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Back Bay and Beacon Hill

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Historical heavyweights, Back Bay and Beacon Hill are some of Boston's most beautiful neighborhoods. With narrow gas lit streets and scores of architecturally significant buildings, these distinctly different neighborhoods will make up the core of almost any visitors itinerary.

Understand[edit]

Beacon Hill[edit]

The Charles greets the Esplanade and brick meets skyscraper

One of the oldest communities in the city, Beacon Hill is also one of Boston's most desirable and expensive neighborhoods. The district took its name from a beacon placed here, used by early settlers as a call to arms during any unwanted invasions. When the Puritans first arrived, this area had three separate hills; most of them were leveled as used as infill for other low lying areas downtown. The hills were often called "trimount" by early Bostonians, giving root to a common street name, "Tremont". At the beginning of the 18th century, the agrarian residents would use nearby Boston Common to graze their livestock. And by centuries end, the hated British had been expelled, and a new state would call for a new state house. It was designed by prolific architect Charles Bulfinch at the end of the Revolutionary War, and built in 1795.

Construction of new homes and residences began in earnest at the dawn of the 19th century. Fabulous mansions were built, alongside symmetrical pairs of houses and exquisitely detailed row homes. During this era Beacon Hill became a seat of wealth and power, and residents of these opulent homes would call themselves Boston Brahmins. Industry still thrived here, however, and rope was manufactured for use on the ships constantly arriving in port. The Brahmins of course would not undertake this work, it was done by their neighbors, free blacks and immigrants from throughout Europe. Immigrants would also build the Brahmins their fine houses. You can see many identical structures, if less ornamented, in the Bay Village where these craftsmen lived.

Moving into the 20th century, increasing transit connections led to an economic boom in the city. Some of the more dilapidated structures were knocked down, while others would undergo extensive renovations. A neighborhood association was formed, along with an architectural commission, in order to better monitor renovation and development projects. Because of their work, brick sidewalks and several prominent buildings seem to remain almost frozen in time. Today, Beacon Hill is home to numerous antique stores, restaurants, and bars. Wealthy families still call the hill home, as do university students, young professionals, and health care workers employed across the street at Mass General Hospital.

Back Bay[edit]

Estuary no longer, spring blossoms by victorian architecture

A relative newcomer to Boston, the Back Bay was a stagnant pool of brackish water for millennia. As the city's population grew, so did the pressure to expand, and thousands of trainloads of gravel were brought in day after day, filling in most of the bay by 1882. Needless to say this wholesale reshaping of shorelines and estuaries would not fly today! One notable feature is the neighborhood was established late enough to be laid out on a grid, making it one Boston's easiest areas to navigate.

New architects hungry for fame and commissions latched onto Copley Square, and constructed some of the finest churches and libraries in America. Strict building requirements were written into new property deeds, almost forcing harmonious rows of dignified multi-story brownstone homes to spring up. Walking the streets here, it's easy to see why the Back Bay is considered one of the best-preserved examples of 19th-century urban architecture in the United States. Any modern updates to the exteriors of these homes are all but impossible. If the National Register of Historic Places or Back Bay Architectural Commission don't deny your request, neighbors who have spent millions of dollars buying into the neighborhood surely will.

During the 1960s, a major surge of development hit the city resulting in the High Spine concept. Parts of the Back Bay along the Mass Pike were rezoned for super tall and large scale construction. The thought being that large shadows cast by skyscrapers would fall over one another, and avoid throwing shade on the Common and Esplanade. These zoning laws even extend to the air rights above the highway, which are again a source of contention during todays modern construction boom. Today the area is home to wealthy families, young professionals, and used as a Pied-à-terre for foreign nationals.

Get in[edit]

Even the train stations are fashionable on this end of town

By public transit[edit]

These neighborhoods have some of the best public transit options in the city. If you're heading to Beacon Hill the Red line will be your train. Use Charles/MGH for shopping and dining destinations along Charles street, as well as easy access to the Esplanade and the Charles River. Park Street is perfect for visiting the State House, Boston Common, and other points downtown. The Orange line is another option on the Back Bay's southern border. The Back Bay and Massachusetts Ave stations are shared with the South End, and work well for visiting the Prudential Center and Christian Science Plaza.

Several stations on the Green line are located within Back Bay and Beacon Hill, these trolleys run constantly and are a great option. Largest of all is busy Park Street station, change here for the Red line. Continuing outbound from here you'll use Boylston, Arlington, and Copley. (Avoid looking like a tourist and pronounce it COP-lee, not COPE-lee.) At Copley the Green line will split into B, C, D, and E branches. They all go to Hynes Convention Center, except the E branch, which continues on to Prudential and Symphony stations. E trains are less frequent, so it might be faster for you to just go to Hynes and walk from there.

The most helpful busses are the #1 and CT1 lines, wait for them outside in front of the Hynes Convention Center stop. These busses run up and down Mass Ave, connecting travelers to Harvard Square, and Central Square respectively. The #39 leaves Back Bay station, running through Copley Square before continuing into the Fenway and to Jamaica Plain. Express busses #502 and #503 are more expensive, and will get you to Watertown and Brighton via the Mass Pike. The #10 will run you into Southie, and the #55 sits in traffic and doesn't really go anywhere.

Back Bay station is also a large transit hub, with Amtrak trains Acela Express, Northeast Regional, and Lake Shore Limited stopping here before making their final stop downtown at South Station. Same deal with the Commuter Rail. The Providence/Stoughton, Framinghham/Worcester, Needham, and Franklin lines all stop here on their way to South Station.

By foot[edit]

This is honestly going to be the best option for most visitors. The T just isn't worth it if you're only traveling a stop or two. In the time it takes to get to the station and wait for the train to arrive, you could probably have already walked to your destination. Plus much of the neighborhood charm comes from a leisurely stroll, taking the time to absorb all the historical embellishments.

By car[edit]

No.

A few years ago a local startup tried to solve the problem of parking in this area. They went out of business. If you must drive; embrace the chaos and prepare to sit in traffic, lost, for the better part of an hour. When you make a wrong turn that sucks you onto the Pike or over a bridge, don't beat yourself up too much, it happens to Bostonians all the time. There is literally a sign on the highway showing motorists how to make a U-turn to get back into Boston. When you finally arrive and need to park, try underneath the Common or in a lot near Hynes Auditorium. Expect to pay about $15 an hour when demand is low, but do not expect to find any spaces. If you do find on street parking, congratulations on all your good deeds in your previous life!

