I heart Boston

Boston is definitely one of my favorite cities of all time. When I think of Boston I have such amazing memories of college, meeting my best girlfriends, the trials and tribulations of living on my own for the first time, first loves, first heartbreaks…second, third, fourth, and fifth heartbreaks :) This historical city is chocked full of charm, but also great people, restaurants, cafes, etc. Boston is completely walkable, from one end to the next, and with so many young people bustling about; you cannot help but feel the city’s energy. Because of all this, I get so excited when someone who has never been to Boston asks me for recommendations.

Since I haven’t lived there in years, I enlisted the help of some of my friends/family and current residents to give me the skinny on some can’t misses!

I think the best place to stay is Copley Square. First you have your pick of great hotels: Sheraton Copley, Westin Copley, Fairmont Copley, Marriott Copley, and the Copley Place Hotel (1). This really puts you in the heart of the city, one “T” stop away from the Kenmore Square stop (Fenway Park) and walking distance to the best bars, restaurants, and shopping/strolling on streets like Boylston Street (2) & Newbury Street

The “T” = Metro/Subway

Kenmore Square (3) = This is the T stop for Fenway Park. (4) When you walk up you will be on Commonwealth Avenue, the main street that runs straight through Boston. When you walk out at Kenmore Square you will also be on the Boston University campus :) My freshman dorm, 700 Commonwealth Ave, overlooked Fenway Park. If you look up in Kenmore Square you will see the infamous CITGO sign.

When I arrived in Boston in 1999, Kenmore Square was full of random dollar shops, liquor stores, and crummy bars. No lie…there was even an iHop that had a velvet rope, bouncers and jamming music around 3am. Since 1999, it has been transformed into a posh square with a beautiful hotel, The Commonwealth. But no worries, I don’t think the square has lost it’s rowdy crowd.

If you are headed to a Redsox game, you should stop by the Cask & Flagon (5) for drinks/food before the game. This historical landmark used to be a tiny hole-in-the-wall, but like everything has undergone a transformation, making it more of a modern sports bar, which is kind of sad, but it’s still super fun before a game.

After the game head on over to La Verdad, a great Mexican restaurant on Lansdowne Street.

Newbury Street (7)—this is one the liveliest street in Boston, and steps from Copley Square. I would definitely recommend heading over in the morning for a coffee and walking down the street from one end to the other. There are great shops, restaurants, and people watching! 

Start on the intersection of Newbury Street/Massachusetts Ave (you’ll see the Urban Outfitters) and then walk down to the other end, which will put you right in front of Boston Commons. (9) This beautiful was the inspiration for the book, The Ugly Duckling. If you head to the left of the park on to Beacon Street, you can get your picture taken under the Cheers bar sign (10).

Just down the street from the Cheers sign is the cutest neighborhood of all, Beacon Hill. (11) If you are on Beacon Street turn left onto Charles Street, (12) this is the main street in Beacon Hill. I think it’s fun to just walk up and down the old, steep streets within Beacon Hill and check out all of the antique stores. My favorite Beacon Hill restaurant is The Paramount (13).

You should also stop by for a drink in The Liberty Hotel (14), a super cool hotel that was once a prison. The patrons and décor are both insanely beautiful!

From Beacon Hill you can walk (all the way down Boylston), cab, or hop on the “T” at the Boylston Street stop, and take it to the Government Center “T” stop. You’ll get out and walk down the long government stairs and end up in an old part of town called Quincy Market/Fanueil Hall. (15)
Quincy Market/Faneuil Hall is a vibrant area with an outdoor market, shops, and restaurants. Faneuil Hall is where famous speeches were made during the American Revolution.

According to it's website, built in 1742, Faneuil Hall was home to merchants, fishermen, and meat and produce sellers, and provided a platform for the country's most famous orators. It is where colonists first protested the Sugar Act in 1764 and established the doctrine of "no taxation without representation." Firebrand Samuel Adams rallied the citizens of Boston to the cause of independence from Great Britain in the hallowed Hall, and George Washington toasted the nation there on its first birthday.
Make sure to check out the Union Oyster House, (16) the oldest restaurant in Boston and the oldest restaurant in continuous service in the U.S. — the doors have always been open to diners since 1826. The Union Street Oyster House’s building has stood on Union Street as a major local landmark for more than 250 years.
According to it's website, The first stirrings of the American Revolution reached the upper floor of the building in 1771, when printer Isaiah Thomas published his newspaper "The Massachusetts Spy," long known as the oldest newspaper in the United States.
In 1796, a future king of France lived on the second floor. Exiled from his country, he earned his living by teaching French to many of Boston's fashionable young ladies. Later Louis Phillippe returned home to serve as King from 1830 to 1848.
1826 marked the beginning of Atwood and Bacon's establishment. The toothpick was first used in the United States at the Union Oyster House. Enterprising Charles Forster of Maine first imported the picks from South America. To promote his new business he hired Harvard boys to dine at the Union Oyster House and ask for toothpicks.
Since 1826, the Union Oyster House has known only three owners. Carrying on proud traditions in dining and service since 1970 have been Mr. Joseph A. Milano, Jr., and Ms. Mary Ann Milano Picardi.
Just up the street, you must stop at the Granary Burying Ground. Here you can see the tombs of Paul Revere, JohnHancock, Samuel Adams, and the tombs of the Franklin family, although Benjamin Franklin is buried in Philadelphia, not Boston. 
From Faneuil Hall, you can walk to the North End, (17) the city's oldest residential community, where people have lived continuously since it was settled in the 1630s. Though, the neighborhood has tons of restaurants and is known as the city's Little Italy for its Italian-American population—it is so charming! 

Restaurants to check out include NEBO, a smaller place with a very neighborhood feel and outstanding food. The owners recently beat Bobby Flay on his throw down show. Strega—a north end staple. Pagliuca's is an all time fav. And you must end with a cannoli at eitherMike’s Pastry or Modern Pastry…insane! 
The North End is also home to the Old North Church (18), where on the evening of April 18, 1775, the church sexton, Robert Newman, climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea and not by land. One if by land. Two if by sea. This fateful event ignited the American Revolution.
Before you leave you have to visit Harvard Square. I would cab it, since the “T” literally goes all around the city to get there so it can take a while.
Harvard Square is a great place to walk around, check out the street artists, coffee shops, and of course the Harvard campus. Also, check out the Au Bon Pain where Minnie Driver and Matt Damon filmed Good Will Hunting—greatest movie ever! :)
I can’t write about Boston without mentioning The South End. (19) Located behind Copley Square, The South End is a neighborhood that has also gone through some major transformations in the past ten years. The South End is more of a bohemian/yuppy neighborhood and semi-reminds me of SOHO. 

Restaurants to check out include: Franklin Café, Coppa, Toro, Butcher Shop, B&G Oysters...Beehive for music and drinks after.
So there you have it. By no means am I an expert on Boston…and since I haven’t lived there in years many of my favorite places are long gone. But I do truly love this city, some of my best memories so far in life have happened here. And I will always keep a piece of Boston with me!  


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