Exclusive | Sale and Return: Top 5 Cities for Shopping | Outtraveler

Exclusive | Sale and Return: Top 5 Cities for Shopping

Sure, there are pre-holiday and post-holiday sales, but some destinations are hot shopping spots year-round. Consider visiting one of the five states that don't charge sales tax: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. If you're in need of some retail therapy but are feeling crunched by credit, shop around these cities for a bargain: Portland, Oregon; Anchorage, Alaska; St. Thomas, USVI, and, of course, New York and L.A.

1. Portland, Oregon
No state sales tax makes a shopping spree to the Rose City extra enticing. Add to that a slew of appealing promotions at some of the city's most chic hotels, restaurants, and shops -- courtesy of the Travel Portland Big Deal promotion -- and the Rose City is impossible to resist. For more on shopping Portland, scour the Discover. Portland. Shopping blog for steals and deals.

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Visit Powell's City of Books (1005 W. Burnside; 800-878-7323), an entire city block of literary goodness. Stock up on decadent organic chocolates from around the world at Cacao (414 S.W. 13th Avenue; 503-241-0656). Hit Columbia Sportswear (911 S.W. Broadway; 503-226-6800) in its hometown flagship location and stock up on gear for kayaking, climbing, and exploring the nearby outdoors. For hipster crafts and a taste of Portland's funky side, visit Crafty Wonderland, Portland's monthly art and craft extravaganza, every second Sunday of the month at The Doug Fir (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 830 E. Burnside Street; 503-231-9663).

2. New York
New York is a shopper's paradise, especially for gay travelers. Whether you're interested in spending a lot or saving even more, you've got a myriad of options. From high-end boutiques to vibrant street markets and funky stores, the city is world-renowned for its diverse and trend-setting shopping opportunities -- and rightly so.

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Uniqlo (546 Broadway; 917-237-8800) is the Japanese bargain trendsetter whose slick SoHo outlet is the growing chain's global flagship. For authentic kitsch, Love Saves the Day (119 Second Avenue; 212-228-3802) saves the day with more Pez dispensers, Jesus action figures, and mid-century shtick than you can shake a stick at. For your favorite flight attendant or travel buddy -- or even for yourself -- check out Greenwich Village's Flight 001 (96 Greenwich Ave; 212-691-1001), part of a chic travel minichain selling items of a "global" nature, such as rain hats, Italian toothbrush kits, and hard-to-find guidebooks.

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