Where to stay
The city of Boston is a perfect combination of yesterday and today. The winding and maze-like streets of yesterday are now paved and surrounded by modern skyscrapers of today. There is history to be found amidst the new.
- The Waterfront is a great area along the Inner Harbor that is abundant with restaurants, luxury condos, marinas, hotels, and offices. The New England Aquarium is around this area as well.
- The North End historically has a lot of Italian influence, so you can expect to find some great Italian restaurants, cafes, and shops.
- Faneuil Hall Marketplace, popular for being home to the wonderful Quincy Market, is a must-see spot if you're coming to Boston for the first time. The market is full of great, local spots to grab food, drink, or hang around and shop. Around the corner is Haymarket, which is home to an open-air farmers market on the weekends.
- Government Center and Financial District are generally confined to people who work here. There isn't much to do for visitors.
- Downtown Crossing/Downtown Boston is mainly a commercial area that is surrounded by lively shopping, businesses, and the Theater District. There are some places to eat/drink, but it tends to slow down in the evenings. The Freedom Trail also runs along this neighborhood.
- Beacon Hill is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods of town with it's tree-lined streets, brick buildings, cobble stone streets, and other architectural beauties. It is mostly residential, but definitely worth walking through. It is also home to some of the most exclusive/expensive streets in Boston.
- Charlestown is where you will see the oldest part of Boston. Here is where you will find the USS Constitution and Bunker Hill Monument.
- Seaport District/South Boston Waterfront is an area that is still basically under construction. The Boston Children's Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, Fish Pier, Seaport Boston World Trade Center, convention center, and federal courthouse are all in this neighborhood. It will probably become more inviting in years to come.
- The Chinatown in Boston is one of the largest Chinese communities in the country. It is a great area to walk around and eat during the day, but crowds tend to thin out by night. It is pretty close to the Theater District as well.
- The South End is one of Boston's greatest architecturally beautiful neighborhoods. You will find quaint Victorian houses lined along the streets, little parks, shopping, and some of the city's best restaurants. This area has a very large gay community as well.
- The Back Bay (my personal favorite neighborhood) is where you will find the city's most beautiful homes, stunning architecture, great shopping, and lots of places to walk around. The popular Boston Common sits in the middle of this neighborhood and is a wonderful area to stroll through while taking in the sites. Head over to Newbury Street for some of the city's best shopping.
- Kenmore Square is where you will find a wealth of shops, bars, restaurants, and clubs that draw in the younger crowd. It is next to Boston University, so you will tend to see this area heavily populated with students; however, the Hotel Commonwealth is home to some high-end retailers, which helps to balance out the crowd a bit. Fenway Park is just a few block away, so on game days it could get a little rambunctious in this neighborhood.
- The Fenway is named for it's popular Fenway Park (home to the Boston Red Sox). There are many great museums (Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to name a few) and a few major colleges/universities around the area as well.
- Just across the Charles River is the city of Cambridge. It is a wonderful part of Greater Boston that is home to Harvard and MIT. Harvard Square is a great area to shop and people watch, Central Square is full of ethnic restaurants and clubs; and Porter Square is a mostly residential neighborhood that has tons of quirky retail shops to stop in and check out.