The winger has spent the past five years at the Britannia Stadium, but is set to move on at the end of his current contract.
He will be dropped into the free agent pool this summer and should have no shortage of interest as a proven Premier League performer.
The 32-year-old hopes that will be the case, but says he will consider offers from the second tier if an intriguing proposal is put to him.
Etherington told talkSPORT: "I don't want to rush my decision.
"I've got a few options I will take stock of and we'll see what happens in the next few weeks.
"I've had a brilliant few years at Stoke and the send-off I got from the fans was really humbling. I will remember it for a long, long time.
"Now I've got a new challenge and I'm looking forward to it.
"I'm happy to play in the Championship if that's what comes about but I want to stay in the Premier League. Once you go out it's very hard to get back.
"It's the best and the toughest league in the world. It's mentally and physically challenging week in, week out. If I can stay here, brilliant.
"The Championship is another great division, very competitive, and I will go there happily if that's what happens."