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From Baked Beans to Barneys: Back Bay's All-in-One Retail Destination

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Though Boston's swanky Newbury Street retail corridor is home to a handful of fashion's boldest-faced names—think Burberry, Marc Jacobs and Chanel—the strip is better known for quirky boutiques, fabulous dining, an ample serving of Boston crunch and a shop devoted exclusively to fairies. So for brands—the big, global, crazy-lux brands—head to Copley Place and the Prudential Center.

Essentially two malls—yes, malls—the spaces are linked by a series of glass tubes, swank hotels, varied wings of retail and outdoor/indoor garden-scapes. For anchors, the malls boast a Barneys New York, a Neiman Marcus, a Saks Fifth Avenue and a Lord & Taylor. At its center: New England's most famous (and kinda ugly) building—the Prudential Tower. And in between: Gucci, Frette, Bally, Louis Vuitton, Coach, Tiffany & Co., Vince, Stuart Weitzman, Tumi, Emporio Armani, Dior and Lacoste (plus another Burberry).

The decidedly higher-end Copley Place is darker, quieter, hallowed—clad in red and brown marble and featuring that three-story Neiman Marcus with the monumental installation of flying birds running the height of its endless escalators. Also: Gap, J.Crew, Victoria's Secret, Sony, the Art of Shaving.

Across Huntington Avenue is the Prudential Center—brighter, airier, noisier, with a full food court, a Cheesecake Factory, a Barnes & Noble, a Sephora and a Club Monaco. Don't worry: Both sides have their own Legal Sea Foods restaurants—a Boston mainstay for both traditional and innovative New England fish-centric cuisine. Plus, there's a gym, several bank branches, a spa at the new Mandarin Oriental, at least one Starbucks, two independent confectioners on top of a Godiva, and a litany of other varying shopping and services. What we're saying is: If you live there or you stay there, you really never have to leave there.
· Copley Place [Simon]
· Prudential Center [Official Site]