Get around[edit]

Map of Boston/Back Bay-Beacon Hill

See[edit]

Architecture[edit]

Urban oasis in the formal McKim public library courtyard.
  • 1 Boston Public Library (BPL), 700 Boylston St (T: Copley), +1 617 536-5400. M-Th 9AM-9PM, F Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. This is the headquarters of the Boston Public Library, or BPL for short. This branch is defined by its two buildings, the original McKim building from 1895, and the newer Johnson building, opened in 1972. They both are built to similar scale and use similar materials, but the ornamentation–or lack thereof–clearly separates them. The Johnson building completed extensive renovations summer of 2016; featuring a new cafe, radio station, and other amenities for the people of Boston. Don't miss the beautifully quiet interior courtyard, a place to spend a solitary moment reflecting in the heart of the city. Free. Boston Public Library on Wikipedia Boston Public Library (Q894583) on Wikidata
  • 2 Christian Science Center (Christian Science Plaza), 250 Massachusetts Ave (T: Symphony), +1 617 450-2000. 24 hours daily. This strikingly beautiful site stretches out over almost 15 of the most expensive acres of land Boston has to offer. Functioning as the center of Christian Science in America, which if you're not familiar, is a metaphysical belief system professing "sickness is an illusion that can be corrected by prayer alone". The Mother Church (1894) and its enormous extension (1906), are architecturally significant, seeming to flow into one another with fantastic detail. The long reflecting pool is great to stroll around and people watch. You'll also find a giant water fountain to the north end of the pool, a real hit with the kids during sweltering summer days. Free. Christian Science Center on Wikipedia Christian Science Center (Q20708628) on Wikidata
  • 3 Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St (T: Park Street), +1 617 727-3676, toll-free: +1 617 722-2000. M-F 8AM-6PM. The Massachusetts State House was built in 1781 on Beacon Hill, land once owned by John Hancock. The dome of the State House was re-gilded with glittering 23k gold leaf in 1997, and makes for a spectacular view at sunset from the Massachusetts Avenue bridge. Free tours are available weekdays all year long from 10AM to 3:30PM, they last about 45 minutes. The grand staircase and hall of flags are a few of the highlights. Make sure to ask about "The Sacred Cod" to get the whole story. Free. Massachusetts State House on Wikipedia Massachusetts State House (Q1150259) on Wikidata
  • 4 Skywalk Observatory (The Prudential Center), 800 Boylston Street (T: Prudential), +1 617 859-0648. 10AM-10PM daily. Enjoy a 360 degree view of Boston from the Prudential tower's observatory on the 50th floor. Here you can rent audio tour handsets, which expound on the various attractions visible from this 700ft high perch. Also on offer is a small museum detailing the role of immigration has played over the course of city history. The small movie theatre shows a brief "flyover" view of the Boston, and a second short film showing how the city itself evolved over the years. $18, seniors $15, students $14, children $12, toddlers free. Prudential Tower on Wikipedia Prudential Tower (Q606823) on Wikidata

Churches[edit]

The Old South Church welcomes all who pass by
  • 5 First Baptist Church (Brattle Square Church), 110 Commonwealth Ave (T: Copley), +1 617 267-3148. 24 hours daily, services Su 11AM-noon. Admittedly a "deep cut" of Back Bay churches, this building houses a congregation formed all the way back in 1665, during a time when being Baptist was a punishable offense. The current building was opened in 1872 and designed by H. H. Richardson, the very same architect of the more famous Trinity church anchoring Copley square. Another notable element here are the friezes seen ringing the top of the tower. These were carved on site by Frédéric Bartholdi, who would later go on to create a little something called the Statue of Liberty in New York. Free. First Baptist Church (Boston, Massachusetts) on Wikipedia First Baptist Church (Q5452368) on Wikidata
  • 6 Old South Church (Third Church), 645 Boylston St (T: Copley), +1 617 536-1970. Su 9AM-noon, Th 6PM-7PM. As one of the finest High Victorian Gothic churches in New England, the Old South Church is a stunning aesthetic landmark within the Back Bay. The interior is filled with sumptuous materials, musical instruments, and stained glass. After a misguided makeover in the 50s, a painstaking restoration took place during the late 80s. Historical members of the congregation include Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and William Dawes; Paul Revere's lesser known counterpart. (Although this building would be news to them.) Willard Sears, one of the architects responsible for this structure, also takes credit for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, another European inspired masterwork. Free. Old South Church on Wikipedia Old South Church (Q1059013) on Wikidata
  • 7 Park Street Church, 1 Park St (T: Park Street), +1 617 523-3383. 24 hours daily; services Su 8:30AM, 11AM, 4PM. Founded in 1809, this Park Street Church is on the Freedom Trail and known for a number of historical firsts. Among other things, William Lloyd Garrison delivered his first anti-slavery address here, and "My Country Tis of Thee" was first sung on the front steps. Very much still an active pro-life parish, it hosts many classes teaching English as a second language, ministers to the homeless, and assists low income families within the city of Boston. Fun fact: this was the tallest building in America for almost two decades! Free. Park Street Church on Wikipedia Park Street Church (Q1139853) on Wikidata
  • 8 Trinity Church, 206 Clarendon St (T: Copley), +1 617 536-0944. 24 hours daily. The American Institute of Architects called Trinity Church one of the "Ten Most Significant Buildings in the United States" in 1885. Today it is the only building remaining on their top ten list. Designated a National Historic Landmark, the church was designed by Henry Hobson Richardson and was consecrated in 1877. Trinity Church established Richardson's reputation, birthing a new style of architecture soon adopted for a number of public buildings across the United States. Its interior murals were completed entirely by American artists. Free. Trinity Church (Boston) on Wikipedia Trinity Church (Q901259) on Wikidata
  • 9 The Vilna Shul, 18 Phillips St (T: Charles/MGH), +1 617 523-2324. W-F 11AM-5PM, guided tours at 1PM & 3PM. A Jewish temple no longer (sort of), this storied edifice now functions as a cultural center. A place where all are welcome to share and enjoy the history of Boston's Jewish community. Major holidays and regular Jewish religious services are still performed here. Interestingly, the seating consists of pews salvaged from Roxbury's Twelfth Baptist Church. These benches would have been used by former African American slaves and volunteers in the heroic 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. Free. Vilna Shul on Wikipedia Vilna Shul (Q7931169) on Wikidata

Galleries[edit]

Landmarks[edit]

