Where To Stay In Boston Neighborhoods & Area Guide
The capital and the largest city in the state of Massachusetts, Boston is recognized in the United States of America for its rich history and culture, plush residential and commercial structures, countless museums, a gorgeous waterfront, and innumerable entertainment avenues for locals and visitors alike. One of the top 10 most-visited places in America, the city is nestled on the shores of Atlantic Ocean, the only one of its kind in the contiguous United States.
A part of the New England region, the weather here can get slightly unpredictable but that doesnt restrict visitors from all around the country and the world to arrive here and have an amazing time exploring some of Americas best University campuses, revered museums, and a second-to-none waterfront.
Let us now explore some of the popular, even historic neighborhoods in the city so you can decide where to stay in Boston during your trip.
Dont Visit Boston Without Travel Insurance
A lot of people think travel insurance is an unnecessary expense I couldnt disagree more. Travel insurance is vital. Its saved me hundreds of dollars and for a few of my friends who seriously injured themselves abroad, theyve saved hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If your wallet is stolen at a bar, travel insurance will refund you what you lost.
If you slip and break your ankle or get appendicitis while in Boston, travel insurance will cover your medical costs, which could run into the tens of thousands. This is especially vital for people visiting Boston from outside the United States.
If an immediate family member dies while youre halfway across the world, travel insurance will help you get home immediately.
These are unpleasant things to think about, but its so important to be prepared for the worst.
I use and recommend World Nomads Travel Insurance. Theyre a great fit for almost every traveler. Take a look at their policies before you buy to make sure theyre right for you.
Staying On The Waterfront/north End
The North End is the oldest neighborhood in Boston, settled in the 1600s, and is home to some of the citys most important sights, including the Old North Church, Paul Revere House, and Copps Hill Burying Grounds, all located along the middle portion of the Freedom Trail, which begins in Downtown and continues on to Bunker Hill. Much of the North End is home to Little Italy, brimming with outstanding restaurants and a romantic atmosphere. East of Little Italy, the Waterfront spans a strip of the city roughly from Battery Wharf at the northernmost point and Fort Point Channel at the southern end. It was originally the site of the Port of Boston, which has since moved further out of the city. This neighborhood boasts gorgeous views of Massachusetts Bay and is home to most of the North Ends top hotels, historic sites, and family attractions.
The Boston HarborWalk spans the full length of the Waterfront, and a stroll along its piers and beaches is essential when visiting. The Waterfront is a perfect hub for family activities. Its home to the New England Aquarium, the Greenway Carousel, and the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum.
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The South End Coolest Neighborhood In Boston
South End is probably what youre thinking of if youre seeking authentic, old-school Boston. This culturally rich, charming neighborhood is home to tons of design galleries, jazz clubs, trendy restaurants, art shops, low-key pubs and artisan food shops.
Tremont Street is where most of the neighborhoods best restaurants are found. The food scene in the neighborhood includes buzzed-about food trucks and cute farmers markets.
Most people know the South End for its beautiful rows of Victorian houses and lush parks. The entire neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The South End is especially popular with young families, working professionals and immigrant populations. It all adds up to a very fun and eclectic neighborhood.
South End is one of the better neighborhoods in Boston for backpackers or travelers hunting for cheap accommodations. The area has Red Line rapid transit stations on Broadway and Andrew.
Things To See And Do In Jamaica Plain
- Pack a picnic and enjoy a restful day at Arnold Arboretum, a 281 acres urban green space.
- Go for a walk around the water or rent rowboats at Jamaica Pond.
- See gorillas, zebras, giraffes, tigers and more at Franklin Park Zoo.
- Dine on Irish-American fare at Doyles Café.
- Tease your taste buds at Chilacates a colourful and fun taqueria
- Enjoy good food and a warm welcome at The Haven.
- Try incredibly delicious food and seafood at J.P. Seafood Café.
- Browse the shops, cafes, and restaurant on Washington, Centre and South Streets.
- Shop for new-to-you fashions at 40 South Street.
- Grab a cone of amazing ice cream at J.P. Licks.
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Where To Stay In Boston: Mid
Stretching from the North End Italian neighborhood to the smart new Seaport area, Boston’s waterfront puts travelers close to harbor cruises, the New England Aquarium, seafood and Italian restaurants, and historic sites.
In a handy location adjacent to a subway station, Boston Marriott Long Wharf has a stair-step architecture that gives most of its spacious rooms sweeping views of Boston Harbor.
At the other end of the long Boston Harborwalk promenade and handy to the World Trade Center, the Residence Inn Boston Downtown/Seaport is steps from the Boston Children’s Museum and Boston Tea Party Ships. Free breakfast and in-room kitchenettes, as well as its location close to popular kids’ attractions, make this a favorite for families.
Red Sox fans will love the location of the budget-friendly Boston Hotel Buckminster, where rooms overlookHistoric Fenway Park. Music fans love its location, too, close to Boston’s premier live entertainment venue, House of Blues. Rooms are spacious, with kitchenettes, and parking is in the same building.
