Boston

1-Day Boston: Back Bay

I travel to the suburbs outside of Boston a few times a year. Whenever schedule allows, I try to stay an extra day in downtown Boston to take in the sights. Here’s a day in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston.

The Back Bay neighborhood runs along the Charles River on the opposite side of Cambridge. This trendy neighborhood contains upscale shopping, boutiques, art galleries, and fabulous restaurants. The area is home to Copley Place, Prudential Center and The John Hancock Tower, Trinity Church, and shopping along Newbury Street.


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The home base of the trip is the Charlesmark Hotel a block from Copley Square. This 3-star boutique offers complimentary breakfast and wireless internet starting at $130/night.

Following a continental breakfast at the hotel, head to Prudential Center on Huntington Ave. In front of Shaw’s we’ll board the Duck tour. For $29.95, the World War II amphibious vehicle takes us through Boston landmarks including the State House, Bunker Hill, Fleet Center, The Common, Copley Square, Government Center, Newbury Street, Quincy Market and Prudential Tower. Though the highlight of the 1hr 20min tour is when the Duck splashes into the Charles River for views of Boston and Cambridge.

Returning to the Prudential Center, head north toward Newbury Street for a bit of (window) shopping. Known as the “Rodeo Drive of the East,” Newbury Street serves as Boston’s representative of fashion and style. The street is home to an eclectic mix of independent shops and high-end

For lunch stop in Stephanie’s on Newbury for a bowl of Boston Clam Chowder. The sidewalk cafe offers a nice resting spot for people watching and al fresco dining. Following lunch, continue east on Newbury Street toward the Public Garden.

Shopping isn’t the thing one can do on Newbury Street. There are nearly 40 art galleries for one to wander through. Some notable ones include Vose, International Poster Gallery, Galerie d’Orsay, and Newbury Fine Arts.

Nebury Street end at the Public Garden. Established in 1837 as the first public botanical garden in the United States, the twenty-four acre features a irregularly shaped pond where gardengoers can take leisurely cruise with the foot-pedal-powered Swan Boats for $2.75 during summer months.

Tonight’s dinner destination is Excelsior on Boylston Street. Its epic selection of international wine varietals are strikingly housed in a climate-controlled, three-story glass tower. Dine in the lounge and try the restaurant’s signature lobster pizza. The pizza is a favorite of Sox slugger Manny Ramirez, who eats frequently at Excelsior with his wife, Juliana.

End the evening at the Oak Bar at the Fairmont Copley Hotel. Boston Magazine has named the Oak Bar ‘Best Hotel Bar’. Offering one of Boston’s largest martini menus, the Oak Bar is just the right place for that night cap to end the day.

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