Newbury Street is the most famous shopping street in Boston. Located in the upscale Back Bay neighborhood, running east to west from the Boston Public Garden to Brookline Avenue, Newbury Street in Boston is a must-see for visitors to the city; not only does it house some of the most upscale shops in Boston, but it also has a good number of more affordable boutiques and is one of the best places to shop anywhere in the city. In addition, the historic renovated brownstone houses present a glimpse of Boston's heritage, and several buildings are notable for their distinctive architecture.
The most expensive shops in Boston are located on the end Newbury Street closest to the Public Garden. Here, the well-heeled can shop at boutiques such as Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Armani, Kate Spade, Burberry, and Marc Jacobs, making Newbury Street shopping the perfect one-stop shopping area, if you've got the cash. Further down the street, toward Brookline Avenue, shops become increasingly more affordable, with a bohemian feel that belies Newbury's Street history as a "mini Soho"—during the 70s and 80s Newbury Street was a popular hangout for young sophisticates, who frequented the gallery openings and wine and cheese parties along the street. Many small galleries can still be seen on Newbury Street in Boston. Other shops in Boston in this area include Virgin Records, Zara, Best Buy, and numerous smaller and independent boutiques.
Today the historical nineteenth-century brownstone buildings have for the most part been renovated and updated with large glass windows letting passersby peer into the boutiques and large numbers of fine restaurants. Walking along the street and its tastefully restored buildings is one of the highlights of a visit to Boston, particularly if you're interested in combining shopping with learning about the history of the city. One distinctive building in the neighborhood is at 181 Newbury Street. Now housing a Montessori school, the building, constructed in the Romanesque Revival style in 1885, was once a Spiritualist Temple, and then a movie theater, called the Exeter Street Theatre. The striking building is now a landmark of Newbury Street. Another building of interest is at 360 Newbury Street, a building designed in the deconstructionist style. 360 Newbury was once a plain yellow brick building, but under the direction of famed architect Frank Gehry it was renovated and went on to win the Parker Award as the most beautiful building in Boston.
Close to Newbury Street in Boston is the former Ritz-Carlton hotel, built in 1927 and now known as The Taj. For decades The Ritz represented the epitome of star power and trend-setting style, with reservations highly sought but hard to come by. The nearby Public Garden is also an important attraction in Boston, and a visit to this lovely botanical garden is aptly completed by dinner on Newbury Street. The compact nature of Boston makes it easy to reach Newbury from a number of hotels around the city and to combine an evening at a fine restaurant with a day spent walking the Freedom Trail or relaxing at Boston Common.