In a shopping state of mind? You picked the right place. New York State's shopping scene is totally out of the closet. Choose your region and you'll find a reason to buy: treasured antiques from the Hudson Valley, vintage wines from the Finger Lakes, Adirondack furniture, Leatherstocking crafts and New York City fashions. You might be surprised to find some little upstate boutiques that can out-fashion big city shops. In short, if you can't find it here, you won't find it anywhere.
You might begin your shopping frenzy in the Thousand Islands region where handcrafts and art galleries decorate every main street. In the Adirondacks, shops like Dartbrook Rustic Goods in Keene let you bring some of that lodge-feel home with you with furnishings unique to this area of the world. Near Lake Placid, Saranac Lake is a quiet North Country community with plenty of good walkaround shopping.
Saratoga Springs boasts some of the best downtown shopping in the east with eclectic shops selling antiques, vintage clothing, vinyl records and just about everything else you won’t expect. Hit the racks along Albany’s hip Lark Street neighborhood, lined with independent shops, friendly vibes and wares from vintage clothing and jewelry to books and contemporary art.
The Finger Lakes are becoming the next big thing for weekend LGBT getaways, offering lakefront shopping for durables, and countless farms and vineyards for fresh-harvested foods and the state’s finest wines. Near Canandaigua is the Bloomfield Antique Country Mile; this cluster of antique dealers along Routes 5 and 20 is the epicenter of Central NY region antiquing.
Ithaca deserves special mention; it seems to pop up on every LGBT top ten list. For a small city of 30,000 its cosmopolitan charm is catching, with a big downtown pedestrian mall and unique shops. Impulse shoppers can find vintage threads at Petrune and gourmet cooking oils at F. Oliver’s.
Upgrade your wardrobe at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, or seek out the Amish communities of New York’s Chautauqua-Allegheny Region for hand-crafted furniture, rugs and tinware you won’t find in any chain store. Destiny USA in Syracuse has 2.4 million square feet of company stores, outlet stores and luxury retail shopping, for shopping on steroids.
Back east, few upstate towns draw shoppers like Hudson, where antique shops line Warren Street shingle-to-shingle between restaurants, bookstores and funky boutiques, allowing patrons to furnish a home with flair. For example, update your retro wardrobe at Five & Diamond Vintage Clothing, stocked almost exclusively with pre-1980s fashions from tweed blazers to petticoats.
In fact, the whole Hudson Valley is a goldmine for shoppers, from the swanky brands of Woodbury Common Premium Outlet stores to unusual spots like Hi Ho Home Market in Gardiner with 12 themed rooms full of funky finds, and Saugerties’ Rockstar Rodeo, an interior design studio and boutique.
Further downstate, you might check out a little burgh called NYC. All over Manhattan, and especially in neighborhoods like the West Village and Chelsea, shops cater to every flavor. Plus there’s Soho’s Onassis Clothing, Uniqlo and 20 Peacocks on the Lower East Side. All this, and we haven’t even mentioned the world-famous shopping in Fifth Avenue’s flagship stores, the hip selections of Madison Avenue and the historic Macy’s Herald Square, the world’s largest department store.
Don’t leave town without a trip to Long Island where Greenport on the north fork keeps a corner on nautical treasures, as does neighboring Southold and the north shore’s Port Jefferson. Plus there is the posh shopping of the Hamptons and the “Miracle Mile” in Manhasset.