Recently, our new friends from France, who were planning a trip to Boston, asked for some recommendations as to things to see and do in the city. After writing back to them a ridiculously long email with bullet points and footnotes of my favorite Boston sights and restaurants, I decided this comprehensive list was too good not to share it with you all! So, here we go!
Walk the different neighborhoods in Boston. Boston is an easily walkable city, so if you have the time, definitely see the city by foot. It doesn’t matter whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter, Boston is always beautiful.
Boston Neighborhoods Worth Seeing:
> BEACON HILL: this beautiful neighborhood takes you back to the 17th century, gas lamps, brick sidewalks, Federal style houses, and all.
> BACK BAY / DOWNTOWN: home to the Boston Public Gardens, swan boats, shopping, and nightlife. I love walking down Beacon Street or Marlborough Street between Kenmore Square and the gardens. Simply breathtaking…
> NORTH END: the little Italy of Boston. When the weather is nice, grab a cannoli or two or three and find a spot on one of the benches or tables in North End Park.
> SOUTH END: an adorable and somewhat newer neighborhood of the city with plenty of good eats and drinks.
> FENWAY: Red Sox and Fenway Stadium.
> CHARLESTOWN: a hidden gem with tons of history. Visit the U.S.S. Constitution and climb the 294 steps to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument.
> HARVARD SQUARE: Technically not in Boston. But, it’s on my list because Harvard is Harvard.
For an overall appreciation of the the city, walk the Freedom Trail (starting at the State House) or take a Duck Tour (both are super touristy, but you have to do it once if you’re in town). Visit one of many museums (my favorite are the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the ICA). Love penguins? Check out the New England Aquarium. Take a peek into the Boston Public Library (it’s gorgeous), and while you’re at it, admire Copley Square from the library steps. If you’re a baseball fan, take a tour of Fenway Stadium. Have a picnic and watch the sunset from the Esplanade (read more about the best places for sunsets in Boston here).
The most popular street for retail therapy is Newbury Street, but all of the Back Bay has plenty of boutiques and malls to fuel a shoppaholic’s needs. Check out Restoration Hardware’s flagship store on Newbury Street. Four floors of furniture displayed in what used to be the Museum of Natural History. Stunning all around.
> James Hook & Company: When in Boston, eat seafood. Delicious and most reasonably priced lobster rolls, chowders, and other seafood items. Other pluses, there’s outdoor picnic table seating with a waterfront view, and for those driving, there’s space for parking.
> Atlantic Seafood: All around good seafood options. Everything is fresh and the service is excellent. Located right in the heart of the Back Bay and has outdoors seating with great people watching views.
> Giacomo’s: Hearty homemade Italian goodness. If you don’t want to wait in line at the North End Giacomo’s (no reservations allowed), you can make reservations at the South End Giacomo’s and get seated right away. Try the mussels in garlic white wine sauce, the scallops with linguine, the butternut squash ravioli, well… try everything!
> Ernesto’s Pizza: for good ol’ pizza from plain cheese to eggplant ricotta to hamburger sausage. All delicious!
> Marliave: an oldie but a goodie. $1.00 oysters daily from 4-6pm and 9-10pm. Sit at the bar and enjoy some white wine with your oysters or have a meal in the booths and tables upstairs. Located near the start of the Freedom Trail in Downtown.
That’s all folks! Hope you enjoy everything that Boston has to offer! More questions? Just ask in the comments below!