Boston Shopping Areas, Boston

Boston Shopping Areas (Self Guided), Boston

One of the top shopping destinations in the US northeast, Boston has a strong network of interesting stores, galleries and boutiques to visit along with its many high-class shops, some of which are nestled inside historical buildings. Shopping here in more than one way mirrors the city itself: an amalgamation of classic and vanguard, the handmade and the high-end, and both local and international sensibilities.

Take our self-guided tour to experience the best shopping Boston has to offer, starting with bargains aplenty in the Downtown Crossing area. If you're looking for more high-end design, Newbury Street has multiple stores offering a wide range of options. It also features cute little cafes, restaurants and bookstores, plus beautiful trees, perfect brick buildings and the vibe to go along with all that.

There’s equally much to see and explore on your walk along bustling Boylston St, running one block parallel to Newbury St. Definitely check out the remarkable architectural marvels such as the Boston Public Library, the Old South Church, and the Prudential Center while you’re there. The latter is famous for the skyscraper you can see from many parts of town as well as the indoor shopping mall.

For an additional high-end treat, end your trip at Copley Place Mall, which features Neiman Marcus, Saks, Tiffany’s jewelry and so much more. There’s something for everyone there!

If you want to mix great shopping with some great sightseeing, consider embarking on this self-guided shopping tour!
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Boston Shopping Areas Map

Guide Name: Boston Shopping Areas
Guide Location: USA » Boston (See other walking tours in Boston)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Author: anna
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Downtown Crossing
  • Beacon Hill / Charles Street
  • Newbury Street
  • Boylston Street
  • Prudential Center
  • Copley Place Mall
Downtown Crossing

1) Downtown Crossing

Downtown Crossing is a shopping district in Boston located due east of Boston Common and west of the Financial District. It features large department stores as well as eateries, music stores, souvenir sellers, general retail establishments, and many street vendors – you could, literally, make a day of it! The section of Washington St. between Temple and Bromfield streets (and portions of Winter and Summer streets) are closed to most vehicular traffic; pedestrians may walk freely.

The whole area is safe and vibrant with street entertainers/musicians frequenting on a structured basis to entertain all in the mood for such; quirky, innovative and always enjoyable – a colorful insight into the lot of a Bostonian. And finally, it is quite smart and picturesque, too, with characterfully designed buildings most impressive on the eye.

Why You Should Visit:
Fantastic shopping area not just because it houses Boston's edition of Macy's but, for some at least, because it is the location of the best supermarket that you'll ever come across anywhere in the USA – Roche Bros. Not so much an opportunity to shop – more an experience to be savored.

Check out the Summer Street Markets, as well as the holiday market that happens here!
Beacon Hill / Charles Street

2) Beacon Hill / Charles Street

If you're looking for a lively shopping area with local shops and independent retailers rather than chain stores, Charles Street is hard to beat. The main thoroughfare of Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood, it has a quaint, village-like air, and many on-trend boutiques (ouimillie, Paridaez, Crush Boutique, Holiday Boutique), specialty shops (Helen's Leather Shop, December Thieves, E.R. Butler & Co.), well-stocked gift shops (Black Ink, Flat of the Hill, Tibet Emporium), antiques shops (Eugene Galleries, Devonia, Marika's), coffee houses and restaurants (Artu, The Paramount, Ristorante Toscano, Bin 26 Enoteca, Tatte Bakery and Cafe) that you'll never see elsewhere – so grab a drink and prepare to enjoy the window shopping and the walking in and out of these!

Even without frequenting any of the shops, one is completely taken with the design and character of the homes and buildings, and the care that all owners seemingly take not only to preserve such but to present them to best effect.
Newbury Street

3) Newbury Street (must see)

Traditionally for Boston, Newbury Street has been a mixture of fashion and trend similar to New York's 5th Avenue when it comes to higher-end and designer stores. The thing about this street is that it's always changing, due to the rents and trends – even more so over the last few decades. Due to Newbury's reputation as a shopping Mecca, many chains from out of state tend to set up shop, with a plethora of tiny specialty shops, ultra-modern art galleries, salons and dazzling jewelers thrown into the mix (just take note that the closer you get to Arlington Street, the pricier the stores you will encounter).

Stores/restaurants/cafes are also ever-changing and eclectic, featuring national chains as well as independents. Many of the restaurants and bars have patio seating and stylish bay windows, making this the perfect sunny-weather spot to see and be seen while indulging in an invigorating coffee or some ethnic delicacies. Highlights include the Rustic Italian eatery Piattini; the intimate La Voile, known for its super-authentic French cuisine; and Beantown Pho & Grill serving Thai, Vietnamese, and other Asian dishes.

Sidewalks are wide enough to accommodate the foot traffic and the street is lined with beautiful architecture and foliage.
Boylston Street

4) Boylston Street

Probably the best-known Boston street in the world, Boylston is recognizable not only as the finish line of the Boston Marathon but also as a place packed with monuments, notable churches, top-tier restaurants and bars...

Scattered around the chains and restaurants you will find a few standout stores like Anne Fontaine (for clothing that flatters women's bodies), Pompanoosuc Mills (for fantastic handcrafted furniture), and Marathon Sports (for both serious and beginner runners – and posers, also).

Whatever the reasons, you can't help coming across this street at some point, and you might as well arrive at nightfall when everything lights up and invites you to have fun with open arms.
Prudential Center

5) Prudential Center

Take a trip to the Prudential Center's 50th-floor observation deck for some outstanding views over the city and further afield, or simply spend a while exploring the building's vast interior at the tower's base. With over 75 specialty retailers, the choices for shopping are good for an out-of-town visitor to choose from, and there are many places to eat any meal of the day. Even if you are not here to shop, the experience of an Italian marketplace is worth the stop, so check out "Eataly", the huge open area of restaurants and specialty shops that can cause sensory overload! There is even a small Catholic chapel in the mall – the St. Francis Chapel – with frequent masses.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 10am-9pm: Sun: 11am-7pm
Copley Place Mall

6) Copley Place Mall

This nice upscale mall located across from (and directly connected to) Prudential Center will cater to all your upscale needs with boutiques ranging from Chanel and Louis Vuitton to Salvatore Ferragamo, Dior and even Moncler. They even have mid-range names like J. Crew, Gap, and Sur La Table. Legal Sea Foods is the only sit-down eatery, however.

The interior lacks architectural interest but has a very nice and chic design nevertheless, especially with the spaced-out luxurious storefronts. When combined with the shops at Prudential Center next door, its network of glass walkways makes for a perfectly safe way to traverse the Back Bay at all hours while being sheltered from the elements.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 10am-8pm; Sun: 12-6pm

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