If you’re soon to be on vacation, find your way to the Massachusetts South Coast. The South Coast officially includes Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Fall River, Freetown, Lakeville, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Rochester, Seekonk, Somerset, Swansea, Wareham, and Westport.
We have some beautiful beaches and nature spots, great history, vineyards, museums, and many local restaurants and gift shops. I feel lucky to live where just being home, I’m already in a great place to spend the summer.
I love to shop for books (and lots of other things) at smaller gift and specialty shops. The South Coast has some great places to do your vacation book shopping, whether you’re collecting, buying gifts or you’ve just finished the last beach read stowed in your suitcase.
Here’s a list of my favorite local books stores or gift shops that sell books. All of the places on my list are open year-round!
Baker Books, Dartmouth MA-
The most popular local bookstore in our area, they feature books in all categories including best sellers, helpful staff, and the Bean and Leaf Café for leisurely shopping. The children’s book room is one of my favorite spots to explore. It is welcoming and has a huge selection (including my book!). The local interest section also has just about every book out there about the South Coast or by local authors. Become a member of the Baker’s Dozen club, and you’ll earn a free book when you’ve purchased 13. You can also hop across the parking lot to Remains To Be Seen, BB’s overstock store, featuring both brand new and vintage books at great prices.
The Ansel Guerney House, Wareham MA-
A restored historic home surrounded by woods and gardens, this is a charming place to shop and have lunch any time of the year (in winter the lunch rooms are heated by wood stove). More than ?? theme rooms of tastefully-selected gifts makes shopping easy and relaxing. The children’s rooms found on the second floor offer creative toys and gifts for infants to older kids as well as a fantastic collection of children’s books. The picture book selection in particular is very well chosen is beautifully displayed. A nice spot to visit any day of the year, I always make a special stop there at the holidays when I am able to find many things in one stop with no reason to visit the dreaded mall!
Partner’s Village Store, Westport, MA-
Another spot where you can shop and lunch, Partner’s has something for everyone. Located in a very pretty rural area that makes for a nice drive on a summer day, Partner’s features some great local products (like Salt Marsh Pottery), delicious fresh foods and the best gift selection for pets and pet owners. With a large selection of books for all ages, you’ll find current novels, cookbooks galore, and a section for children that is organized by age/reading level. They also carry a big selection of local author and local interest books. Little ones are welcome at the Children’s Reading Circle on Thursdays and kids can curl up any time with Ivan, the resident giant teddy bear. Visit the online store if you can’t get there in person.
Davol’s General Store, Dartmouth, MA-
Davol’s, one of the oldest general stores in the country, is an old-time shopping experience with lots of little nooks and crannies to explore. Their book section includes local interest and authors and a beautiful array of children’s and juvenile titles, including hard-to-find gems. They carry books and merchandise featuring Tasha Tudor, one of my favorite authors/illustrators, so they absolutely make my list of favorites! Don’t forget your penny candy on the way out.
Nearby is Alderbrook Farms.
Stop there while you’re in the neighborhood and say hi to Gia, Zoe and Momma, then get your local foods and gifts at the Alderbrook Farm stand.
The Village Toy Shop, Fairhaven MA-
Located in Lifestyles Plaza (I also recommend Perwinkles Gift Shop and Courtyard Restaurant when you’re there)This kid-centered gift shop has a small but nicely chosen book section, along with lots of other gifts and toys for every kid and even some grown ups can’t resist. In summer, there’s an ice cream counter with Bliss Dairy Ice Cream and Mini Melts, too. What more can you need?
No Kidding!, Mattapoisett, MA-
On the “Ropewalk Mall”, this sweet little toy shop has the best selection of educational toys in the area, and a small but well-selected book section including many board books. With lots of games, musical toys and craft kits, it’s a great place to find rainy day or quiet time activities. There are a few other gift shops to visit on the Ropewalk (Isabelle’s is my favorite and Panino’s café is open for breakfast and lunch). Stop there before heading down to the beach.
Can you tell I love shopping on the South Coast??? There are many more shops and restaurants to visit as well other than bookstores but you’ll be so busy reading who knows how much time you’ll have. I know, there’s always time for shopping. Check out the links below for more ideas on things to do when you visit...