The best day trips from Boston
City living can be intense, and a lot of us need to get out of town every now and then by taking some day trips from Boston. Luckily, one of the best things about living around here is taking advantage of the world of New England getaways at your fingertips. Hop in your car or get on the train, bus or ferry, and you can easily explore the many wonders of our region. The Hub’s main arteries (I-90, I-93 and I-95) give direct, easy access to Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Western Mass and even Vermont. And that means we have lots of enticing day trips to choose from at any time of the year. Once you’ve recharged and returned to the city, keep the fun going by checking out the best Boston attractions, best free things to do in Boston and best museums in Boston. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in BostonRECOMMENDED: The best Boston Airbnbs
The best 10 beaches near Boston
When it comes to sand and seaside around here, thoughts often turn to a day trip to Cape Cod. But the Cape isn't the only place to throw your towel down; Boston’s North and South Shores also boast picturesque beaches, all less than an hour’s drive outside the city (summer traffic withstanding). And for people without easy car access, the Hub itself has a number of urban sandbars perfect for relaxing or taking a refreshing dip in the ocean. We're giving you a slew of local saltwater spots you should get to this summer—just be sure to check out all of the regulations and pricing before you grab your sunblock. And if you're looking for other warm weather activities, take a look at our guides to the best summer activities, the best waterfront restaurants and the best cruises in Boston. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do 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 10 best first date spots in Boston
The first meet-up with a potential love interest is always exciting. There are already plenty of questions—what to wear, what to say, what to feel—so we’re here to help you answer at least one inquiry: where to go. From relaxed menus to conversation-ready atmospheres, these places take the stress out of the first date and allow all the relationship potential to shine (or not). If you don’t want to commit to more than a short time together just yet, grab a drink at one of the best bars in Boston or these top-notch cocktail bars. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston
The best parks in Boston
With Boston holding court as a walking city, our beautiful parks serve as the perfect destinations to enjoy nature within our urban environs. The Emerald Necklace—the nation’s oldest linear park system—links together several of the best parks in Boston, while other options like the celebrated Arnold Arboretum and the multi-use Rose Kennedy Fitzgerald Greenway give you space to unwind. Wherever you choose to frolic, fuel up for the experience with bites at one of the best restaurants in Boston or leave the city behind with one of the best hikes near Boston. Need to cool off after too much walkabout? Check out one of the best pools or best beaches near Boston. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston
The oldest bar in Boston: 10 historic spots that are contenders
It’s not surprising that as one of the America’s first settlements, Massachusetts has its fair share of historic taverns. But what's the oldest bar in Boston? Well, a number of local watering holes are surely up there, welcoming Colonial rebel rousers as they helped organize The Revolution—and many of them still stand today, in defiance to the rapid development surrounding them. All have their own stories to tell, and some of these hangouts also rank among the best Irish pubs and best dive bars in Boston. If you’re looking for something a little fancier and more modern, check out our list of the best cocktail bars in Boston. RECOMMENDED: See the full list of the best bars in Boston
The best afternoon tea in Boston
Whether you’re channeling your inner Mad Hatter or you indulge your inner desire lord or lady of Bridgerton, there’s nothing quite like a proper tea service. Small finger sandwiches sitting sidecar to steaming pots of steeping leaves is perfect as the temps start to fall. After you’re done sipping, stroll around one of the best parks in Boston or visit one of the best places to see art in Boston for even more refined relaxation. If coffee is more your cup of...well, coffee, the best coffee shops in Boston are sure to satisfy. Pinkies up. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston
The best Boston art galleries
Boston is home to a prolific number of art museums exhibiting every genre—from contemporary to fine art. Whether you’re visiting or living in the area, being surrounded by such talent may just inspire you to revamp your personal collection, and luckily, our city has the answer to that, too. Once confined to the Art and Design District—namely in the city’s South End—Boston’s art communities have since expanded beyond this neighborhood’s limits and art galleries are now dusted throughout The Hub. From luxury and boutique collections to student-run galleries, here are the city’s must-visit galleries. Still, if you crave a formal collection experience, check out the best art museums in Boston. (There are plenty of other cool places to see art in Boston as well). RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston
The best theaters in Boston
