Fenway-Kenmore - Home of The Fens, The Fenway, Fenway Park, the Citgo Sign, and Kenmore Square, as well as several colleges and fine arts institutions.
"Fenway" takes its name from the fens, or the marshes along the nearby Muddy River; "Kenmore" might be considered to surround Kenmore Square. To the southwest lies the Longwood Medical Area and Brookline; to the southeast, the South End; to the north, the Charles River; to the northeast, the Back Bay, the Prudential, and Copley Square.
When the Red Sox are playing at Fenway Park, getting into the area is extremely difficult. While the MBTA does run extra service, expect Green Line cars to be filled to capacity, and be prepared to wait for several trains before you're able to board. However, it's still the best way of getting to a Red Sox game, since parking is very limited and you get to experience the excitement of a crowded train car full of fans heading to the game. Parking garages fill up quickly, and rates are exorbitant: during playoff games, some parking lots have been known to charge up to $100 for parking. Even during a normal game, $25–30 is common for any spot within reasonable distance.
The B, C, and D branches of the Green Line stop at Kenmore, and the D branch continues on to Fenway. Despite the name, the closest station to Fenway Park is Kenmore, not Fenway. Visitors arriving via the T (subway) will need to walk a short distance from the station to the ballpark, but the crowds on a game day will serve to lead the way. The E branch stops at Symphony, Northeastern, Museum of Fine Arts, and Longwood Medical Area stations. The Longwood Medical Area station is separate from the Longwood station on the D branch of the Green Line: the two stations are neither related nor interconnected.
The Orange Line stops at Ruggles station. This station is several long blocks away from Fenway Park. If you're going to a Red Sox game and want to avoid the crowds on the Green Line, however, it may be worthwhile to take the T to Ruggles and transfer to the 8 or 19 bus routes to get to the ballpark.
MBTA bus routes 8, 19, 55, 57, 60, and 65 all stop in the area.
From Storrow Drive, take the Kenmore Square/Fenway exit, and follow the signs for your destination. Those going to Fenway Park should take the Kenmore Square exit. There are a number of parking garages in the area, particularly around Fenway Park.
- The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), 465 Huntington Ave. M,Tu,Sa,Su 10AM-4:45PM, W,F 10AM-9:45PM. [T: Museum of Fine Arts]. Has extensive collections of fine art from many different genres and historical periods. A proper visit can take an entire day or multiple days for those who like to linger.
- The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Tu-Su 11AM-5PM. 280 The Fenway, Info: +1 617 566-1401 Box Office: +1 617 278-5156, [T: Museum of Fine Arts]. Housed in a Venetian-style palazzo, the museum displays works by Titian, Michelangelo, Monet, Rembrandt and others.
- The Boston Symphony Orchestra, 301 Massachusetts Ave (Symphony Hall), ☎ . [T: Symphony].
- Fenway Cultural District.
- The Emerald Necklace Conservatory. The "Back Bay" Fens is part of the Emerald Necklace (a system of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted), which starts here and extends out all the way to Franklin Park. After a slight discontinuity, green space continues down the median of Commonwealth Avenue to the Public Garden and Boston Common.
- The Muddy River runs through the Fens and out to the Charles River. The park includes shady, sloping lawns and benches for lounging and watching the reeds rustle; rustic stone bridges for admiring the water and its avian inhabitants; a rose garden; a playground; a reserved area for local residents to have "community gardens"; and occasional impromptu performances by Berklee students or The Anonymous Bagpiper of The Fens.
- Various buildings associated with Northeastern University and Boston University may be found on The Avenue of the Arts (Huntington Av.) and on Commonwealth Av. (respectively) and in the surrounding areas. The Berklee College of Music, Emmanuel College, and Simmons College are on and around The Fenway.
- In Kenmore Square (which is not so much a square as an incredibly confusing collision of several main avenues, cross streets, and a T stop), you will find a large Barnes and Noble, to which the famous Citgo Sign is attached. There is no associated Citgo gas station; the sign is now a historical landmark.
- Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS), 1154 Boylston Street (Green line to Hynes.), ☎ . Monday through Saturday 10AM-4PM. Founded in 1791, the Massachusetts Historical Society is the nation's oldest historical society. The collections of the MHS bring alive the stories of America's past through a series of changing exhibitions and public programs that are free and open to the public. Free and open to the public..
Fenway Park, 4 Yawkey Way (T: Kenmore or Fenway), ☎ .
Watch the Boston Red Sox play at Fenway Park, the oldest baseball stadium still in use by the major leagues. Built in 1912 and only one of two classic ballparks remaining (the other being Wrigley Field in Chicago), this red brick and green steel structure is one of the best places in the world to take in a baseball game. Being one of the smallest ballparks in the major leagues by seating capacity and given Boston's loyal fan base (the "Red Sox Nation"), the setting is relatively intimate and exciting. Few baseball teams can claim to represent their city to the extent of the Red Sox, and their ballpark is nothing short of a baseball landmark.
The many renovations and additions over the years have resulted in many iconic features in the park, the most notable being the Green Monster, a massive left field wall which poses a formidable challenge for home run hitters and has inspired many imitations in other ballparks. The Green Monster also holds the last remaining manually-operated scoreboard in professional baseball. Other features include a lone red seat in the outfield stands, which marks the longest home run ever hit at Fenway, which was hit by Hall of Famer Ted Williams. Additionally, both foul poles at Fenway have names attached to them: Pesky’s Pole, in right field, is named after former Red Sox shortstop Johnny Pesky, and Fisk’s Pole, in left field, is named after former Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk. The retired numbers of the Red Sox hang above the right field grandstand.
Yawkey Way is now closed off during games and has become an outdoor extension of the park. Those in the stadium can walk outside to enjoy the additional refreshment stands and open area, and then return to the game. Once you enter through the Yawkey Way gates, however, there is no re-admittance.
Theoretically, single game tickets can be purchased directly from the Red Sox at face value. In practice a very small number of seats are made available this way, and only at select games due to comparatively high number of season ticket holders (and there's currently a ten year waiting list!). Despite a restriction that fans may only purchase four tickets to one game per year, single game tickets usually sell out for the entire season within hours of going on sale. If you'd like to catch a game, and didn't snag a ticket online right when they became available, you do have a few options:
- Buy through a licensed broker, such as StubHub or ABC Ticket. Note that markup and transaction fees can easily double, triple, or quadruple the stated "face value" of a game ticket (a $20 upper bleacher seat being sold for $80 is not uncommon). However, this is frequently the only reliable and legal way to get tickets in advance and is how most of the locals do so.
- Purchase a hospitality package - these are advertised right on the Red Sox website and typically include two nights lodging at a hotel near Fenway Park as well as two or four (mediocre) tickets to the game.
- Try the game day window on Landsdowne Street, line up starting five hours prior to game time. 90 minutes before first pitch any open seats go on sale: "returns" (season ticket holders who can't attend a particular day and returned that particular ticket to the Red Sox for exchange or credit), leftover tickets from unsold hospitality packs, a handful of seats set aside for game day sales and standing room only places. A few things to bear in mind if you buy from the game day window:
- Get in line as early as possible! Tickets are sold on a first come first serve basis and if you're not in the first 50 people or so any remaining seats will likely be gone by time you get to the window.
- Most availability are scattered single seats, consequently it is very possible that members of a group will be seated in entirely different sections of the stadium - unless you opt for standing room.
- You may only purchase one ticket and you must enter the stadium immediately after purchase.
- Saving a place in line for family or friends is not allowed - only you can hold your spot in the queue.
- Game Day Window tickets are not available when the Red Sox play the New York Yankees.