Where To Stay In Boston For Luxury
Although Bostonians are known for their lack of ostentation and show, the city certainly doesn’t lack fine luxury hotels, whether you prefer classic continental grandeur or chic contemporary style.
The undisputed grande dame of Boston luxury hotels is the Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston, a landmark of elegance since it opened in 1912. Its location doesn’t get much better, overlooking beautiful Copley Square, with the stately Boston Public Library and Trinity Church as its neighbors. The interior is nothing short of sumptuous, and the service matches.
Just around the corner and with quite a different style but equally luxurious is the Mandarin Oriental, Boston. The art collection displayed in its spacious lobby, restaurant, and public rooms is spectacular, and the guest rooms are elegant with exotic touches.
With rooms overlooking the leafy Public Garden and its famous swan boats, Four Seasons Hotel Boston exudes style. The spacious lobby is decorated with magnificent floral arrangements, and the rooms are stylish and supremely comfortable. The house car for local transport is a welcome amenity.
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Where Not To Stay In Boston
Boston is a very safe city for the most part, but like any other city, there are some neighborhoods worth avoiding. I recommend new visitors to Boston avoid Mattapan, Roxbury, Hyde Park, and some parts of Dorchester like Savin Hill as well as most of East Somerville and the northwest part of Charlestown.
West Roxbury, Roslindale and Milton are nice neighborhoods, but the T doesnt run there, making transit a bit tougher.
Some places require a bit of extra caution at night. Downtown Crossing and the Financial District tend to be deserted at night, so be extra aware of your surroundings at that time. The Back Bay Fens, a big park, is beautiful during the day but turns into a cruising and drug dealing spot after sunset.
Theres no need to stay near the airport. Logan Airport is located in East Boston, but theres a blue line subway stop at the airport and its easy and fast to get there via public transportation or a cab. The neighborhood doesnt have much to offer tourists .
Youll probably want to avoid hotels in the suburbs surrounding Boston. Theyre more built to people who want to drive into Boston each day or take the commuter rail, which doesnt run very often. Some of these suburbs include Woburn, Chelsea, Winthrop, Waltham, and Salem. Some hotels in Newton, Malden, and Revere are close to the T but most of them are not you should double-check on a map.
Where To Stay In Boston: Best Areas And Neighborhoods
What are the best areas to stay in Boston for tourists? The answer depends on what you plan to do when you get to Bean Town. Do you want to dive into Revolutionary War history, check out record stores with graduate students, shop along Newbury Street, pose with the famed bronze duck sculptures at the Public Garden or watch boats rowing down the Charles River?
Best Airbnb In Boston: Studio In Prime Location
Spack dab in the heart of Back Bay is this astonishing home that offers one of the most comfortable stays in the city. Located on the lively street of Newberry, youll have access to the most premier shopping in the city, as well as award-winning restaurants.
The studio also offers access to a kitchen, wifi, and workspace, so youll have everything you need for a comfortable stay.
Best Neighborhood For Nightlife: Fenway
This area is home to the Red Sox and Fenway Park. However, Fenway is also one of the most academic and cultural districts, with nearly a dozen colleges and universities located nearby. In recent years, its become the yuppie capital of the city, and tons of new condos and restaurants have opened up. Its a nightlife mecca, especially at the clubs and bars along Lansdowne Street. Nearby, theres Kenmore Square, where youll find some pretty great museums, like the Museum of Fine Arts and Symphony Hall.
Best Places to Stay in Fenway
- BUDGET: Residence Inn by Marriott Boston Back Bay/Fenway This is an extended-stay hotel near Fenway Park, with studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom suites. Each one has a kitchenette where you can save money by cooking at home rather than eating out. Perfect for when youre traveling with groups!
- MID-RANGE: The Verb This might be the hippest place to stay in Bostons city center, complete with a large vinyl library exclusively for guests. Theres definitely a party vibe around the pool in the summer. It has wonderful rooms with natural light, art, and modern fixtures free Wi-Fi and a fantastic fitness center.
- LUXURY: Hotel Commonwealth This swanky spot is the official hotel of the Boston Red Sox. The rooms are modern and ultra-luxurious, with plush covers and usually a couch. The on-site restaurant is the swanky Eastern Standard. The hotel also has a great lounge overlooking the city.
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With Colorful Neighborhoods And Captivating Culture Boston
With colorful neighborhoods and captivating culture, Boston is one of my favorite cities in the USA. Every time I visit, I trace the Freedom Trail, the historic sites, and parks. It is always wonderful to see and learn the history of the city in its streets, parks, and attractions. I visit Boston twice a year since my daughter is at college there . The only thing I haven’t done is going to a baseball game at Fenway Park. I always enjoy the food, museums, waterfront area, parks, and many other things and places. Definitely, worth the visit!
Best Airbnb In Chinatown: Modern 1br Near Train
This rental unit sits in the heart of Bostons vibrant Chinatown and provides comfortable accommodation for up to four guests. The apartment features modern furnishings and also boasts wifi, air conditioning, and laundry facilities. Its ideally located just one block from the subway station, so you can make your way around the city with ease.
