is located here, and our specialties, from cheese to chocolate to wine, are in ample supply,” said Dobrynski.

Dobrynski added that Brady Street, jammed with eclectic shops and galleries, is also a place to enjoy the decorations. “Chic shops, mom-and-pop stores and more are on this street that links Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee River.”

Bayshore Town Center, an outdoor/indoor mall with upscale shops and its own downtown and town square adorned with a 50-foot-tall Christmas tree, is an alternative for those who want more of a traditional shopping experience. From Barnes & Noble to Brooks Brothers, bank groups can find all their favorite stores.

Before hitting the stores, Dobrynski suggested a stroll through Milwaukee’s three decorated downtown parks. “These are beautiful spaces that get you in the spirit and spending mood,” she said.



Bank travelers just might find themselves in the City of Brotherly Love, the home of tax-free shopping, more than once during the holiday season.

“It’s always a bargain to shop here since there’s never tax on clothing or shoes,” said Liz Sullivan, communications manager for the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Sullivan suggested checking out the spectacular Christmas tree outside City Hall, taking in a matinee of the Pennsylvania Ballet’s performance of “The Nutcracker” at the Academy of Music and then heading for the Shops at Liberty Place, a complex nestled in the heart of Center City.

“Seventy-four of the finest urban retail stores are located here, including Ann Taylor Loft, Nine West, Victoria’s Secret, J. Crew and Godiva. Group members can also choose their savory favorites here with a large food court,” she said.

Rittenhouse Row, home to upscale hotels, also offers premier shopping with high-end boutiques like Armani Exchange, Burberry and Barney’s.

Sullivan boasted that the downtown area is undoubtedly the festive and fun place to shop during the holidays. “But, I would be remiss not to mention our two great outlet malls located just one half-hour from the city. People travel hundreds of miles all year long for the bargains at Franklin Mills Mall and Philadelphia Premium Outlets, the 150-store mecca that features J. Crew, Coach, Brooks Brothers, Gap and more.”


New York City
“The holidays are our most festive time of the year. We are dressed to impress,” said Chris Heywood, vice president of tourism and public relations with NYC and Company.

Bank travel shoppers in the Midtown area that encompasses the famed Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue always stop to check out the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.

“This is where to find the most iconic shopping — from Bloomingdale’s to Barney’s to Saks. You also have fine jewelry and offbeat bookstores,” said Heywood.

Herald Square is where visitors from around the world enjoy more than just window shopping at what has been described as the world’s largest store, Macy’s flagship store.

Along with these legendary areas, Heywood suggested that groups not miss the shopping opportunities in the Meatpacking District, SoHo and the West Village.

“These three areas offer shoppers something different, like the record stores, antiques and craft shops in the West Village. Foodies love the gourmet opportunities on Bleecker Street,” he said.
Can’t make it to Germany for its holiday markets? No problem. Just check out the holiday markets all around New York. “From Central Park to Bryant Park to Union Square to Grand Central Station, these festive outdoor areas offer the best in finding that special treasure,” said Heywood.