There’s no shortage of things to do in Boston. You can walk the famous Freedom Trail, spend a relaxing afternoon on the glorious Boston Commons, take the kids to the New England Aquarium, or hit up one of the many lively Irish pubs in the city.
Locals love Boston for its rich history, vibrant arts community, and ample activities for everyone — there is plenty to do for families, singles and couples alike. But for visitors, the sheer volume of things to do can be a bit overwhelming. Should you take a day to explore the Freedom Trail, or would your time be better spent browsing a few of Boston’s many art galleries and museums? Maybe your idea of a perfect day is a boat ride down the Charles River, or perhaps you’re a sports fan and would prefer a visit to Fenway Park to watch a Red Sox game.
No matter your interests — whether you’re looking for family-friendly activities, outdoor adventures, the most happening nightlife hotspots, or ways to immerse yourself in local Boston culture — our Boston travel guide, featuring 50 need-to-know insights from locals and Boston experts, will help you plan the perfect Boston getaway. Read on to find Boston vacation ideas in the following categories:
1. Stroll through Bay Village, Boston’s smallest neighborhood, then check out the Christian Science Center Reflecting Pool
“Boston is one of the United States’ most historical cities, and we have some world class museums that are worth spending some time in, even on just a short visit to the city. But first, begin your day with a refuel at Mike and Patty’s, a tiny grab-and-go breakfast sandwich spot where eggs, cheese, and bread are turned into an art form. Boston’s smallest neighborhood, Bay Village is a fascinating stroll to help digest those splendid sammies.
“From there, make your way westward, toward the Prudential Center — if you’re not sure of the directions, just look up! — where you can shop, or pop outside to check out the stunning Christian Science Center Reflecting Pool, an enormous rectangular plaza with a stunning shallow pool at the center and a giant fountain which shoots out of the ground — a summer favorite for kids looking to cool off. Spotter Kristian says remember to bring your camera. You’ll want it!” – Lloyd Mallison, 48 Hours in Boston: A Local’s Guide, Spotted by Locals; Twitter: @spottedbylocals
2. Find the Keytar Bear
“OK, I understand how a keytar player who wears a bear mascot suit all the time might sound perhaps TOO unconventional. But KB has become one of the most beloved street performers in Boston — so much that when some horrible people attacked KB, his supporters started an Indiegogo campaign that raised over $5,000 from over 250 backers to help him out.
“It really is a treat to find yourself within the speaker range of the twang of KB’s soulful keytar — if you hear him, check him out!” – Raleigh Werner, 44 Unconventional Things to Do in Boston, Jumpshell; Twitter: @Jumpshell
3. Check out the historic South End
“The South End is one of Boston’s most beautiful historic neighborhoods, and on the weekends, it’s a trendy place for eating, drinking, and shopping. For brunch, two of my must-visit spots in the area are Gaslight (check out their prix fixe menu for $11.95!) and South End Buttery (get the pancakes!).
“In the summer, don’t miss the SoWa Open Market on Sundays, featuring food trucks, locally made goods, art, and a farmer’s market. It’s right next to Gaslight.” – Anna Rice, 6 Hidden Gems to Visit in Boston (My Hometown!), The Weekend Jetsetter; Twitter: @annarice23
4. Stay on the Boston Islands
“Stay in a yurt on the Boston Islands. The boat ride out there is pretty fun in itself. Last year, we had a dour sardonic guide who narrated the whole trip with grim details of Boston Harbor history. Prisons, trapped immigrants, aging homeless shelters, all historic and totally distant when fresh salty wind was blowing on your face and you had chilled wine hidden in your bag. I managed to book a yurt for camping in by setting an alert for any August day that might free up on Reserve America.” – Rachael Ringenberg, My sweaty lemon slush family-friendly Boston summer bucket list, Erstwhiledear.com; Twitter: @girlpolish
5. Take in a Boston Cannons game
“When I was growing up, lacrosse was an almost unheard of sport. Over the last 20-ish years, it’s really picked up steam and now there are nine professional teams that play for Major League Lacrosse here in the U.S. One of those nine teams are based right here in Boston! The Boston Cannons have been a part of Major League Lacrosse since 2001 and play right at Harvard Stadium in Boston.
