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Jillian Dara

Jillian Dara

Contributor

Jillian is a freelance travel and culture journalist with an enthusiasm to learn from the world. She traces her wanderlust back to eight years old when her family relocated to the island of Bermuda. Since then, she has lived in London, Santiago, Boston, and New York City. Her work has appeared in Travel + LeisureUSA Today, Forbes, Michelin Guide, Marriott Bonvoy Traveler and Wine Enthusiast. Jillian’s simple pleasures include a hotel with an ocean view, a symmetric charcuterie board and a dry martini—dirty. Follow her on Instagram @jilliandara.

Articles (27)

The 8 best restaurants on Nantucket

The 8 best restaurants on Nantucket

New Englanders know summer means one thing: It’s time to ditch the city pavement for island life, specifically the cobbled streets and pristine beaches of Nantucket. Given its locale, it’s a no-brainer that ACK serves up some of the freshest local seafood on the East Coast. However, there’s more than just marine fare at Nantucket’s best restaurants. From locally grown produce to specialty cocktails, here’s what to seek out on the island this summer. And if you're stuck ashore on the Massachusetts mainland this season, be sure to get your fill of summertime favorites at the best seafood restaurants and oyster bars right in Boston⁠—or pretend you're on vacation by stretching out on one of our city's best patios.  RECOMMENDED: Guide to the best restaurants in Boston

The best flower delivery services in Boston

The best flower delivery services in Boston

There’s nothing like a bouquet of beautiful blooms to brighten someone’s day. Whether it’s a one-time treat, a way to let someone know how much you miss them, or an annual gift set up as a recurring delivery, these florists offer it all. From local specialty shops to nationally-geared services that pick blossoms from regional farms, here are our favorite flower delivery services in Boston. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The best gay bars in Boston

The best gay bars in Boston

Whether it’s cheering on performers during a drag brunch or dancing into the early morning hours, there are plenty of places to find LGBTQ-friendly fun in and around Boston. With Massachusetts being the first state to legalize gay marriage, we definiltey know how to show off our pride in style. Check out our picks for the best gay bars in Boston—and to enjoy even more of the city’s energetic nightlife, explore the best cocktail lounges and speakeasies in Boston. RECOMMENDED: See the full list of the best bars in Boston

The best rooftop brunches in Boston

The best rooftop brunches in Boston

Weekend brunch is all about socializing and that enviable Insta post proving that you snagged a reservation at one of the city’s hottest brunch spots… OK, it’s about the food in front of you, too! These rooftops combine the best of your morning (or afternoon, we don’t judge) must-haves, including elevated views of the city skyline, gorgeous gardens and, of course, tasty brunch favorites. From The Seaport to Cambridge, to the Back Bay, here are the best rooftop brunch spots in Boston that will surely take this weekend ritual to new heights. And, once you’ve tried them all, check out Boston’s best breakfast in the city—there’s something for everyone! RECOMMENDED: Guide to the best restaurants in Boston

The best French restaurants in Boston

The best French restaurants in Boston

It’s no secret that Boston is home to an extensive list of amazing restaurants, which includes some of the city’s most prominent dining options for getting a taste of la cuisine française. That’s right: The best French restaurants in Boston strive to emulate France’s renowned culinary tradition, which spans from casual cafes and intimate bistros to refined brasseries and upscale Parisian eateries. Here in the Hub, you’ll find all of your French favorites, whether it’s a croque madame, coq au vin, ratatouille or even a distinctive, imported cheese plate—just check out this list of the best French restaurants in Boston right now. In search of more European eats? Visit the best Italian restaurants in Boston. 

The 24 best Boston coffee shops to try right now

The 24 best Boston coffee shops to try right now

Nothing warms you up faster than a strong cuppa joe in the winter, or cools you down faster in the summer than a classic, iced coffee (and the true New Englander may argue that the latter kind of coffee is popular in Boston all year round). Though prolific coffee chains (we’re looking at you, Dunks) ensure that you’re never too far from satiating your caffeine craving, there are a number of Boston coffee shops and cafes worth seeking out for a change of scenery. Here are some of our favorite places to grab the best coffee in Boston. And if you take your java with food, be sure to check out the best donut shops, best breakfast spots or brunch spots in Boston. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

The best ways to celebrate your birthday in Boston

The best ways to celebrate your birthday in Boston

You can make any birthday special by grabbing your closest friends and celebrating, but why not make your next bash extraordinary? Skip the standard dinner and opt for an engaging activity like pasta making or add a little competition with darts or arcade games–you can even rent out your own space at some speakeasies, which keeps the attention on the one and only you! Though we can’t plan it all, we hope our list of birthday ideas and party venues inspires you to do something unique on your next trip around the sun. When all else fails, you can always have a fun time at one of the best cocktail bars in Boston, the best nightclubs in Boston or the best restaurants in Boston. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

