Well-lit and painstakingly organized, Used Book Superstores upend images of the precariously balanced stacks and dusty hardcovers most people associate with used book stores. More than 100,000 new and gently used books—from current bestsellers to staples of the literary world—sprawl across each of the five mammoth locations, which, like so many shattered crates of tea, dot the landscape of the greater Boston and south New Hampshire region. As bookworms hunker down with hardcovers, paperbacks, and children's books, neglected friends can peruse the store's voluminous selection of music, DVDs, and toys, all of which sell for a fraction of their original cost.
Owner Svetlana Yanushkevich has spent the majority of her life surrounded by wine. She grew up on the southern peninsula of Ukraine, in a territory renowned for its 2,000-year-old winemaking tradition. After moving to the US in 2002, she built upon that foundation by managing wine programs at prestigious restaurants and earning a diploma from the renowned Wine and Spirit Education Trust in London.
In 2010, Svetlana added "wine-shop owner" to an already impressive r?sum? when she opened the doors to WineNot Boutique, winner of The Hippo magazines Best Wine Shop in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Today, WineNot Boutique's visitors gather to enjoy tastes from around the globe and, perhaps most importantly, benefit from Svetlana's wealth of knowledge. This year, Svetlana has partnered with local merchants to host a 7-night guided tour of one of the world's most renowned winemaking regions, as well. Collectible wines, artisan cheeses, and gourmet foods parade across the shop's shelves, and wine education events, such as weekly complimentary tastings, let novices ingest loads of wine-related facts without having to eat the pages of their Wine for Dummies book.
With the opening of its first store in 1989, Eastern Boarder established a foothold in the then nascent extreme-sports category and has since ridden the explosion in popularity of skating, snowboarding, and BMX. Today, at each of its five stores, devotees of these now mainstream sports can find gear, accessories, and apparel by manufacturers such as Volcom, Neff, and Nike. In recognition of its staying power, Snowboarder magazine named Eastern Boarder the Coolest Shop in the Country in spite of several sabotage attempts on its thermostat. The shop also sponsors a pro snowboarding team that’s been acclaimed by the likes of ESPN Action Sports.
Though Gateway Hills Health Club flourishes with yoga and spinning studios, group fitness classes, and personal-training sessions, it's much more than a gym. Offering 24-hour access, the health club is also staffed with professionals who are dedicated to helping members achieve their health goals, assisting them with weight management, and helping them build strength and flexibility during hot yoga and hot pilates classes. Their new computer controlled infrared heating system can bring the temperature up to 105 degrees.