Scenic cobblestones are not ADA compliant
  • 15 54th Regiment Memorial, 22 Beacon Street (Beacon and Park streets). 24 hours daily. This monument serves as a reminder of the brave men who, as one of the first official African-American military units in the US, fought for the Union during the American Civil War. The sacrifice and fighting spirit displayed by these men was instrumental in encouraging the enlistment and acceptance of African-American troops in the north. Still, unfair treatment was institutional, and the men of the 54th would receive only $7 per month, in contrast with the $13 paid to their white brothers in arms. Refusing this monthly paycheck became a point of pride among the soldiers, who would wait about 18 months to see their wages paid in full. Free. 54th_Massachusetts_Infantry_Regiment on Wikipedia
  • 16 Acorn Street (T: Park Street or Charles/MGH). 24 hours daily. Spend a quick moment at one of the most photographed spots in the city. Your social media feeds will reward you. Free.
  • 17 Granary Burying Ground, 111 Tremont St (T: Park Street), +1 617 961-3034. 9AM-5PM daily. Founded in 1660, the Old Granary Burying Ground is Boston's third cemetery, and the final resting place for many members of the Revolutionary War. American patriots Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock are all interred here, as well as Crispus Attucks and the four other victims of the Boston Massacre. Confusingly, Benjamin Franklin does not rest here, but he was born nearby, which is the reason for the obelisk you'll see bearing his name. The graves have been repositioned from time to time, but the remains below are usually still correlated with the names above. Free. Granary Burying Ground on Wikipedia Granary Burying Ground (Q1140339) on Wikidata
  • 18 Louisburg Square (T: Charles/MGH). 24 hours daily. Why should you visit this small private square fenced in by wrought iron? Well, its gorgeously preserved federalist architecture is unique to the country for one. These magnificent townhouses rarely trade hands, but when they do they command upwards of $11 million dollars! Famous residents include, architect Charles Bulfinch, painter John Singleton Copley, and author Louisa May Alcott. Today, Secretary of State John Kerry is a contemporary resident of the square. See if you can spot the Secret Service agents as you walk past. Free. Louisburg Square on Wikipedia Louisburg Square (Q3263623) on Wikidata
  • 19 Marathon Finish Line, 665 Boylston St (T: Copley). 24 hours daily. Quite easy to visit 364 days of the year, this is the endpoint for one of the largest and most prestigious marathons in the world. The Boston Marathon has been held every year since 1897, making it the world's oldest. On race day, streets are barricaded and lined with bleacher seating, and first aid tents spring up like mushrooms in Copley Square. If you like, pay your respects to the victims of the ghastly 2013 terrorist attacks here, but there is currently no permanent memorial at this site. Free. Boston Marathon on Wikipedia Boston Marathon (Q826038) on Wikidata

Museums[edit]

Abiel Smith School, 1835, Boston's first public school for free blacks
  • 20 Boston Athenæum, 10 1/2 Beacon St (T: Park Street), +1 617 227-0270. M-Th 9AM-8PM, F 9AM-5:30PM, Sa 9AM-4PM, Su noon-4PM. One of the oldest independent libraries in the USA, the Boston Athenæum was founded in 1807 by a few young Harvard graduates. Its purpose today is the same as it ever was; serving others by providing cultural programs and preserving architecture, books and works of art. Some notable members of this storied organization include Louisa May Alcott, John Adams, and JFK. Art and architecture tours are open and available to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3PM, 1PM Sundays, and at 5:30PM Mondays. $5, free for members. Boston Athenæum on Wikipedia Boston Athenæum (Q478013) on Wikidata
  • 21 Gibson House Museum, 137 Beacon St (T: Arlington), +1 617 267-6338, e-mail: . We-Su 1PM-3PM. The Gibson house was one of the first to be built in Back Bay, and has an unparalleled state of preservation that includes wallpaper, textiles, furnishings, and family artifacts and collections. A nice reminder that no matter how rich you were in 1860, you couldn't buy air conditioning! $9, students and seniors $6, kids $3. Cash only. Gibson House Museum on Wikipedia Gibson House Museum (Q5559351) on Wikidata
  • 22 The Museum of African American History (African Meeting House, Abiel Smith School), 46 Joy Street (T: Park Street), +1 617 725-0022. M-Sa 10AM-4PM. Dedicated to preserving the historically accurate contributions of african-americans during America's colonial period. The perfect point to begin walking Boston's Black Heritage Trail. $5, children under 12 free. African Meeting House on Wikipedia African Meeting House (Q4689854) on Wikidata
  • 23 Rose Nichols House Museum, 55 Mount Vernon Street (T: Park Street), +1 617 227-6993, fax: +1 617 723-8026, e-mail: . Tu-Sa 11AM-4PM. Built in 1804, the four story Nichols House Museum showcases how the better half lived atop Beacon Hill around 1900. Kept in the family for generations, it was opened to the public in 1961. Adults $10, children under 12 free. Nichols House Museum on Wikipedia Nichols House Museum (Q7026564) on Wikidata

Parks[edit]

Light floods into the verdant Victorian era Public Garden
  • 24 Boston Common, 139 Tremont St (T: Park Street), +1 617 635-4505. 7AM-9PM daily. Founded in 1634, this the oldest park in the United States. Over the years the Common has been used for everything from grazing cows and livestock, to British encampments in the revolutionary period, to modern protests during the 20th and 21st centuries. Early after the city was founded, this was also the site of a town gallows, responsible for executing Quakers and "witches" alike. Today the Common is a nice spot for walking around and people-watching at all times of year. The Frog Pond, Central Burying Ground, and various monuments are all worthy of investigation, and scattered throughout the park. If you're visiting in winter, the big christmas tree near Brewer Fountain is donated by Halifax, Nova Scotia, in thanks for Boston's help after an explosion there in 1917. Free. Boston Common on Wikipedia Boston Common (Q49132) on Wikidata
  • 25 The Boston Public Garden, 4 Charles St (T: Arlington), +1 617 635-4505. 7AM-9PM daily. Established in 1837 by Horace Gray, the Boston Public Garden, formerly an enormous swampy salt marsh, is the largest and oldest botanical garden in the United States. The Garden features a plethora of diverse plant life, including a wide variety of native and foreign trees, and a rotating arrangement of flowers that change with the seasons. It also features numerous statues and fountains dedicated to Boston's heros throughout the ages. The park is centered on a four acre pond, which is crossed by the world's smallest suspension bridge, and teems with wildlife during the warmer months. During this time the Swan Boats are also in operation, a famous Boston Tourist attraction since 1877. In the northeast corner of the park tourists can view the wildly popular duckling statues, based on Robert McCloskey's famous children's book "Make Way For Ducklings." Free. Public Garden (Boston) on Wikipedia Public Garden (Q894579) on Wikidata
  • 26 The Esplanade (T: Charles/MGH or Hynes Convention Center). 24 hours daily. State owned park along the banks of the Charles River. Perfect for jogging, cycling, or just strolling and enjoying the view. Home of the Hatch Shell, where live events take place during the warmer months, and where the Boston Pops play their spectacular 4th of July concert. Laze out in the sun on the public dock, or take a gondola ride along the Charles. You'll meet many Bostonians out and about year round, picnicking, reading, or just doing nothing at all. It's easy to get here by walking down the ramp on the east side of the Mass Ave bridge, or the ramp adjacent to the Charles/MGH Red line station. A third option is a footbridge overpass near the northeastern corner of the Public Garden. Free. Charles River Esplanade on Wikipedia Charles River Esplanade (Q5082074) on Wikidata

Itineraries[edit]

  • The Freedom Trail — A major tourist draw of significant historical sites in Boston. These 17 locations spread over two and a half miles are crucial to understanding revolutionary era America. A few are located here.
  • Black Heritage Trail — This less touristed trail covers ten sites important in American black history scattered throughout Beacon Hill.