“Get there early and experience the Boston Cannons Fan Zone. The Fan Zone is open at every Cannons home game two hours prior to the start of the game and remains open through the first quarter. At the Fan Zone, you will find things like music, ping-pong tables, an RCN Ice Cream Truck, FlingGolf, the Bud Light Build-A-Bar, and more! It has something for fans of all ages.” – Robin Rue, Did You Know That Boston Has a Major League Lacrosse Team?, Masshole Mommy; Twitter: @massholemommy
6. For an eco-friendly (and budget-friendly) outdoor activity, consider a picnic on the Boston Common
“Pack up your favorite sandwich and snacks, and hop on the subway with your friends to enjoy a day picnic on the Common. It’s a great way to soak in some vitamin D, save money, and explore without a car. Total bonus if you pack your lunch using reusable containers to cut down on waste.” – Amanda Shea, 3 Eco-Friendly Things to Do in Boston This Spring & Summer, Boston Green Blog; Twitter: @BosGreenBlog
7. Take a pleasant afternoon stroll through the Fenway Victory Gardens
“The Fenway Victory Gardens are one of my favorite spots in Boston to walk around and admire the many plants and flowers grown by almost 500 community gardeners that have a plot there. Part of Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace, this landscape features several structures of historic and architectural significance, like the Boylston Street Bridge by Henry Hobson Richardson, as well as a nearby pump house also designed by Richardson. The pump house has been rehabilitated and is now the visitor center for the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.” – Anulfo Baez, Exploring the Landscapes and Structures of Boston with Common Boston, The Evolving Critic; Twitter: @EvolvingCritic
8. Head to Boston in the spring to watch (or participate in) the Boston Marathon
“Today, instead of watching ‘living historians’ march down the streets, most Bostonians watch thousands of skinny marathoners run down the streets. And the only thing we love more than historical re-enactments is our marathon! See, Boston knows that its marathon isn’t the biggest running race in the world, and that the weather is prone to being imperfect, and that the logistics of getting to the starting line are famously tricky, and that it’s not a ‘fun’ course feted with live music and hors d’oeuvres. But the Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and by far the most prestigious, making it a nice little simile for the city’s place in the world. Little, foul-weathered, cramped, boring, enduring and prestigious Boston.
“That’s another thing about Boston that the marathon represents: Our willingness to welcome people from foreign countries to come to our city and do great things. Some ignorant folk do make catty remarks about the unflagging dominance of African runners in our most venerable sporting event, but most people are proud as hell that the world’s elite runners come to Boston to win. Whether its sports, academics, industry, arts, or commercial services, we know that Boston can only be enhanced by our foreign visitors… unless they are trying to enforce the rule of King George III, and then we will chase them down the street brandishing guns.” – Meredith Green, Marathon Monday, Adverbial Warfare
9. Traveling to Boston with your pooch? The South Boston Bark Park is where all the cool pups hang out
“A fantastic park in a great area! Just down the road from the L and M Street beaches and Castle Island, you can designate a whole day with your dog in South Boston thanks to the Bark Park.
“The footing here is peastone, which is a nice surface for dogs to run around and play in. There are tubes and boulders for your best friend to climb on and around. People here are very friendly, and your puppy will have plenty of friends to meet!
“Be prepared to stand though, because there is not much seating. Parking may also be difficult due to this park’s popularity and the beaches, so bring your walking shoes!” – Griffin Reilly, 11 Boston Dog Parks Your Dog is Begging To Go To, IM Boston; Twitter: @IM_BOST
10. You can’t visit Boston without experiencing the Skywalk Observatory
“The Skywalk Observatory at the top of the Prudential Tower is a must on a sunny day in Boston.
“At 50 floors up, you’ll have an unbeatable 360-degree view of the entire city and surrounding landscape. Audio guides with interesting facts and history about the city are available to listen to while you admire the views. If you’d rather grab a bite to eat, you can ride up to the 52nd floor and dine at the Top of the Hub restaurant.
“For ticket prices and hours of operation, check out the Skywalk Boston website.” – Elisabeth Beyer Villalobos, Visiting Boston? Here are 11 Things You Absolutely Shouldn’t Miss, Sidetracked; Twitter: @SidetrackedBlog
11. Spend a day exploring the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail
“The Boston Freedom Trail is certainly something you should do to better understand U.S. history and explore downtown Boston by foot. It’s 2.5 miles with 16 stops, including churches, historic homes, and more. Some are free, and others, such as the Site of the Boston Massacre and Paul Revere’s House, require admission. It’s easy to follow—there’s literally a brick line denoting the trail running through downtown.
