Back Bay/South End
Nestled between Arlington Street and Massachusetts Avenue,
and between Beacon Street and Shawmut Avenue. It is abutted
by Downtown, the Theatre District and Beacon Hill. This neighborhood
is full of posh boutiques, outdoor cafes and grand Victorian
town houses. The creative professions — advertising, publishing,
art and upscale retailing — are the Back Bay's stock-in-trade.
Accordingly, the ambience is chic.
Newbury Street, best known as the Back Bay's premier spot
for high-fashion shopping, is chock-full of trendy hair salons,
sidewalk cafes and gift shops. The first several blocks of
Newbury, are punctuated by fine art galleries and designer
boutiques; lower Newbury, closer to Massachusetts Avenue and
the hip Berklee College of Music, has developed a funkier
flavor that attracts artists, students and New Agers.
Boylston Street, one block over from Newbury, is anchored
by the beautiful architecture of Copley Square, an ideal spot
for a gourmet treat.
During the summer at the Public Garden, swan boats float on
a man-made pool, weeping willows offer shade to families of
ducks, and brilliant displays of flowers create a Monet-like
The South End, Back Bay's hipper sibling, begins at Huntington
Avenue. This is a racially diverse residential community of
renovated brownstones and West Indian, Syrian and Hispanic
markets. The upper end of Tremont Street is where the renowned
Boston Ballet and a number of restaurants, art galleries and
boutiques are located.
Beacon Hill Situated between Cambridge
and Beacon streets, and Memorial Drive and Bourdoin Street.
Beacon Hill exudes an aura of elegance and European charm.
The heart of Beacon Hill — and its only retail area — is Charles
Street, two blocks away from the Charles River. Flanked by
gas streetlights and brick sidewalks cracked with age, Charles
Street boasts many antique shops, art galleries and gift shops.
At twilight, when the gaslights come on and the setting sun
bounces off the Charles River and the state house dome, few
spots in Boston are as beautiful.
Downtown/Waterfront Located between Tremont and Park
streets, and Atlantic Avenue and Prince Street. Downtown/Waterfront
area is a bustling hub of activity, a lively retail and commercial
district with more than its share of historic attractions.
Within its boundaries are the Granary Burial Ground where
Samuel Adams and John Hancock are interred; the locales of
the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea party; and the meetinghouse
(Faneuil Hall) where the seeds of independence were sown.
The major hub of this section of Boston is Downtown Crossing,
a pedestrian mall one block from the Boston Common.
At the Waterfront find plenty of nightlife and shopping action
at the nearby Faneuil Hall Marketplace complex and its surrounding
shops. But for more cerebral pursuits, the Computer Museum,
Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum, and the New England Aquarium
offer many quieter diversions. Visitors' tip: it's best o
steer clear of the Downtown area around 5 p.m.; when government
offices let out for the day. The happy-hour crowd jams most
watering holes and also makes for some very congested subway
Theatre District/Chinatown Situated between Stuart
and Kneeland streets and Downtown Crossing; abutted by Back
Bay and Downtown. Whether your taste leans toward comedy,
drama, musicals or ballet, you'll find it all in Boston's
compact Theatre District.
Chinatown is a three-by-twelve-block area north of Kneeland
and east of Washington, crammed with Asian bakeries, grocery
stores and restaurants. Home to the third-largest Chinese
community in the country, this neighborhood is one of the
true late-night sections of Boston; Chinatown restaurants
typically stay open as late as 3 a.m., making it a great after-theater
The North End Between Commercial Avenue, North Washington
Street and Route 93; abutted by Downtown and the Waterfront.
A stronghold of Italian culture, the North End is well known
for its sense of community and love of good food and old-world
traditions. Bostonians flock to this neighborhood in the summer
for the annual Saints' Feasts held every weekend from mid-July
Cambridge Across the Charles River and west of Boston.
An ethnically rich community, Cambridge is comprised of tightly
knit neighborhoods with their own individual identities. The
jewel in Cambridge's crown is unquestionably Harvard Square,
home of one of our nation's oldest universities and more bookstores
per square foot than any other city in the country. But despite
the lofty image that its academic moniker evokes, Harvard
Square is more variety show than scholastic ivory tower. Street
performers are found in almost every doorway.