Do[edit]

Or don't do any of the stuff on this list and just take a break instead
  • 1 Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 747-2261. Box office: M-Sa 10AM-6PM. Owned by the prestigious Berklee College of Music, this performance space has something going on about 200 days out of the year. The college uses the 1200 seats at this location to present its most popular events, mainly featuring current students and faculty. Musical offerings such as the Singers Showcase, International Folk Festival, and the Beantown Jazz Festival all take place here. Free to $100 depending on the date and performer. Berklee Performance Center on Wikipedia Berklee Performance Center (Q4892165) on Wikidata
  • 2 Community Boating (CBI), 21 David G Mugar Way (T: Charles/MGH), +1 617 523-1038. M–F 1PM–sunset, Sa Su 9AM–sunset. A non-profit, CBI offers members instruction for sailing and windsurfing, and allows members to use CBI-owned sailboats on the Charles River. They've also got kayaks and paddleboards for rent. Check out their yearly and monthly memberships if you're going to be in town awhile. Organized in 1946, it is the oldest continuously operating community sailing program in the country. $40 daily kayak rental, $79 daily sailboat rental.. Community Boating, Inc on Wikipedia Community Boating, Inc (Q5154649) on Wikidata
  • 3 Frog Pond, Boston Common (T: Park Street), +1 617 635-2120. M 10AM-3:45PM, Tu-Th 10AM-9PM, F-Sa 10AM-10PM, Su 10AM-9PM. A great place for the kids, and open year round. In the wintertime an ice skating rink is set up, and children and adults skate around in circles all day. During the warmer months, the Frog Pond expands beyond the rink, providing ankle deep water perfect for toddlers to wade around in. Right next door is the "Tadpole Playground" with all manner of slides and other activities for the little ones. Stroller city. Skate rental $6, humans shorter than 58 inches free.
  • 4 Gondola Di Venezia, By the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade (T: Charles/MGH), +1 617 876-2800. F-Su 2PM-10PM May-Oct. Have a gondolier tour you and a loved one around the Charles river to a recorded classical Italian soundscape. Tours accommodate up to 6 people and last 45 minutes to an hour, depending what you pay for. They all include little cheese and cracker snacks, and can include chocolates, flowers, even wine and champagne. It's exactly what you're imagining. $99-239 per couple, +$15 per additional person.
  • 5 Mary Baker Eddy Library (Christian Science Center), 200 Massachusetts Ave (T: Symphony), +1 617 450-7000. Tu-Su 10AM-4PM. Don't be fooled into thinking that this is just a library. The archives of Mary Baker Eddy; one of the most famous women of the early 20th century are found here, as is the Mapparium; a three-story stained glass globe depicting the world as it was in 1935 that you can actually walk through! While waiting for the twenty minute tour to commence, you can explore the Hall of Ideas and literally find the thoughts of some of the world's greatest thinkers at your feet. $6. Mary Baker Eddy Library on Wikipedia Mary Baker Eddy Library (Q6778995) on Wikidata
  • 6 Swan Boats, The Lagoon (T: Arlington), +1 617 522-1966. Spring 10AM-4PM daily, Summer 10AM-5PM daily, Fall M-F noon-4PM, Sa Su 10AM-4PM. Located in the Lagoon, a 4-acre pond in the center of the Public Garden, the Swan Boats are one of the most famous and traditional icons of the city of Boston. Founded in 1877 by British immigrant and engineer Robert Paget, the boats have been preserved for over the years by the Paget family for tourist pleasure and enjoyment. Each of the six human powered boats is shaped like a white swan and carries around 20 adults. Enjoy a relaxing 15-minute trip around the pond and take in a beautiful tour of the Boston Public Garden. $3.50, seniors $3, children $2, toddlers free. Swan Boats (Boston, Massachusetts) on Wikipedia Swan Boats (Q7653422) on Wikidata

Events[edit]

  • Anime Boston. This event usually takes place over one weekend in April or March in the Hynes Convention Center. Anime Boston has been an ongoing yearly convention of people from around the east coast who love Anime and Videogames. Anime Boston has been occurring since 2003, and is going as strong as ever with as many as 17,236 people attending during their 2010 convention. There are many things to do during this convention, such as attending artist workshops, attend events based around your favorite anime, visit the giant dealers room and buy memorabilia, watch cosplayers act out skits, or one of many events that are held throughout the weekend long convention. For adults, a weekend pass is $55, for children between the ages of 6 and 12 it is $45 and for children 5 and under it is free. A one day pass for adults is $35, for children between 6 and 12 it is $25, and for children under 5 it is free. Their hours of operation for the upcoming convention are; Friday April 6, 8AM-8PM; Saturday, April 7, 8AM–8PM; and Sunday, April 8, 8AM-12PM.
  • Shakespeare on the Common (Boston Common). Every year in late July-early August, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company puts on free performances on Boston Common of various Shakespeare works. Performances are well attended, but there are few space constraints so you should be able to find a decent vantage point. Food Trucks show up and picnicking is a popular activity.

Buy[edit]

Get to steppin', you've got a lot of ground to cover

The Back Bay is by far the place to shop anywhere in New England. Between its two giant shopping malls and streets seemingly designed for browsing, there is little chance something you want can't be found here. Beacon Hill also has a nice main commercial district, offering wares for locals and tourists alike. First, a few quirkier spots not found in the malls and high streets:

  • 1 Bacco's Wine & Cheese, 31 St James Ave (T: Arlington), +1 617 574-1751. M-Sa 10AM-8PM, Su noon-6PM. Feeling French today? Then this is the perfect place to pick up a few quality comestibles before heading over to the park for your picnic. If you'll be imbibing, make sure to pick up a few unlabeled opaque cups to drink from. The laws here are not quite as tolerant as you'll find across the pond.
  • 2 Bodega, 6 Clearway St (T: Hynes Convention Center), e-mail: . M-W 11AM-6PM, Th-Sa 11AM-8PM, Su noon-6PM. Fun skater/streetwear shop with an enormous sneaker selection. The entrance is old hat by now, but still fun. Walk into what appears to be a simple bodega and investigate the vending machine. Operated by the "cashier", it soon swings open to reveal a little hallway and the real store beyond.
  • 3 Leica Store and Gallery (Boston Park Plaza), 74 Arlington St (T: Arlington), +1 857 305-3609. M-Sa 10AM-7PM, Su 11AM-6PM. Not everyone has a few thousand dollars burning a hole in your pocket to throw at a new camera. But if you appreciate photography or industrial design a little window shopping here is time well spent.
  • 4 Marshall's, 500 Boylston St (T: Copley), +1 617 262-6066. M-Sa 9AM-9PM, Su 10AM-8PM. Headquartered in nearby Framingham, this branch offers off-price department store clothing. If it fits it's a bargain, basically the same concept (and company) as T.J. Maxx.
  • 5 Sweet N' Nasty, 90 Massachusetts Ave (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 266-7171. Tu Sa 11AM-6PM, W-F 11AM-7PM, Su noon-5PM. Stop in and pick up a cake shaped like any genitalia you like. They use high quality ingredients and get real creative with the frosting. They also sell a variety of obscene lollypops, pick one up for a friend and tell them to "eat a dick".
  • 6 Trader Joe's, 899 Boylston St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 262-6505. 9AM-10PM daily. A simple grocery store used by locals in the area. Some pre-made foods, and many frozen options for the traveller on the go. It's quite popular after work, so visit earlier or later to avoid the lines.