“Along the trail, you can visit the Bunker Hill Monument, a historic site commemorating the Battle of Bunker Hill that also offers an aerial view of Boston from 221-feet up. You’ll need to get a free ticket — and some fitness — to access the 294 winding steps that take you to the top.” – Jessie Festa, How To Have A Fun-Filled Weekend In Boston, Massachusetts, Jessie on a Journey; Twitter: @JessonaJourney
12. Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a lively place to do some shopping and dining
“Comprised of Quincy Market, North Market, and South Market, Faneuil Hall Marketplace today is one of the liveliest spots in all of Boston. We ogled the buskers (including one literal pig), inhaled the scent of seafood wafting through the halls, poked through vendors’ stalls, and admired the architecture, then continued on our way. When we got down to the waterfront, we found a grassy knoll and finally stopped for a breather.” – Kristin Luna, A Couple’s Guide to a Weekend in Boston, Camels & Chocolate; Twitter: @LunaticAtLarge
13. Visit Copley Square, then double back to the Charles River to walk the waterfront
“Copley Square is a great little park where you can buy discount theater tickets, listen to musicians, and gaze up at the Hancock Tower. You can also go into Boston’s Trinity Church, which is one of the city’s oldest and most beautiful churches.
“Double back toward the Charles River and walk the riverfront. If it’s summertime, you might be able to catch a free show at the Boston Hatch Shell or go sailing on the river. If not, it’s still a nice walk, where you’ll encounter runners, kids playing, and people playing sports.” – Nomadic Matt, How to Spend Four Days in Boston, Nomadic Matt; Twitter: @nomadicmatt
14. “Swizzle Sundays” at The Hawthorne is a relaxing way to spend a warm summer Sunday evening
“Typically when I’m in Kenmore Square, it’s because I’m visiting Eastern Standard, but on many Sunday evenings in the summer, you’ll find me next door on The Hawthorne‘s patio, enjoying delicious tiki beverages.
“At each Swizzle Sunday, different brands and the bartenders or ambassadors that represent them set up shop with cocktails specially curated for the occasion. Swag is handed out, and good times are had by all.
“I recommend liking The Hawthorne’s Facebook page to stay in the loop on which bartenders are coming to the patio and what kind of tiki cocktails they’ll be serving.” – Caitlin Croswell, Boston Summer Bucket List, Cait Plus Ate; Twitter: @CaitPlusAte
15. For an evening out, there are several happening hotspots in Boston
“Eastern Standard is an upscale restaurant, but the bar is THE place to be for 25-40-year-old professionals on Sunday nights.
“Boston is covered with Irish pubs, both authentic and not-so-authentic — you’ll find actual Irish servers, bartenders, and musicians at The Burren in Davis Square.
“Hit up legendary sports bar Cask’n Flagon during a Red Sox game and you’ll REALLY get a taste for Boston!
“If the Red Sox are in town, check out the Bleacher Bar across the street — which is actually inside Fenway Park and lets you watch the game without paying for a ticket!” – Craig Makepeace, What to Do in Boston, Ytravel; Twitter: @yTravelBlog
16. Experience live music 365 days a year at Wally’s Café, one of the oldest family owned and operated jazz clubs in existence
“To most people, Boston is better known for revolutionary history than music history, but one of the oldest family-owned and operated jazz clubs around is found right in the Hub. You’ll find mostly locals packing the tables at Wally’s Café, which offers live music 365 days a year. Joseph L. ‘Wally’ Walcott, originally from Barbados, opened the club in 1947 – the first club owned by an African American in New England. At the time, the area was teeming with jazz clubs, but only Wally’s has endured, thanks in part to its continuing tradition of mixing seasoned professionals with aspiring young musicians from top music schools like Berklee College of Music, the Boston Conservatory, and the New England Conservatory of Music.” – Jeanne O’Brien Coffey, Local’s Guide to Boston, Northshore Magazine; Twitter: @northshoremag
17. A last-call favorite and a friendly neighborhood haunt, Anchovies serves a full Italian-American menu until 1:30 am, in addition to a wide selection of beer and wine
“Spiffier South End spots attract see-and-be-seen crowds. But when you want to slip away to a dimly-lit den, sidle up to the dark wooden bar at this neighborhood haunt, announced only by a small neon sign hanging over the single window’s flower box. The space is strewn with bric-a-brac, the pours are generous, and the faces are friendly (and frequently chatty). It’s also a last-call favorite for serving a full Italian-American menu until 1:30 am.” – Cozy Bar 2017 Winner: Anchovies, The Improper Bostonian; Twitter: @theimproper
18. The Black Rose features live music every night of the week, and some now-famous faces once graced the stage
“The “Roisin Dubh” has been a downtown tradition on the edge of Quincy Market since 1976. You’re guaranteed a raucous good time with live music every night of the week, and in the past, the stage has been graced by flutist James Galway, Liam Clancy, and the once unknown Irish rock band, U2.” – Samantha Dimauro, Top Irish Bars in Boston, Travel + Leisure; Twitter: @TravelLeisure
19. Hit up a neighborhood sports bar to cheer on your favorite Boston sports team
“Where are the best Boston sports bars for being a Boston sports fan, enjoying a frosty Sam Adams beer, and watching your favorite Boston sports teams on the big screen?
