Best of NH 2011 Beauty, Shops and Services

Whether you need a place for your pet to stay, a new car, a great book or a relaxing day at the spa, you'll likely find what you're looking for at these Best of NH winners.

Readers' Poll Winners
*Editor's Picks

Automotive Group: AutoFair Automotive Group in Manchester says it's known as the place that "makes it happen" and our readers agree.

Bicycle Shop: Exeter Cycles in Exeter is renowned for its great selection of bikes, parts, clothing and accessories.

Bicycle Shop (Local Chain): Goodale's Bike Shop has been the state's foremost bike shop practically since it opened in 1919 and now has three locations: Nashua, Hooksett and Concord.

Consignment Shop Clothing: Find top labels and great style for bargain prices at Second Time Around in downtown Portsmouth.

*Cool Kitsch: If you can remember it, Retro Planet probably has it. And whatever you've forgotten, their vast collection of products will likely jog your memory. This Nashua-based company is an online only store (showroom visits by appointment) that deals exclusively in nostalgia for decades past.

Eyewear Boutique: See well and be seen in style with specs from the Vision Shoppe in Concord.

Florist: Find a fresh takeon flower arranging at Cymbidium Floral in Exeter.

*Furniture Store with New England Charm: Green Mountain Furniture Store in Ossipee is a bit off the beaten trail of big-box furniture stores and doesn't run non-stop commercials with annoying owners planting their brain-worm jingles and catchphrases into your head. So, how does it succeed as one of the premier regional furniture stores? Must be their amazing selection of charming New England-style and rustic camp-oriented furnishings.

Home Décor Shop: Abode Home Furnishings in the former Pier 1 location in Portsmouth trumps the big-box home goods stores with its eclectic and stylish mix of contemporary products.

Home Décor Shop (National Chain): Ethan Allen is a national name that's synonymous with stylish furniture and décor.

Independent Bookstore: Water Street Bookstore in Exeter is the largest independent bookstore on the Seacoast and has a strong emphasis on local authors.

Independent Bookstore (Local Chain): Toadstool Bookshops in Keene, Milford and Peterborough is a beloved local chain of "fascinating" independent bookstores.

Jeweler: Find a trusted source for engagement rings and more at Bellman's Jewelers in Manchester and Portsmouth.,

Jeweler (Regional Chain): Exquisite jewlery and upscale watches at Barmakian Jewelers in Nashua make it a great place for that big purchase.

Jewelry Designer with Shop: Elizabeth Poirier features her work and that of other artisans at her shop, Elizabeth's on Elm in Manchester.

Kids' Clothing Store: Little kids deserve great style, too. Find charming clothing and more at Puddlejumpers in Exeter.

*Kitchen Store: Your Kitchen Store moved from the Colony Mill to a 5,500-square-foot Main Street Keene location. They have filled the store with the latest small appliances in the hottest colors. Look no further to find the coolest gadget you didn't even know you needed.

Lingerie Shop: Get your sexy on in style at Top Drawer in Bedford and Exeter.

Local Toy Store: Whirlygigs in Exeter is a classic, colorful independent toy shop with "Live Free and Play" as its motto.

Men's Clothing Shop: George's Apparel in Manchester is as solid as it gets for dressing your man in classic style.

Natural Food Store: A-Market Natural Foods in Manchester offers a full-service shopping experience with natural, organic, specialty and locally produced grocery items.

*New Shop: Bravo in Concord the place to go when you need the perfect dress - their custom-made gowns can range from glamorous to simple elegance. They also have all other accessories to complete the look.

*Novelty Company: Any company that proudly refers to itself as "leading purveyor of fine pranks, fantastic practical jokes, great gag gifts, novelties, and assorted awesomeness" is just fine in our book. Run by Jason Washer from his home office in Alstead, Chucklehead Toys is dedicated to placing a rubber chicken in every pot, fake poo on every rug and a pop-up monster in every toilet in this great nation of ours.

Pet Supplies Store: Four Your Paws Only in North Conway boasts of having the largest display and selection of Lupine dog products.

Pet Supplies Store (National Chain): Petco is the national chain that changed that way people think about pet stores.

Pet Boarding: Along with offering pet boarding, All Dogs Gym & Inn in Manchester is the largest activity and training center in the Northeast.

Pet Boarding (Local Chain): The Barking Dog has such a reputation that they've opened three locations in N.H.: Derry, Exeter and Hooksett.

Recorded Music Store: Pitchfork Music is Concord's only independent recorded music store with a huge selection of new and used CDs and LPs plus CD and record players. (603) 224-6700

Recorded Music Store (Regional Chain): Bull Moose Music, with N.H. locations in Salem and Portsmouth, is a haven for music (and movie and game) fans and is open at midnight on Mondays to sell new releases.

Shoe Store: Find all the top brand shoes at Alec's Shoes in Nashua at discount prices with friendly, old-fashioned service.

Shoe Store (National Chain): Row after row of shoes you need at DSW Shoes, plus a huge clearance rack in the new Nashua location. Also find a location in Salem.

Specialty Food Store: At Angela's Pasta & Cheese Shop in Manchester you can get fresh and frozen heat-and-serve entrées in addition to European and local cheeses.

*T-Shirt Shop: I Like That ;) in Portsmouth sells lots of surfwear and sunglasses and candy, but they shine in their ability to create a totally unique T-shirt created off the top of your head (or from graphics on the Internet) with a computer-aided process. The results are spontaneous and often hilarious.

Tattoo Parlor: Good to get advice before you make the decision to be inked. Our readers trust Spider Bite in Manchester.

Women's Clothing Boutique: Find all the hip labels you have been lusting for at LunaChics in Exeter.


Beauty Services

Day Spa: The Wingate Salon and Spa in Stratham aims to enhance beauty and wellness in body, mind and spirit.

Barbershop: For 30 years, The Clip Joint Barbers in Portsmouth have provided cool haircuts for young and not-so-young clients alike.

Hair Salon: The latest styles, cuts and color - all can be found at The Wingate Salon and Spa in Stratham.

*High-tech Spa Treatment: Dover's Skin Health Medi-Spa is home to the Italian-designed and state-of-the-art Aemotio spa water therapy bed. Enjoy a body polish, massage, body mask and more while immersing yourself in the Aemotio's chakra-aligning Vichy shower, Bolero water massage and chromotherapy lighting.

Resort/Hotel Spa: Not only do you get the finest accommodations and cuisine, at the Wentworth by the Sea Marriott Hotel and Spa in New Castle you can indulge yourself at the resort's tranquil spa.

Skincare/Specialty Makeup Boutique: Treat your face and body to the services of Lotions 'n Potions in Concord - massage, facials, pedis, manis and more.

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