Best Unique New England Holiday Shopping
Why visit the big box stores or brave the crowds at the mall when you could pick up a selection of unique holiday gifts this year from some of New England’s best shops? Check out our picks for the Best Unique New England Holiday Shopping from our 2012 Editors’ Picks for the Best of New England! Ho Ho Ho!
BEST CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES
Idiom Boutique – New Haven, CT
Fashion finds in women’s wear, handbags, bath and body products–all chosen with care and flair. Hit the room dedicated to jewelry, or aim for the unique on hangers and shelves.
1014 Chapel St. 203-782-2280; idiomboutique.com
Nathan Liverant & Son Antiques – Colchester, CT
Once a Baptist meetinghouse, now filled with stellar 18th- and 19th-century American furniture, silver, paintings, and glass. Rare finds such as a sewing box owned by Herman Melville’s mother reflect this family’s decades of experience.
168 South Main St. 860-537-2409; liverantantiques.com
BEST TEMPTING TASTES
O’live A Little Import & Gourmet – South Windsor, CT
Explore the specialties of the house, gathered from around the world, by taste-testing more than four dozen flavors, from strawberry-balsamic vinegar to ginger-infused olive oil. Freshly bottled on site.
85 Evergreen Way. 860-648-1292; olivealittle.com
BEST ARTISANAL GIFTS
Noa Gallery – Groton & West Concord, MA
Many of the nearly 200 mostly local artisans represented in these galleries work in jewelry, making beautiful and often clever work to suit most any taste. Michael Milicia’s arresting photographs of birds and other wildlife, however, have a tendency to steal the show.
157 Main St., Groton; 978-448-0990.
86 Commonwealth Ave., West Concord; 978-341-0990.
BEST KITCHENWARE SHOPPING
Different Drummer’s Kitchen – Lenox & Northampton, MA
Different Drummer really is different, thanks to very careful editing of small appliances, dishware, pots and pans, and high-end cutlery. Equip your kitchen for your own Iron Chef.
374 Pittsfield Road, Lenox; 413-637-0606.
34 Bridge St., Northampton; 413-586-7978.
BEST I-95 SHOPPING
Center for Maine Craft – West Gardiner, ME
In between fueling your tanks (both vehicular and personal) at the West Gardiner Service Plaza (Route 126), browse handcrafted works by hundreds of Maine artisans at the Maine Crafts Association’s retail gallery.
I-95 South Exit 103; I-95 North Exit 102; I-295 Exit 51. 207-588-0021; mainecrafts.org
BEST ART IN THE NORTH WOODS
North Light Gallery – Millinocket, ME
Had enough of the moose trinkets? Take a gander at fine artworks representing the Katahdin region and inland Maine at Marsha Donahue’s downtown gallery: mountains, lakes, rivers, and, yes, a moose or two.
256 Penobscot Ave. 800-970-4278, 207-723-4414; artnorthlight.com
BEST ONE-STOP SHOPPING
Hope Artist Village – Pawtucket, RI
Rhode Island has more artists per capita than any other state, and a number of them can be found at this 600,000-square-foot converted candy factory, which combines businesses and residences of creative folk in every genre, from jewelers to woodworkers.
1005 Main St. 401-312-3850; hopeartistevillage.com
BEST GIFT SHOP
RISD Works – Providence, RI
Who knew that a potato masher could be a work of art? This retail store, gallery, and design showroom all in one features an annually curated collection, as well as exhibitions of works and designs by RISD faculty and alums. Now you have no excuse for failure when shopping for the person who has everything.
20 North Main St. 401-277-4949; risdworks.com
The Antique Center at Camelot Village – Bennington, VT
Some 150 dealers cram Vermont’s largest antiques center, whose ever-changing inventories range from coins to old advertising signs, dolls to heirloom jewelry, glassware to vintage clothing. Check out the craft gallery and the country store.
Route 9. 802-447-0039; shopsatcamelotvillage.com