“Jerry Remy’s, Cask ‘n’ Flagon, and Boston Beer Works are just a few favorite Boston neighborhood bars where you can cheer the Boston Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, and Patriots while enjoying a good meal and of course, some tasty brew.
“Predictably, most Boston sports bars cluster around Fenway Park and TD Garden (‘the Gah-den’ to locals).
“Several Boston sports bars can almost double as sports museums. As you sip your Guinness or Sam Adams beer, check out the walls covered with Boston Bruins memorabilia, old Boston baseball tickets, photos, Red Sox jerseys, and many more artifacts from Boston sports teams.” – Best Boston Sports Bars, Boston Discovery Guide
20. Experience a personalized approach to mixology at Drink
“This underground bar has been firmly planted at the top of local and national cocktail enthusiasts’ must-see lists for its personal approach to mixology. Master bartenders present patrons not with a menu, but with an ear to listen to each imbiber’s preferences, crafting artisinal tipples from their stock of premium spirits and mixers.” – Meaghan Agnew and Time Out contributors, The best bars in Boston, Time Out Boston; Twitter: @TimeOutBoston
21. Visit Boston’s Harborwalk
“Boston’s Harborwalk is a public walkway that weaves through the city around Boston Harbor. We love starting at Rowe’s Wharf and walking along the Harborwalk towards the ICA. You can let the kids run around (if they’re old enough to not jump in!), while enjoying the cityscape and taking in fresh air. There is almost always a breeze, so for smaller babes who like to nap in the stroller, it is the perfect spot for a snooze.
“We are so lucky to live in a city surrounded by so much water. I love taking the ferry anywhere – to the Boston Harbor Islands (where you can even camp overnight!), Hull, Hingham, Salem, or even just a quick ride over to Charlestown’s Navy Yard.” – Natalie Kurtzman, What to Do in Boston with Kids, The Boston Day Book; Twitter: @bostondaybook
22. Score discounted admission for a kid-friendly museum for a family-friendly outing
“Some museums offer discounted nights. For example, the Boston Children’s Museum offers $1 admission on many Friday nights. There are also free admission days, such as the one through Bank of America or Free Fun Fridays from the Highland Street Foundation.” – Guide to Saving Money on Family-Friendly Boston Attractions, Family Friendly Boston; Twitter: @FamilyBoston
23. Visit the Children’s Zoo at the Franklin Park Zoo
“You’ll come to a place in the middle of the city with a beautiful wrought iron entrance and think, how could this be so? Nestled among the hustle and bustle and the honking and fluorescent signs, this place pops up like the city of Oz. It’s a place where barriers between the animal and human world are put on hold. It’s a place where you can witness the strong bonds of family all around you. It’s a place where once you enter it, you won’t remember the concrete jungle you left behind just a minute ago.
