Move over, Big Apple! Forbes, the all-mighty king of "best" and "most powerful" lists, claims that good old Houston, Texas is the best shopping city in the country. With almost 17,000 retail establishments and 54 shopping centers, the numbers make it pretty clear. But the proof is really in that Southern bread pudding.
While shopping malls, like the famous Galleria -- 2.5 million square feet of pure shopping bliss -- abound, the real charm is in the Texan boutiques and shops that carry swanky "local" designers (some all the way from L.A.) at a relatively lower cost. Check out Rice Village, one of Houston's oldest shopping districts, situated right near Rice University. The 16-block chunk is home to more than 300 storefronts. Get your money's worth on Harwin Drive, where serious bargain shoppers can haggle to their heart's desire. And fine arts and craft fair lovers must hit up the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. You can't forget downtown Houston, which offers classic city strip malls and an array of original boutiques for those wanting a true city experience.