Classic 4-Star Boston Hotel from the 1920s
Since 1927, the Boston Park Plaza Hotel has occupied a spot in the city’s famous Back Bay area, welcoming visitors with luxurious accommodations modeled on the stately hotels of Europe. Says Fodor’s: “This antiques-laden hotel is ideal for those looking for old-world charm.” The 4-star property is 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 meeting hall.
The hotel’s handsome guest rooms are decorated with elegant furnishings and outfitted with flat-screen TVs and Simmons Beautyrest pillow-top mattresses. 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. For a more laid-back atmosphere, try MJ O’Connor’s Irish Pub. The hotel’s critically acclaimed dessert shop, Finale, offers chocolate-dipped fruit, pies, tarts, and hot chocolate.
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.