“Discover, explore, and elay side-by-side with animals at the all new Children’s Zoo at Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. The Children’s Zoo is located to the left of the main entrance and is included in your admission price.” – Kristin Quinn, Where the Wild Things Are, Kristin Quinn: Misadventures in Mommyhood; Twitter: @KristinQuinnMom
24. Your kids may enjoy a visit to the Boston Fire Museum
“The Boston Fire Museum, located in the Seaport district, is a free museum that showcases tons of old firetrucks. They also rent their space for birthday parties.” – Things to Do, B+ Boston; Twitter: @BplusBoston
25. Even the Museum of Fine Arts offers programs for kids and families
“Although it is an art lover’s paradise, it’s not off limits to kids! Check out their special kids and family programs. The museum and exhibit artwork cannot be touched and there is no running allowed –
you know your child best, so it may not be for everyone.” – Anastasia Borisyuk, Kid Friendly Museums in and Around Boston, Eco-Babyz; Twitter: @EcoBlogz
26. For an evening adventure, take your family to Open Night at Coit Observatory at Boston University to observe the Boston night sky
“Open Night at Coit Observatory gives the public a chance observe the night sky through telescopes and binoculars, and maybe learn a little astronomy. Open Nights are held most Wednesday evenings throughout the year (weather permitting) and last about an hour. Starting times are 7:30pm during the fall and winter, and 8:30pm during the spring and summer. To find out if Open Night will be held, call the information number at 617-353-2630, no earlier than two hours before the scheduled starting time. Reserve free tickets in advance.” – Tara D., Where to See Stars in Boston with Kids, Mommy Poppins; Twitter: @mommypoppinsbos
27. Visit the USS Constitution
“The USS Constitution, better known as ‘Old Ironsides,’ is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. It launched in 1797, built by order of George Washington to protect America’s ports. She earned her nickname fighting the British during the war of 1812 because cannonballs seemed to bounce off her wooden hull. She was never defeated in battle. In 2015, the Constitution went into dry dock in the Charleston Navy Yard for a three-year restoration. It remains open for public tours as does the USS Constitution Museum where hands-on exhibits show what life was like at sea over 200 years ago. Kids have a chance to swing in a hammock and have a go at furling a sail.
“Nearby is the 221-foot tall hilltop Bunker Hill Monument marking the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution in 1775. Colonel William Prescott’s famous command here, ‘Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes’ was to ensure that each shot counted for the overmatched rebels, who bravely managed to repel two British assaults. Climb the 294 steps to the top of the monument for a towering view.” – Santorini Dave, Boston with Kids – The 2018 Guide, My Little Nomads; Twitter: @SantoriniDave
28. Take a tour of the city in one of Boston’s famous Duck Boats
“Start off your visit to Boston by going on a guided tour of the city in one of our famous Duck Boats. It’s the best way to see the city, plus the guides entertain you with funny stories about Boston history.
“The huge World-War II-style amphibious vehicles offer lots of family fun as you roll past many historic sites on land.
“But the fun really begins when you ‘splash down’ in the Charles River! Depending on conditions, kids on board may even get the chance to steer the boat for awhile – have your camera ready!” – Best Boston Kids Activities, Boston Discovery Guide
29. Relive the Boston Tea Party
“At the newest, most unique museum in the city, relive the famous Boston Tea Party. This floating museum takes you back more than 230 years and puts you in the middle of all the action. You’ll march alongside the patriots, walk on the decks of authentically restored tea ships, and throw tea overboard. You’ll also see one of only two remaining tea chests from the Boston Tea Party, experience multi-sensory exhibits, and interact with holographic technology. Discover the passion and exhilaration Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty felt on that fateful night. Find Tickets Here.” – Local’s Guide to Boston, Boston Tea Party Ship; Twitter: @bostonteaship
Arts & Culture
30. Check out the Institute of Contemporary Art
“Where there used to be nothing but piers infested with seagulls, the Seaport area of Boston has now become a go-to spot for Bostonians looking for something new in the city. One of the area’s best new additions is the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), which overlooks the water and specializes in the work of emerging artists from Boston and around the world.” – Doug Sibor, Hidden Boston: How to Visit Like a Local, Complex.com; Twitter: @dcsibor
31. Go shopping in the burgeoning Seaport neighborhood
“South Boston’s burgeoning Seaport neighborhood is anything but retro. A constantly developing maze of mirrored glass and steel, the Seaport is a bastion of newness and forward-thinking, and one of its newest storefronts fits neatly into the future of the neighborhood.
