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shopping in philadelphia

From antiques to vintage clothes, Philadelphia's shopping scene has special finds in just about every neighborhood -- as well as one of the nation's biggest malls in the nearby suburbs. If your wardrobe needs a few additions, don't be afraid to whip out that plastic: Pennsylvania charges no sales tax on most clothing or shoes (formalwear and swimsuits are a couple of exceptions).

Philadelphia's historic Old City District is a popular shopping spot for art, housewares and clothing. If you're in town at the beginning of the month, don't miss "First Friday," when local art galleries and shops stay open into the evening.

The funky, alternative side of Philadelphia's shopping scene is showcased on South Street, where vintage clothing boutiques meet eclectic gift shops and quirky music stores (there are also a few places to pick up more "adult" merchandise). Most of the action occurs between Front and Seventh Streets.

Seek out shiny baubles along Jewelers' Row. Running along Sansom Street between 7th and 8th Streets, it's the country's oldest diamond district

Hipsters should head to Manayunk, a historic town on the Schuykill River (within the Philadelphia city limits). The renovated buildings on the main drag house a selection of unique boutiques and cutting-edge restaurants. It's a particularly good spot to pick up one-of-a-kind furniture and housewares.

For serious shoppers, the massive King of Prussia Mall -- one of the largest in the country -- is worth the trip out of town. Offerings include department stores such as Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's, as well as multiple food courts and hundreds of smaller boutiques and shops. It's possible to get here from Philadelphia via public transportation (train and bus), but as it's out in the suburbs it's best reached by car.


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