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Shopping in Boston offers a smorgasbord of unique goods, areas in which to shop, types of shopping, and more. Much like the city itself combines history with modern trends, New England architecture and 21st century design, the shopping follows suit with an eclectic mix of the name brand and indie stores, the high end boutiques and major retail stops, ultra trendy spaces and casual malls. Boston offers a wide array of shopping experiences, shopping areas, and shopping goods, each adding flavor to the city.
National chains and brand stores have making more appearances in Boston recently. Many Bostonians agree that too many of these types of shops are populating their city, but they nonetheless remain a staple of Boston shopping. Stores such as Gap, Urban Outfitters, and Macy’s can be found throughout the city’s many shopping areas. In many cases, these chains are situated near more local, independent shops or lesser-known brands.
Boutique shopping in Boston ranges from the pricey, better known name stores such as Gucci or Armani, but also includes uniquely Boston stores like Bobbles and Lace, a jewelry shop, or Rick Walker’s Vintage Boots, offering a unique selection of rock n’ roll cowboy boots.
Boston provides locals and visitors with malls and shopping sections both indoors and outdoors. The Faneuil Hall Marketplace incorporates large retail buildings among an outdoor plaza, while others are strictly indoor mall buildings, or feature shops only in an outdoor setting, such as Downtown Crossing.
Boston shopping is divided into several shopping areas that each offers a unique ambience and experience. Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a bustling center for shopping, eating, and sightseeing. Downtown Crossing is an outdoor pedestrian mall providing boutique and brand shops. South End is an eclectic mix of hipster goods, while its polar opposite, Newbury Street, is a high-end street offering names like Tiffany and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Each area provides a mix of different goods, though all feature apparel as the main highlight for visitors. It is important to note that Boston does not charge a sales tax on apparel under $175, perhaps a guiding factor on why shopping is such a popular tourist activity. Souvenir shops are located all over the city, making airport shopping unnecessary. Antique stores cater to those looking to take a break from clothes shopping, and can a few can be found at Downtown Crossing as well as throughout the city. Art stores and shops are varied, and range from local artists’ pushcarts and stalls near Quincy Market to exclusive boutiques on Newbury Street.
Finding a unique souvenir in Boston is an easy task. The carts of Quincy Market are a good place to start, due to their wide range of offerings including anything from sculptures to spoons to photography. Handicrafts like hats, paper goods, etc. are also abundant.
Leisure, Rest, and Shopping Logistics
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to walk from place to place hauling the day’s loot. Knowing the transportation options that Boston offers is important to ensuring a hassle-free experience. Resting during the day is also important, and can be done at the many city centered hotels. Keeping up with nourishment is also an easy yet equally important task, so be sure to browse some popular places to eat before experiencing one of Boston visitors’ favorite thing to do while touring the town, shopping.