Soak up Summer with the Beacon Hill Shopping Stroll

Filed in Local Events by on May 31, 2009 0 Comments

beaconhillWith the summer weather peeking its head around the corner, Bostonians are eager to shed their jackets and bask in the urban sunshine. But if you’re not one of the lucky few who zoom off to a cottage on the Vineyard, the evenings are wide open for some summer fun. On the evening of Thursday, June 4th, the Beacon Hill Summer Shopping Stroll will start off the season with food, beverages, and the ka-ching of neighborhood cash registers. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, historic Beacon Hill is nestled in between the Boston Common and West End neighborhood. While it’s a lovely neighborhood to explore year-round, Bostonians take to the Beacon Hill streets with fervor when the sun comes out. Beacon Hill’s main drag, Charles Street, is a cobblestone and gas lamp avenue reminiscent of Charles Dickens’ London. The Summer Stroll is a great chance to explore Charles Street’s retail wonderland. Here’s a few of our top neighborhood picks:

Blackstone’s of Beacon Hill: Ideal for purchasing a gift for friends or family, Blackstone’s is chock-full of everything from coffee table books to baby gifts. Any visit to the store will probably result in listening to an inspiration tale from the store owners, and the trip is well worth it. Keep your eyes open for the variety of children’s books written by local authors that aren’t available in the big-time bookstores.

French Dressing: With glamorous lingerie from this River Street store, there’s no doubt you’ll have your boyfriend saying “ooh la la.” That is, if he can form words! With brands ranging from Le Mystere to Cosabella, French Dressing is Boston’s premiere independent outpost for outfitting your boudoir. Also, for $17 a month, you can be a member of their Thong of the Month Club.

Cibeline: A relative newcomer to the Charles Street scene, Cibeline Sariano’s boutique is clearly a labor of love. Combining her original designs with dazzling vintage finds, Cibeline is one spot no fashion fiend should miss. Keep your eyes peeled for her reversible wrap dresses constructed out of wrinkle-free jersey.

Crush Boutique: In a city where boutiques are opening and closing with a blink of an eye, Crush continues to flourish. With everything from high end lines like Shoshanna and Tracy Reese to lower-priced bargains, the ladies of Crush know what their customers want. And most importantly, they manage to achieve what some Charles Street boutiques don’t: A friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

North River Outfitter: Even those shoppers who are missing the preppy gene can find something they’ll love at NRO. Wintertime brings luxurious cashmere and Patagonia fleece, while summer ushers in colorful sundresses and spacious tote bags for the beach. Plus, uber-stylish Store manager Mandy Zobel is always eager to lend a helping hand in finding a great outfit. If you happen to be frolicking out on the Vineyard this summer, NRO just opened an additional branch in historic Edgartown.

Rugg Road: We covet stationary in the same bizarre way we drain our checking account in one afternoon in the Barney’s shoe department. If you’re into intricate and stylish paper perfect for penning those thank you notes, Rugg Road is the place to shop. Their personalized composition note sets are the perfect gift, and each customer can choose their own fonts, colors, and styles.

These picks are just a fraction of Charles Street’s diverse shopping scene. Venture further and you’ll find some of the city’s best antique stores and independent food markets. The Summer Stroll is a fantastic opportunity to start the season, and our spies tell us that many of the stores will be offering discounts on the evening of the stroll. So go forth and purchase, or at least pop by the stores for the free wine. This is a recession, after all.

A contributing writer for, Megan is originally from Connecticut, but has lived in Boston since age 18. She is a frequent contributor to Boston Menupages, Reinventing Beauty Magazine, Butterfly Diary, and SweetTalk on the Spot. You can visit her website at

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