It’s difficult to pin down where to shop in New York City because the entire city is basically a shopping destination: SoHo, the South Street Seaport, the Orchard Street Shopping District on the Lower East Side, St. Mark’s in the East Village, 125th Street in Harlem, the Garment District, the Shops at Columbus Circle, Herald Square, Chinatown — the list seems endless.
Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles and Fifth Avenue in New York are sort of the bicoastal bookends of the best shopping in the country. Running north and south through Manhattan, Fifth Avenue is renowned for its luxury retailers and legendary department stores, among them Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Lord and Taylor, and Macy’s.
The new Westfield World Trade Center has quickly become a must-see, must-shop spot since opening in 2016. The all-white Oculus building is an architectural wonder that serves as the WTC’s centerpiece and transit hub, with connections to subways, trains and ferries. The center features 365,000 square feet of retail space with more than 100 retailers, including Boss Hugo Boss, Kate Spade, John Varvatos, LK Bennett and Lacoste, and Eataly chose the WTC for its second Manhattan location.
To get a break from the big-name chain stores, Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood is filled with the quirky and indie, the vintage and vinyl. Bedford, Driggs and Graham avenues are the major shopping thoroughfares where visitors will find independently owned boutiques and one-of-a-kind stores such as Catbird jewelry and Whisk gourmet cookware.
Shoppers in Chicago often start at the city’s Magnificent Mile, although there is plenty more off the Mile.
The Magnificent Mile runs along Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River to Oak Street. Along the way, groups will find roughly 460 shops, 300 restaurants, 60 hotels and some of the city’s most famous buildings and enduring landmarks, including the Wrigley Building, the Chicago Tribune Tower, the former John Hancock Center building and the Water Tower.
Like Fifth Avenue in New York, Michigan Avenue is dotted with long-storied department stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, and luxury and designer retailers including Burberry, Chanel, La Perla and Luis Vuitton.
Rounding out the Magnificent Mile’s offerings are three separate malls: 900 North Michigan Shops, Water Tower Place and The Shops at Northbridge.
State Street anchors the famous Chicago Loop shopping district, but the district is undergoing major changes. Macy’s recently announced it will sell the top half of its 14-story flagship store on State Street to a developer who will convert it to office space. The deal won’t affect the retail space much because some of the seven floors were empty or being leased for other uses. The Walnut Room restaurant and Tiffany ceiling will remain, as will the famed green Great Clocks on the building’s corners.
Across the street from Macy’s, Block 37 is a modern, urban shopping center that covers an entire city block with upscale shops and dining, a rock climbing gym and a dine-in AMC movie theater.