There are many B's associated with Boston, Massachusetts, and most of them are fun to either eat, do, or visit. For starters, Boston's baked beans are known worldwide as a popular side dish for just about any meal. The NHL Bruins and baseball's Curse of the Bambino provide sports fans topics for non-stop banter and debate.
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Offsetting this fun, the Big Dig vexed downtown Boston commuters for years no matter their destination. Happily, the Curse has been reduced to a mild epithet with the Red Sox recent World Series wins, and traffic patterns mostly returned to normal (if that's possible in a major city) soon after the Dig's completion in 2006.
Much of America's early history got its start in and around the Boston area. There are innumerable museums, art galleries, historical centers, military parks, and battlefields that provide a captivating look into the events that shaped our nation's heritage. All of this activity requires a place to stay and the variety of Boston bed and breakfast inns is more fun to explore than a cookbook full of baked bean recipes.
In a world-class, seaside city like Boston, everything under the sun is available with a couple of taps on the smartphone. From arts and culture to museums and galleries, to taking in a game at one of the sports coliseums, it could take weeks to sate one's appetite for all there is to see and do. By no means is the following a comprehensive list to keep you and the family fully entertained, but it's a great place to start.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is one of the finest in the United States. With a focus on the thirty-fifth US president's upbringing, education, military service, and political career, the museum also features in-depth exhibits on the Kennedy family. The Museum of Fine Arts is a must-see as well. With over 450,000 exhibits, it is one of the largest fine arts museums in the country.
The New England Aquarium is another outstanding attraction that houses a giant ocean tank containing over 2000 sea creatures of all shapes and sizes. Check out one of the championship-caliber sports teams when they're in town and pay a visit to America's version of Rome's Coliseum at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.
For those history buffs, the Freedom Trail is an absolute must. Running the boulevards and back streets across 2.5 miles, this tour will connect you with 16 historically significant locations in our nation's fledgling days. This trail by itself is worth the trip to Boston, as no other American city has such a rich tapestry of our history on display in such a compressed and compelling way.
Back Bay is the area of Boston well-known for its brownstone homes lining the streets and neighborhoods. In case you're having trouble locating the area, just look for the John Hancock building, the city's tallest skyscraper.
Cambridge, named after the University of Cambridge in England, is jam-packed with commerce and culture. In addition to being home to Kendall Square, voted "the most innovative square mile on the planet" due to the number of highly successful startups located there, the Square also claims Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Leslie University, and Hult International Business School as esteemed residents.
Those looking for the high-rent district will find gaslit streetlights and brick sidewalks in Beacon Hill, one of the most desirable and historic neighborhoods in all of Boston. High fashion shopping knows no bounds in Copley Square where 50 of the country's top retailers provide the loftiest of upscale consumerism. Harvard Square is a triangular plaza at Cambridge's very heart and delineates the business district and Harvard University.
Boston College Club is a private social, dining, and networking club that also offers access to over 300 exclusive golf clubs across the country. Membership in this club represents the peak of elite social status locally and nationwide. But posh isn't limited to the social order. Need a glamorous convention center no matter the size of your event? Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Massachusetts Convention Center are two of the world's top choices.
Culture is at the forefront at the Coolidge Corner Theater, home to some of the top contemporary independent film, repertory, and educational programming in the US. Constructed in 1933, it seats up to 700 and is a classic location for artistic entertainment.
Boston is a transition zone for climate and weather, having either a humid subtropical climate or a humid continental climate. Summers vary between hot and humid, with July being the warmest, to cold and snowy over the long winters. There is abundant precipitation owing to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.
This bodes well for skating enthusiasts who take advantage of the innumerable lakes and ponds that freeze over as well as the snowy hills and trails within the city for cross country skiers. Although the ocean moderates winter chill in and around the Boston area, weather systems that roil up the coast from the mid-Atlantic region can bring ferocious storms, high winds, heavy surf, rain, and snow.
Spring and Fall are usually cool to mild depending on the prevailing jet stream and off-shore or on-shore winds from the Atlantic Ocean.
All things considered, the weather in Boston can play havoc with the best-laid plans for a vacation. But allowing for the weather's foibles, there is endless fun to be had, whether romping in the surf or glissading across a frozen pond.
Depending on the time of year and how long you plan on visiting the Boston area, there are countless attractions and activities for the whole family to enjoy. In addition to the historical elements mentioned above, summer in Boston usually means one thing; the beach. A day (to two) trip out to the shores of Cape Cod draws people from around the globe. And there are fabulous B&B there as well.