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Romantic Places To Stay In Boston Ma
Few things are more romantic than strolling down cobblestone streets, marveling at the old-time architecture. Which is why the North End district is one of the most idyllic places to stay in Boston.
The area has been known as Bostons own Little Italy, and as such, theres an abundance of Italian restaurants to enjoy a romantic meal for two. Theres also Christopher Columbus Park, for a lunchtime picnic, and so many gorgeous sights to enjoy together.
Blend romance and food together on a North End Pizza Tour and discover some of the best pizzerias in Boston.
Best Airbnb In Jamaica Plain: Airy Light
If youre planning a family vacation to Boston, then you should check out this large family home in Jamaica Plain. Up to seven visitors can sleep in this remodeled house, which comes complete with a large kitchen/diner, living area, and garden. Theres plenty of space for everyone to run around in, and all the comforts of home to make your trip as easy as possible.
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Beacon Hill / Antique Row
One of Bostons oldest neighborhoods, Beacon Hill is known for its charming, narrow cobblestone streets, federal style row houses and gaslit street lamps. Its also considered to be one of Bostons most desirable and expensive residential areas in the city. A visit to Boston isnt complete without a stop here. Whether to shop, dine or wander about admiring the architecture and numerous historic sites, there are so many things to do in Beacon Hill.
Things To See And Do In South End
- Visit the vibrant SoWa Art + Design District and browse a variety of artist studios, art galleries, independent boutiques, showrooms and restaurants.
- Explore Harriet Tubman House.
- See more than 10,000 original vintage posters from around the world at the International Poster Gallery.
- Browse the shops, stalls, food trucks and breweries at SoWa Open Market, the largest local market in Boston.
- Take in a performance at the Boston Center for the Arts.
- Sip incredible wine and eat delicious Spanish food at Barcelona.
- Enjoy fresh and delicious oysters and seafood at B& G Oysters.
- Dine on innovative Italian fare at Coppa.
- Kickstart your day with an incredible breakfast at Mikes City Diner.
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Walk The Freedom Trail
The three-mile Freedom Trail leads you past – and into – 16 of the city’s principal historic monuments and sites. It’s easy to follow, by the line of red bricks in the sidewalk and by footprints at street crossings. Begin by picking up brochures on the attractions at the Visitor Center in the Boston Common before heading to the State House.
The trail will take you to Old Granary Burying Ground , King’s Chapel Burying Ground , Old South Meeting House , and the Old State House. This is Boston’s oldest public building and the site of the Boston Massacre.
The Freedom Trail continues through Boston’s North End, past the Paul Revere House and Old North Church, and ends across the bridge in Charlestown with the 54-gun frigate USS Constitution and the 220-foot granite Bunker Hill Monument.
Boston Harborwalk And Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park
The Boston waterfront has seen many changes since its early beginnings as a colonial shipping port. After a period of decline for much of the 20th century, new life was breathed into the area in the mid-1970s with an ambitious redevelopment plan.
Today, this interesting mix of residential and commercial space is connected by HarborWalk, an attractive walkway along the waterfront, with parks, public art, benches, cafés, interpretive signs, and access to several means of exploring the harbor by cruise boat, ferry, or water taxi. A shuttle-boat also runs to the Charlestown Navy Yard.
Although it extends from Charlestown to South Boston – and will expand considerably farther – the part you won’t want to miss goes from the North End through the wisteria-draped pergola of Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, past Commercial Wharf, India Wharf, and Long Wharf, and by Rowes Wharf before curving along the harbor into the vibrant Seaport District to the Institute of Contemporary Art, an art museum dramatically cantilevered above the water.
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Charlestown Residential And Yuppie Vibe
Historic Charlestown is a waterfront neighborhood with deep roots. Old homes with clapboard siding, brick townhouses and pubs where everybody knows everybody make this neighborhood feel like authentic Boston.
Tons of families and young professionals live in this neighborhood. It has a mostly residential and yuppie vibe. However, attractions like the Bunker Hill Monument attract tourists from all over the world.
The scenes in Charleston are idyllic. Walk along the waterfront area to see sailboats moored on the beautiful Charles River. Charlestown is served by the MBTA Orange Line.
Youll pay a premium to stay at the hotels in beautiful Charlestown. It is known for its posh and boutique hotels.
See A Game Or Take A Tour Of Fenway Park
Known as “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark”, Fenway Park is one of the most fabled sports complexes in the country, and even if you’re not a sports fan, a tour of it is both fun and interesting. The home of the Boston Red Sox looks much the same as it did when it opened on April 20, 1912.
One of its most recognizable features is the Green Monster, the 37-foot green wall in left field, and the park still maintains some of the remnants of “old time” baseball such as the hand-operated scoreboard. It also has the lowest seating capacity in the Major Leagues holding only 33,871 spectators .
Address: 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, Massachusetts
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