I chanced upon this shop on my first visit to Boston last year. I was walking towards Harvard Square and noticed a display of chocolates for Halloween in coffin shaped boxes. The gifts that I purchased were very well received and so this year on my next trip to Boston I made sure that I returned.
There is a huge variety of chocolate and staff are both knowledgeable and helpful. The chocolates are expensive but with chocolate I really believe that you get what you pay for. The taste of each chocolate is a wonderful sensation on the palate and you can really savour every chocolate. All in all they are perfect for that special gift.
What to buy: They have some amazing Halloween chocolate ghosts - perfect gift for Halloween.
What to pay: You can spend as much or as little as you like. Chocolates can be bought individually or in boxes.
I found this small booth inside the Prudential Centre. Brian Dugan is a glass artist and he has made all of the products tat are on sale. At the time I was there, it was the artists wife who was selling the products at the stall and she could tell us a lot about the different pieces on sale. There is a fantastic array of items for sale, all of which are hand made and unique. If you are looking for something original to take away from Boston then you could do no worse than stop here and see what is on offer.
What to buy: Earrings and necklaces
What to pay: Earrings started at $24USD for a pair. Other items ranged in price depending upon the amount of work, materials and artists time that have gone into the making. At the time I was there, the stall did have a sale on which meant if you bought 4 items you got the cheapest free.
Polka Dog was inspired by a sato named Pearl from Puerto Rico (my 2 dogs are also satos). The make fresh baked dog treats in so many flavors it is hard to choose! There are specialty items such as jerky and chews as well. My dogs love the lamb jerky and peanut butter and jelly biscuits. They also offer a small boutique with beds, collars, leashes, toys, clothing and seasonal items and stock many brands of dog and cat food. Make sure you bring your dog, the staff is more than happy to let them sample the treats and choose what they like.
What to buy: My dogs say - one of each! All of the treats have been a big hit with them.
I love Filene's. I have never actually been in the REAL store, but I love the basement. It's always one of my highlights of going to Boston because I do love to shop. It's not for the faint of heart, though-it gets kind of crazy in there. Not very organized and hordes of people. And if you're not into sales (I have friends that refuse to shop sales because it's somehow demeaning of them) then it probably won't be for you. BUT, if you like heavily discounted clothes, jewlry, and chocolate then you should check it out.
What to pay: They're supposed to mark down things every week but I think they sneak by on it and don't. For every week it's supposed to be marked down by 25%.
Hmmmmmmm.........this is where me and ZIggy baught countless bottles of Bacardi and Wine.
Its a old fashioned, quaint, cute little liquor store. Everyone from the cashier to the lil old security dude at the front are mega nice and helpful.
What to buy: Bacardi................hahahahahaha!!!!
In 2000, the Landmark Center reopened its doors to the public. Built in 1930, this massive Art Deco building was the former home of the Sears Warehouse and Catalog Center. It stood unoccupied, and decaying for years until bought by the Abbey Group, which restored it and adapted it to today's standards, with offices on the upper floors and retail stores on the ground floor. It has won several awards for historic preservation.
It sits at the crossing of Park Drive, Boylston St., and Brookline Ave. and the Fenway T stop is right next to the parking lot.
The upper floors house many businesses, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and the Harvard School of Public Health. There is also a day care facility.
What to buy: Some of what you'll find here:
The Art Store
Bed, Bath, and Beyond
Boston Sports Club
AMC Theater - 13 screens, all with stadium seating
The Macy's in Boston is typical of any city Macy's store. They carry a large selection of housewares, jewelry, shoes, clothing and cosmetics. Macy's wasn't on out list of places to go but we wound up here in search of an item for my wife.
My wife has been hunting for the past three years for a hard to find shade of lipstick that she adores. After searching every store that carries the line it was miraculously here. The sales associate found three lipsticks in her desired shade and we bought all three. I was elated that we finally found what she was earching for so desperately.
What to pay: The lipstick was $14 each.
70 OUTLET STORES
Banana Republic, Barneys New York, Burberry, Coach, Cole Haan, Elie Tahari, Hugo Boss, J.Crew, Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sony, Vera Bradley and more...
