Classic 1920s Hotel in the Heart of Boston
Since 1927, the Boston Park Plaza Hotel has occupied the same spot in Boston’s historical Back Bay region—”one of Boston’s best locations,” according to Fodor’s. The stately hotel is also within a 10-minute drive of the Museum of Science, the Boston Children’s Museum, and Faneuil Hall Marketplace, home to a massive indoor-outdoor shopping mall and historic Faneuil Hall.
The hotel’s standard guest rooms are decorated in subtle earth tones and outfitted with flat-screen TVs and Simmons Beautyrest pillow-top mattresses. If you stay in a tower-level queen room on the 15th floor, you’ll get special access to a lounge that serves complimentary breakfast and hors d’oeuvres.
For dinner, there are plenty of onsite restaurants to choose from. Smith & Wollensky serves steak and lobster in a 19th-century, castle-like brick building that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There’s a more laid-back atmosphere at MJ O’Connor’s Irish Pub; you can enjoy classic pub fare here, such as shepherd’s pie and fish and chips, and watch sports on large-screen high-definition TVs.
Boston’s Back Bay: Victorian Architecture on the Charles River
In the early 19th century, Boston’s Back Bay was just that—a bay that extended into the Charles River. Over the next few decades, a drastic transformation began: developers brought in soil from the hills of nearby neighborhoods to fill the bay. Today, Victorian brownstone homes line the wide avenues of this waterside neighborhood, forming a grid-like design that makes the city easily navigable. Often called the Rodeo Drive of the East, Back Bay’s Newbury Street contains eight blocks of high-end and vintage boutiques, art galleries, and international cafés and restaurants.
A couple blocks south of Newbury Street is Copley Square; it has some of the neighborhood’s famous historic landmarks, including the century-old, Italian-inspired Boston Public Library and Trinity Church, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture designed by Henry Hobson Richardson. Inside, it’s decorated with imported stained-glass windows, intricate religious frescoes, and ornately carved archways.
Downtown Boston is less than a 10-minute drive from Back Bay, so it’s easy to get to all of the city’s more popular attractions. Downtown’s 2.5-mile long Freedom Trail is a must-see—its cobblestone streets are home to Revolution-era bookstores, chapels, and homes, and are frequented by costumed performers.