Julie Epstein: The economy maybe in a slide, but the holiday season isn't going to melt away. This year, knock out two birds with one stone; we've got the best locations for a holiday shopping vacation experience. New York is a brilliant shopping destination with the sites and sounds of the holidays providing a magical backdrop. As America's fashion capital, the Big Apple hosts numerous flagship stores for the hottest brands and the classic department stores are one-stop shops for gift buying. But New York is never cheap. So enjoy the sites, but brace yourself for steep price. If shopping near the beach is more your style, you will find one of a kind shopping in sunny LA. You won't find much budget relief, but shopping exclusive stores on world's famous Rodeo Drive is an experience in itself and a treat few dedicated shoppers forget.
If you'd like an even warmer climate, your best bet is Miami. With extravagant boutiques in Coconut Grove and several mega malls peppering the city, you will have no problem finding the prefect gifts. Miami is also a mecca for bargain hunters with several sprawling outlet malls. Each of our recommended cities is served by multiple airports. So you can snag sweet airfare deals, plus you can secure affordable room rates if you book a hotel just outside the popular areas of town. For ideas on the best places to stay in New York, LA, and Miami, check out our US News Best Hotels Rankings, online at travel.