“Kaity Cimo and Katharine Requa opened For Now, a modern boutique on Seaport Blvd. Referred to as a pop-up collective, For Now is host to a rotating selection of emerging brands, effectively bringing their wares from an online forum to a physical brick and mortar space. The store carries more than a dozen brands that had been available mostly online, until finding a home at For Now. For Now addresses the basic need of a retail start-up endeavor: getting product in front of a real live audience.” – Emma Lifvergren, For Now: A Pop Up Collective in the Seaport, Caught in Southie; Twitter: @maureencaught
32. The Urbano Project in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood is a worthwhile visit
“Practicing within the realm of performance, visual art, community outreach and social activism, Mr. Helguera conceived Librería Donceles as a socially engaging, part-functioning used bookstore and part-installation that aims at fostering a greater sense of community and cultural understanding in Boston. It also simultaneously exposes the social and economic inequalities that continue to plague Spanish-speaking, tax-paying New Americans in the United States.
“The installation—brilliant and uplifting in so many ways—comprises of more than 10,000 used books in Spanish in all subjects, from the arts to travel and everything in between. Titled after Calle Donceles, a street in the historic quarters of Mexico City, Librería Donceles has been—until April 22nd—the only Spanish language bookstore in the City of Boston and the only I’ve ever been to in the United States.” – Anulfo Baez, Librería Donceles, A Brilliant and Uplifting Installation by Pablo Helguera currently on view at Urbano Project, The Evolving Critic; Twitter: @EvolvingCritic
33. Visit the Ayer Mansion in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood
“If you enjoy early Tiffany works, then the Ayer Mansion is an absolute must see. Located at 395 Commonwealth Avenue, it’s one of the few remaining homes that Tiffany designed, so it’s a rare treat to be able to visit. You will easily be able to appreciate works of stained glass as well as mosaics. Be sure to spend time in the foyer to view the stairway, stair risers, and spectacular light fixtures.
“Be sure to view the exterior of the home. You can see Tiffany stained glass from the outside as well.” – Safari #92: Back Bay’s Ayer Mansion, Boston Urban Safari
34. Stop by the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University
“The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University is home to George Church, American geneticist, molecular engineer and chemist. Church is known for his professional contributions to the sequencing of genomes, including creating the first direct genomic sequencing method in 1984, co-developing “genome engineering” in 1997, optimizing CRISPR/Cas9, and successfully copying woolly mammoth genes into the genome of an Asian elephant in 2015. Yes, that makes Harvard the only place in the world where you can visit both a woolly mammoth skeleton and the lab that is inventing technology to one day make the woolly mammoth live again.” – Joe Kinsella, Boston Nerd Tour, High Tech in the Hub; Twitter: @joekinsella
35. Contemporary art lovers won’t want to miss exploring Gallery NAGA on Newbury Street
“The contemporary art displays featured in Gallery NAGA are in stark contrast to the neo-Gothic church in which they are housed. The back room of the Church of the Covenant has been transformed into a high-end art gallery, and it’s worth exploring both. Gallery NAGA was named in the Best of Boston 2017 awards, and it features a rotating display, so check back often for the newest collection.” – Brittany, Boston for Art Lovers, Brittany from Boston; Twitter: @brittfromboston
36. Downtown Boston’s best-kept secret, Artists Crossing, is a must-see
“Last month I had the pleasure of visiting downtown Boston’s best-kept secret, Artists Crossing, which was showing a vibrant and thoughtful exhibit by Deepak Kumar. Kumar’s background in microbiology fuels his work, coupled with his awareness of the larger perspectives he can take with his art; his photographs range from tranquil scenes and portraits to careful examinations of color – or a muted expression of it.