The 15 best Boston brunch spots to try right now

The 15 best Boston brunch spots to try right now

For some, weekend brunch is a routine, while for others, it’s reserved solely for a special occasion. No matter the type of brunch-goer you are, we’ve got you covered with the best Boston brunch spots. From folks seeking the classics (hello, bloody mary bar) to the connoisseurs looking to take their brunch to the next level (live music and drag, anyone?), everyone can find the brunch of their dreams from our extensive list. After sleeping in, a sustaining brunch is exactly what we all need after a long night spent drinking at the best bars in Boston, dancing at the best clubs or rocking out at the best live music spots. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

The 15 best Japanese restaurants in Boston

The 15 best Japanese restaurants in Boston

Our collection of best Japanese restaurants in Boston is an outstanding reflection of the country’s expansive culinary offerings, from Tokyo to Sapporo, and every small town in between. There’s sushi and omakase, hearty ramen, contemporary izakayas (the Japanese version of small plates) and flavorful, interactive hibachi hubs—all of which provide an immersive overview of Japan’s rich food culture. Regardless of which restaurant you try first, be sure to pair your meal with a Japanese whiskey, beer or sake for a well-rounded experience. And once you’ve explored the best Japanese restaurants in Boston, explore other regional Asian cuisine at the best Thai restaurants in Boston or the best Chinese restaurants in Boston. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

The best vegan restaurants in Boston

The best vegan restaurants in Boston

Just because you’re vegan, doesn’t mean you need to miss out on Boston’s scrumptious culinary scene. In fact, you don’t necessarily even need to seek out the best vegetarian eatery or vegan-only spot here, as some of Boston’s most renowned restaurants now offer vegan dishes, along with different dietary accommodations like gluten-free and more. Check out our list of the best places to satiate your cravings from grilled cheese to ice cream, and everything in between. More than your standard tofu afterthoughts, you can get your fix of plant-based ice cream, pizza, nachos and even fine dining fare at the best vegan restaurants in Boston. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

The 12 best speakeasy bars in Boston

The 12 best speakeasy bars in Boston

Some of Boston’s oldest bars may have once operated as legitimate speakeasies during the Prohibition era, but nowadays, our city’s most discreet spots serve legal drinks while replicating that nostalgically secretive atmosphere of the 1920s. Often dimly lit and under-marketed, these establishments aren’t just “bars” you happen to stumble upon. These suave parlours, basements, nooks and crannies have a focus on inventive craft cocktails and welcome clientele who are in-the-know. Start at one of these speakeasy-style bars and then add some entertainment at one of Boston’s best karaoke bars, best trivia nights or best comedy clubs. RECOMMENDED: See the full list of the best bars in Boston

The best Boston restaurants with heated outdoor dining for winter

The best Boston restaurants with heated outdoor dining for winter

In a city as seasonal as Boston, winter isn’t exactly celebrated in these parts, let alone associated with al fresco dining. In recent years, however, some of the Hub’s best restaurants have begun to offer unique heated patios, terraces and rooftop igloos to show that Boston can in fact be a yearlong culinary destination. As local restaurants continue to innovate and introduce warm options fit for eating, drinking and snuggling outside even in the dead of winter (think chalet vibes, fire pits and specialized menus for outdoor reservations), these venues are garnering attention as highly sought after experiences once temperatures start to drop—so run, don’t walk to make a reservation from this list of Boston’s best restaurants with heated outdoor dining.  For other ways to warm up, check out our picks for the best hot cocktails, best hot chocolate or best coffee in town. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

Listings and reviews (32)

Hotel Viking

Hotel Viking

With 95 years of history behind this landmark building, Hotel Viking maintains Rhode Island’s golden-gilded age of hospitality with its renovated locale at the esteemed One Bellevue address. Check into an Estate Fireside Guestroom, Kingscote Mansion Two Bedroom Suite, or Marble House Mansion Suite for a cozy respite with their in-room hearths.

The Essex

The Essex

Ideally situated between downtown Burlington and Vermont’s eminent mountains, a dreamy long weekend awaits at The Essex Resort & Spa, filled with as much (or as little) activity as you’d like. Though the resort hosts nightly happenings at the common area fire pit, which includes s’mores and hot cocoa, you can also experience the cozy magic in-room, with most accommodation options featuring an electric fireplace.