- Patronize a scalper (street reseller). Although this may seem like an appealing option, keep in mind that in addition to the obvious risk of the tickets potentially being fraudulent, scalping on public property is against the law in Massachusetts (this is in stark contrast to places such as New York City where scalping is completely legal, just not on stadium property itself.) Boston Police and Fenway Park Security are very strict about enforcing the no-scalping law, patrolling around the Stadium and Kenmore T Station on game days looking for illegal ticket sales. If caught, both the seller and buyer can be arrested and prosecuted although in practice this is rare unless one is caught in a sting (see below) or is a repeat offender. The most common scenario is ticket confiscation, a police record and being ordered to stay away from the Fenway Park area for several days to a week. Beware: around the start of the season and before big games (i.e. against the Yankees, playoffs, etc...), Boston Police sometimes conduct undercover operations looking for scalpers and/or their potential customers - if you're caught in one of these stings you will be arrested, prosecuted, and likely banned from Fenway for one or more seasons.
- Online auction or classified sites such as eBay and Craigslist are also a potential source for tickets. Unlike scalping on the street, selling online is not illegal per se, although state law limits how much tickets can be resold for if they're being sold in the state of Massachusetts and the seller isn't a licensed broker. The odds of this being a problem for you as the buyer are low as eBay prevents MA based sellers from selling tickets for MA based events (unless they are licensed brokers and prominently display their license number in the listing.) The fraud risk is minimal for eBay at least - purchases are protected by the eBay A to Z Guarantee and the Red Sox aggressively investigate sellers touting counterfeit tickets.
As a last resort, you can take a worthwhile behind the scenes Fenway Park tour on non-game days or early on game days (leaves from the souvenir store on Yawkey Way) - actually, this is a must for any Red Sox fan even if you do manage to get game tickets!
The official Red Sox souvenir shop is on Landsdowne Street, located behind the Green Monster of Fenway Park. There are also many vendors along Yawkey Way, on the other side of the ballpark. Souvenir stands also exist inside Fenway Park, much like the stores outside. Obviously the selection is a bit smaller, but the prices remain the same: high. A hat runs about $30, as does a T-shirt. Other more expensive items, such as game jerseys and sweatshirts, are also sold. Lots of other novelty items exist as well, ranging from pennants to baseball cards to bobble heads.
- Panopticon Gallery, 502c Commonwealth Ave (located in the Hotel Commonwealth near the Kenmore Square T stop on the Green Line), ☎ . Tues-Fri. 10AM-6PM, Sat. 11AM-5PM. Founded in 1971, Panopticon Gallery is one of the oldest galleries in the United States dedicated solely to photography. The gallery specializes in 20th Century American Photography and emerging contemporary photography.
Note that refreshments in Fenway Park are pricey. Fenway Park’s hot-dogs, known as “Fenway Franks”, are about $3. Italian sausages will run you around $7. Like any other ballpark, Fenway sells peanuts, Cracker Jacks, popcorn, cotton candy, ice cream, etc. The costs on these items vary, but plan on paying around $4 for most.
Massachusetts Avenue passes by on the northeast side of this area, and has a number of eateries, a hardware store, and a CVS.
- Pan Thai, ☎ . 14A Westland Av.
- Whole Foods Market, Westland Av.
- El Pelon Taqueria, 92 Peterborough St. Note: under reconstruction due to a fire
- Thornton's Fenway Grille, 100 Peterborough St. Note: under reconstruction due to a fire
- Rod Dee, 94 Peterborough St, ☎ . Amazing Thai food, amazing value. Walking by it, you might not be impressed, but when you eat you will know why there are so many Zagat stickers on the door. Note: under reconstruction due to a fire
- Boca Grande, Burritos and Tacos
- Uburger, Above all other burgers - Fantastic burgers, fries, frappes, and more
- House of Blues, 15 Landsdowne St., ☎ +1 888=693-2583. Replacing the former Avalon and Axis nightclubs, this outpost of the popular chain returns to the Boston area after an 8-year hiatus. One of the newest live music venues in the city, and quickly becoming one of the most popular ones.
