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Cool Towns for Holiday Shopping
Budget Travel loves celebrating America’s coolest towns as much as we love celebrating the holidays. So when Expedia mined data across social media platforms to see which local shops and holiday markets were getting the most buzz, we were psyched to learn the results. Here, five of the cool communities where you’ll find unique holiday gifts, a vibrant downtown, natural beauty, and an overall great travel experience. FLAGSTAFF, AZ: A SHOPPING PASSPORT WITH PRIZES The Flagstaff Holiday Shopping Passport is an appealing idea for nudging holiday shoppers to discover the bounty that local shops have to offer, rewarding shoppers who hit at least five stores (or spend at least $250) with the chance to win prizes. Flagstaff’s varied local businesses offer enough variety to check everybody off your shopping list, with outdoor and camping gear, books, home decor, candles, honey, personal care products, fine art, flowers, upscale clothing and much more. MYRTLE BEACH, SC: CHRISTMAS CRAFTS BY THE SEA Sure, you think of Myrtle Beach as one of your favorite summer destinations. So do we. But when the holidays roll around, the coastal community's ocean views and famous hospitality make for a beautiful backdrop for shopping and revelry. The Holiday Bazaar on Saturdays at Market Common, an annual Myrtle Beach tradition, offers seasonal craft vendors and fresh food. Plus, holiday events will be happening all over the Myrtle Beach area throughout the holiday season, including Crazy Country Christmas music and comedy shows, Motown Christmas Tribute concerts, and the Nights of a Thousand Candles at Brookgreen Gardens, a gorgeous arboretum and sculpture garden. MISSOULA, MT: EUROPEAN-STYLE FOOD & FUN You might not expect to shop at a traditional European-style Christmas market in the heart of the Montana Rockies, but Missoula’s Little Red Truck Vintage Market European Christmas, at the fairgrounds (with heated barns), is a pleasant cultural juxtapositions. Hand-crafted gifts, antiques, exquisite European-style baked goods (and bratwurst), live music, and a visit from Santa Claus in his sleigh make this one of the West’s unique holiday events. And don’t miss Missoula’s Hip Holiday Market, sponsored by the Lowell School PTA and featuring the work of 50 local artists. BOWLING GREEN, KY: A FRESH MARKETPLACE We love Bowling Green’s SoKY Marketplace, a year-round outdoor farmers market that offers not only fresh, locally grown produce but also handmade holiday crafts, baked goods, meats, cheeses, and an array of other locally sourced products. Downtown Bowling Green also boasts a holiday ice-skating rink and an annual Christmas parade. MUSKOGEE, OK: CHRISTMAS IN A CASTLE Castleton Village, in downtown Muskogee, will enchant visitors with thousands of lights (you can drive or take a hayride or train, or take a pony ride). Inside the Castle Christmas, families will savor the holiday shopping, ornament-decorating, cocoa and snacks, and a visit with Father Christmas.
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Tahlequah ( TAL-ə-kwah; Cherokee: ᏓᎵᏆ, da-li-gwa) is a city in Cherokee County, Oklahoma located at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. It is part of the Green Country region of Oklahoma and was established as a capital of the 19th-century Cherokee Nation in 1839, as part of the new settlement in Indian Territory after the Cherokee Native Americans were forced west from the American Southeast on the Trail of Tears. The city's population was 15,753 at the 2010 census, an increase of 8.96 percent over the figure of 14,458 reported in 2000. The 2019 estimated population is 16,819.Tahlequah is the capital of the two federally recognized Cherokee tribes based in Oklahoma, the modern Cherokee Nation and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. Tahlequah is also the county seat of Cherokee County. The main campus of Northeastern State University is located in the city.
Broken Arrow is a city located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Oklahoma, primarily in Tulsa County, with a portion in western Wagoner County. It is the largest suburb of Tulsa. According to the 2010 census, Broken Arrow has a population of 98,850 residents and is the fourth-largest city in the state. However, a July 2019 estimate reported that the population of the city is just under 112,000, making it the 280th-largest city in the United States. The city is part of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area, which has a population of 961,561 residents. The Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad sold lots for the town site in 1902 and company secretary William S. Fears named it Broken Arrow. The city was named for a Creek community settled by Creek Indians who had been forced to relocate from Alabama to Oklahoma along the Trail of Tears. Although Broken Arrow was originally an agricultural community, its current economy is diverse. The city has the third-largest concentration of manufacturers in the state.
Claremore is a town and the county seat of Rogers County in Green Country or northeastern Oklahoma, United States. The population was 18,581 at the 2010 census, a 17.1 percent increase over the figure of 15,873 recorded in 2000. Located in the Ozark Mountains foothills, the town is part of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area and home to Rogers State University. It is best known as the home of early 20th-century entertainer Will Rogers. This area was part of the territory of the Osage, but they were forced out under a treaty with the United States. During the Indian Removal period and until statehood, this area was a reserve of the Cherokee Nation, which had been removed from its territory in the Southeast United States. This was within what was known as the Cherokee Cooweescoowee District.
Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma and 47th-most populous city in the United States. The population was 413,066 as of the 2020 census. It is the principal municipality of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area, a region with 1,015,331 residents. The city serves as the county seat of Tulsa County, the most densely populated county in Oklahoma, with urban development extending into Osage, Rogers, and Wagoner counties.Tulsa was settled between 1828 and 1836 by the Lochapoka Band of Creek Native American tribe and most of Tulsa is still part of the territory of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.Historically, a robust energy sector fueled Tulsa's economy; however, today the city has diversified and leading sectors include finance, aviation, telecommunications and technology. Two institutions of higher education within the city have sports teams at the NCAA Division I level, Oral Roberts University and the University of Tulsa. For most of the 20th century, the city held the nickname "Oil Capital of the World" and played a major role as one of the most important hubs for the American oil industry.It is situated on the Arkansas River between the Osage Hills and the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in northeast Oklahoma, a region of the state known as "Green Country". Considered the cultural and arts center of Oklahoma, Tulsa houses two art museums, full-time professional opera and ballet companies, and one of the nation's largest concentrations of art deco architecture. The city has been called one of America's most livable large cities by Partners for Livable Communities, Forbes, and Relocate America. FDi Magazine in 2009 ranked the city no. 8 in the U.S. for cities of the future. In 2012, Tulsa was ranked among the top 50 best cities in the United States by BusinessWeek. People from Tulsa are called "Tulsans".