Best of New England: Massachusetts
Women’s Clothing Boutique
The perfect excuse to “forget” to pack enough clothing for your island getaway, Gypsy is fully stocked with big names like Céline, Isabel Marant, and Rick Owens. And if your current vacation plans don’t require a $2,500 Lanvin cocktail dress, remember: Plans can change. // 20 Federal St., Nantucket, 508-228-4404, gypsyusa.com.
When you want to get a truly original gift for your best friend or the happy couple, this is the place to come. Run by two former art professors, Hudsons is a well-curated mélange of antiques, accessories, and contemporary-art pieces. (Steel-mesh icosahedron, anyone?) There are also plenty of traditional paintings and antiques from which to choose. // 1112 Mass MoCa Way, North Adams, 413-664-6530, hudsonsart.com.
LEKKER UNIQUE HOME FURNISHINGS
Owner and founder Natalie Carpenter sought to create a store that harnessed the artistic energy of the South End; her foresight and discerning eye for Scandinavian design quickly catapulted the shop to success. Thanks to wares such as textured Pols Potten glasses and fired-clay Chris Stiles figurines, Lekker is still the city leader in outstanding contemporary décor. // 1317 Washington St., Boston, 617-542-6464, lekkerhome.com.
A working fireplace and mismatched, well-worn furniture make the Andover look more like a private library than a retail store. The atmosphere at this 200-year-old spot (the second-oldest bookshop in the country) is neither modern nor musty — just wonderfully comfortable. The selection, meanwhile, is something you’ll never find on Amazon — an essential collection of both classic and contemporary work, enhanced by a highly educated staff with an enthusiasm for the written word that is nothing short of contagious. // 89R Main St., Andover, 978-475-0143, andoverbookstore.com.
You won’t find any beeping plastic doodads here. The name of this shop evokes both the fantastical nature of the toys on sale and the owner’s choosiness in selecting only those that meet her exacting standards. Shelves here overflow with interactive gadgets and games, science kits, and beautifully illustrated books, all designed to boost creativity. Plus, the store espouses a hands-on philosophy, so youngsters can try out everything before their parents pony up their allowances. // 13 Eagle St., North Adams, 413-662-2990.