Charles Street[edit]

Even if shopping isn't on your to-do list, a walk down Charles street probably should be. Scenic gas lamps and centuries old bricks warm views up and down the road. One of the strictest historical preservation codes in the country ensures even a basic convenience store located here needs to hang a shingle of hand carved wood embossed with gold leaf.

Malls[edit]

  • 12 Copley Place, 100 Huntington Ave (T: Back Bay), +1 617 262-6600. M-Sa 10AM-8PM, Su noon-6PM. A very upscale and luxurious mall. It seems even odd to call it a mall, but hey, that's the format they've chosen. Most things here are not affordable to mortal humans, check out Tiffany & Co. as a prime example. Hawking some of the finest jewelry in the city, this is a great spot to window shop. Entering the store is basically walking into a bank vault, get a load of those doors! Across the mall Moncler, an apparel and outerwear store, offers several sweatshirt styles from around $1000. Alternatively, grab yourself a pair of designer Jimmy Choo shoes from $600-1800, or pop into Rigby & Peller for something a little more intimate but just as expensive. If you head up to the second floor you may have a better shot; with more traditional retailers like Gap, J. Crew, and Banana Republic selling clothing for the rest of us. Ongoing renovations should wrap up by the end of 2017, but the stores remain open, through you may notice a few empty spaces.
  • 13 Prudential Center, 101 Huntington Ave (T: Back Bay), +1 617 236-3100. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-7PM. The more downmarket of the two malls here, (although that's not saying much) and clearly the larger, the shops at the Pru are always changing. Popular boutiques like Shinola offer plenty of stylish "lifestyle" oriented clothing and objects. Or head next door to Sephora for all the beauty products and fragrances to get your body and mind aligned. One of the best places to look without buying is the new Tesla showroom on the ground floor of the Boylston street side. Between the technology, design, or just the cars themselves, it's likely something will catch your eye. There are of course plenty of additional clothing retailers in residence: Express, Lacoste, and Polo to mention just a few. Right alongside them are even more shops with shoes, jewelry, and accessories like Aldo, Swarovski, and Kate Spade.

Newbury Street[edit]

Newbury is built more to human scale, and also more crowded

If shopping is the question, beautiful and historic Newbury Street has the answer. As you walk from the Public Garden westward to Mass Ave; Newbury transitions from "high end" to "low end" boutiques. The street is narrow but not confining and filled mainly with appealing 19th century brownstones, the cafes and restaurants peppered throughout act as calls to linger. Over the years the street has crept closer and closer to becoming a giant outdoor mall, with familiar storefronts H&M, Zara, Nike World, Brooks Brothers, Anthropologie, and Urban Outfitters interspersed among some of the more uncommon shops listed below.

  • 14 Johnny Cupcakes, 279 Newbury St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 375-0100. M-Sa 11AM-8PM, Su 11AM-7PM. Founded by Johnny Earle who got his start allegedly selling t-shirts out of his car while working at Newbury Comics. Quite popular, there are now a few stores nationally. The brand generally sells apparel emblazoned with iconic symbols that have been replaced by cupcakes. Like their logo, a skull and crossbones with a cupcake swapped for the skull.
  • 15 Muji, 359 Newbury St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 502-1170. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 10AM-8PM. If you're visiting from Japan or China, you'd hardly bat an eye at yet another Muji store. But this spot is one of a handful of locations to open stateside, offering their signature "no-style" style. Kind of like a cross between Ikea, the Container Store, and Uniqlo.
  • 16 Newbury Comics, 332 Newbury St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 236-4930. M-Sa 10AM-10PM, Su 11AM-8PM. This location is Newbury Comics' flagship store, and where it all started. It used to sell tons of music alongside it's t-shirts and posters, but has changed with the times to sell more of the comic and music related ephemera customers crave. Newbury Comics on Wikipedia Newbury Comics (Q7017229) on Wikidata
  • 17 Rick Walker's, 306 Newbury St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 482-7426. Noon-7:30PM daily. Long running (since 1932) purveyor of vintage western style. Get your cowboys hats and boots right here. Both kinds of music are played in the store, country and western.
  • 18 Trident Booksellers and Cafe, 338 Newbury St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 267-8688. 8AM-midnight daily. Great neighborhood bookstore also adapting to changing market demands. Still sells a wide variety of thoughtfully curated books and magazines on two floors. Today, however, the excellent cafe does a brisk business and keeps them in the black. Plenty of reading material while you wait!

Eat[edit]

This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under $20
Mid-range $20 - $40
Splurge Over $40

Budget[edit]