Pack the sunscreen and head out for some swimming, fishing, boating, or jet skiing. Plan on seeing the enchanting, mysterious lighthouses, and don't forget to sample the clam chowder as you kick the sand from your shoes. When you're ready to catch your breath and a cold drink on a hot day in the outfield stands at Fenway Park, the Red Sox are always worth the ticket.
Winter brings snowy scenes in downtown Boston for the perfect urban photo op. Or find a skating rink where you can stretch your legs. And speaking of skating, sports fans will want to check out the Boston Bruins when they're in town. More of a basketball fan? Grab a seat at a nearby arena for Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, UMass Boston, or the high-flying NBA Celtics.
Boston's history is long, complex, and fascinating. Early European colonists named the area Trimountaine owing to three large hills that dominated the local area. It was later renamed in 1630 after some prominent colonists originally from Boston, Lincolnshire, England.
Fishing and shipping provided much of the early commerce, and Boston quickly grew to become the Thirteen Colonies' largest city. Resentful of Britain's increasingly invasive and heavy-handed regulations and taxation, Boston became a hotbed of spirited resistance.
In defiance of the insufferable taxes on tea, the revolutionary spirit caught fire when citizens dumped a complete shipment of it into Boston Harbor. Known as the Boston Tea Party, this was the last straw for Britain's home rulers. Military battles soon followed at Lexington and Concord that ignited the American Revolution.
After America gained its hard-won independence from Great Britain, Boston continued to expand in wealth, commerce, and culture through the latter part of the 18th century. The War of 1812 stymied some trade but commerce returned following the war. Large numbers of European immigrants were finding their way to Boston's shores, fueling the rapid growth of manufacturing well into the late 19th century.
By the early 20th century, Boston's vibrancy as a commerce center had slipped due to obsolete manufacturing. Businesses began to look elsewhere for richer markets, and trade slowed. It wasn't until the mid-1900s when urban renewal projects began to lift the city out of its decades-long doldrums.
Centers of higher education, cultural institutes, colleges, and universities had become world-renowned. Medical institutions, research, and technology centers also found homes here during the late 20th century to escort Boston into the 21st century as a beacon of advanced society, culture, and commerce it is known for today.
Boston has several unique features that distinguish it from any other major city in the country. It is the only state capitol in the contiguous United States that has an oceanic shoreline. This factor alone allowed for the tremendous growth the city has experienced over 350 years.
Additionally, the many streams and rivers coursing through the city's outlying areas provided early merchants natural conduits for shipping goods to markets elsewhere in New England. These waterways fed many of the marshes and swamps in the low-lying coastal region. Today's parks and natural wildlife areas are sustained by these abundant sources of surface and groundwater.
The three hills that gave the area its original name of Trimountaine hardly exist due to continual construction projects and urban expansion over the centuries. While these hills may no longer be the prominent landmarks they once were, they do provide relief and contour to the landscape that would otherwise be missing due to its proximity to the ocean.
Ok, the fun part first. From world-renowned items like Boston baked beans and Boston cream pie to famous brands like Sam Adams beer and Friendly's Ice Cream, Massachusetts is no stranger to culinary delights.
Looking a bit deeper on the menu, fresh seafood from fishing communities such as Cape Cod and Nantucket, it almost doesn't matter what the sides are when your dinner was alive in the ocean just hours ago. And an excellent way to start a brawl is to complain about a local bistro's clam chowder. Red, white? Spicy, smooth? It all depends on the palate but figure out your fav because as friendly as these seafood servers are, even they have their limits with diners who don't know their chowder.
And for dessert, that Boston cream pie will cool off any heat from the main course. Wash it down with a Sam Adams for good measure and you'll be fit as a fiddle. As you ponder your comfy midday snack, toss down a couple of Fig Newtons, born and bred in Newton, Massachusetts.
It's not even a chore in our ultra-modern culture to locate any type of food you desire and have it delivered to your door in minutes. But when in Boston, go local to seek out these tasty treats regardless of your neighborhood. I'll bet your B&B can have some Ubered and at your door within the hour.
With so many to choose from, where does one start to find the best bed and breakfast in Boston? There are many bnbfinder Diamond Collection properties we recommend stretching across the area.
