Classic 4-Star Boston Hotel from the 1920s
Since 1927, the Boston Park Plaza Hotel has occupied a spot in the city's historical Back Bay, inviting visitors to stay in a luxurious property that mirrors a stately Europe hotel. "This antiques-laden hotel is ideal for those looking for old-world charm," Fodor's says. The 4-star hotel is also within a 10-minute drive of the Museum of Science, the Boston Children’s Museum, and Faneuil Hall Marketplace, home to an 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 eight 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. Fodor's recommends the hotel's dessert shop, Finale, which makes chocolate-dipped fruits, pies, tarts and hot chocolates.
Boston's Back Bay: Victorian Architecture and Historical Landmarks on the Charles River
Boston’s Back Bay used to be just that—a literal bay that extended into the Charles River. In the mid 1800s, developers added landfill and created the grid-style neighborhood that remains today. Victorian brownstones and kempt gardens line the wide avenues of this waterside enclave that lies just west of Beacon Hill. Boston is a highly walkable city, so you’ll be able to get to several other neighborhoods from Back Bay as well.
Often called the Rodeo Drive of the East, Newbury Street stretches eight blocks east from Massachusetts Avenue to Arlington Street. The quaint tree-lined street is home to dozens of high-end retailers such as Chanel and Cartier, as well as vintage boutiques and consignment shops. Between Newbury and the Charles lies some of the most desirable real estate in Boston; the historic brownstones are worth checking out. The Esplanade, a 3-mile jogging path along the Charles, is especially popular in the summer. There you can take sailing lessons or sip lemonade on a sunny afternoon.
The famed walking path known as the Freedom Trail begins a mile east of Back Bay in the Boston Common, and it’s a must-see for history buffs. The 2.5-mile trail wends through cobblestone streets, bringing Revolutionary history to life with stops at the Old South Meeting House, where plans for the Boston Tea Party were secretly hatched, and the site of the Boston Massacre.