Shopping in Boston area....where?

Old Jun 30th, 2009, 11:15 AM
  #1  
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Shopping in Boston area....where?

We 3 girls (O.K.…. women) will be traveling to Boston in mid July. We like to shop in stores that are local, unique, trendy, off-the-wall, etc. These can be clothing, jewelry, kitchen, home décor, shoes, etc. (Girls Trip Rule #1: No participant shall enter, ask to enter, or consider entering any national chain store that is available to us at home.) Can anyone give us some ideas where we might find these types of places to shop in Boston and the surrounding area. We will be staying in the downtown area but we are considering renting a car and driving to some of the surrounding areas so we are open to shopping suggestions wherever. Thanks.
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 11:29 AM
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Harvard Square
South End (esp the SOWA Open Market)
http://www.southendopenmarket.com/
Newbury Street (towards the Mass Ave end)
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 12:13 PM
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I agree, Harvard Square; don't be alarmed by the occasional chain stores. Take the Red Line to Central Square and walk north up Massachusetts Avenue to Harvard Square, then keep on going up Mass Ave or detour to Brattle Street.
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 12:46 PM
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The South End and Charles St in Beacon Hill have the most independent boutiques (clothing and housewares, etc.). There's also been several stores that have opened in the North End in the last couple of years, mostly clothing boutiques.

Newbury St has a mix of chains and independent stores but is worth checking out as it's the main shopping thoroughfare of the city.
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 09:22 PM
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yk
anonymous
wyatt92
Thanks so much for your suggestions. These sound like just the types of shops we are looking for!
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 02:38 AM
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Good suggestions - but Harvard Squate would be my last choice of the 3 - I think it is more than occassional chain store these days.

Another thought, take train (or drive) to Rockport. It is a nice day trip, there are some good restaurants there, it is very picturesque, and Bear Skin Neck is a little spit of land on which there are many tiny shops, all local - with crafts, food, pottery, many locally made items (and some "cutesy touristy things - sorry). Not a chain in sight
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 03:27 AM
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Newbury Street west of Gloucester
Mass Ave in Cambridge between Central Square and Harvard
Mass Ave in Cambridge between Harvard and Porter Square and just beyond
Davis Square, Somerville
South End and Charles Street as noted
Brattle Street in Cambridge

We walked the length of Newbury Street the other day, having heard that it looked like a ghost town, with lots of empty shops. In fact, the block from the Taj (i.e., Ritz) to Brooks Brothers was fine, and the outer end from, say, Pierre Deux to Mass Ave were fine. It was the "lifestyle mall" central section with all its Gaps and Pottery Barns that was bleak.
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 08:37 AM
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While chain stores have invaded Harvard Sq, there are still a number of Unique boutiques there:

Mudo @ 9 JFK St
Passport @ 43 Brattle St http://www.passportboutique.com/
The Hempest @ 36 JFK St http://store.hempest.com/catalog/
Mint Julep @ 6 Church St http://www.shopmintjulep.com/site.html
The Tannery of course
Berk's Shoes @ 50 JFK St http://www.berkshoes.com/

And stores where you can shop for gifts/useless stuff
Black Ink @ 5 Brattle St http://www.blackinkboston.com/
MDF/Motto @ 19 Brattle St

And not to mention getting chocolates from LA Burdick, and have some coffee at Crema, when the ladies need to rest their feet from shopping.
http://cremacambridge.com/
http://www.burdickchocolate.com/

The best thing about heading to Harvard Sq in July, is that at least these places won't be jam-packed with students!

