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Top US Christmas shopping cities

1st October 2012 Print

Tour America Direct is tipping Philadelphia, Atlanta, Vegas and Washington as its top value-for-money shopping destinations in the run up to Christmas. 

“Everyone thinks of New York for shopping, but with cheaper hotels and competitive air fares, our alternative cities are great value and each has its own attraction, from the history of Philly to the romance of the South,” says founder and managing director Mary McKenna.

Philadelphia: from £619 for 3 nights at the Holiday Inn Historic District

Clothes and shoes are tax-free in Philly: head to King of Prussia Mall for seven world-class department stores (including Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Sears and Neiman Marcus) in over three million square feet of retail space, and 400+ individual shops ( Big budget? Head to Rittenhouse Row to find ‘upscale’ boutiques and speciality shops (

Las Vegas: from £619 for 4 nights at the Imperial Palace Hotel

Shopping is big business in Vegas, as men play the tables, women shop: all the big hotels offer retail opportunities (Chanel and Alexander McQueen among the designers at the Wynn Esplanade) and at the bottom end of The Strip is Fashion Show, with an 80-foot long retractable runway for regular catwalk shows and a huge range of shops from Tiffany & Co to Zara.  Regular shuttle buses pick up on The Strip for the cheap and cheerful out of town malls (

Washington DC: from £629 for 3 nights at the Palomar Washington DC

The focus on 6 November (election day) might be on Capitol Hill but shoppers will be at Eastern Market, the last 19th century covered market in the city, buying hand-crafted gifts and cookies. The extraordinary Smithsonian complex of 19 different museums and galleries is a great source of unique arty gifts. At the other end of the scale, designer brand bargain hunters (DKNY, Ralph Lauren and more) head to Filene’s Basement. 

Atlanta: from £629 for 3 nights at the Hilton Atlanta

Like Vegas, Atlanta offers shopper-friendly temperatures to winter visitors.  The mansions along Peachtree Road have been replaced by upmarket shops, bars and restaurants.  Virginia Highland offers village-style shopping and is good for homeware.  For Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and other mid-range brands, head to Phipps Plaza.

In all cases, prices are per person for travel before 19 December, and are based on two sharing a room (no meals), including return flights from Heathrow, taxes and charges.

For more information, visit

Prices correct at time of publication.