There’s nothing quite like a theater night; dressing up, dining out and watching live performers show off their craft in a grand venue. Boston boasts a compact yet vibrant Theater District, located close to some of the best restaurants in the Financial District, Downtown Crossing and Chinatown, and allowing for a seamless night out at the theater. There are even a few other theaters dotted throughout the city, in areas like Brookline and Harvard Square, ensuring that you can switch up the neighborhood, and in effect, the style of show and vibe of the venue. Needless to say, Boston’s entertainment scene abounds, so don’t miss out on a show at one of these iconic theaters. As mentioned before, it’s wise to pair a production with a meal at one of the best restaurants in Boston—or maybe a sweet treat at one of the best dessert spots in Boston or a drink at one of the best bars in Boston. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston
The best places to listen to live music in Boston
Boston's live music scene has long been legendary, birthing some of the biggest names in the biz. Aerosmith, Donna Summer, The Cars, Mission of Burma, New Kids on the Block, Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, Aimee Mann, Dropkick Murphys, and, yes, the band Boston all once called The Hub home—and we've got an ever-changing pool of upcoming talent playing in these parts, thanks to Berklee College of Music. Rock and roll, classical, jazz, folk and even country music can be heard in clubs, bars and halls throughout the city, night after night. From the best nightclubs in Boston to the best record stores in Boston, music is, indeed, what we do. More of a visual art kind of person? You might want to browse through our Boston museum guide. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in Boston
Best hookah bars in Boston
From Cuba to the Middle East, smoking tobacco is historically a culturally strong social activity. In western society, cigar lounges and hookah bars are now prolific, with nightclubs garnering inspiration from these respective regions to adopt social smoking customs. From shisha (also spelt sheesha and called hookah) to cigar lounges, here are Boston’s top places to join in the fun—just keep in mind that most of which are exclusively 21+. For other casual nightlife outings, check out Boston's best college bars or Boston's best beer bars. Looking for something more refined? The best cocktail bars in Boston will do the trick. RECOMMENDED: See the full list of the best bars in Boston
The oldest restaurants in Boston
Boston’s dining scene can be ever-evolving and, over the years, we’ve seen plenty of restaurants come and go. The reality is, it takes a lot of hard work and something truly special to keep an eatery up and running for decades—if not more. Fortunately for Bostonians and lucky visitors who’ve flocked to our city, there are a bevy of establishments that are deeply rooted in our local history and that offer a wide variety of cuisine to sample. Make it a priority to celebrate The Hub’s unique past by visiting some of these longstanding mainstays. While you’re at it, don’t miss the oldest bars in Boston and, if history is your thing, walk off the calories with a stroll along the Freedom Trail. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston
Listings and reviews (38)
BOKX 109 American Prime
Situated on the lower level of the Hotel Indigo Boston - Newton Riverside, BOKX 109 American Prime overlooks a large pool patio flanked by tall trees and a view belying a suburban location right by I-95. This classic American steakhouse-styled restaurant is lined with toffee-colored banquettes and booths. Along with steaks, sauces, and sides to create your own plate, there’s New England clam chowder, crab cakes, and other seafood standards. The bar serves a casual menu and there’s convenient, free self-parking.
Revere Hotel Boston Common
Situated in the Theater District, a short stroll from the Public Garden, the hotel’s revolutionary namesake is etched throughout this 356-room boutique property; there’s no missing the almost-life-size steampunk metal sculpture of Paul Revere and his horse in the large, comfy lobby lounge. The spacious, whimsically-furnished guest rooms have sliding doors that open onto a Juliet balcony. Along with a fitness center, there’s a small sixth floor pool adjacent to the extensive Rooftop@Revere lounge, which is a local hotspot during the warmer months. The restaurant, Rebel’s Guild, is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an all-day bar menu.
At the courtyard entrance of the Revere Hotel Boston Common’s restaurant and bar, Rebel’s Guild, a large, threatening-looking cannon is aimed squarely at the door. It’s a humorous touch and one that fits the Revolutionary War-themed décor. The restaurant and bar’s name honors the Sons of Liberty’s many members who were craftsmen, and their historic deeds are depicted in fetching wall-to-wall custom murals. The menu includes Boston classics like baked beans and delicious brown bread made with molasses, and Northeast delicacies like bluefish paté. The large bar is adjacent to a seasonal patio overlooking busy Stuart and Charles Sts. Rebel’s Guild is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an all-day bar menu.
Hotel Indigo Boston - Newton Riverside
The suburbs aren’t so bad when the hotels are this glamorous. Hotel Indigo gives you a four-star experience at a more manageable price owing to its slightly out-of-the-way location. The boutique hotel includes an award-winning restaurant, top-flight gym and glamorous pool scene (oh, those cabanas). The rooms are modern and bright, with extra-plush bedding, and are also pet-friendly. Most Boston attractions are a 12-mile drive away, but hotel parking is free, and there’s also an MBTA stop a few minute’s walk away if you prefer to go the public transit route—it’s about a 40-minute ride into town. The hotel’s restaurant, BOKX 109 American Prime, overlooks the pool and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This casual bar and restaurant, just off Davis Square on Holland Street, has parking in the lot across the street, and offers burger of the week specials, along with sports viewing on the TVs. So, arrive early for dinner, catch up on the game, and then air your lungs out during the weekly Sunday night karaoke sing-along.
