For a city that was once considered ultra-conservative (AKA boring),
Boston has made itself a world-class metropolis with endless ways
to educate, enthrall, entice and, of course, entertain. Incorporating
activities for all ages and tastes is no longer a daunting task that
takes ingenious planning. A shaped-up nightlife and a surge of innovative
restaurants, added to an existing stable of world-class museums and
theatres, have helped make Boston an emergent cultural mecca for residents
Museums & Galleries
Boston has a magnificent selection of art complexes, from large
to small, American to Italian, local to national. Many museums offer
specials and discounts for tourists and students. The enormous Museum
of Fine Arts Boston and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
are the best-known and most popular. Among smaller museums is the
Institute of Contemporary Art. Kids love the ChildrensMuseum, while
the Museum of Science with
its Mugar Omni Theatre draws crowds of all ages. Newbury Street,
the South End and Brookline boast a diverse array of galleries,
many of which showcase the regions up-and-coming artists.
Theatre & Music
Boston has dozens of theatres, large and small. Some of the countrys
best professional regional theatre can be found here. Especially
popular with visitors are the Broadway-scale shows and other special
performances at The Wang Center for Performing Arts, The Colonial
Theatre and Schubert Theatre. Boston has a diverse music scene,
including the world-renowned Boston
Symphony Orchestra, which performs at Symphony Hall. The Boston
Pops offers a different sound with the same brilliance, and their
free show at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River each Fourth of
July is not to be missed. Both ensembles perform during the summer
at Tanglewood, a beautiful outdoor concert hall in the Berkshires
in Western Massachussets.
For mainstream music, check out the FleetCenter, a new addition
to the citys largest musical and sporting venues. Harborlights,
The BankBoston Pavilion, The Orpheum and Avalon are other venues
for world-class talent. In warmer months, the Hatch Shell is famous
for throwing free concerts.
For such an urban setting, you might think Boston would be lacking
in outdoor recreation. Not so. Spring begins a resurgence in outdoor
activities. Roller bladers and runners flock to the parkland along
the Charles River. The Public Garden and Boston Common fill with
walkers and strollers right about the same time the Swan Boats reappear,
and when finding a vacant park bench becomes impossible. The Commonwealth
Mall, which runs parallel to Newbury and Marlborough Streets, overflows
with walking tours and dogs on leashes, and has a great selection
of diverse statues to check out. One undiscovered treat is the Back
Bay Fens where a gorgeous rose garden and pond come alive. The Arnold
Arboretum is a horticultural oasis, 256-acres of walking grounds
and heavenly flowers and plants that shouldn't be missed when things
begin to bloom. From April to October you can rent a sailboat on
lovely Jamaica Pond. In South Boston on historic Castle
Island you can walk around the "sugar bowl," lick
an ice cream cone from Sullivans and watch as planes take off at
nearby Logan International Airport.
Shopping has become a popular pastime for many Bostonians, as fashion
and style have been resurrected and found their way back to the
Hub. Boston has caught on to trends set by scenesters and college
kids. It also has myriad shops serving the social elite. Lets not
forget the wealthy internationals who help keep shops on Newbury
and Copley Place in business.
You can find such standards as Express, The Gap, Banana Republic
and the Limited sprinkled throughout the Back Bay, Cambridge and
the downtown area. Bargain hunters will have a field day at Filenes
Basement, a New England shopping tradition located at Downtown Crossing.
For the upscale, decadent shopping experience the Copley Mall,
Newbury Street and parts of Boylston Street will have you working
overtime. Haute couture is represented by such shops as Escada,
Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Prada and Dolce & Gabanna. Other fine
stores include Alan Bilzerian, Akris and Tiffany&Co., Neiman
Marcus, Macys and Bloomingdales.
For the souvenir collector, the Faneuil Hall area is calling your
name. Rows of stores line both sides of the Quincy
Market building, and merchants sell trinkets and wares from
carts both inside and outside. Salt-water taffy, baked beans, statues
of Paul Revere and Boston t-shirts are a few choice items you can
Antiques and other collectibles can be found in Beacon Hill, where
exquisite pieces for the home await you in tiny shops that line
Charles Street. Prices can be steep, but we're talking quality goods
with history to match.
For the finest baked goods and sweetest pastries, you can't go
wrong on Hanover Street in the North End, with its countless bakeries
featuring the citys best Boston cream pies and éclairs.
Whether you're a fan or a participant, theres plenty to do. Watch
the Celtics play basketball at the Fleet Center or the Red Sox play
baseball at historic Fenway Park,
which many fans consider the finest stadium in the country. Although
Foxboro Stadium is a bit of a drive, you can catch all your pro-football
favorites playing against the New England Patriots.
For those with a love of the water, try sailing or sculling on
the Charles River or whale watching in Boston Harbor. Head to the
Boston Harbor Sailing Club to cruise around the bay on hot, summer
weekends. Frog Pond in the Boston Common
is where ice-skaters go to glide beneath the shadow of the State
The Boston Marathon and the Head of the Charles are two premier
events that return year after year, bringing thousands of spectators
from all over the world.
Once upon a time Bostons nightlife fell into just two categories:
bars and pubs and Lansdowne Street. Today, the city has much more
to offer the grunge lovers, young professionals and uber-hip who
prowl the city at night. All establishments close promptly at 2am
and the MBTA stops running at 12:45am, so go out earlier and catch
a cab home. With so many different establishments it may be hard
to discern what environment is right for you.
Clubland A Go-Go!
Lansdowne Street, known as club land, is a scene of frenzied activity
from 9pm on. Located across from Fenway Park, it boasts six clubs,
each with a different theme. Avalon, the biggest, has just undergone
a $4 million renovation and boasts an impressive list of visiting
DJs and live acts. The streets newest addition, The
Modern, is an ultra-sleek and ultra-chic spot for those who
can garner a booth in the VIP section.
Not surprisingly, with its rich immigrant heritage, Boston has
plenty of Irish bars and pubs. But many offer more than just a pint
of Guinness. You can find live entertainment, DJs and theme nights
to keep the citys diverse crowd satisfied. The Black Rose and The
Purple Shamrock are two favorites in Faneuil Hall. Hibernia is a
new spot with a hip downtown appeal.
If you're looking for a more polished atmosphere, consider the
Leather District. Off the beaten path between South Station and
Chinatown you'll find places like the G
Lounge and Oskarswith plush interiors, acid jazz playing in
the background, and a cosmopolitan crowd.
On the other side of town is Sophias, Bostons hottest new Latin
club. You'll find three floors of dining, drinking and dancing filled
to capacity with beautiful people of all nationalities.
Internationals (and some elite downtown types) have Euro-scene
playgrounds they have made their own, including M-80, Armani
Cafe, Venu and Caprice. Beyond the
velvet rope, imagine dark, smoky rooms and dance floors filled with
beautiful people where the veuve clicquot flows like water.
© Copyright 2002-2011, BostonTravelGuide.com. All