Tag Archives: shopping

World’s 12 best shopping cities

From a shopper’s perspective, frequent traveling can be crippling. It can get worse in the holiday season where Christmas dominates many people’s calendars. Why buy something in one city when a trip to a better shopping city is coming up?

To pinpoint which cities around the world deliver the most gratifying, enjoyable shopping experiences, we consulted global experts, such as fashion merchandising firm Donegar Creative Services and Marie Bergfelt, senior spokesperson for Global Blue, which publishes the Globe Shopper City Index.

Then we judged cities in four areas, using a one-to-10 scoring scale for each category:

1. Getting around: Quality of public transportation, affordability and availability of cabs, transport time

2. Value: Bargain opportunities, such as sale seasons and average prices.

3. Variety: Number of available brands, range of shopping categories, quantity of upscale shops, department stores, boutique and vintage retailers and market stalls.

4. Experience: City beauty, quality of window displays and shop décor, friendliness and competence of clerks and service staff, dining and accommodation options.

Then we charged into the breach.

READ MORE: World’s 12 best shopping cities

Streets of San Francisco

From Barcelona to Bali

Hands-down, one of my favourite American cities is San Francisco. Although the whole state of California is pretty freakin’ rad, SFO really does stand out. It’s not a beach city, but what it offers in cuisine, attractions, shopping (!), general friendliness and yes, lots of weirdness, more than makes up for boring old sunny shores and sparkling sand.

I’ve been there twice, with both trips revolving around seeing a concert. The first time I went we saw The Tragically Hip, a classic Canuck band, at the Fillmore. Yup, the very same Fillmore where Jimi Hendrix and his entire generation of rock stars played back in the day. Second time was to see City and Colour, also at the Fillmore. Although they were two very different shows, both were amazing and intimate; I even got a few splashes of Hip singer Gordon Downey’s sweat on me. Let’s just say it…

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Things to do in: Costa Rica

  • Educational Tours: Coffee Tour, Night Tour, Surf Lessons, Turtle Nesting Tour, Species Exhibit, Scuba Diving, Guided Tours
  • Adventure Tours: Rafting, Cave Exploration, Horseback Riding, Zip Lines, Rappel, Biking, ATV Tours, Water-slides, Kayaking

 

  • Marine Tours: Catamaran Tour, Sport Fishing, Marine Mammal Observation, Mangrove Tours, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling

 

  • Cultural Tours: Coffee Tours, Museum, Shopping

 

  • Leisure Tours: Tram, Fresh Water Fishing, Boat Tours, Catamaran Tours, Hot Springs, Safari Float, Suspension Bridges

 

  • Nature Tours: Mangrove Tours, Safari Float, Marine Mammal Observation, Night Tour, Horseback Riding, Bird Watching, Butterfly Gardens, Fresh Water Fishing, Guided Tours, Hiking, Species Exhibits, Suspension Bridges, Turtle Nesting Tour

 

Costa Rica – Welcome to Paradise

 

To plan your trip today:
All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132
415.384.3880

 

Destination: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta’s history traces back to the 16th century when it was visited by Spanish explorers. It became a resting area for the pirates working in that area. It was not inhabited until about 1851. It wasn’t until 1918 that it became a municipality.

Puerto Vallarta is the sixth-largest city in the state of Jalisco on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. It has the same latitude as Hawaii with a subtropical climate. August and September are the hottest months. June through October is the rainy season. With 40 miles of coastline, Puerto Vallarta has a diverse topography with tropical jungles, rocky riverbeds, steep mountainsides, and arid flatlands.

The lodging options in this beautiful Jaliso city have over 18,000 lodging units; from bungalows to luxurious villas, boutique hotels to full-amenity resorts. It’s family friendly and great for corporate meetings.

There are four zones:

  • Marina Vallarta – This zone is located south of the airport. The Marina is a self-contained complex with a variety of upscale settings, including over 500-slips surrounded by condos. Its home to an 18-hole golf course and several luxury hotels. The Marina’s boardwalk is a delight with the variety of shops, galleries and restaurants available.
  • Hotel Zone “Zone Hotelera” – Located between Downtown (El Centro) and the Marina Vallarta zone. Like the name indicates, its home to many hotels. Large brand chains to smaller properties, All-inclusive resorts, and high-rise condos. This zone offers lots of beach activity with long stretches of sand, people watching, beach vendors, and a lively setting.
  • Downtown (El Centro)/Los Muertos Beach – Considered the heart and soul of Puerto Vallarta. Known for the nightlife, restaurants, bars and shopping. The El Centro is quaint with cobblestone streets, white-walled housing, wrought-iron balconies and red-tiled roofs. Its pedestrian friendly and the town’s famous Malecon mile long Beach. Los Arcos (arches) are across from the town’s main square. Open air concerts and performance are held here regularly.
  • South Shore – Where the Sierra Vallejo meets the Bay. Isolated coves and beaches. This area is great for outdoor adventure and eco-tourism activities. Best cove-style beaches with white sands and calm waters. This area is where you will find most of Puerto Vallarta’s most luxurious villas.

When’s the best time to go? The weather is warm and sunny throughout the year, with the average temperature being 88 and minimum 65. The U.S. and Mexican holidays impact the travel flow. Christmas and Easter are the busiest time of year. July and August is busy with Mexican and International vacationers. Year round the city has cultural festivals and sports tournaments. During the fall the vegetation is lush and there are fewer crowds and this is also the time when you can get off-season pricing.

Planning a wedding? In 1963 the film shoot “The Night of the Iguana” starring Richard Burton took place in Puerto Vallarta. Elizabeth Taylor joined Richard Burton here. Since then, Puerto Vallarta has been a popular wedding and romantic destination. You can even get married on the ‘pink’ bridge that connects the former homes of Taylor and Burton to the downtown area. You can also choose to get married aboard a yacht at sunset or in the jungle-clad mountans. To learn what you need in order to get married in Mexico, read an earlier post I wrote: Getting married in Cancun – the Heart of the Mexican Caribbean

Other things to do:

  • Deep-sea fishing – October through February is great for sailfish or marlin. May through October is great for small game fish.
  • Art Walk – October through May they have a great art walk that is considered a cultural must. Considered the liveliest artisan community.
  • Outdoor Adventure and eco-tourism – Isolated coves and beaches that are only accessible by boat. Sierra. Whale watching. Visit the Banderas Bay, which is the largest natural bay with 16-miles of shoreline. It’s one of the deepest bays in the world. On the southern end of the bay is Los Arcos National Marine Park where you will find underwater tunnels, caves, canyons and reefs. You can either do a self-guided tour or pick a tour with a tour company. ATV tours, Zip-line Adventures, Jeep Safaris
  • Beaches – miles of jungle and calm swimming conditions
  • Night Life – Seaside strolls, local theater, bars, clubs and fiesta nights
  • Family Attractions – Dolphin swims, boat trips, building sand castles and water parks

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To book your travel:
All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132
415.384.3880

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