Boston, Massachusetts, United States
- Local Time
As Boston undergoes rapid development, its sense of history only gets stronger. From iconic neighbourhoods like the North End and Beacon Hill to the skyscraper–studded Seaport District, the juxtaposition of old and new is central to the Hub’s timeless appeal. The city is readier than ever to greet visitors with world–class museums, buzzworthy restaurants, live music and more.
Due to COVID–19, please contact businesses directly to determine their current business operations before travelling.
Where to Stay
- The rooftop terrace at the Envoy Hotel in BostonThe Envoy HotelFor the waterfront views
- Murals decorate the walls within the Revolution Hotel suitesThe Revolution HotelFor the family-friendly perks
- An outdoor terrace connects to the top floor lounge at the citizenM Boston North StationcitizenM Boston North StationFor the bleisure amenities
- The grand exterior of the Fairmont Copley Plaza at nightFairmont Copley PlazaFor the old-school luxury
- A retro/hip style with vinyls framed on the wall at the Verb Hotel in BostonThe Verb HotelFor the rock ’n’ roll history
Eat & Drink
Peruvian favourites at Celeste Every night’s a dinner party at intimate Peruvian restaurant Celeste, where the friendliest staff in the world serve up killer ceviche, hearty lomo saltado and on–point pisco sours. On the weekends, they’re open in time for brunch; it’s their regular menu, so no waffles or pancakes here, but why not start the day with lamb and canary bean stew?
Natural wine and tinned seafood at haley.henry For natural–wine newbies and connoisseurs alike, the hospitable haley.henry team draws from an adventurous list of gems to find the perfect fit for every drinker. The food menu is compact due to a shoebox–size kitchen, but tinned seafood, charcuterie, crudos and artisanal toasts pair well with the wines.
Fancy steaks at Boston Chops Located in a former bank, the downtown location of Boston Chops is a marble–and–leather paradise – and the best high–end steakhouse in town. The menu features luxurious seafood towers, prime cuts of steak and some less standard options worth exploring, including fried sweetbreads, roasted bone marrow and grilled beef heart. Martini service is a must.
Modern New England seafood at Row 34 Boston is a seafood town and Row 34 is the best place to go for a taste of local flavours. The vibe here is energetic and somewhat casual, but with a creative beer list, an extensive raw bar and one of the best lobster rolls in town, it can fit the bill for more upscale events like business lunches and date nights.
No–frills noodles at Gene’s Chinese Flatbread Cafe This tiny counter–service downtown lunch spot is known for its Xi’an–style hand–pulled noodles. In–the–know diners skip the cumin lamb hand–pulled noodles and opt for the standard hand–pulled noodles — spicy, garlicky and satisfying — paired with an order of lamb skewers and a tea egg on the side.
Italian treats and coffee at Caffé Vittoria Soak up Boston’s historic North End, or Little Italy, at this multilevel café that’s been in business for nearly a century. For an afternoon pick–me–up – it’s steps from the Freedom Trail – or an after–dinner treat, pair hot chocolate (one of the best in town) with an Italian dessert like tiramisu or cannoli.
What to Do
Art and history at the Boston Athenaeum Over 200 years old, the Athenaeum is a somewhat hidden library and gallery in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill neighbourhood that features exhibitions exploring art, history and culture. Creepy fact: The Athenaeum has a book about a 19th–century convict that is bound in his skin. Arrangements must be made in advance for those who dare to see it.
Eclectic souvenirs at December Thieves A one–stop shop for crossing just about everyone off a gift–giving list, December Thieves features a unique collection of clothing, jewellery and decor from emerging artists. Find everything from framed butterflies and bronze horseshoe crab–shaped bottle openers to fine gemstone jewellery, stylish trench coats and leather bags embossed with scarabs and tigers.
A diverse art collection at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum A must for art lovers, this museum contains the varied collection of lifelong patron of the arts Isabella Stewart Gardner, who died in 1924 and left a substantial endowment to keep her museum running for decades to come. The museum was also the site of one of the art world’s most notorious — and still partially unsolved — heists.
High–end sneakers at Bodega A sneaker speakeasy of sorts, this gem is hidden behind what appears to be a typical corner store (hence the name). Designer sneaker and streetwear devotees love it; it’s the place to go for head–turning hoodies, hats and footwear from brands like Air Jordan, Carhartt WIP and Junya Watanabe, not to mention Bodega’s own brand, founded in 2006.
Family–friendly fun at Rose Kennedy Greenway Year–round (but especially in warmer months), locals and visitors alike stroll the Greenway, 2.4 kilometres of parks meandering through downtown Boston. There are food trucks and art installations throughout, as well as fountains, a carousel and seasonal beer and wine gardens. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, the Aquarium, the North End and other attractions are steps away.
Boutique hopping in the SoWa Art & Design District The SoWa district in Boston’s South End is packed with art galleries, antique stores and other excellent shopping opportunities. There are also regular events under the SoWa moniker, including a year–round weekly vintage market and the much–loved seasonal SoWa Open Market on Sundays, featuring local vendors selling everything from kids’ clothing and accessories to jewellery and specialty foods.
Live music of all genres at The Sinclair One of the Boston area’s best mid–size concert venues, the Sinclair features a jam–packed, multigenre schedule of touring acts such as Of Montreal, Red Baraat and Vanessa Carlton. The multilevel space provides good views of the stage throughout, and there are several bars located near the venue. The Sinclair’s own restaurant (next door) is a solid pre– or post–show option.
Bespoke menswear at Mr. Sid Bostonians have trusted Mr. Sid for their custom–made suits and fine men’s clothing for decades. The high–end menswear fixture is located in the suburb of Newton but recently expanded to Boston proper’s burgeoning Seaport District — it recently added a women’s line, too. The Newton location has a “grooming parlour” downstairs for facials, haircuts and manicures.
Live funk music at Wally’s Cafe Jazz Club This tiny but legendary jazz club features live music 365 days a year. Operating as an unofficial training ground for Boston’s young musicians – especially students from Berklee College of Music – it also plays host to a variety of long–term residencies of professional groups in the jazz and funk realms. The ambiance is low–key and the drinks are cheap.
Edible souvenirs at Formaggio Kitchen This specialty food shop serves a wide range of condiments, charcuterie, cheese and more from local and global producers at three locations in the Boston area. Stock up on picnic fixings (or treats to bring home), including Jasper Hill Farm cheeses, Carlisle Honey and Formaggio Kitchen’s own house–made pâtés.