5 Best Seaside Shopping Getaways
The Hip Hostess
While this Lowcountry city wears its charm on its perennially chic sleeve, the layers of history and culture here go deep. The same can be said of its retail scene, which simultaneously embraces the old and new. Shopkeepers cater to Charleston's time-honored sensibilities, and the next generation isn't afraid to push the envelope along the length of King Street and in emerging neighborhoods. On the hunt for a Georgian-style mahogany sideboard and an Isabel Marant blouse? You're in the right place.
The Party Girl
The apogee of resort style thrives in this classic society enclave, and finds its epicenter along three shaded blocks of Worth Avenue—a mind-expanding parade of world-renowned boutiques and colorful local labels. Add to this potent cocktail the home design, furniture, and decorating emporiums that line West Palm Beach's Dixie Highway, just a woven clutch's throw across the bridge, and you'll see why this destination is positively intoxicating.
The Rustic Sophisticate
New Yorkers yearning for seaside soothing travel to the eastern end of Long Island for good reason. And why? Some of the country's most beautiful beaches and sandy landscapes, plus a legendary artsy vibe, are found in the Hamptons. And while the frenetic thrum of Manhattan and Brooklyn are a safe distance away, sophistication still suffuses the fresh salt air.
The Indie Spirit
This harbor town's shopping options prove there's much more to Maine's regional style than old-fashioned New England practicality and a certain brand associated with canvas totes and rugby shirts. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) That said, a certain down-to-earth earnestness, community mindedness, and pride remain strong among makers and retailers, the most au courant of which are clustered around the historic and cobblestoned Old Port.
The Coastal Romantic
Good luck trying to say goodbye to Santa Barbara once you've arrived. This jewel of a city prides itself on its historic sites, seductive scenery, and laid-back attitude. Eclectic West Coast cool—which pulls from influences including surfing culture and the seductive romance of Spanish Colonial Revival–style architecture—continues to evolve here. State Street has been the town's main drag, but the pulse of the spruced-up Funk Zone, located in the former industrial strip between the train tracks and the 101 highway, keeps getting stronger thanks to a growing number of buzzy spots to eat and drink.