1. New York
As the first store to offer themed and stunning holiday displays, Macy's Herald Square (151 W. 34th St.) should be the first to check out on a window tour of New York. The store's six main windows on Broadway bring the most "oohs" and "aahs," but its remaining 33 windows around the store are all decorated for the season. Other not-to-miss department stores include Bloomingdale's (1000 3rd Ave.), Lord & Taylor (424 5th Ave.), Saks Fifth Avenue (611 5th Ave.), Barneys New York (660 Madison Ave.) and Bergdorf Goodman (754 5th Ave.).
Recommended Resort: Hotel Elysee
Chicago's famed Magnificent Mile is a shopper's heaven and a holiday window treat. But if you really want to see a show, visit State Street, particularly Macy's, which continues New York's legacy in the Windy City. Formerly Chicago's renowned Marshall Field's, Macy's converts its seven windows along State Street and a window on Randolph Street into full storybooks. Inside, the store features a 45-foot tree decorated with 4,000 themed ornaments and 15,000 LED lights.
Recommended Resort: Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
3. San Francisco
If you're in the City by the Bay, head straight to Union Square for the best in holiday window displays, including Neiman Marcus, Gucci America, Apple and, once again, Macy's, which has a very special display featuring adoptable cats and dogs in an effort to help the San Francisco SPCA. In 2011, the pet-themed window helped the local SPCA raise $80,000! Be careful -- the animals are hard to resist!
Recommended Resort: Claremont Hotel Club & Spa
Not to be outdone by its U.S. neighbor, Toronto's impressive window displays in the Bloor-Yorkville shopping district are equally worthy of noses upon glass. The Hudson's Bay Company's and Holt Renfrew's Bloor Street windows are much anticipated for their fashion-forward and holiday-themed designs. Other window displays can be found at stores like Hermes, Prada, Burberry and Chanel.
Recommended Resort: Fairmont Royal York