Shopping Guide to Boston

Posh department stores and malls lie alongside thriving, one-of-a-kind independent stores in fabulous, one-of-a-kind Boston. And here’s a nice perk for your wallet: Massachusetts charges no sales tax on clothing purchases up to $175. The effects of the Tea Party continue to this day.

Boston Shopping Tips


    1. Head to Newbury Street – If you can handle the in
      scenes in Miami, Los Angeles or NYC, you’ll find the people watching
      on Newbury Street interesting but not intimidating. The brownstone- and tree-lined
      main drag is home to designer names like Armani, MJ, and Betsey Johnson but
      you’ll find affordable trinkets at independent stores like Tibet
      , The Hempest,
      and one of the city’s best beauty shops, E6 Apothecary. Don’t
      pass up the chance to dine outside, or try a local tea café, Tealuxe.
      When you’re ready for more, check out our favorite spot to dig for gently
      used designer goods, Second Time Around.


Stop by Boylston Street – Parallel to Newbury, Boylston
Street offers access to Prudential
, a shopping concourse with favorites like Saks Fifth Avenue,
Sephora, and Lord & Taylor. The Pru, as locals call it, also has a Legal
Seafood branch, a local chain known for their seafood and clam chowder. Keep
walking and eventually you’ll reach the overpass that leads to Copley
Plaza (to avoid sounding like a tourist, it’s pronounced kop-lee), a complex
that houses a movie theater, the Westin Hotel, famous names like Neiman Marcus,
and a pampering emporium, Gretta Cole.

  • Hipster Yuppies Unite—Not far from Copley is the South
    End. Best known for its fusion restaurants and picturesque brownstones the
    ‘hood makes for an interesting mix of people. Mainstay boutiques like
    Aunt Sadie’s sell great gifts but the burgeoning art zone, SOWA (South
    of Washington Street), offers the best bargains; open studios are great places
    to start an art collection. However, keep in mind the South End is one of
    those areas that changes from adorable to barren in mere blocks.




  • Charming Charles StreetBeacon
    , arguably one of the most charming areas of Boston, is home
    to a upscale restaurants and cafes and oodles of boutiques. But, it’s
    main draw are many havens for aspiring sommeliers and antique collectors.
    Though few clothing boutiques offer bargains, you can find fun books and accessories
    at Flat of the Hill
    and modern home goods at Koo de Kir.




  • Fulfill Ivy League Dreams—Harvard Square isn’t quite
    what it used to be but it’s still an entertaining destination with old
    men playing chess at the Au Bon Pain, hopeful parents taking family portraits
    on the in Harvard Yard, and street kids
    camping out in ‘The Pit’. The main drag offers an array of clothing
    and bookstores; forego B&N for the Harvard
    Book Store
    , pick up fun gifts at Black Ink, and peruse the crowded
    racks of the Oona’s, an old-school thrift shop. For small luxuries,
    head to Brattle Street; Colonial Pharmacy is an area veteran with an extensive
    selection of imported fragrances; Harnett’s has a great selection of wellness
    products including natural beauty products; Burdick Chocolates offers a decadent
    place to rest—gourmet sweets are always worth an extra penny. If you
    have comfortable shoes, stroll Massachusetts Avenue from Harvard Square to
    Porter Square. Along the way, you’ll find low-key clothing shops, great
    Asian restaurants, and Barefoot Books,
    a local favorite for children’s books.




  • Be Adventurous—It usually takes a new friend to break
    our mundane fashion routine. Every Boston-area teen frequented The
    Garment District
    in Cambridge’s Kendall Square during their
    punk stage. If bins of $1 used t-shirts don’t excite you imagine racks
    of funky vintage frocks and rooms full of amazing potential Halloween costumes.




  • Be a Boston University student—Head to Packard’s
    Corner via the B streetcar line. Stop at the Commonwealth Avenue Jasmine
    Sola warehouse store
    and then head to the Allston branch of Boston’s
    largest Asian supermarket chain, Super 88, for a bite. Shop for exotic food
    from canned lychees to fresh fish and then prepare to be overwhelmed. The
    food court houses about 10 kiosks proffering nearly every type of Asian food
    imaginable including Korean Indian, Thai, Chinese, and Japanese. End your
    day on a sweet note with an exotic Bubble Tea.




  • Something for the Fellas – Even if you’re not
    a sports fan Red Sox memorabilia is a must. Head to Twins
    on Yawkey Way
    for the goods and a peek at the park.




  • Boston is Very Cold -Try to avoid going for a huge shopping
    excursion in the middle of winter. It’s much more fun to meander without
    the threat of frostbite. The CambridgeSide
    is a huge mall that’s within walking distance
    of the Museum of Science, which has a large gift shop and an Imax Theater.




  • Rent a Car—Drive around everywhere when at all possible!
    You can even try ZipCar for
    day. Otherwise, master the “T”, Boston’s subway alternative.
    Whatever you do, avoid the cabs, which are super expensive.


Boston’s Top Shop

Second Time Around

Address: 76 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116

Phone: 617-247-3504

Second Time Around boasts a selection of contemporary new and resale designer
clothing. This store can be hit or miss, which explains why you’ll have
to come back “a second time around.” When this store is hot, well…it’s
really hot. Thanks to increased demand, they added locations in Beacon Hill,
Harvard Square, and the suburbs. Known to sport Jimmy Choo, Seven and Rebecca
Taylor on any given day, you must go with time on your hands to sort through
the racks.

More Boston Information

· Boston Globe – The
Web site of Boston’s top daily.

· Boston Phoenix—A local
weekly newspaper with a great A & E section

· Weekly Dig—A weekly
with the scoop on the local underground music

· Harvard University—Tell everyone that you went to Harvard.

· Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts—Next
door to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, this grand institution has an impressive
permanent collection, a great gift shop, and often hosts international film festivals.

· Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary
—Gift shop with modern home wares

· Berklee College of Music
A great resources for jazz and folk concerts

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Catherine Brock

Catherine Brock is a writer, editor and marketer who's been sharing wisdom online since 2002. She's been featured on, and ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis and KCAL9 Los Angeles. Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter. Learn more about Catherine.
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