Duration: Two days and two nights
Despite its legendary history and colonial overtones (and the whole "Yo Adrian!" thing), Philadelphia's cosmopolitan taste precedes all. Marathon shopping is kind of a big deal in Philly and its countryside, and for good reason. You'll find it all, from chic boutiques to high-end mega malls, from the see-and-be-seen streets, to the out-of-the-way treasure troves. Plus, three magical words: tax-free shopping (with world-class BYOBs and boutique hotels thrown in for good measure). Get your shopping-spidy-senses ready. Let's spree.
Any proper big city shopping trip should start at the top of town, where ladies-who-lunch rub shoulders with ladies-on-lunch. Start at Rittenhouse Square (18th & Walnut) and hit all three floors of the Anthropologie mothership store where you'll fall in love with the kitschy aprons and coffee canisters, the bootie-sandals and wispy scarves. The multi-level Barney's Co-op is a few doors down, too. Come to Rittenhouse for the curated row of specialty boutiques you won't find anywhere else. There's Boyd's for suits, Town Home for sophisticated interior coolness, Joan Shepp for designer threads, a Lagos flagship store for their signature sterling silver couture, and the curious 18th Street Apothecary for its hip, old-fashioned pharmacy goodies. Shop-a-holics beware – we're just getting warmed up.Read More >
Head east a few blocks to the eclectic boutiques that pop up near 12th and Sansom Streets, known as Midtown. Keep an eye out for gift ideas galore for you, family and even the family pet.
Just a few blocks away and around City Hall at 12th and Arch Street, let your nose lead you to the mouth-watering aromas of Reading Terminal. The Terminal offers an exhilarating selection of baked goods, meats, poultry, seafood, produce, Amish specialties and crafts from around the world. Peppered throughout the market are a mix of stands and restaurants for you to explore. Be sure to find Termini Brothers Bakery for a fresh-from-that-morning cannoli, and ask for extra powder.Read More >
To round out the first day, head back up Chestnut Street (west) a few blocks towards the soaring mall right in the center of town. Liberty Place is a shopping oasis that's certainly not hard to miss, considering it's in two of the tallest buildings in the city. With shops like J Crew, Nine West, Ann Taylor Loft and Swarovski, it's tough not to fill your bags in one of the finest urban retail centers in the country. With all this shopping, you may be on the verge of dropping, so take a load off in the food court mezzanine. Get some rest and watch all the busy shoppers below. Then go over the day's shopping spree in your head, and start thinking about what to wear for dinner.
Philadelphia's wine, cheese and beer café. Catch a seat outside and people watch while you sample the ever changing menu of this Philly hot-spot. Cabernet and Carmignano? Don't worry, the friendly staff will help guide you through a memorable wine, cheese and beer experience.Read More >
Okay, there's a Pottery Barn and a Restoration Hardware. But this artist's colony/dining mecca makes trendy boutiques and one-off jewelry stores seem more at home. Hit LeBus for a sandwich-sized brownie and start trolling: we like Dwelling for magazine-spread interior goods (you can have them shipped home), Gia Bella Children's Boutique for hip play clothes and flower-girl gowns, and street veteran Main Street Music for a stroll through a last-century dinosaur: a great independent record store. Now that you've shopped up an appetite, grab an outdoor table at Il Tartufo. It's cash-only, but the lunch specials at this Italian corner cafe are pretty amazing.Read More >
Head toward Valley Forge in King of Prussia where you'll find the largest, most luxurious mall on the East Coast. Here you'll be able to find the best of the best in shopping. Hermes, Neiman Marcus, Versace, Kate Spade, Tiffany, Cartier, along with not-in-every-mall stores like Pottery Barn Kids, Williams Sonoma Home, Urban Outfitters and more. Don't worry, there's a Cinnabon, too. Plus, the solarium roof grants chic sunlight to the indoor miles and never makes you feel guilty for being inside on a beautiful day.Read More >
This find dining experience focuses on seafood and steaks. With an ever evolving wine list and a menu to match it's a great place to relax after a long day of shopping. We recommend going on Fridays or Saturdays to enjoy the piano bar for some live entertainment.Read More >
Philadelphia's source of folk art, jewelry, and handmade items from around the world. You just can't leave this place without picking up something for the road.
Hudson Beach Glass Studio
Homemade glasswares, and even classes await you at this family-owned Philadelphia studio. These guys also carry a large selection of handmade jewelry by local and national artisans.