When the turkey's been devoured and the family's gone home, there's nothing I want to do more than curl up on the couch with some hot cocoa and some holiday movies. There's no way I'm heading out into the madness of Black Friday! I try to support the little guy whenever I can anyway, so Small Business Saturday is my post-Thanksgiving shopping day of choice. One of my absolute favorite things to do is explore a sweet little New England town while shopping at spots that support local makers and business owners. That's why I've rounded up a list of my personal favorite Small Business Saturday destinations all over New England!
The Boston area has no shortage of picture perfect gifts shops, but a few of my favorite neighborhoods include the South End (Olives & Grace, Niche, Gifted, Sault) and Beacon Hill (start on Charles Street and wander up the hill)!
I can't think of a single, more quintessential New England town than Newburyport. Right on the water and rich with antique shops, cozy stores (a couple of faves are Salt and Grove and Piper & Chloe), and restaurants, this destination tops my list as one of my all time favorites. Park in the public lot or find street parking and start wandering, and I promise you'll stumble upon exactly what your Small Biz Saturday dreams are made of!
I grew up in Dartmouth, so I may be a little biased, but it's worth the drive to explore this picture-perfect town. The drive to Padanaram Village is just as lovely as the destination, full of historic homes and ocean views. Enjoy dinner at Little Moss, but not before you pop into Flora and say hi to one of my oldest and sweetest friends, Ruthie!
This little town has a special place in my heart. Every summer my mom would pack my sisters and I up in the car and we'd head up to the White Mountains for camping adventures. Our trips were never complete without a stop in North Conway! It's just as quaint this time of year, and a stop into Zeb's General Store is an absolute must. Pro tip: start the day with breakfast down the street at Peach's and walk it off on your way through the shops!
This may be the obvious Maine choice, but it's always a favorite no matter the time of year. Portland is speckled with some of the cutest shops and yummiest restaurants, plus it's only a couple of hours from Boston making it the perfect day trip. You can usually find me indulging in a lobster roll at Portland Lobster Co. (if it's a nice day, bundle up and enjoy your meal on the deck!) before meandering through the city. One of my all time favorite stores is k colette, and if you stop into the Cabot Creamery Co-Op for some cheese samples, I won't judge.
When I was in college, my mom's cousin owned an inn in Vermont, and my entire family would venture up there for snow-covered Thanksgiving weekends in front of the fireplace. No visit was complete without an journey into Burlington for the tree lighting and some downtown Christmas shopping. It's been a few years since I've been up there, but you really can't go wrong - cozy stores galore!
When I think of holiday coziness, I think of Woodstock. It's worth the drive to spend a day wandering the streets. You can find my Woodstock guide here, and make some magic of your own!
Come for the seafood (clam chowder, anyone?) stay for the seaside shopping and strolling. A hearty meal at The Red Parrot will prep you will for walking up and down Thames Street. I could get especially lost in the Armory Antique Marketplace. There's no shortage of treasures!
On one of our spontaneous road trips, my family once stumbled upon Wickford and it became an instant favorite. There are plenty of shops, antique stores, and lunch spots so my best advice here is to park and wander. You can't go wrong! BONUS: On your way, stop into Simple Pleasures in Providence - it is by far one of the coziest stores I've ever stumbled upon!
Prefer to shop from home? Here are some of my best small-biz owning gal pals you can shop online!
Vintage and Swoon - Mallory has the very best taste in vintage goodies, and exploring her online shop is a treat in itself.
Wool and Whiskey - I don't know about you, but I can never have enough knit scarves and beanies. Jessie is a new friend of mine, and I think you'll love her shop as much as I do!
Maca Boston - The most delicious macarons! You can find Tamy set up at plenty of local markets too, just check her website!
Almost Fancy Designs - Lindsey can create any design you can imagine. Put it on t-shirts, home goods, or anything your heart desires!
Mallory Overton - Mallory's hand-lettering is stunning yet unique, and one of my current obsessions is her hand-lettered ornaments. Plus she's one of the sweetest humans!
Who / where are your favorite small businesses to support throughout the year? Leave your recs in the comments and I'll be sure to check them out!