By Jay Lloyd

NEW HOPE, Pa. (CBS) — “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving, doesn’t have to be as grim as the name might imply.

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There are alternatives to shopping with the herd, just a short getaway drive from home.  Holiday shopping utopias are as close as the nearby Pennsylvania suburbs.


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(Ellie’s Choice, in Phoenixville, Pa. Photo by Jay Lloyd)



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Towns full of small, artisan-owned shops with unique, one-of-a-kind gifts and wonderful restaurants are easy to find.  Just stroll their uncrowded main streets, and make a getaway weekend out of it by overnighting at an in-town hotel or B&B.

If it’s a quirky nostalgic gift you’re craving for someone who can’t get enough vintage tchothkes and clothing, head for New Hope’s Love Saves the Day — a collectibles shop transplanted from Manhattan.

In Skippack, Pa., I usually head for Floral and Hardy for the horticulturally cultured on my list, before meandering off to lunch at the Parc Bistro.

In Phoenixville, you just stroll the main drag where casually creative shop windows open on an array of unique gift ideas, from art to wine.

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