Best Boston Tourism Tips

"What are the highlights
of Boston tourism?"

"The highlights of Boston tourism?" It's a question I've been asked by a steady stream of friends and family visiting for work or vacation, or even moving here.

Whether it's restaurants, shopping, historical attractions, hotels, bars or sports you're interested in, Boston tourism offers a rich variety of experiences you can't get anywhere else.

Boston is a well-known hot spot for higher education, medicine, and technology. But Boston is also place where you can treat yourself to mouthwatering cannoli, stand inside the building that housed the first elected legislature in the United States, pick up a Zip car to whisk you to an afternoon swim at Thoreau's Walden Pond, laugh through Russell Brand's live act, savor a casual, delicious French dinner, feast your eyes on the works of America's greatest portrait painter, or marvel at an interactive lightning exhibit.

With a Red Bull or two, you might be able to do all of this in one day....

In the course of my time here, I've photographed some of my favorite places in the city....

View of Commonwealth Promenade Commonwealth Avenue Promenade

I've also

slept in the sun with family on the beach in South Boston

boogied at Downtown clubs

stood in awe on the deck of a Charlestown frigate that triumphed in the War of 1812

toasted friends in sleek bars in the South End

gone hoarse cheering the Red Sox in Fenway Park

wrestled fellow shoppers over one-of-a-kind frocks on Beacon Hill

jogged, very slowly, along a dappled Charles River at twilight

(over)eaten incredible pad thai in Chinatown

screamed with bloodlust at robot wars in Cambridge (technically a separate city, but people usually lump Cambridge in as a part of Boston)

Game at Fenway
The Red Sox at Fenway Park

Boston tourism has something to offer everyone... nightlife, history, beaches, art. Witness the miracle of a breaching whale or shop until your visa card marches itself back into your wallet, crosses its arms, and refuses further participation.

So what are my best suggestions on Boston tourism, the ones I pass along to friends from all over when they come to visit?

Pleasure Bay in Late Afternoon
The beach at Pleasure Bay

It's actually hard to narrow it down even to a handful. There are many wonderful places to stay, explore, eat, and shop in this city.

Still, I'll answer the question the best I can.

  • My favorite beach
  • Absolute "must do" in Boston
  • Best Boston hotels and B & Bs (cheap and expensive)
  • My favorite Boston apartment vacation rental
  • Most delicious Boston restaurants
  • Best walking tours, bus tours, and boat tours
  • The best spots for fresh produce (a must in any city!)
  • My favorite neighborhoods for Boston real estate
  • The unique "little things" that make Boston Boston.
  • My #1 tip for exploring Boston (no, it's not to rent a car!)
  • More to come on these and other "Bostonian best" things to do, eat, and experience.

Table of Contents

Boston Luxury Hotels
There is a healthy number of world-class hotels in our fair city. When you're looking for a special experience, here are the ones you'll want to hit.

Boston Boutique Hotels
Many travelers strongly prefer the polished, intimate, exclusive setting that only a boutique hotel can provide. Here is the list of the best ones in town.

Boston Mid-priced Hotels
A full service hotel – plush rooms, spa services, fitness centers, convenience, etc. – need not break the bank. Here are the mid-priced hotels you should check out first.

Boston Museums
Boston museums hold some of the richest collections of art in the world. Here are a few of the city's most spectacular offerings.