The Gryphon House has 8 exceptionally well-appointed suites in a brownstone located in the Back Bay area and within walking distance of Kendall Square and the Green Line subway. Clarendon Square Bed & Breakfast is a small boutique hotel located in stylish South End near restaurant row. Built in 1860 and currently owned by a descendant from the Mayflower, this unique inn provides the aura from that era while embracing you in the latest contemporary comforts.
In the Jamaican Plain of Brookline, Taylor House is an Italianate Victorian that features many antiques juxtaposed with contemporary art pieces. Comfort and culture under the same roof! Encore Bed & Breakfast is all about location and an easy walk away from Hynes Convention Center, Copley Center, Symphony Hall, the Theatre District, Back Bay, and the galleries and fine restaurants of South End. Surrounded by greenery, Alderwood is a bed and breakfast near Boston College. Located in a quiet neighborhood just a block away from campus, it has R&R written all over it.
For those on a stricter budget and looking for a good, cheap bed and breakfast Boston-style will find their budget met at John Jeffries House. Also in the Jamaican Plain district is the Wyman Bed and Breakfast with authentic Cuban cuisine nearby at the Old Havana Restaurant.
Arriving by air from out of state? The good news is there are numerous national and international airlines serving Boston's Logan International Airport. New York's JFK and LaGuardia, and Newark International Airport are nearby options as well.
Once on the ground, any of these large airports have fleets of rental cars and buses to get you anywhere you need to go. Equally as important, though, is how to get around once you've arrived at your destination.
More good news. A rental car is the conventional way to go, but if you're going to be in Boston for any length of time, Uber, Lyft, and the standard taxi will suffice for timely transportation and eliminate the hassle of driving in big-city traffic, not to mention finding convenient parking.
Beach bound and eschewing the four-wheelers all the way? Check with your B&B host - they may provide fat-tire beach cruiser bikes to handle any terrain. But short of that, you can always rent a bike for the length of your stay.
And of course, there's always the time-honored method; finding places you want to see within walking distance. Those wishing to stretch their legs while on vacation will find no shortage of hikes, trails, beaches, and city blocks to traverse on foot. Not a bad idea after one of the sumptuous B&B breakfasts your host has stuffed you with!
A most interesting contrast of a bed and breakfast Boston North End is the deep historical context overlaid by today's up-to-the-minute, modern amenities. The highlight of any visit after a hard day of sightseeing is returning to your guest room for a soak in a tension-melting hot tub in your private bathroom. Several bed and breakfast South End Boston properties feature a private guest house just a minute walk from the main home.
Missed some emails (oh snap)? Maybe the latest happenings on the sports fields? Not to worry, wifi has you covered. And unless you're in the middle of a tech detox, there's most likely a widescreen tucked away somewhere that will provide the needed fix. Then slip between high-quality linens for an exquisite night's slumber.
By definition, the B&B culinary feature is what makes or breaks a guest's visit. As noted earlier, many guests rate their stay on the friendliness and hospitality of their host. The next most important feature for many guests is that all-important first meal of the day. And it stands to reason that because the chef and staff have only one meal to concentrate on, all their focus goes into breakfast. Prior to check-in, let your host know about any special dietary needs you may have.
Need to get gone quickly and attack the day's list of must-see attractions? Plan on a continental breakfast so you can maximize your time first thing in the morning. That's one of the attractions to the B&B experience – customized service with a smile and a complimentary breakfast. Many innkeepers delight in pleasing their guests because, well, that's what they're in business to do.
In a word, nostalgia. What better way to immerse yourself in the history of our nation's early days than a stay at a historic inn that actually might have been around at that time?
Another consideration for a bed & breakfast stay is outstanding service. While countless hotels cater to every whim and fancy, the B&B is much more intimate. Because you're actually sharing space with the homeowners, you are subject to a higher degree of that personal touch often missing in a hotel experience. The innkeepers undoubtedly have stories stretching back decades, if not centuries, to give you a keen sense of what it was like to live in the area at that time.
Whether you choose a Victorian-style property or one that's more upscale in the boutique range, you can count on many of the innkeepers possessing a comprehensive knowledge of their local region. With any luck, you may be sharing the home of an early patriot's descendants – talk about a body of knowledge!
Other considerations may include a full-service concierge for your romantic getaway. These professionals are trained in the local history and pride themselves on their in-depth insight of the politics and events that shape the present-day culture.
And depending on the property's layout, you may opt for some greater privacy and choose a carriage house or captain's quarters that are a bit removed from the main house. This is all part of the fun of planning out your vacation, and there is an endless number of B&B types to meet your every desire.