Boston has always been one of my favorite cities. I enjoy history, and since Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States, I consider it one of the must visit cities in this country. Plus, I love the look and feel of some of the streets and areas in Boston- some spots will remind you of being in Europe. It's also easy to get around on foot (with a good map, of course) because downtown is reasonably compact. In fact, Boston has been nicknamed "The Walking City," so "pahk the caar," put on your comfy shoes and explore. There is so much to see, do and eat, but here's at least a mini guide that I hope is helpful for those of you planning to jet set to Boston!Here are the main areas you'll want to wander around:
Boston Common- sits at the center of the city
Downtown Crossing- main downtown commercial district
Beacon Hill- cobblestone, lamp-lit streets that are just north of the Common
North End- northwest of downtown...it is Boston's answer to Little Italy.
Chinatown- just south of the Common...can easily rival Chinatown in New York or San Francisco
Back Bay- easy-to-navigate street grid, upscale shops and restaurants, and old-money brownstones. The area begins at the west end of the Public Garden
The Esplanade- along the river, is a lovely spot for a walk
South End- south of Back Bay. This is where you should first go to stretch your post-trip legs by walking around and checking out the striking brownstones. Boston's South End has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as having the largest Victorian brick-row-house district in the U.S.
When to Go: Late Spring and Fall are the most pleasant times to visit. The winters are cold, and the summers are often humid. The best months to go are May, June, September and October.
Where to Stay:
Nine Zero Hotel- A Kimpton Hotel (pet friendly), and also a beautiful boutique hotel located in downtown. It was also recently named as one of Travel & Leisure's "Best 500 Hotels in the World." Rates start at $199 a night, but they do offer better discounts if you are a AAA member.
XV Beacon- Located in Beacon Hill, this boutique hotel is rich on detail and beautifully styled. $$$$ when it comes to price, but well worth it for the incredible service you get!Bulfinch Hotel- A stylish-yet-affordable hotel in a desirable Boston neighborhood.
Where to Eat:
Flour Bakery- (12 Farnsworth St. Boston, MA (617) 338-4333) One of the best bakeries ever! Go for delicious pastries and yummy lunch sandwiches too. There are two locations in Boston.Sonsie- (327 Newbury St Boston, MA 02115(617) 351-2500) Great pizza, clam chowder, paninos and pasta...all around great spot!Cheers Boston- (84 Beacon Street Boston, MA 02108-3421(617) 854-7667)Yes, from the t.v. show! A bit cheezy, but it is the spot "where everybody knows your name," so if you've never been, I suggest you check it out. I love their boneless Buffalo Chicken Wings!B&G Oysters, Ltd.- (550 Tremont Street Boston , Massachusetts 02118 Tel: (617) 423-0550) This is the place to go for excellent lobster rolls and bivalves.
Fun Boston Food Facts:
State Muffin- The schoolchildren of Massachusetts petitioned for the CORN MUFFIN, a staple of New England cooking, and the Legislature made it official in 1986.
State Dessert- The BOSTON CREAM PIE, created in the 19th century, was chosen as the official state dessert on December 12, 1996. A civics class from Norton High School sponsored the bill. The pie beat out other candidates, including the toll house cookie and Indian pudding.
State Cookie- The CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE was designated the official cookie of the Commonwealth on July 9, 1997. A third grade class from Somerset proposed the bill to honor the cookie invented in 1930 at the Toll House Restaurant in Whitman.
What to Do:
Boston Common and Public Garden- Boston Common is the oldest park in the country. This is a great place to have a picnic lunch. Nearby cute sandwich shops are Finagle-a-Bagel (129 Tremont St.; 617-426-3300) and Chacarero (426 Washington St.; 617-542-0392)- try one of their Chilean sandwiches of chicken or beef with Muenster cheese, string beans, tomato, avocado spread, and hot sauce.
Boston Duck Tours- (Prudential Center 800 Boylston Street Boston , Massachusetts 02199 Tel: (617) 267 3825) A fun and informative way to see the city both on land and along the Charles River.Fenway Park- (4 Yawkey Way Kenmore Square Boston , Massachusetts 02215 Tel: (617) 226-6000) Even though I was raised as a Yankees fan, I have to say that when in Boston, you must check out Fenway Park...one of the smallest stadiums in the major league. Try to catch a game and snack on a Fenway ballpark dog.Faneuil Hall Marketplace- Also known as the Quincy Market, this is the tourist-oriented mall downtown. Go here to shop, eat, and to see the famous Faneuil Hall which has been a marketplace and meeting hall since 1742. Where to Shop:
Charles Street- Get lost along the cobble-stone streets and wander into all of the antique shops.
Newbury Street- About an eight-block or one mile span where you will find clothing boutiques and high end stores, art galleries, spas and restaurants.
South End- This is a great area if you are in the market for home goods. The main streets where the stores are: Tremont, Shawmut and Washington.