  • 1 The Upper Crust Pizzeria, 20 Charles Street (T: Charles/MGH), +1 617 723-9600. Su-W 11AM-10PM, Th-Sa 11AM-11PM. A local upscale pizza chain, good spot for a good slice. Some seating on premises, but it can fill up fast if/when a large party shows up. $6-16.
  • 2 Fill-A-Buster, 142 Bowdoin St (T: Park Street), +1 617 523-8164. M-F 7AM-4:30PM. A favorite with the workers of Beacon Hill, Fill-A-Buster is a small deli with a huge menu running from classic American breakfasts to falafel. Portions are big, prices are low, and you might see a politician (or at least their staff). Breakfast and sandwiches $4-8.
  • 3 Hsin Hsin Café, 25 Massachusetts Ave (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 536-9852. W-M Noon-11PM. A cheap and fast Chinese & Japanese food joint, popular among students living in the area. Starters $5-9, mains $9-12.
  • 4 Lucy Ethiopian Cafe, 334 Massachusetts Ave (T: Symphony), +1 617 536-0415. Su-W 11AM-9PM, Th-Sa 11AM-9:30PM. Surprisingly good Ethiopian can be found in this odd corner of the Back Bay. Bring a few friends and share a large combo platter, everything's good and the Injera bread is all the silverware you need. Vegetarian options are available and up to snuff. No A/C, but it's probably not hot enough to need it anyway. $9-15.
  • 5 Cafe Jaffa, 48 Gloucester St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 536-0230. M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su noon-9:30PM. This café has been offering a variety of Middle Eastern fare since opening in 1991. Always busy, rarely crowded, ask the friendly staff what's fresh and good today. Shawarma and hummus are perennial favorites of course, but give some of the juices a shot too. They have an average selection of beer and wine. Starters, sandwiches, plates $6-12; some mains $20-24.
  • 6 New Sushi, 106 Cambridge St (T: Bowdoin), +1 857 277-0981. M-Sa 11AM-9PM, Su noon-9PM. Offering a sushi burrito and poke bowls. $8-12.
  • 7 The Friendly Toast, 35 Stanhope St (T: Back Bay), +1 617 456-7849. M-Th 7AM-10PM, F 7AM-3AM, Sa 8AM-3AM, Su 8AM-9PM. With a kitchy, retro 50s vibe, this Back Bay location is open insanely late on Friday and Saturday, well for Boston anyway. Known for their filling breakfast food served whenever you're ready to eat it. Service usually has just the right amount of attitude. A wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options. $9-15.
  • 8 Cornish Pasty Co, 51 Massachusetts Ave (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 857 250-4497. Tu-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su noon-10PM. Dark wood and repurposed church pews set the mood at this American take on British pasty pies. The traditional style, filled with steak, potato, onions and rutabaga pairs wonderfully with the red wine gravy. Other options include fillings like Stilton cheese, or might have more of a Vegetarian, Mexican or Indian theme to them. Nail it all down with the Banoffee pie, made on premises. Serving bottled beer and cider while they await licensing for the taps. Pies $12-13, starters and desserts $6-10.
  • 9 The Parish Cafe, 361 Boylston Street (T: Arlington), +1 617 247-4777. M-Sa 11:30AM-2AM, Su noon-2AM. A casual place with a moderate side walk cafe. Their specialty is sandwiches designed by some of the best chefs in Boston. They've also got a great cocktail menu and beer selection. If it's nice out everyone will have the idea to grab an outdoor seat at the same time. $12-16.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 10 Santouka Ramen, 66 Hereford St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 857 310-5194. M-Th 11AM-9:30PM, F Sa 11AM-10:30PM, Su 11AM-9PM. The second, and smaller, location in Boston for this tiny national chain is all three: good cheap and quick. The reduction of space has meant the menu has been slashed to one item only, ramen. Choose between tonkotsu, tonkotsu, or tonkotsu style broth and load it up with various cuts of pork. There is a vegetarian option too, and of course a number of add-ons for your dish. $12-18.
  • 11 Eataly (Prudential Center), 800 Boylston St (T: Copley), +1 617 807-7300. M-F 7AM-11PM, Sa Su 9AM-11PM. $12-22.
  • 12 The Paramount, 44 Charles Street (T: Charles/MGH), +1 617 720-1152. M-F 7AM-10PM, Sa Su 8AM-10PM. A local, cafeteria style "joint" with great breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Sister restaurant in Southie. Starters $10-14, mains $16-24.
  • 13 Sonsie, 327 Newbury St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 351-2500. 8AM-1AM daily. Extremely trendy and somewhat expensive, Sonsie is known as a place for beautiful people. Multiple celebrities have dined here, and a few movies have been filmed within. There is reason for this, the food is excellent, the atmosphere serene and the downstairs wine bar is to die for. Starters $7-14, mains $14-24.
  • 14 75 Chestnut, 75 Chestnut St (T: Charles/MGH), +1 617 227-2175. Su-Th 5PM-midnight, F Sa 5PM-1AM. Casual (for Beacon Hill) restaurant with attached bar. Has a pretty typical American style bistro menu and tin ceilings. Also seasonally open for brunch on the weekends. $18-26.
  • 15 Toscano, 47 Charles St (T: Charles/MGH), +1 617 723-4090. 11:30AM-10PM daily. Fancy Tuscan restaurant. Starters $10-14, mains $13-35.
  • 16 Stephanie's On Newbury, 190 Newbury St (T: Copley), +1 617 236-0990. M-W 7:30AM-midnight, Th F 7:30AM-1AM, Sa 9AM-1AM, Su 9AM-11PM. Starters $14-24, mains $20-30.
  • 17 Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar, 271 Dartmouth St (T: Copley), +1 617 369-5609. 5PM-2AM daily. Tapa style dishes $8-16, drinks $6-14.
  • 18 The Capital Grille (Hynes Convention Center), 900 Boylston St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 262-8900. M-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F 11:30AM-11PM, Sa 5PM-11PM, Su 4PM-9PM. Starters $10-20, mains $18-35.

Splurge[edit]

Paying for the view? Suggestion: if you can't see up don't go up
  • 19 Grotto, 37 Bowdoin St (T: Government Center), +1 617 227-3434. M-W 11:30AM-3PM, 5PM-10PM daily. Intimate Italian restaurant in the shadow of the State House. There is a nightly prix fixe menu. $40 three course prix fixe dinner.
  • 20 Select Oyster Bar, 50 Gloucester St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 857 239-8064. M-Th 11:30AM-2:30PM, 4:30PM-9:30PM, F Sa 11:30AM-10:30PM, Su 11:30AM-10:30PM. Mondays only prix fixe 3 course $33, starters $12-18, mains $28-52.
  • 21 Atlantic Fish Company, 761 Boylston St (T: Copley), +1 617 267-4000. M-Th 11:30AM-11PM, F 11:30AM-11:30PM, Sa 11AM-11:30PM, Su 11AM-11PM. Starters $15-20, mains $25-50.
  • 22 Abe and Louie's, 793 Boylston St (T: Copley), +1 617 536-6300. Su-Th 11:30AM-11PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-midnight. A happening steakhouse with some of the best cuts in town. Make sure to get reservations or come in on off hours. One sister location in Boca Raton Florida if that tells you anything. Starters $18-22, mains $30-50+.
  • 23 Grill 23 & Bar, 161 Berkeley St (T: Arlington), +1 617 542-2255. 5:30PM-10:30PM daily. Certainly a contender for the best steaks in Boston. Also serves excellent seafood entrees. Private dining rooms available. Make sure to make weekend reservations at least a week in advance. Starters $14-18, mains $30-60+.
  • 24 Top of the Hub (Prudential Center), 800 Boylston Street, Floor 52 (T: Prudential), +1 617 536-1775. 11:30AM-1:00AM daily. Dine in luxury at the top of the second tallest building in the city. Light jazz, good food, and high prices accompany a view of the city and everything around. On a clear day, you can see Maine and Cape Cod. Prix fixe $80, add $35 for paired wines. $50-70 a la carte.
  • 25 Asta, 47 Massachusetts Ave (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 585-9575. Tu-Sa 6PM-9:30PM. Prix fixe $80 for five courses, $110 for eight, add another $45/60 for wine parings.
  • 26 No.9 Park, 9 Park St (T: Park Street), +1 617 742-9991. Su-W 5PM-9PM, Th-Sa 5PM-10PM. The flagship restaurant of Barbara Lynch (she also operates the B&G Oyster Co. and The Butcher Shop in South End) and one of the most acclaimed restaurant in Boston. Choose from an a la carte menu or order a multi-course tasting menu. Prix fixe $125, add $81 for wine pairings. A la carte $45-70.
  • 27 L'Espalier, 774 Boylston St (T: Copley), +1 617 262-3023. W-Su 11:30AM-2:30PM; 5:30PM-10:30PM daily. The flagship French restaurant in Boston headed by award-winning chef Frank McClelland. Impeccable service and memorable cuisine make this a top choice for special occasions. Choose from several fix-priced multi-course menus (no a la carte menu available). Make reservations way in advance. Prix fixe options: $95/$118/208 add $76/98/152 for the vintner's tasting.

