One of the poshest parts of Boston—and one of the prettiest, too—the Back Bay is notable for its shopping, restaurants and luxury hotels. Landmarks include the Prudential Center (known as “the Pru,” a mixed-use shopping and dining mall), the John Hancock Tower (renowned for its glass exterior), the imposing Boston Public Library and Trinity Church, completed in 1877. A large upscale shopping center, Copley Place, is connected to hotels. Copley Square is also the site of the finish line for the Boston Marathon, held each year on Patriots’ Day, the third Monday in April.
Leise Jones Photography
Kenmore Square/Fenway Park
Kenmore Square is known for its iconic neon Citgo sign, hoisted atop a building in 1965 and visible from miles away. (Look for the landmark if you get lost.) Once crowded with dive bars, today’s Kenmore Square is more upscale, but remains the gateway to Boston University’s urban campus on “Comm Ave” (Commonwealth Avenue). Simmons University and Emmanuel College are also close by. Home of the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park — with its high left-field wall known as the Green Monster — is a short walk away. Nearby Lansdowne Street’s nightclubs and bars hop at night and on game days.
An Italian foodie heaven, the North End is the “Little Italy” section of Boston and boasts many of the town’s best Italian restaurants. This is the place to sit down for a classic lasagna dinner, grab a slice of pizza, or indulge in a cannoli at Mike’s Pastry or Modern Pastry on Hanover Street. Charmingly reminiscent of European towns with narrow and winding cobblestone streets, the area is the oldest residential community in Boston. Street festivals, feasts and processions abound on summer weekends.
One of the hippest areas of Boston today, the Seaport District is home to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Institute of Contemporary Art. Also known as the Innovation District, the reclaimed area is a unique combination of 100-year-old industrial buildings and contemporary hotels, restaurants, shops, apartment buildings and office complexes. One of the greatest pleasures is watching the sun set over the city from Fan Pier or the Harborwalk pedestrian pathway.
Along with the Seaport District, the South End is one of the newest revitalized areas of Boston and has become a magnet for artists, young professionals, families and the LGBTQ community enthralled by its charming Victorian brownstones and many parks. Hip and creative, the area is filled with one-of-a-kind boutiques and galleries. The SoWa Open Market (SOuth of WAshington Street) from May to October is a must-see on Sundays, with vendors hawking everything from art and craft items to clothing and food. The South End is also a great place for dining, with cuisines spanning Italian, Spanish, Mediterranean, Asian and American.