Have fun shopping.
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 08:15 PM
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WOW! Great information. Thanks everyone, so much. My travel companions are going to be very impressed.
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 09:47 PM
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If you do the South End, don't limit yourself to the SOWA market on Sundays - visit some of the stores too - if you started on tremont and berkeley, you'd start at Sooki's, walk down Tremont and see Laura Preshong jewelry on your left, Post across the street a few blocks, - then back up and down Union - stop at Hudson ( next to the Buttery - good cupcakes here ! - and down to Washington -

http://www.laurapreshong.com/

http://www.concierge.com/travelguide...shopping/18793

and this one

http://www.sookiboston.com/clothing.html

The North End has some great new boutiques - I like to start at the end of Salem street closest to the Greenway there are a few cute boutiques on the right hand side and then just get lost in the North end - ask anyone, they'll direct you to the ones you don't stumble on and you can have lunch there - or do a later afternoon shopping and an early dinner there -

Here's links I'v saved on North End boutiques/ it will at least give you an idea of what you'll find even if a few of these are no more -

http://tinyurl.com/lnpjyy

http://tinyurl.com/lgqzfe

you can google these areas and find info too: Charles Street is one of my favorites , which was also mentioned - and here's a good link for that Beacon Hill area:

http://www.beaconhillonline.com/tour/
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 09:48 PM
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the above should read "Posh" not "post" !!
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Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 10:03 AM
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Daughter just told me about a web page shoppers might like for info
on different cities

www.storeadore.com/
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Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 10:19 AM
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My fav place to shop is Newbury St.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 11:11 AM
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We just returned from Boston and Rockport. Personally, I found Harvard Square to be just ok. One thing that you have to do, as yk mentione is go to LA Burdick. They have the best, richest hot chocolate I've ever had. It's a very cute place.

I just loved shopping in Rockport. Gail said it - tons of cute shops all local. Very friendly owners. Lots of ice cream shops and benches along the way to take a break and enjoy something refreshing.

Have fun ladies!
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Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 08:23 PM
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One caveat re:Rockport......if it is a wknd day, it can be shoulder to shoulder crowded and not very pleasant to navigate. Try to go on a week-day, if you decide to venture there. Also, the travel time there and back can make for a really long day. If you are here for only a short visit, I would stick w/the great suggestions for the city and Harvard Square. As usual yk has given you a great potential itinerary if you want to use her (always helpful! ) info.

If however you have more time here, then longer forays are a good idea as well. Concord---which can also be reached by train from North Station---is a gorgeous historic town that also has a handful of boutiquey places in the center. You can combine American history and shopping!
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Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 08:44 PM
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These are great suggestions. Thanks, everyone.

We were thinking about renting a car on Saturday, doing the day trip to Rockport & keeping the car to drive it on Sunday to Providence to catch the flight home. Sounds like we need to re-think that due to the crowds. I assume parking may also be a problem there on Saturday -- correct?
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Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 09:14 PM
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You can take the commuter rail to Rockport from North Station in Boston, but check the schedule ahead of time. Trains run every few hours and take about 70 minutes or so. You can easily walk from the train station into town. Parking can be difficult even on a weekday in the summer.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2009, 10:52 AM
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Yes, parking on a Saturday in Rockport is a pain--to be blunt---and one often must park a mile or so away and take the parking shuttle buses back and forth.

Maybe I am just a lousy traveler, but the drive to Rockport is long and to me, boring. The drive to Concord is much shorter and scenic if you take Rte 2, to 2A along the Battle Road (the old road that parallels Paul Revere's ride) and then goes into Concord center (where the shops are). Lots of beautiful old colonial architecture on the way to the center. Then a short drive to the Old North Bridge, if you want to see it. Also a great tea at the Colonial Inn right off the center---a great 'girls' activity.

http://www.concordscolonialinn.com/c...g-tea-menu.asp
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Old Jul 3rd, 2009, 02:37 PM
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There used to be a boat from Boston to Salem -
if that is still operating you could try Salem -village-harbor-Pickering wharf etc
if u r looking for that type of galleries-shops-excursion
that would avoid the need for rental car
and take the train to providence and shuttle/taxi to airport and avoid
driving altogether
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Old Jul 4th, 2009, 04:53 AM
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Train plus taxi sounds arduous and expensive; there's also a bus from Boston to the airport.
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