Boston Shopping

Shopping in Boston is a lot like the city itself: a mix of classic and cutting-edge, the high-end and the handmade, and international and local sensibilities. Though many Bostonians think too many chain stores have begun to clog their distinctive avenues, there remains a strong network of idiosyncratic gift stores, handicrafts shops, galleries, and a growing number of savvy, independent fashion

boutiques. For the well-heeled, there are also plenty of glossy international designer shops.

Most stores accept major credit cards and traveler’s checks. There’s no state sales tax on clothing. However, there’s a 6.25% sales tax on clothes priced higher than $175 per item; the tax is levied on the amount in excess of $175.

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Fodor's Choice


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Cambridge 24

Beacon Hill, Boston Common, and the Old West End 21


Beacon Hill 21

Downtown Boston 6

Government Center and the North End 5

Boston Outskirts 1


Brookline 1

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Antiques/ Collectibles 9

Art Galleries 9

Books/ Stationery 11

Clothing 29

Crafts 3

Department Stores 5

Food/ Candy 3

Gifts/ Souvenirs 7

Household Items/ Furniture 6

Jewelry/ Accessories 7

Local Specialties 1

Music Stores 1

Outlet/ Discount Stores 7

Shoes/ Luggage/ Leather Goods 4

Spa/ Beauty 7

Specialty Stores 1

Sporting Goods 1

Toys 4

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Family 3


Boston Shopping

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  • Household Items/Furniture

New York decorators come to town just to shop this incredible collection of 20th-century modern housewares, both newly produced classic...

Cambridge Antique Market

  • Antiques/Collectibles

Off the beaten track, this antique hot-spot has a selection bordering on overwhelming: five floors of goods ranging from 19th-century...

Cambridge Artists' Cooperative

  • Crafts

The ceramics, weavings, jewelry, and leatherwork here can be pricier than most, but they're all one-of-a-kind or limited edition. ...


  • Food/Candy

This 50-year-old shop in Harvard Square purveys exotic imports, sandwiches to go, chocolates, breads, olive oils, cheeses, wines, and...


  • Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

Sneaker collectors love having what other people can't find. At Concepts, fanatics will line up around the block when a limited-edition...

Garment District

  • Outlet/Discount Stores

This warehouselike building is crammed with vintage, used, and new clothing and accessories. Students crowd the store year-round, and...

Grolier Poetry Bookshop

  • Books/Stationery

This Harvard Square store, founded in 1927, carries in-print poetry from all eras and from all over the world. ...

Harvard Book Store

  • Books/Stationery

The intellectual community is well served here, with a slew of new titles upstairs and used and remaindered books downstairs. The collection...

Harvard Coop Society

  • Books/Stationery

Begun in 1882 as a nonprofit service for students and faculty, the Coop is now managed by Barnes & Noble. In addition to books and...

Henry Bear's Park

  • Toys

The specialty at this charming neighborhood store is huggable bears and collectible dolls; it also sells books, toys, and games. ...