Chatham Inn

Chatham Inn

This Relais & Châteaux property on Cape Cod is a beachside haven. Nine of the 18 rooms here offer personal fireplaces, including one suite, two premier fireplace category rooms and six standard fireplace rooms (there’s even one with a double-sided fireplace that opens to a soaking tub for optimal R&R). The rooms follow a stunning contemporary format, with clean, minimal lines that encourage you to declutter your mind on a weekend away. In case you muster up the energy to leave your intimate, cozy quarters, the property also has fireplaces in the dining room, wine bar, common sitting area and an outside fire pit.

Cape Arundel Inn & Resort

Cape Arundel Inn & Resort

Nothing embodies Kennebunkport charm more than an oceanfront Victorian mansion, and at Cape Arundel that’s exactly what you can expect. With rooms perched above the famed Ocean Avenue, guests can admire pronounced ocean views from their windows—an enchanting juxtaposition next to the roaring fireplace. The rooms are warmly decorated in a homey style you’d expect from an Inn-inspired property, however, with a modern flair you might not normally get at this historic seaside destination. There are also a mix of fireplaces throughout the public space, in case you want to wander outside your personal accommodations.

Winvian Farm

Winvian Farm

Nestled in the woods of Western Connecticut (Litchfield Hills), this Relais & Châteaux offers 18 designer cottages, all equipped with at least one wood burning fireplace. In case this isn’t cozy enough, hearths also line the common areas, restaurant and even the spa, where two of the treatment rooms feature—you guessed it—wood burning fireplaces. Though you’ll likely catch a whiff of smoke from another guest’s chimney, with the accommodations spread over 113 acres, Winivan Farm ensures a rustic privacy, where you’ll feel as if you’re miles away from anyone else.

Mill Falls at the Lake

Mill Falls at the Lake

A rustic retreat in Meredith, New Hampshire, this property overlooks Lake Winnipesaukee and is just a short drive from skiing at Gunstock Mountain. There’s a total of 98 guest rooms with fireplaces across the variety of accommodations offered on site, ranging from the main inn to cozy cottages and separate houses, like Chase House, which is geared toward romantic getaways with all 21 of their guest rooms featuring crackling fireplaces and two-person jetted baths.

Twin Farms

Twin Farms

Located in Barnard, Vermont, this adults-only, all-inclusive property proves you don’t need to travel far (or to a Caribbean destination) for this style of getaway. Twenty cottages and suites are spread over 300 acres of tranquil woods, each designed by various architects and designers to impart their unique flair. One thing they all have in common? Guests can expect wood-burning fireplaces that open onto screened porches at all 20 lodgings on the property.

Briar Barn Inn

Briar Barn Inn

Less than an hour outside Boston, this relaxed, farmhouse-style boutique hotel is a gem along Massachusetts’ North Shore. All 30 guest rooms are outfitted with gas fireplaces and accessories to cozy up any stay, including Sferra throw blankets, robes and slippers. The onsite restaurant, Grove, also features a fireplace, as does the second-floor library.

Blind Tiger

Blind Tiger

Designed as a welcoming guest house with only nine rooms, Blind Tiger uses its Portland, Maine, surroundings as inspiration for its uniquely fitted rooms, all taking on their own personality and all offering fireplaces to snuggle up to. From cerulean walls to 19th-century art, the mix of modern and vintage decor liken each room’s appeal to visiting your eclectic friend’s home who always makes you feel welcome.

Cornell Inn

Cornell Inn

This Lenox, Massachusetts, property was revamped and reopened in June 2021 from its existing 18th and 19th century standalone buildings, to now reflect a 28-room inn–17 of which have personal fireplaces. The lobby also offers a double-sided fireplace to appeal to the property’s bed and breakfast style allure, but with all the luxuries of a contemporary resort.

The Lodge at Spruce Peak

The Lodge at Spruce Peak

As Stowe Mountain’s only ski-in, ski-out luxury resort, The Lodge is the spot to see and be seen (and stay!) in Stowe. The property’s suites are designed with cozy in mind as fireplaces bathe the rooms in golden hues set against the backdrop of the mountain’s snowy trails in winter and lush greens in summer.

The Chanler at Cliff Walk

The Chanler at Cliff Walk

Newport’s Cliff Walk features historic mansions that attract regular visitors to ogle at their opulence. As the only hotel on this heritage stretch, The Chanler allows you to actually live in this grandiose style, offering 20 rooms, each reflecting a different epoch and all offering the comfort of in-room fireplaces.