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Boston is one of the oldest cities in America, and it’s full of surprises. But many of the city’s hidden gems are tucked away or burrowed so deeply into the fabric of local life that they may not be obvious to the first-time visitor.
Fortunately, we’re here to show you the ropes. We’ve created an insider’s guide with all the nooks, crannies, and little-known spots worth visiting in Boston that you won’t find on most travel websites.
From coffee shops to museums, boutiques to galleries, we’ve detailed our favorite hidden gems throughout Boston so that you can get a taste of what it’s like to be a local. Whether you’re looking for a unique cafe to visit or a special place to explore off-the-beaten-path, this guide has got something for everyone.
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Historic Neighborhoods: Beacon Hill and the North End
Explore some of Boston’s historic neighborhoods to get the full Boston experience. To begin, both residents and visitors to the area should visit Beacon Hill. Townhouses adorned with gas lamps line the narrow streets of this charming neighborhood.
It also has some of the best restaurants, art galleries, and shopping in Boston. Then there’s the North End – Boston’s most established private area and an incredible spot for good food. From Sicilian-style pizzas to new fish dishes, this region offers something for everybody.
Additionally, it is close to Paul Revere Park and the Freedom Trail, making it ideal for a day or two of exploration. The Paul Revere House, where the famous patriot lived from 1770 to 1800, is the district’s most popular attraction.
You can also go to beautiful churches like St. Stephen’s Church, where Samuel Adams and John Hancock used to worship or stop by the BosTix booth on Boston Common to get tickets to cheap theater, music, and dance shows.
You’ll find something amazing at every turn in this vibrant area, no matter where you go.
Secret Parks: The Esplanade and Christopher Columbus Park
Might it be said that you are searching for a serene outside escape reachable for the rushing about of Boston? Look no further than the disconnected stops close to the corner.
The Esplanade, situated along the Charles Stream, is an extraordinary spot to go through an evening away from everything — partake in a walk, run, boat ride, or cookout with a wonderful view.
One of Boston’s most popular summer events is also here: Performances by the Hatch Shell Try not to pass up outside film screenings throughout the mid-year months. For really shocking waterfront sights and amazing nightfalls, Christopher Columbus Park is additionally worth visiting.
There are numerous garden areas and picturesque pathways to explore in the park’s two acres along the harbor. With its winding paths and secret fortunes, you can make a portion of your revelations here — very much like a genuine Boston insider
Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums: Museum of Bad Art and Stephen Hawking Institute
It’s time to embark on a journey of exploration through some of Boston’s lesser-known museums. Let’s begin with the renowned Museum of Bad Art in Somerville, MA. This quirky establishment is devoted to showcasing unconventional artwork that elicits laughter and admiration for its distinctiveness.
Prepare yourself for a one-of-a-kind experience, where you can revel in the peculiar artistry gathered in a single location. Next on the list is the Stephen Hawking Institute, an institution that transports visitors into the realms of the unknown with captivating exhibits on space exploration and interactive displays.
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Here, you can delve into the captivating world of astrophysics and other scientific wonders, gaining fresh insights into our vast universe.
If you’re seeking an educational escapade or simply yearning to venture beyond the usual tourist hotspots, these two museums should definitely be on your radar.
Best Local Eats: Santarpio’s Pizza and Flour Bakery
Food is an important part of any traveler’s experience — and when you’re visiting Boston, you have to try some local eats. The two hidden gems that you must visit are Santarpio’s Pizza and Flour Bakery.
If your mouth isn’t already watering, it soon will be! Santarpio’s is a Boston classic when it comes to pizza – they’ve been serving up their famously delicious pies since 1903.
Established by Italian immigrants, the pizzeria keeps true to its Italian roots with its signature coal-fired brick oven pizzas made with fresh ingredients. Choose from a range of classics like Margherita, pepperoni, and veggie pies, or go for something special like their award-winning garlic white pizza with ricotta cheese.
Flour Bakery is another must-visit spot for those looking to sample some of the best treats that Boston has to offer. This popular bakery originated in the South End neighborhood and specializes in irresistible pastries like sticky buns, raspberry cheesecake scones, and lemon curd tarts.
They also offer breakfast items like egg sandwiches or bacon cheddar scones – plus hearty seasonal soups, sandwiches, and salads for lunch.
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Unique Shopping Areas: Newbury Street and Harvard Square
Take a journey through Boston’s lesser-known museums and discover rare and one-of-a-kind objects that can be hard to find during your visit. For an uncommon shopping experience, your top decisions exist in two notable shopping regions: Harvard Square and Newbury Road.
Newbury Road brags different exhibit shops, going from famous extravagance brands to selective stores, taking care of different preferences. Enjoy a memorable shopping experience by immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this location, which is complemented by its art galleries, cafes, and restaurants.
Only a couple of blocks away, Harvard Square offers a captivating mix of bistros, stores, conspicuous milestones, and beguiling parks, among different attractions. To enjoy your scholarly interest, investigate the various bookshops nearby or go for a relaxed walk through the close by grounds of Harvard School.
Hidden Nightlife Spots: The Beehive and Wally’s Cafe
Night owls who enjoy learning about the culture of the area will enjoy Boston’s secret nightlife spots. You can hear blues and jazz at two of the city’s most well-known venues: The Beehive as well as Wally’s Cafe
Both are renowned for their delectable cuisine and late-night music, making for a memorable evening. Live groups play out each night at The Bee Colony, bringing an interesting mix of enchantment and elegance to the stage.
Additionally, this establishment offers probably the most original mixes of mixed drinks available! On the other hand, Wally’s Café is a classic bar that serves local artists every night. Go ahead and discover all of Boston’s lesser-known treasures because you won’t want to miss out on these two hot spots.
Boston is full of fun, one-of-a-kind hidden gems that are just waiting to be discovered. Every neighborhood has something unique to offer, from hidden restaurants to historical sites. With this travel guide, you can easily discover these hidden gems and each location’s distinctive character.
Anyway, what are you sitting tight for? Get out there and take a look around Boston to see everything there is to see. You too can become an expert traveler and discover Boston’s hidden gems with a little help from this guide.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are some hidden gems to visit in Boston?
Boston is full of hidden gems, but some of the top spots are Castle Island, Arnold Arboretum, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
What are some affordable things to do in Boston?
Boston has plenty of affordable options, such as visiting the Museum of Fine Arts on Wednesdays after 4 pm, walking the Freedom Trail, or exploring the Boston Public Library.
What are some must-try local foods in Boston?
Boston is known for its seafood, so be sure to try the clam chowder, lobster rolls, and oysters. Other local favorites include Boston cream pie and baked beans.
What are some off-the-beaten-path attractions in Boston?
For a unique experience, check out the Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library, the Ether Dome at Massachusetts General Hospital, or the abandoned ruins of Fort Strong on Long Island.
What neighborhoods should I explore in Boston?
Each neighborhood in Boston has its own charm, but some must-visit areas include the North End for Italian food, Beacon Hill for historic architecture, and Jamaica Plain for a more laid-back vibe.