When you go on vacation, part of your itinerary is a plan to shop until you drop -- especially if you're in a vacation rental and have lots of closet space for your new wardrobe! After all, you need to fit in with the locals and have something fabulous to wear home on the flight back.
From the East Coast to the West Coast, many states host entire retail districts that are a true shopper’s paradise, boasting the biggest malls and little to no sales tax. You’ll need an extra suitcase, or storage unit, for this incredible list of seven best states to shop.
These Are the Best States For Shopping In The U.S.
1. New Jersey
New Jersey charges no sales tax on clothing, and it’s also one of the biggest shopping districts in the world. Twenty malls fit within a million square feet.
Aptly named “the land of many malls,” Paramus possesses four large malls in one zip code, which include Westfield Garden State Plaza and the Outlets at Bergen Town Center.
2. New York
Navigating New York’s sales tax can be just as confusing as exploring the Big Apple, but with a little planning, it’s possible to avoid incurring any sales tax. There is no sales tax charged in nine counties of New York, which also includes New York City, for items of footwear and clothing on selections under $110.
These counties have chosen to forgo their four percent tax portion, and in other cities the tax rates vary. If you’re shopping in Syracuse, you’re charged four percent for any items beneath $110. Anything over that will be charged at regular tax rates for local and state.
In New York City, the regular amount is 8.875 percent, which does add up on extensive shopping sprees. So, stay in budget in this fashion capital, and from Brooklyn to Soho, pick a neighborhood and go!
3. Rhode Island
As long as you keep it under $250, Rhode Island clothing purchases are exempt from tax. This state has huge malls and little boutiques to roam with your credit card.
Providence Place is the largest mall for shopping in the city of Providence, Rhode Island. For an eclectic, charming shopping experience, check out Thayer Street for unique boutiques and rare shopping finds at Arcade Providence.
Over in Newport, the waterfront and historic architecture offer a lovely afternoon shopping experience. Keep the charm and travel to Garden City Center at Cranston with an outdoor shopping mall at all the big-name brand stores.
When staying in Delaware, your shopping destination is a scenic drive to Dover, which doesn’t charge sales tax for what you buy. Jobs in the tourism industry have also increased by almost 35.5 percent due to the forgiving taxes and excited tourists coming into town.
It’s a shopper’s paradise perfect for the entire family, with music festivals, nightlife, history, games, beaches and delicious dining. Start your shopping spree at Dover Mall, and explore the rest of the surrounding area.
Clothing is also exempt when it comes to sales tax in Pennsylvania, and many shoppers take advantage of its bigger cities for their purchases. Philadelphia is a shopper’s dream that’d take a weekend to do, from Midtown Village to the Shops at Liberty Place. Stop in Pittsburgh for a boutique experience in downtown.
When you’re done in Philly, head over to the Mall of America’s biggest competitor — the King of Prussia Mall, so big it was named for a royal line and country. There’s even an app to help you navigate the shopping experience, which recently added over 100 stores in its expansion.
Might as well check out Mall of America in Minnesota if you’re doing a cross-country shopping tour. You can also book a room at the hotel in the mall — the Radisson Blue Mall of America, which will save you more money to spend on shopping. They’ll pick up and deliver purchases as a complimentary service through text message. Now that’s a royal service.
When it’s cold, check out Minnesota’s “Mall Crawl” three-day shopping extravaganza, all planned out for its tourists with plenty of indoor shopping destinations. If you favor charm and unique shops, a trip to Twin Cities and its downtown shopping districts is a necessary adventure.
Aside from the Oregon Trail, the state has amazing venues for shopping enthusiasts to explore in and around Portland. Oregon is also a tax-free state when it comes to clothing, where indie boutiques rule the land, and Pioneer’s Place offers big brand names next to historic charm and local trends.
Check out the historic district in downtown, and work your way through the Old Mill District to the Cascade Village Shopping Center. Bend Factory Stores also offer amazing outlet deals on fashion.
Once you start shopping in these clothing tax-free or tax-friendly states, you won’t be able to stop. Plan for a cross country shopping tour, from the fashion capital of New York City to sipping the best coffee and admiring the shops of historic downtown in Portland. Your wallet will recover, but you’ll need to schedule a massage STAT after the shopping sprees.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.