Neighborhood Haunts & Gems
Boston’s vast array of neighborhoods is a diverse and colorful mix of landscape, people, and food. Some of the classics, like the Fenway area, Boston Harbor, or Beacon Hill, are most well-known. However, there are some seriously impressive areas where locals (not tourists) line the streets, along with quaint cafes and little known art galleries.
South End Exploring
The crown jewel of Boston’s hidden gems: the South End. The once destitute area has been brought to life by artistic culinary, design, and business prowess. Stroll the streets to uncover boutique shopping and art, and make sure to take advantage of the area’s dining options. If you’re in the mood to explore some art, check out Lanoue Gallery, Gallery Kayafas, or the Boston Sculptors Gallery (check websites for hours before you visit). A local favorite is the SoWa Artist Guild, which occurs on the first Friday of every month. Three floors of studio space are overcome with art and the artists themselves–who mingle with visitors and one another for great conversation.
Back Bay Cruising
Not to be outdone, Boston’s Back Bay is kind of like the rich older brother to the South End. The neighborhood is famous for sights, shopping, and celebrities–but trust us, it’s worthy of these claims to fame. The best way to experience the famed Newbury Street area is by foot. The strip is lined with so many little spots that it can be hard to fully enjoy it all if you pass through too quickly. Stroll the expensive sidewalks for shopping and coffee galore. Fair warning: this area ain’t cheap.
Additional things to check out in the Back Bay are Copley Square, Trinity Church, Commonwealth Ave, the Boston Public Library, and the Boston Public Gardens. After a day of cruising around, indulge in a plate from the special late-night menu at Lucca Back Bay.
Fairmont Copley Plaza
The Fairmont Copley Plaza will make you feel a little bit like a celebrity, in the best way possible. The ultra-stately architecture is matched by their glitzy decor, with chandeliers and splashes of red found at every turn. It’s in an ideal location for those who love to shop. Copley Plaza is one Boston’s biggest shopping destinations, and also borders the glorious areas of Boylston and Newbury Streets. If you’ve explored the South End and Back Bay but are still hungry for more Boston, the Fairmont is also near the historic Beacon Hill area. Stroll through Boston Commons, and migrate into the delicious Italian neighborhood, the North End.
At The Lenox Hotel, old world charm spins into the new–with modern updates and service that blend with their wood-burning fireplace atmosphere. The beautiful brick building houses cozy guest rooms, locally-purveyed coffees and decor, and two top-tier dining options. Their restaurant, City Table, serves up perfectly prepared plates–from breakfast to gourmet comfort food. The adjoining City Bar pours top cocktails in a charming, intimate space. But don’t just take our word for it–you’ll find locals scattered all throughout both rooms.
Loews Boston Hotel
Romantic, a tad quiet, and even a little quaint, the Loews Boston Hotel offers a little bit of the off-the-beaten-path vibe while firmly staking a relevant claim in Boston hospitality. Located in a grand limestone building that was once the Boston Police Headquarters, the hotel has worked its way to the chic side of the design spectrum. Bostonians and visitors alike adore their Precinct Kitchen + Bar. If you’re visiting in the warm weather, try to get a table outside under the soft lights. It’s perfect for a late night meal and drink after a day of exploring the area.
The Mandarin Oriental Boston is all that you would expect it to be. The luxury of the hotel certainly lives up to its name, where modern Asian influence meets New England vibes. Aside from the beautiful, sleek interior and guest rooms, the Mandarin is renowned for its spa. As the only Forbes Five-star awarded spa in Massachusetts, the Mandarin has an extensive list of glorious treatments and services. Their central location right on Boylston Street is perfect for easy exploring, but their French eatery, Bat Boulud, has a wine selection and signature charcuterie supreme enough to make you want to stay in-house.