- Elephant Walk, 900 Beacon St, ☎ . For a slightly different menu combination, The Elephant Walk has a combined French and Cambodian menu. The setting is elegant enough for a special occasion, but intimate enough for a date. $30-40 per person before drinks.
Note that refreshments in Fenway Park are pricey. The average beer costs around $8 per cup, while sodas are usually around $5.
- Bleacher Bar, 82A Lansdowne St (in Fenway Park), ☎ . A unique bar in that it is built under the Fenway Park bleachers in right field, with a large glass window overlooking the game (even the urinals in the men's room offer a view of the field). You don't need a ticket to get in, but the place does fill up quickly.
- Cask 'n Flagon, 62 Brookline Ave, ☎ . Arguably the most famous sports bar in Boston. Located right outside Fenway Park, this bar is always packed on game days.
- Game On, 82 Landsdowne St, ☎ . Opened in 2005, this bar has made a name for itself as a worthy competitor to Cask n' Flagon.
- Boston Beer Works, 61 Brookline Ave, ☎ +1 617 536-BEER. One of the first microbreweries in the area, with 15 microbrews on tap at any given time.
- McGreevys Irish Pub and Sports Bar, 911 Boylston St. If you are looking for a real Irish Boston Sports bar than you have to stop by Mcgreevys for a pint of Samuel Adams Red Brick Irish Ale. The bar is the home of famous Irish rock band, The Dropkick Murphys, which really helps build its Irish blue-collar atmosphere. The bar has basically built its rep up to more or less be the unofficial bar of the Boston Red Sox, if you can’t get a ticket to Fenway than this is an excellent alternative.
- TC's Lounge, 1 Haviland St.
- Pink, 13 Lansdowne St, ☎ . One of the biggest women's bar and club in Boston with DJ, Dancing, VIP Lounge and more.for women. (LGBT friendly)
- Tequila Rain, 3 Landsdowne St., ☎ . Nightclub across the street from Fenway Park, playing mostly top 40 music. Tends to be frequented by college kids.
- Best Western Terrace Inn, 1650 Commonwealth Av, ☎ , fax: +1 617 731-3543. Free continental breakfast, free parking and free wireless internet.
- Hotel Commonwealth, 500 Commonwealth Avenue, ☎ . Deluxe hotel within easy walking distance to Fenway Park. Red Sox game packages available.
Red Sox fans have a reputation as rowdy and boisterous (and often aggressive), but this often overstated. Fans of opposing teams will find their Bostonian counterparts to be mostly good-spirited. However, fans of rival team the New York Yankees are likely to hear chants of “Yankees Suck” after a game between the two, and as in all situations, alcohol can be an aggravating factor. Avoiding unnecessary confrontations with particularly aggressive Boston fans is well-advised.
Fenway Park is a major tourist destination in Boston, so the surrounding area is mostly well policed and marked. However, like other cities, some general rules still apply. At night, walking with a companion or group is preferable. Boston's more dangerous neighborhoods (Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan) contain no tourist attractions, and are sufficient distance from the park that you won't have to worry about crossing over into them. Similar to other destinations which attract large amounts of people, petty theft can become an issue around Fenway - being aware of your surroundings will help to reduce the chance that an opportunistic thief will “relieve you” of your property. The crime rate in Boston is lower than most comparably sized cities, although still higher than in the surrounding suburbs.
After a Red Sox game, the streets surrounding Fenway become mobbed with people heading in various directions. If you don’t want to deal with a crowded subway, you may want to walk from Fenway to Park Street or Downtown Crossing, hubs where the Red and Green lines meet. At Downtown Crossing, additionally, the Orange Line is in play, increasing your post-game options.
Another common form of leaving Fenway is by hitching a cab, or by taking a “pedi-cab”, the bicycle riders with a sort of chariot attached to the back. These riders operate on tip only; depending on how far they are taking you, it is usually a good idea to toss them $20–25.
|Routes through Fenway-Kenmore|
|Allston (B) / Brookline (C, D) / Mission Hill (E) ←||OutB InB||→ Back Bay → Downtown|