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Massachusetts Travel Guide

Massachusetts — Shopping and Leisure

Shopping is one of the most popular leisure activities in Massachusetts, and in Boston in particular. The state’s main urban hub offers a great mix of contemporary and classic shopping venues, both in Cambridge and downtown. Boston’s Back Bay is a good place to start, with both Boylston Street and Newbury Street lined with upscale boutiques, galleries, and other alluring shops. The city’s top two high-end malls are just down the road at Copley Place and the Shops at Prudential Center, linked by an elevated walkway.

More historic venues can be found in Beacon Hill, especially on quaint Charles Street. But don’t miss the huge pedestrian area of Downtown Crossing. It’s one of Boston’s oldest shopping districts, and while not particularly trendy, it has ambiance. Faneuil Hall Marketplace has been around since 1742 and is another must-see part of Boston for its cool shopping and dining options.

Outside of Beantown, the shopping becomes more unique and low key. The villages on Martha’s Vineyard offer some nice galleries, pottery shops, and other crafty outlets. You are sure to find something for your home in Oak Bluffs, Wellfleet, and Chatham. Nantucket is another homemaker’s dream with some very charming knick knack shops.

The towns of Pioneer Valley, such as Northampton and Amherst, showcase the rural charms of Massachusetts in its downtown, while Berkshires towns like Sheffield and Williamtown are renowned for antique hunting. You can also expect to find lots of roadside stands when cruising through interior Massachusetts where fresh produce like apples and freshly-baked goods are sold for a few bucks.

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