Where to shop for antiques, clothing, furniture, and one-of-a-kind items
Boston is famous for its shopping. From street side markets to upscale designer boutiques, there is something for every shopping style. Many of the best shops can be found in different neighborhoods around town. If you're looking for some great ideas, here are the best shopping districts around Boston for your next trip.
The historic neighborhood of Beacon Hill is famous for its Federal-style brick rowhouses and narrow gaslit streets. The brick sidewalks and historical character give the area a lot of charm and the residents maintain beautiful gardens and beautiful home fronts. There are often seasonal holiday decorations throughout, so it's worth wandering through during the holiday season. This one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and it has a number of historic landmarks including the Massachusetts State House and the Boston African American National Historic Site.
Boston, Massachusetts, 02114-3203
Dating back to the 1700s, Boston's historic Downtown is where you'll find City Hall, the Freedom Trail, and Faneuil Hall. There are also a number of corporate headquarters based here as well as condos and apartments. The area is full of energy and activity with several high class bars where you can enjoy a drink. Closer to Faneuil Hall is where you'll find the younger, slightly more rowdy crowd. Head to the pedestrian mall at the intersection of Summer and Washington Streets to browse high end fashion or pick up a classic Boston souvenir. This area is also where you'll find the Old South Meeting House, which was the starting point for the infamous Boston Tea Party of 1773.
The North End neighborhood is a popular destination for tourists. The neighborhood's Italian-American population are at the heart of the culture and restaurant scene in the area. There are narrow streets, a lively atmosphere, and many of the city's best restaurants and cafes, offering classic Italian fare. Make sure you grab a meal and follow it up with a pastry from one of the local pastry shops. The neighborhood also has a few chill bars that are great for grabbing a beer and hanging out with friends at night. This neighborhood also has a number of historical sites including Paul Revere's house.
Technically, its own city, Cambridge is an iconic area near Boston that is home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The town has a number of museums, mostly affiliated with either of the universities, as well as a lively music scene, an impressive art culture, and excellent restaurants. The Charles River is a defining feature of Cambridge. There are also a number of notable city squares as well as several distinct neighborhoods within Cambridge. While nightlife might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Cambridge, there are actually some great clubs and bars where you can grab a drink and party with the Ivy Leaguers.
Established as a permanent central marketplace in Boston, and gifted by the wealthy merchant Peter Faneuil, this marketplace building was constructed in 1742 and then later expanded over the following decades and centuries. The meeting hall on the upper floor of the building became famous as a place of protest against the British during the era of the Revolutionary War. It has since become a place of protest and democracy throughout American history. Today, visitors can tour the historic building as well as visit the shops and restaurants of the marketplace buildings. Grab a souvenir and a bite to eat in the food court, or join one of the many walking tours of Boston that begin in this part of town.
4 South Market Street, North End, Boston, Massachusetts
Back Bay is a scenic neighborhood in Boston that is famous for its charming apartments and classic Boston style. Wander down Commonwealth Avenue to take in these picturesque scenes, or you can enjoy high end shopping along Newbury Street. The area is popular with the wealthy, who live in Victorian style homes in this quintessential Boston setting.
Chinatown - Leather District
Boston's Chinatown, the 3rd largest Chinatown in the country, is at the heart of Chinese culture in the city. It's located to the south of the Downtown area and it's the place to go to celebrate Lunar New Year. There are a number of great Chinese restaurants and shops in the area. Head a few blocks to the east and you'll stumble into the small Leather District. This industrial warehouse area gets its name from its roots in leather manufacturing. Today it is home to a number of trendy restaurants.
The recently revitalized Fan Pier is located just to the southeast of North End and Downtown Boston. Here, visitors can find a number of fun activities as well as shopping and restaurants. Home to the Boston Children's Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Boston Tea Party Museum, this area is worth exploring, especially if you're looking for a good meal. A park on the north end has nice views of central Boston and a quiet setting, while the large playground at Martin's Park by the Children's Museum is a fun spot for the kids.
50 Seaport Blvd, Seaport District, South Boston, Boston, Massachusetts
Long Wharf, home of the New England Aquarium and a variety of shops and restaurants, is located just to the east of Downtown and North End. In addition to the aquarium, visitors can find the Marriott hotel, Christopher Columbus park, whale watching cruises, trolley tours, and more. This is also a good spot to start your journey along either the Harborwalk along the water or the Rose Kennedy Greenway if you want to explore North End or go down to Chinatown. To get here, take the T to the "Aquarium" station.
296 State Street, Waterfront, Boston, Massachusetts
Located on the southern end of Boston, Hyde Park has a suburban atmosphere and a number of local shops and restaurants along the main streets. The Neponset River runs through the center of the neighborhood.
This cosmopolitan neighborhood is close to both Downtown and the Back Bay neighborhood. South End has grown in popularity in recent years and the neighborhood has a mix of young professionals, families, and a large LGBTQ community. The streets are lined with brownstones, giving it a similar feel to nearby Back Bay. This is a vibrant neighborhood with a number of great restaurants, bars and clubs, ranging from high end to casual. There's also a very active arts scene.
Jamaica Plain, often called "JP", is a diverse neighborhood with a number of local businesses and a large amount of green space. Head to Jamaica Pond to take a relaxing walk. This is also a very active neighborhood with a number of great festivals and outdoor concerts. This neighborhood really comes to life during the warmer seasons when the festivals and street fairs are common.
Located right by the Allston neighborhood, Brighton sits along the Charles River and has a number of shops along Washington Street. It's a quieter neighborhood that has a mix of young professionals, young families, and students. Boston College is in the neighborhood at the end of the Green B line along the subway.
East Boston has long been a neighborhood of immigrants, and the area's ethnic restaurants reflect its diverse roots. Sitting on the waterfront, it was once the center for shipbuilding in the city but today it is where you'll find Logan International Airport. It's location on the waterfront means it offers impressive views of the city's skyline. You can reach East Boston on the subway's Blue Line or by ferry boat.
Tucked in between South End, Back Bay, the theater district, and Chinatown, this small neighborhood is a bit of a hidden gem. It's centrally located so it makes a nice base for exploring the city. It was built by the same group that built Beacon Hill, so the look is similar. There are tree-lined streets as well as many quaint shops and restaurants. The atmosphere is friendly and the neighborhood feels welcoming.
Where to Stay in Boston
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