Weekend Guide to Boston
Boston – affectionately known as Beantown – offers much more than the Green Monster, tea parties or “chowdah.” This lively city is a center for rich history, culture, architecture and entertainment. Stroll the cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill, admire the beautiful brownstones in Back Bay, take in the majestic Charles River with a walk along the Esplanade, or rent a bike and explore the city on your own. Whatever you choose to do, this city is sure to give you a weekend to remember.
Getting There From New York
The four hour drive from New York to Boston can be just as enjoyable as the destination. Take U.S. Highway I-95 N to I-295 N for a scenic, coastline drive. This highway hugs the northern shores of Long Island Sound, where you can enjoy side trips to the eastern Connecticut Wine Trail, taking you through some quaint small towns and scenic roadways. Another favorite detour is Providence, Rhode Island, with its magnificent architecture and historic attractions. For those who would rather not be behind the wheel, hop on the Amtrak Acela at Penn Station, or take the luxurious bus service, Limoliner that has more amenities than most flights.
Things to do
The Prudential Center Skywalk Observatory
800 Boylston Street (Prudential Tower)
Boston, MA 02199
From more than 750 feet in the air, you’ll catch your breath while taking in the spectacular 360-degree, panoramic views of Boston. On a clear day, you can see for nearly 100 miles. This is the best place to start a tour of Boston, as it provides bird’s eye view of Boston’s most famous landmarks like Fenway Park, the Charles River, MIT, Harvard, and Hancock Tower. You can also learn about each of these landmarks with the help of an audio tour, Acoustiguide,
Boston Whale Watch
Long Wharf (near State Street)
Boston, MA 02109
Step aboard a high-speed catamaran, and float away to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary to get an up-close view of some of the ocean’s most captivating and glorious creatures. The catamarans feature three outside decks, allowing you ample viewing opportunities. Plus, inside the cabin you’ll find air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter, free WIFI, comfortable, plush seating and food and beverages for purchase. On your trip across the sea, you’ll see Minke, Humpback and Finback whales, along with white sided dolphins.
Boston’s Freedom Trail
Starting at Boston Common, Tremont Street at Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02108
Go back in time while you walk along the 2 and ½ mile red-brick walking trail of 16 historic sites from the Colonial and Revolutionary eras. Founded nearly fifty years ago, this pathway traverses the Financial District, the North End, downtown Boston and Charleston. Stroll along at your own pace, or join one of the 90-minute tours led by costumed guides to gain even more insight into the historical sites. Most visitors begin at Boston Common and follow along the red-brick trail ending at the Bunker Hill Monument.
Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall
301 Massachusetts Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
For those looking for a little art and culture, check out the Boston Symphony Orchestra. This orchestra brings concertgoers a wide variety of programs. Beginning Sept. 21, this season will highlight the complete cycle of Beethoven piano concertos, Strauss’s Salome, Britten’s War Requiem and Golijov’s St. Mark Passion featuring a host of gifted musicians and directors.
Where to Stay
Sleep A Float
28 Atlantic Ave.
Boston, MA 02110
If you’ve always wanted to see what it’s like to live on a boat, you can book your weekend stay on an “urban houseboats.” They’re real boats docked right in the popular downtown waterfront. Every boat is fully stocked with linens, towels, shampoos, soaps, condiments, coffee, paper products, cooking utensils and cookware, and they range in size from studio sized boats that sleep two to four guests to three bedroom, two story houseboats that can accommodate up to 10 guests. No matter what size boat, you and your entire family can enjoy a relaxing time on board with spectacular waterfront views from your very own private outdoor deck.
Mandarin Oriental, Boston
776 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02199
This award-winning luxury hotel is a mixture of sophisticated Oriental elegance and classic New England style, within easy walking distance to the city’s best shopping and cultural venues in the heart of Back Bay. Each of the 148 guestrooms delights guests with the crème de la crème of service and amenities, like designer linens, state-of-the-art technology and soaking tubs. The hotel also offers innovative dining options for gourmands and picky-eaters alike, or guests can indulge in lavish treatments at the five-star spa. The concierge can even arrange for a lobstering tour, where you can catch your own dinner.
Where to eat
Temazcal Tequila Cantina
250 Northern Ave.
Boston, MA 02210
The salty ocean breeze of the famous Boston Harbor will briefly take you back to colonial times as you enjoy endless shopping, fine dining and nightlife along the Boston Waterfront. While there, enjoy a delicious dinner or sample the famous tequila at Temazcal Tequila Cantina. This Mexican dining spot offers harbor views, creative cocktails and Mexican cuisine at its finest. Try the Tacos De Camaron, chilled roasted shrimp tacos with lime and chipotle crema, for a twist on the classic, try the Tamal De Langosta, a lobster tamale wrapped in a banana leaf.
Island Creek Oyster Bar
500 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
Enjoy the quintessential Bostonian culinary delights at this sustainable seafood restaurant. The restaurant’s philosophy aims to join the diner, chef and farmer all in one space. The menu combines seasonally influenced seafood with classical New England shore food. The menu changes daily, reflecting the restaurant’s commitment to serving the freshest ingredients possible. Try any of the oysters from the raw bar to get your meal started. Follow-up with the fish special of the day, or stick to the cities mainstays, like Ethel’s Lobster Roll or the Fish & Chips.
2 West Street (Corner of Washington)
An oasis among the skyscrapers and suits of bustling Downtown Crossing, Back Deck offers professional backyard grilling in a laid-back city setting for lunch and dinner seven days a week. A year-round destination for the charcoal-grilled flavor and all the fun of a family BBQ, Back Deck serves polished takes on backyard classics like Beer Can Chicken or a grilled Porterhouse Porkchop. Back Deck’s design brings the outdoors in with three distinct backyard-accented deck spaces bordered by walls of sliding windows. In the open kitchen, professional grill veteran Chef Paul Sussman prepares almost everything on the menu at three top of the line charcoal grills.
200 Stuart Street
Boston, MA 02116
Follow the yellow brick road all the way to this recently opened lounge located in the Revere Hotel. It takes its inspiration from Boston’s Emerald Necklace park system, along with the whimsy of the Wizard of Oz, all coming together to bring you a wicked good time. A metal tornado sculpture sweeps across the entire bar, while the glowing ever changing lighting makes you think you are on the other side of the rainbow. Sip on scrumptious craft potions designed by renowned mixologists, like the Emerald Punch or a Grapefruit Cosmopolitan.
90 Exeter Street
Boston, MA 02116
Storyville is a one-of-a-kind lounge that fuses the mystery of a speakeasy with the flair and trendiness of a nightclub. The sexy, sleek ambiance mimics a bordello, and provides plenty of opportunity to either dance the night away or lounge in the corner and people watch. Enjoy vintage-esque cocktails including a selection of Fizzes, Sours and Smashes, craft beers and a nice selection of wines.