Hamilton Restaurant & Bar
Enjoy craft cocktails named for United States presidents, such as a John Adams (Ketel One Citrus, Triple Sec, lemon juice, honey, and pink peppercorns), or a James Madison (Pama Pomegranate, Triple Eight Blueberry Vodka, Champagne); local beers and domestic wines; and nouveau American cooking at this Coolidge Corner casual restaurant, whose name honors Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.
Hong Kong - Boston
The younger, sister venue to Harvard Square’s Hong Kong restaurant, which opened in 1954, is less of a restaurant and more of a bar and club, boasting brightly colored, immensely drinkable Scorpion Bowls to get you in the mood for a big night out.
Limelight Stage and Studios
This dedicated karaoke venue in the Theater District has a main stage with larger public sessions, three nights a week, and private rooms that can fit up to 40 people available every night by prior reservation. As Limelight is available for private events, call ahead to make sure the Mainstage is open. Limelight serves beer, sake, and wine, and has a bar menu.
Community Ice Skating @ Kendall
This pretty outdoor rink—the surrounding trees are strung with fairy lights—is located in Kendall Square’s North Plaza, off Athenaeum Street, and is open December through March, weather permitting. There is a concession with skate rentals; lessons are available, and the rink is available for private events—check ahead before venturing out. Locker rental and skate sharpening are available for a fee. There is a snack bar, but all your favorite Kendall Square eateries are nearby for a post skate warm-up.
Steriti Memorial Rink
This indoor rink—owned by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)—is a North End staple. It is open seasonally, November through March, and offers water views. There is on-site skate rental and a snack bar serving the usual contenders to keep skaters fuelled. As it is a community hockey arena, check ahead to make sure it isn’t booked for a game or private event. While skating is free, there is a $5 charge for skate rentals.
Rowes Wharf Sea Grille - Afternoon Tea
This afternoon tea comes with one of the best views anywhere: Rowes Wharf Sea Grille is set on the harbor, overlooking the water. Bid city traffic and concerns adieu, while nibbling tartlets, canapés, and petit sandwiches like goat cheese with beet and micro basil on whole wheat bread, or a mini smoked ham and Swiss croque monsieur. Pastries include scones, cocoa nib teacakes, and fresh fruit tarts, plus mousses, meringues, and macarons. The tea selection is extensive: robust Big Ben English Breakfast, Blue of London Earl Grey, stimulating Sencha Ariake, and delicate Bai Mu Dan. For the connoisseur there are limited edition selections too. Add tea cocktails like the Green Tea Sparkler, which pairs green tea with peach liqueur, peach purée, and prosecco. Or simply add a glass of sparkling rosé.
This community art space is tucked into a tiny storefront on South Street, but the gallery is packed with powerful imagery and artworks from local artists who might not normally be exhibited in larger, downtown spaces. The shape of the place lends itself to casual browsing—the small space is equally accessible to the curious passerby as to the more serious art fan.
How Jane Birkin became a music, fashion and film icon
Notoriously, Jane Birkin romped naked as a teenager in Michelangelo Antonioni’s film, Blow-Up; married Bond film composer John Barry; cooed erotically with her former lover, the late, undoubtably great French pop provocateur Serge Gainsbourg on “Je t’aime… moi non plus”; and, yes, she inspired the Hermès Birkin bag. There’s more, of course, but these days she’s renewing her musical relationship with Gainsbourg. Joined by the Wordless Music Orchestra and guest Rufus Wainwright, Birkin performs at Carnegie Hall Thursday, February 1. The show is part of a world tour for her recent album, Birkin/Gainsbourg: Le Symphonique, which retunes Gainsbourg’s songs as orchestral pieces, exquisitely arranged by Emmy Award–winning composer Nobuyuki Nakajima, who will also be accompanying on piano at Carnegie Hall. Speaking from her home in Paris, Birkin asserts that Le Symphonique is about Serge. Mais non, we assert, it’s about Birkin et Gainsbourg. Le Symphonique’s arrangements are beautiful. How are the songs different in this format?People hear the words more, because of the way Nobuyuki orchestrated them—he lets me fly above the orchestra. It’s wonderful to rediscover the words Serge wrote. When I first sang them, I don’t remember realizing the beauty of the words. It was so stressful having to interpret words that were about me; they were about him and me. Fifty years later, it is as if I am interpreting songs about [overall] romance and life. It’s not about me anymore. The most famous