“On one end of his exhibit’s spectrum, Kumar’s photographs bring the viewer detailed studies in vivid color and light. Jumping Spider and his portraits of resting butterflies pay strict attention to their subjects, but in various settings: the butterflies are carefully edited to dominate the foreground of the photos with their rich wings while the arachnid sits poised atop its own reflection in full color. These photographs hang in contrast to Biker and July 4th; distant snapshots of quotidian life in black and white and more muted color palettes, respectively.” – Maria Napolitano, Deepak Kumar @ Artists Crossing Boston, Boston Art Underground
37. Looking for something new on the Boston art scene? Check out the recently opened Kabinett Gallery
“Kabinett Gallery is one of Boston’s newest and hippest art galleries. It has recently moved into a large, two-level space in the South End’s SoWa Thayer St. complex. ” – Kabinett Gallery Grand Opening, Boston Artists; Twitter: @BostonArtEvents
38. A day spent at the Museum of Science in Boston is a day well-spent – it even makes for a great date
“The Museum of Science in Boston is an amazing place to have a date. Do not forget to add tickets to see an IMAX show in the museum’s theater as well. This will make the date very memorable. Just after walking past the ticket kiosks, a huge window to the right looks out upon the river and city. Go up the stairs to get a better view and then to the right to see the bulk of the museum’s exhibits. Arguably, the best one for a date is the Electricity Room. Stick around for the lightning show as sparks fly to get a literally hair-raising experience out of the date.” – Shelly Barclay, Boston’s Best Museums For Dates, CBS Boston; Twitter: @wbz
39. Beer lovers and history buffs alike will enjoy a tour of the Samuel Adams Brewery
“Take a one hour free tour of this historic brewery and learn the story of this Boston institution…but most importantly to try out all their different ales!” – Adam Groffman, Boston Travel Guide, Travels of Adam; Twitter: @travelsofadam
40. The Brattle Book Shop is a stop you won’t want to miss, boasting more than 250,000 titles – it even spills into a vacant lot next door
“Tucked on a small street around the corner from the Boston Opera House, this antiquarian bookstore has more than 250,000 titles. An outdoor book wing with cart after cart of books spills into the vacant lot next door.” – Lindsay Talbot, The Local’s Guide to Boston, Condé Nast Traveler; Twitter: @CNTraveler
41. Stroll through the SOWA neighborhood for a glimpse into the creative culture of Boston
“The South End’s SOWA (‘South of Washington’) neighborhood, a former mill and warehouse district, is now a major creative community and home to a slew of progressive artists and galleries hitting the mark with some of the city’s most provocative and dynamic exhibitions. During the warmer months, the SoWa Open Market brings locally made artwork, a farmers’ market, and a plethora of food trucks every Sunday. SoWa First Fridays, held the first week of every month, highlight the pedestrian-only, art-focused thoroughfare of Thayer Street, which is lined with art galleries, more than 60 artists’ lofts, and specialty shops. Grab a free glass of wine and mingle with an easygoing, eclectic crowd of art lovers, collectors, curators, and makers—and keep a look out for galleries choosing to premiere exhibitions specifically on this night. It’s an incredible chance to pick the minds behind mind-blowing works of art (and did I mention the free wine?).” – Samantha Dimauro, Best Art Galleries in Boston’s South End, Travel + Leisure; Twitter: @TravelLeisure
42. Take a cooking class at The Kitchen at the Boston Public Market
“Cooking classes at The Kitchen at the Boston Public Market make for an amazing date night, girls night out or a fun gift idea! It’s a really fun and different way to spend a night.” – Jenna, Boston Buzz: The Kitchen at the Boston Public Market, Boston Chic Party
43. Centre Street Cafe makes a must-try burger
“Overall, Centre Street Cafe makes a tasty combination of pretty good to great ingredients that add up to a very fine burger. The well seasoned and tender beef combined with the well-selected cheese on a substantial homemade bun is more than enough to make it special. Slight misses are just that and not enough to bring down the party. The value is fitting and I have no qualms on the $14 front, but a dollar more and I might not be as thrilled. This is easily one of the better burgers I’ve had in Jamaica Plain, possibly the best, and definitely worth a trip for anyone in the Greater Boston area.” – Richard Chundy, Centre Street Cafe, Boston Burger Blog; Twitter: @bostonburger
44. Grab some Berry Line frozen yogurt if you’re in the Harvard Square area
“This little store in Harvard Square occupies my thoughts (and tummy) on a regular basis. It’s soooo good; it tastes really fresh and light like actual yogurt – none of the fake ice cream taste. Don’t get me wrong, I love ice cream too, and if I’m craving for some creamy goodness, I’m getting the real stuff. Anyway, indulging at Berry Line doesn’t leave me feeling guilty (hey, yogurt is good for you! And it only has 125 calories in a small serving!) but always leaves me satisfied. My regular order is just a small plain yogurt (sometimes I’ll be adventurous and try one of the special flavors like Oreo and blackberry), and sometimes with strawberries as a topping (they have so much yummy toppings to choose from!). But last week, I boldly ventured away from my boring order and got a medium banana with strawberries and white chocolate chips. Double yum.” – Bianca Garcia, BerryLine Frozen Yogurt, Confessions of a Chocoholic; Twitter: @biancagarcia
45. For an inventive take on American dishes, Ashmont Grill is an excellent restaurant for grabbing a delicious meal
“The Ashmont Grill focuses mainly on inventive takes on American dishes, with most items served at relatively reasonable prices. Among the main courses are an outstanding burger made with all-natural Niman Ranch beef, a moist turkey burger with avocado puree, a zingy macaroni and cheese with a bit of smoked blue cheese, baby back ribs that are applewood smoked and come with a sweet and smokey apricot-chipotle glaze, a rigatoni bolognese whose sauce includes a perfect blend of beef, veal, and pork, pan-seared salmon that comes with different veggies and sauces depending on the season (and sometimes comes with chickpea fries), a salmon burger with a charred lemon aioli, fall-apart tender and flaky beer-battered fish and chips that would give some seafood shacks on the MA coast a run for their money, and a wood-grilled steak that comes with spicy potatoes and chimichurri.
