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Blackstone's of Beacon Hill

Blackstone’s is the place to pick up a gift that says “Boston.” Best bets: a hard copy of Make Way for Ducklings, the beloved children’s book set in Beacon Hill; a preppy tie from Vineyard Vines; or a sailcloth tote from Sea Bags.


This treasure chest of a consignment store is crammed full of so many designer and vintage pieces that you may feel overwhelmed. But persevere because here is where you will find a mint condition Brunello Cucinelli pencil skirt only a couple of seasons old for the amazing price of $44. Or a vintage bold and bright Pucci dress or covetable Derek Lam bag. The store only accepts clothes that are one- or two-years  old with exceptions made for mint vintage pieces, and the prices drop significantly after 30 and 60 days.

Exteriors at  E.R. Butler and Co., Boston, New England

E.R. Butler and Co.

E.R. Butler carries fine architectural hardware yet is also a jewelry store in disguise. The graceful interior and stunning window displays show custom pieces in early American, Federal and Georgian styles plus jewelry by Maria Beaulieu and Paul DeBlassie. Ted Muehling’s candlesticks and porcelain line are highlights.

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Felix Doolittle

Felix Doolittle’s stationery is one of the country’s best-kept secrets—sort of. Owner and humble watercolorist extraordinaire Felix Fu is a brilliant illustrator who designed the Boston Red Sox’s 2007 holiday card as well as personal stationery for first lady Barbara Bush and Clint Eastwood and who has appeared on Martha Stewart’s and Oprah Winfrey’s shows. Be aware, however, that the West Newton studio, a short drive from downtown Boston, is open only to customers with an appointment. If you can’t make the trip or aren’t interested in a consultation, log on to his Web site, where you can order standard and customized stationery.

Exterior View - Formaggio, Boston, New England


A cheese lover’s paradise. From pungent to subtle, cave aged to young and creamy, the selection of European and domestic cheeses includes sharp Vermont cheddars, smooth Brie de Meaux and everything in between. The store, which has another location, in the South End, also carries charcuterie and wines and offers a small take-out menu that’s perfect for picnics.

Editors' Picks
Exteriors at Harvard Book Store, Boston, New England

Harvard Book Store

Despite the name, a family, not the university, runs this well-stocked Harvard Square bookstore. Opened in the 1930s, the shop remains a popular place for academics and book lovers from around the city. It’s an excellent spot in which to pass a couple of hours browsing among its broad selection of new and used volumes

Apparels at Holiday, Boston, New England


With a sister store in Los Angeles, Holiday brings the best of West Coast hip to New England, and traditional Boston loves it. Shopping at Holiday makes you feel as if you’ve just stepped into your fashion-forward best friend’s closet—and she happens to be Cameron Diaz and has an armoire full of Foley & Corinna, Thread Social and Mint. Like your best friend, owner Jessica Pavlic dishes honest advice on which pieces work for different body types, so you can feel confident you’ll make smart shopping decisions.

Interior View - Lekker, Boston, New England


Lekker’s Dutch owner brings a European sensibility to Boston at her sleek store in the South End. Stocked with hard-to-find tabletop, lighting, furniture and accessory lines, it carries everything a sophisticated modernist needs to decorate her home. The Lekker name comes from the Dutch word for “alluring,” an appropriate designation, given that departing the store without at least a set of glassware can be difficult.

Interiors at Linens on the Hill, Boston, New England

Linens on the Hill

Every Beacon Hill woman has sent or received a gift from this gem of a shop at least once. For the home, offerings include luxurious Yves Delorme and Matouk bedding as well as natural bath and body products from The Thymes. Candles, cashmere throws and pretty smocked baby clothes round out the collection.

Loro Piana

Newbury Street’s temple to cashmere and vicuna houses shelves of lusciously soft sweaters and scarves in muted tones and neutral shades. This store, ranked the third most expensive in the United States, also sells boldly-colored silk tunics, leather bags and sun hats — everything you need to lounge in après-ski or afternoons in Porto Cervo.

Exteriors at Mint Julep, Boston, New England

Mint Julep

Charming Mint Julep carries a youthful selection suitable for Harvard students and their young-at-heart parents. J Brand jeans share shelf space with Tibi dresses and a small selection of jewelry and handbags. There are also locations in Brookline and in downtown Manhattan.

Polly Latham Asian Art

Owner Polly Latham has been collecting and selling 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century Chinese and Japanese porcelain and decorative arts for more than thirty years and keeps an exceptional inventory in her diminutive shop. A few pieces of fine American furniture can also be found.

Interior View - Prudential Center/Copley Place, Boston, New England

Prudential Center/Copley Place

These two Back Bay malls are joined by a walkway and together form the largest indoor shopping spot in town. Retail outlets include such department stores as Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus as well as the upscale retailers Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, Ferragamo and more (the Copley Place side tends to be more high-end). When the wind blows cold on Newbury Street, this is the place to come to browse.

Exteriors at  Shreve, Crump and Low, Boston, New England

Shreve, Crump and Low

Shreve, Crump & Low’s history began in 1796, when a local watchmaker opened a workshop across the street from Paul Revere. During its two hundred years plus in business, the store has served the Kennedys, the Cabots and generations of Boston grooms seeking the perfect engagement ring. (Interesting trivia: Shreve, Crump & Low also designed the Davis Cup, commissioned by Harvard tennis player Dwight Davis in 1899.) Although Shreve, Crump & Low still carries an excellent selection of antique and estate jewelry and plenty of solitaire studs, it has also added smaller lines, such as Konstatino, alongside the classic Mikimoto pearls. The store’s Christmas window displays are famous around town and worth a look if you’re visiting after Thanksgiving.

Exteriors at Tadpole, Boston, New England


This chic South End children’s store carries clothing and toys to please the fashion-forward parent. Look for contemporary bedding by Dwell and eco-friendly wooden toys plus organic clothing and bath products. The pricey but adorable outfits make great gifts.

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