What to buy: clothes, shoes, etc.
What to pay: 50% - 70% retail price
Beyond the typical kitschy Harvard souvenirs, Harvard Coop sells serious stuff like specialty books and the range is quite extensive. I could easily spend hours here - but wasn't in the mood to carry heavy hardbound books around with me. In case you need a caffeine fix or a hot drink on a cold autumn day - or just a shelter from the rain (my main reason for going here) - there is a Starbucks outlet inside that attracts students and tourists alike.
Christmas in New England had a large selection of Christmas ornaments. Many of the ornaments had a New England theme to it such as Lobsters, Seashells, Sailboats, Red Sox and Patriots. Liz and I enjoyed wandering through and seeing some of the quirky ornaments especially the wine themed ornaments.
Lord & Taylor is a department store that carries men's clothing, women's clothing, children's clothing, cosmetics, housewares, jewelry, shoes and accesories.
What started as a stop to use the restroom rurned into a shopping trip for me. There was an incredible winter sale going on at Lord & Taylor. While we wandered through the men's department; a jacket caught Liz's eye. The jacket was a nice brown suede. We found my size and I tried it on. The jacket fit perfectly and I like the style and material. The jacket was on sale at 50% off which was a steal; so of course I had to buy it.
What to buy: I bought a nice brown suede jacket.
What to pay: With the 50% off the tricket Price; I paid $175.
As in all libraries and museums of this sort, the gift shop is a good collection of memorabilia and good quality gift items. There are always good books for sale as well. I chose one of Kennedy's books which has just come back into print again after many years. It's as relevant today as the day he wrote it. A Nation of Immigrants Also picked up one of Bobby's books, To Seek A Newer World .
How did they have time to write in such short lives?
Also couldn't resist a campaign button which I tend to collect. This one has a bit of wit....
What to buy: Books, ties, videos, games, coffee cups and the like.....
As liquor stores go, Charles Street Liquors is one of our favorites. It is a good sized store, especially given its downtown location, with an extension wine and liquor, particularly whiskey, selection.
But what sets Charles Street apart, at least as far as we are concerned, is the beer section! According to their website, they offer 1000 beers in the store. In our experience, this number seems about right. And, the stock everything from local microbrews to Belgian beers to uncommon other options.
Forget the fancy malls and the designer shops. If you want real bargains - and I'm talking about a couple of dollars max - head down to the Hadassah Thrift Shop in Allston. For all you squeamish people out there, try it once and you'll be hooked. This place does not sell junk. Boston is full of wealthy people who buy stuff and never use it. The store is packed with good-quality clothing, housewares, furniture, children's toys, etc. - some of it with the price tags still on. The prices are dirt cheap, and if the salesladies (volunteers) take a liking to you, they'll give you a wink and lop off the price even more. And remember, whatever you do pay goes to charity.
This is a particularly good place for students looking for a cheap way to furnish their rented apartments. This place has got everything - sofas, desks, mirrors, linens, dishes - all going for a pittance.
Having said all this, remember that luck has a lot to do with it. People are constantly bringing in carloads of stuff, so if you don't do well one day, try another. When my daughter was small, for example, I happened to be there when someone came in with a Fisher-Price doll house filled with little furniture and dolls, which I grabbed for something like $3. You wouldn't want to know what it cost in a toy store...
The shop is closed on Saturdays.
2007 update: Sad to say, I heard the place recently closed down. Boston won't be the same without it.
1. Newbury Street, Back Bay- Designer strip with lots of boutiques. good places to lunch when you take a break too. It has both Chanel and Urban Outfitters, though, so the price tags here vary a lot. Nice galleries as well.
2. Harvard Square- More a collection of funky little shops, but the highlight are the great book stores. You can find wind up dolls, rubber boots, and first edition books in this area.
3. Beacon Street, Beacon Hill - High end boutiques. Not a lot for guys here. Windows are full of dresses and bags, the style is very New England throughout. Conservative, elegant, damn pricey.
4. Downtown Crossing- to get to all the department stores. Not a nice area to look at - very urban and in the center of the city, but I list this because if you are looking for Macys, Barnes and Noble, and other chains, they are located here.
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