“Folks in the media and people who work at restaurant may not consider the Ashmont Grill to be a hidden spot, but its somewhat obscure location in Dorchester’s Peabody Square seems to have turned this place into a mostly local hangout. Whether it is a truly hidden gem or not, however, the bottom line is that this eatery is a great option for those who like both traditional American and New American cuisine at mostly decent prices in a comfortable environment.” – Ashmont Grill, HiddenBoston.com; Twitter: @hiddenboston
46. Once you visit the Harbor Cafe, you’ll want to come back
“Harbor Cafe is a once-and-regular situation. You eat here once, you become a regular. The food is so flavorful, the dishes just so meticulously balanced that the same items served elsewhere will be a let down. And so, you’ll be back.” – Jennifer Goulart Amero, Harbor Cafe is a Detour Worth Taking, 90 Seconds and Velvet; Twitter: @companyprtygirl
47. If you’re in the mood for something different, The Beehive is the place to be for great eats
“Located in one of the hippest parts of town, The Beehive is a bohemian enclave in the South End featuring a simple yet eccentric dining experience that leaves you wanting more. Offering brunch on their easily-accessible patio every Saturday and Sunday from 10-3, the menu is filled with what the General Manager likes to call ‘food with soul’. With a focus on local, sustainable and in-season ingredients, the menu reads likes an old world European novel, showing influences from the Middle East, America, Eastern Europe, and Africa.” – Tammy Schuetz Cook, A tour through some of Boston’s best al fresco brunch offerings…, Boston Food & Whine; Twitter: @bostonfoodwhine
48. 140 Supper Club is an exquisite dining experience you won’t want to miss
“The Fairmont Copley Plaza has quickly become one of my favorite places to end an evening with a glass of bubbly surrounded by timeless luxury and a beautiful mix of Bostonians and a host of colorful characters only in our beautiful city for a few more hours.
“When lovely Sarah sent me a note about an upcoming private 140 Supper Club dinner hosted by Executive Chef Laurent Poulain featuring Buffalo Trace Bourbon only accessible by private staircase and secret password…it goes without saying I was intrigued.
“Always on the hunt to uncover more of Boston’s best kept food secrets, I was thrilled to hear Chef Poulain’s dishes were all seasonally inspired with delicious and inventive pairings by Trace.” – Georgina Castellucci, Boston’s Best Kept Foodie Secrets: 140 Supper Club, A Noted Life; Twitter: @BostonGeorgina
49. Visit Boston’s oldest residential community, the North End, for some great Italian eats
“The North End, originally established in 1630, is Boston’s oldest residential community and today is best known as a vibrant Italian-American neighborhood (aka Boston’s Little Italy). This is one of my favorite neighborhoods to visit; not only for the numerous Italian restaurants and cafes,this is a tightly knit community that cherishes its traditions and where something is always going on. I’ll never forget leaving my favorite North End restaurant, Panza, at 7 o’clock on a Thursday evening last August to find a parade going down the street. Turns out I stumbled upon the Festival of Saint Agrippina, a Catholic celebration with several blocks of festivities, processions, music, and food. While who makes the better cannoli, Mike’s Pastry vs. Modern Pastry Shop, is a hotly contested topic of debate; I prefer to get my Italian pastry fix a few doors down at the unassumingly charming Caffe dello Sport. This cafe/bakery meets sports bar always has the latest soccer game, pulls a mean espresso, and makes locals and visitors feel like family.” – Brianna Simmons, 5 Things to Do on a Weekend Trip to Boston, Casual Travelist; Twitter: @CasualTravelist