Drink[edit]

Surprisingly, this tourist trap from a bygone era still draws the crowds
  • 1 21st Amendment, 150 Bowdoin St (T: Park Street), +1 617 227-7100. 11:30AM-2AM daily. Directly across the street from the State House, this is a great spot to relax or do a little politicking after work. The low ceilings with rustic beams and dark wood make it a cosy spot to imbibe a glass of your favorite poison. In wintertime, go during off hours, slide into a window seat and just watch the quiet snow fall. Bar food $8-12, drinks $6-12.
  • 2 Beacon Hill Pub, 149 Charles St (T: Charles/MGH), +1 617 523-1895. Noon-2AM daily. Delightfully out of place. Beacon Hill is upper class Boston, but Beacon Hill Pub is a cheap, working class dive that has become popular with students. There is even a foosball table inside, perish the thought! Drinks $6-9.
  • 3 Bukowski Tavern (Bukowski's), 50 Dalton St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 437-9999. M-Sa 11:30AM-2AM, Su noon-2AM. Top notch beer list and excellent mixed drinks at this long running boozy spot. Wear your tightest jeans and vintage threads to this narrow, deep, and almost windowless space. Can't decide? Ask to "spin the wheel" and drink whatever it lands on. Be ready with cash, however, there are no do-overs even if it stops on a pricy option. ATM on premises. Bar food $8-12, drinks $6-10.
  • 4 Cheers (Bull & Finch Pub), 84 Beacon St (T: Park Street), +1 617-227-9605. 11AM-2AM daily. After visiting this bar and chatting with bartender Eddie Doyle, Cheers producers decided to create a show based off of this very pub. Trudge down the staircase of this iconic facade with the rest of the increasingly grey-haired crowd as you fondly remember when "everybody knows your name". Dated memorabilia lines the walls, and a can of something called "Norm's Nuts" is/are available for sale in the gift shop at this fantastically touristy location. Here only the exterior looks like TV, not the inside. If you want it the other way around head downtown to Faneuil Hall. Cheers Beacon Hill on Wikipedia Cheers Beacon Hill (Q1394532) on Wikidata
  • 5 McGreevy's Boston, 911 Boylston St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 262-0911. M-F 11AM-2AM, Sa Su 10AM-2AM. If you are looking for a real Irish Boston Sports bar than you have to stop by McGreevy's and hoist a pint. The bar is the home of famous Irish rock band, The Dropkick Murphys, which really helps build its blue-collar atmosphere. The bar has positioned itself to be the unofficial bar of the Boston Red Sox, so if you can’t get a ticket to Fenway than this is a great alternative. $9-14.
  • 6 The Pour House, 907 Boylston St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 236-1767. 8AM-2AM daily. A favorite with locals, the Pour House offers cheap food and drinks in a fun atmosphere. Weekends tend to be crowded, but during the day it is a great place for a cold brew and gigantic plate of nachos. Specific day specials, bars upstairs and down, oh and it's seat yourself. Food $8-14.
  • 7 The Sevens Ale House, 77 Charles St (T: Charles/MGH), +1 617 523-9074. M-Sa 11:30AM-1AM, Su noon-1AM. Casual drinking establishment with a pretty typical pub menu. Not much in the way of selection or amenities, but you're in the middle of it all and the prices can't be beat. It manages to be a neighborhood bar despite occasionally being swamped with tourists. $8-16.
  • 8 Tip Tap Room, 138 Cambridge St (T: Bowdoin), +1 857 350-3344. M-F 11:30AM-2AM, Sa Su 10:30AM-2AM. This pub serving spendy modern victuals, is also known for its wide ranging beer selection. Serving varieties from brewers around the country like Solemn Oath, Single Cut and Wicked Weed; they also sling local favorites like Jack's Abbey and Night Shift. Main course fare is pricy and meat heavy, with few outs for vegetarians. Food $15-30, beers $7-15.

Coffee[edit]

  • 9 Barrington Coffee Roasting Company, 303 Newbury St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 857 250-2780. 7AM-7PM daily.
  • 10 Farmer Horse Coffee, 374 Massachusetts Ave (T: Mass Ave), +1 617 487-1513. M-Sa 7AM-8PM, Su 8AM-8PM.
  • 11 Pavement Coffeehouse, 286 Newbury St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 859-9515. 7AM-7PM daily. The only one of this tiny Boston chain to escape the Fenway area. Offers a variety of selections on the menu from single origin coffee, to bagels and sandwiches. $3-10.
  • 12 Pressed, 120 Charles St (T: Charles/MGH), +1 857 350-3103. M-F 7AM-6PM, Sa Su 9AM-6PM. Fancy smoothie spot with cold pressed juices and a small vegetarian food menu.
  • 13 Thinking Cup, 85 Newbury St (T: Arlington), +1 617 247-3333. M-W 7AM-10PM, Th-Su 7AM-11PM.
  • 14 Wired Puppy, 250 Newbury St (T: Copley), +1 857 366-4655. 6:30AM-7:30PM daily.
  • 15 Tatte, 70 Charles St (T: Charles/MGH), +1 617 723-5555. M-F 7AM-8PM, Sa 8AM-8PM, Su 8AM-7PM.

Sleep[edit]

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under $175
Mid-range $175 - $230
Splurge Over $230

Budget[edit]

