You can’t deny that giving over the holidays is a joy. But getting out and shopping is not, especially this year when we are all avoiding crowds. That’s why online shopping is experiencing a boom. But why give the major players all the business? Buying items you won’t find anywhere else from small, local shops adds a personal touch to gift giving. And many local shops have online stores that will ship directly to you or to the gift recipient.
A fun approach is to pick a city or two and explore local shopping on those cities’ tourism websites. They all list “Shopping” under headings like “Things to do.” Browsing for stores that pique your interest is easy; then you can click the link to the store and check out their inventory.
For example, if I wish to support independent stores in my hometown, I will simply search online for “Tacoma tourism” and go to that website. I’ll look for “Shopping” on the website’s menu and view the list of merchants. Or, if I heard that a particular city is known for producing unique items perfect for a person on my gift list, I would search for that city’s tourism website and look for merchants there.
Some shops (like Posh Upscale Resale in Bellingham) go the extra mile and offer virtual shopping via web conferencing for that ultra-personal touch.
Here are a few destination shopping links you can explore as examples to get you started:
- Salem, Oregon: https://www.travelsalem.com/listings/things-to-do/shopping
- Bellingham, Washington: https://www.bellingham.org/things-to-do/shopping/
- Ketchikan, Alaska: https://www.visit-ketchikan.com/giftguide/
- Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: https://www.coeurdalene.org/play/shopping/
- Kalispell, Montana: https://discoverkalispell.com/things-to-do/shop-like-a-local/
Anyone would enjoy a special gift from a Northwest destination. And your purchases help keep local businesses alive, making your gift mean even more, especially during this holiday season.