Built in the spirit of rebellion, Boston is accustomed to marching to the beat of our own drum. And in that spirit, our city is full of some of the most innovative makers and purveyors in the country, giving you access to wonderfully unique dining and shopping experiences you won’t have outside the historic borders of Beantown. But if you, like the founding movers-and-shakers of the region, prefer to stay in motion, the city offers miles of tree-lined trails, green spaces, and sparkling blue water for walking, hiking and boating excursions — and in true Boston style, often with a history lesson attached.
You don’t even have to leave the hotel to taste some of the brightest and most adventurous flavors that Boston has to offer; Cósmica is located inside the Revolution Hotel and is serving up flavorful tacos topped with imaginative salsas, freshly caught habanero and passion fruit-spiked ceviche, margaritas on tap, plus an expansive and flower-filled patio.
Run by the team of Harvard-educated mathematician and economist-turned-chef, Joanne Chang and husband, Christopher Myers, Myers+Chang serves up deceptively simple “Asian-ish” dishes with a side of kindness. Though you’ll find clear influences from Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan and Indonesia on the menu, with every emphasis on fresh ingredients and flavor, these dishes are uniquely Chang’s, and the taste is unforgettable.
You can’t come to Boston without slurping a few of our favorite salty bivalves, and B&G Oysters is a longtime South End favorite purveyor of the shellfish. Whether or not you’re a learned oyster connoisseur, B&G’s knowledgeable waitstaff can help you select your briny snacks from a sizeable variety of East and West Coast oysters, all in a chic and modern atmosphere that’s anything but stuffy.
Built on the spirit of discovery and innovation, Bully Boy Distillers began when the two Willis brothers happened upon an old stash of their grandfather’s pre-Prohibition- and Prohibition-era spirits hidden away on their fourth-generation family farm, stoking a lifelong obsession with making (amazing) spirits. Whether you perch at the ancient and lovely wood of the Tasting Room bar, or sun yourself in the Cocktail Garden, you’ll enjoy the city’s most creative cocktails, made with Bully Boy’s house-made whiskey, gin, rum, vodka and amaro.
One of the most innovative cocktail lounges in the city is also a vibrant art gallery; Create Gallery & Cocktail Lounge is an incredibly eclectic setting for a sip. Snack on gourmet tinned fish and jarred goodies like pâté and hummus, and if you’d prefer, take everything (including the cocktails) to go.
Founded in 1947 and one of the oldest family-owned and operated jazz clubs in existence, and one of the few Black-owned businesses in Boston to hold a liquor license, Wally’s is a Beantown institution. Head to this South End club to check out jazz, funk and blues sessions every night of the week, often performed by the masterful students from nearby Berklee College.
A roughly 90-minute, 2.5-mile walk around Boston’s most significant historical sites, the Freedom Trail is both a visually stimulating way to get a little exercise and fresh air on a pleasant New England day, and an educational way to learn about some of the most important locations in our nation’s history. Walk the marked path that starts at Boston Common, and gaze admiringly at the fabled exteriors of the 16 historical sites as you make your way to Bunker Hill, or make the trek an all-day affair and stop in for a visit at each museum.
Perched at the eastern end of the city, Castle Island is the perfect blend of outdoor recreation and history. Here, you can picnic on the vast grassy knolls overlooking the sun-dappled harbor, swim or sunbathe on sandy beaches, bike or hike on the two marked trails that loop around the nearly 400-year-old Fort Independence. You can also tour the five-bastioned fortress, one of the oldest of English origin in the U.S.
Filling the absolutely charming cobblestone walkways at the open-air Faneuil Hall Marketplace downtown, you’ll often find talented street performers and musicians to entertain you as you patronize the appealing rows of boutiques, pubs and eateries. Faneuil Hall often hosts festivals and events in its waterfront courtyard space, such as Boston Harborfest and the Boston Festival of Bands. Stop by to pick up some locally crafted souvenirs, but stay for a while, to experience the warm and welcoming feeling of hanging out in Boston’s own living room.