  • 1 463 Beacon Street Guest House, 463 Beacon St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 536-1302. Check-in: 1PM, check-out: 11AM. Budget accommodations near Newbury, Fenway, and the Mass Ave bridge. Just a few blocks from the T station. Not fancy, not especially clean, not great reviews, but that price point makes it worth considering. $89-159.
  • 2 The College Club of Boston, 44 Commonwealth Ave (T: Arlington), +1 617 536-9510, e-mail: . The oldest women's college club in the nation is also a reasonably priced B&B next to the Boston Public Garden. Rents rooms to women and men. Small historic brownstone overlooking Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Eleven newly renovated and individually decorated rooms furnished with antiques. From $89.
  • 3 Midtown Hotel, 220 Huntington Ave (T: Symphony), +1 617 262-1000. Budget hotel/motel within walking distance of Fenway, Copley, the Museum of Fine Arts, and Newbury Street. Parking $30. $109-259.
  • 4 John Jeffries House, 14 David G. Mugar Way (T: Charles/MGH), +1 617 367-1866, fax: +1 617-742-0313. From $119-179.
  • 5 Charlesmark Hotel, 655 Boylston St (T: Copley), +1 617 247-1212. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: Noon. In some ways, the Charlesmark resembles what the W chain would be, if it had taste. Rooms are generally quite small, but comfortable: so efficiently designed, they 'seem more spacious than they actually are. Complimentary Continental breakfast is limited, but a 7-Eleven around the corner can fill in any gaps, and there are plenty of good restaurants nearby. Half a block from the Green and Orange Lines, and Back Bay Amtrak are within easy walking distance, even with luggage. Nice people. Complimentary computer workstations available in lobby; complimentary WiFi throughout. From $149.
  • 6 Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton St, +1 617 236-2000, toll-free: +1 888 627-705. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: Noon. Sheraton Boston is located in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood and is connected to the Hynes Convention Center and the Prudential and Copley malls. All rooms are recently renovated and feature flat-screen televisions, Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bedding and work-stations. The hotel features 70,000 square feet of meeting space on-property, with 175,000 square feet available at the Hynes Convention Center. From $150.
  • 7 Beacon Hill Hotel, 25 Charles St (T: Charles/MGH), +1 617 723-1133. Upscale boutique hotel on Beacon Hill's main thoroughfare. The bistro downstairs is open to the public and offers a quality meal at reasonable prices for the area. From $169.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 8 The Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers, 50 Park Plaza (T: Arlington), +1 617 426-5545. A member of the Historic Hotels of America, The Boston Park Plaza has welcomed numerous U.S. presidents and foreign dignitaries. The hotel is located in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood adjacent to the Boston Public Gardens. The hotel features 941 guest rooms and 38 meeting and conference rooms totaling 14,000 square feet of meeting space. From $179.
  • 9 The Copley Square Hotel, 47 Huntington Ave (T: Copley), +1 617 536-9000. Located in historic Copley Square, walking distance to Fenway Park, Newbury Street and Boston Common. This Boston hotel features 143 hotel rooms and suites. The Copley Square Hotel offers on-site dining at its restaurant, XHale, and live music at its lounge, Saint. From $199.
  • 10 Hilton Boston Back Bay, 40 Dalton St (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 236-1100. The Hilton Boston Back Bay hotel offers boutique-style lodging situated just steps away from all the excitement Boston has to offer. Walk from the hotel to fashionable Newbury Street and Copley Square for fabulous shopping and dining or make the short walk to historic Fenway Park. From $199.
  • 11 Taj Boston, 15 Arlington St (T: Arlington), +1 617 536-5700, fax: +1 617 536-1335. This is the original Ritz-Carlton, and is located right in the heart of downtown Boston on the Newbury Street side. From $199.
  • 12 The Lenox Hotel, 61 Exeter St (T: Copley), +1 617 536-5300. A 214-room boutique hotel offers the historic charm, personalized service and modern technology. U.S. News & World Report chose it as "1 of the 5 Greenest Luxury Hotels in America". From $215.
  • 13 The Colonnade Boston Hotel, 120 Huntington Ave (T: Back Bay Station), +1 617 424-7000, fax: +1 617 424-1717. Check-out: 2PM. This hotel is great for business and leisure travelers who are looking for a unique experience. The hotel offers 13,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and has a rooftop pool. Discounted rates for longer stays. From $219.
  • 14 The Eliot Hotel, 370 Commonwealth Ave (T: Hynes Convention Center), +1 617 267-1607, toll-free: +1-800 443-5468, fax: +1 617 536-9114, e-mail: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: Noon. Classy hotel on the main drag. $225.
  • 15 Loews Boston Hotel, 154 Berkeley St (T: Back Bay), +1 617 266-7200, toll-free: +1 877 872-3658. Loews Boston Hotel is a city landmark boasting 225 elegantly appointed guest rooms, a collection of spacious suites and a host of luxury perks for the modern traveler—all in the heart of the ultra-exclusive Back Bay neighborhood. Housed in the former Boston Police Headquarters, which was built in 1924, this luxury Boston hotel is a unique blend of historic charm and contemporary comfort. From $225.

Splurge[edit]

Host to royalty, the Fairmont Copley is actually in the heart of it all
  • 16 The Westin Copley Place, 10 Huntington Ave (T: Copley), +1 617 262-9600, toll-free: +1 888 627-7216. The Westin Copley Place is located in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood at Copley Square. The hotel is also connected to the Copley Place and Prudential Center Malls. This AAA Four Diamond-rated hotel features the Westin Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Bath products, a gym, and high-speed internet access. From $229.
  • 17 Courtyard Boston Copley Square (Marriott), 88 Exeter St (T: Copley), +1 617 437-9300. Every room in the hotel has been professionally designed to create an atmosphere of serenity and comfort, while maintaining the state-of-the-art amenities you've come to expect from a Marriott. From $249.
  • 18 The Fairmont Copley Plaza, 138 St James Ave (T: Copley), +1 617 267-5300, toll-free: +1 866 540-4417. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: Noon. Recently renovated and restored, this Boston hotel features 383 rooms including 17 elegant suites. The Fairmont is located near historic Beacon Hill, Copley Place, the Hynes Convention Center and the Freedom Trail. From $249. The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel on Wikipedia The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel (Q7733116) on Wikidata
  • 19 Boston Marriott (Copley Place), 110 Huntington Ave (T: Back Bay), +1 617 236-5800. This hotel is great for business and leisure travel and offers 65,000 sq ft of flexible meeting & event space. From $259.
  • 20 Four Seasons Hotel Boston, 200 Boylston St (T: Arlington), +1 617 338-4400, fax: +1 617 423-0154. This is New England's only AAA Five Diamond and Mobil Five Star hotel and it is located right across from the Public Garden. The Four Seasons Hotel provides unbeatable views and close proximity to all major attractions. The lobby lounge (Bristol Lounge) has an excellent post-theatre dessert buffet during weekends. Also available: thick terry bathrobes and slippers, nice. From $595 to "if you have to ask".

Go next[edit]

  • Haven't yet slaked your unquenchable thirst for commerce? Head south to the South End and keep the capitalism train rolling at SoWa Market.
  • Like those old churches and cemeteries? Keep exploring the Freedom Trail as it heads east into downtown Boston.
  • Still want to eat good food, but everything here is too expensive? Hop a trolley to Allston's student focused fare.
  • The museums in the Fenway neighborhood, like the Isabella Stewart Gardner, are some of the finest in the city.
  • Climb aboard "the People's Chariot" (the #1 bus), and ride it across the Charles and into "the People's Republic" of Cambridge.
Routes through Back Bay-Beacon Hill
Splits into "B", "C", and "D" BranchesFenway-Kenmore  W MBTA Green Line.png E  DowntownCambridge
Jamaica PlainFenway-Kenmore  SW MBTA Green Line E.png NE  Merges with main Green Line
DowntownChinatown  N MBTA Orange Line.png S  South EndJamaica Plain
NeedhamMission Hill  W MBTA Needham icon.png E  DowntownEND
END  SW MBTA Blue Line.png NE  DowntownRevere
ENDCambridge  N MBTA Red Line.png S  DowntownBraintree


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