Many of you know that I spent a few years living in Massachusetts. Boston will always have a special place in my heart. It’s a city rich in culture and history, idyllically set on the waterfront. I spent so many days walking its streets, sitting in its parks, and soaking up the beauty of its landmarks like the Boston Public Library and its many unique and exciting museums.
Every year when the new year rolls around, I become nostalgic for Boston. This time of year reminds me that spring is just around the corner and the city will be bursting with energy once again. The countdown to the Boston Marathon in April is on. Cape Cod and the Islands will beckon soon. And the city’s Seaport will be alive with outdoor cafes and shopping that puts local and independent shopping front and center. I can’t wait to return to one of the greatest cities in the US. In the meantime, I’m excited to team up with my favorite hotel, Kimpton Marlowe Hotel, to create a Boston City Guide. And when I finished the guide we thought: what better way to share my love for this city than to give away a trip to experience it in person!
So, without further ado, please enjoy my city guide to beautiful Boston, Massachusetts. For details on the giveaway and to enter, head to this Instagram post!
WHERE TO STAY
I love staying at Kimpton Marlowe Hotel when I visit Boston. It’s conveniently located just ten minutes from Logan Airport in neighboring Cambridge, and set back from the street as if it’s a private oasis—a rarity for a city hotel. The guest rooms are beautifully appointed (and so calming after a long travel day), and boast beautiful views of Boston’s skyline or the hotel’s serene courtyard from their windows. Something I truly love about Kimpton Marlowe Hotel is its commitment to its guests’ health and wellness. Guests can use the hotel’s bikes, kayaks, paddle boards, and scooters, or work up a sweat at their state-of-the-art fitness center. There are even yoga mats in every room. Plus, you don’t have to worry about a lack of healthy options when traveling; the hotel’s restaurant, Bambara Kitchen and Bar, has so many incredible choices on their menus.
WHERE TO EAT Is it just me or is eating at new places really the best part of traveling? A hot take: some of the best places to eat in Boston aren’t actually in Boston. The food scene in Cambridge is OH SO GOOD, so if you’re staying there, you’re in luck. Another great place to find good eats is in Boston’s South End. I’ve included my favorite spots all over the city, though, so dig in:
Boston is a walkable city, and the same is true for Cambridge. Meaning: you can walk out of your hotel room and stumble upon amazing things to do. I’ll call out some of my favorite to-do’s below:
History/Museums: If you’re staying in Cambridge, there are tons of museums at your fingertips. There is the Museum of Science (across from the Marlowe Hotel), the Fogg Art Museum, the MIT Museum, and the Harvard Museum of Natural History, to name a few. Across the bridge in Boston proper, you’ll find gems like the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Old State House, and the USS Constitution Museum, among many others. If you’re looking for more history, walk the 2.5 mile self-guided tour of the Freedom Trail, which leads you to 16 nationally significant historical sites.
Shopping: Connected to Kimpton Marlowe Hotel is CambridgeSide, a formidable mall with all of the essentials. You’ve likely heard of Newbury Street, a quaint yet lengthy stretch of shops housed in quintessential Boston brownstones. The shopping is great, but the eating is on the tourist-y side, so plan ahead! If you’re in the market for a big mall experience, head to Copley Place and the Pru — two giant malls connected by a skywalk with big name department stores, designer shops, and more. In a more newly developed area, Boston’s Seaport, you’ll find a host of semi-permanent pop-up shops. There is always something fun happening in the Seaport, so even if you don’t go for the shopping alone, you’ll find something exciting to do. If vintage is your thing, don’t miss out on the SoWa Market, where you’ll find vintage clothes, furniture, leather goods, and more. Finally, and probably my favorite place to go shopping, is Charles Street in Beacon Hill. You can easily walk here from the Marlowe. Here you’ll find beautiful boutiques and cafes, books and gift shops, and so much more. If you go to Boston, I’d dedicate a whole morning or afternoon to this street!
Walking: I think some of the most fun I’ve ever had in Boston is just walking around. As I mentioned before, the city is extremely walkable, and you could easily explore a lot of your list without having to use a taxi. If you love walking and the outdoors, head to the Charles River Esplanade. You can walk or bike around the Esplanade—from Boston to Cambridge and back—if you’re up for it. (Remember, grab a bike or two from the Marlowe Hotel. They’re free to use!) You may also catch a concert at the Hatch Shell if you’re lucky! There is also an outdoor beer garden, called Owl’s Nest, on the Back Bay side if you’re in need of refreshments. Another gorgeous area to explore is Boston’s Public Garden, which is situated between Charles Street Extension and Arlington Street in Back Bay. You’ll find places to picnic, swan boats, and beautiful gardens in this green oasis in the middle of the city. If you head north across Charles Street Extension, you’ll enter the Boston Common, which is the oldest public park in the United States (dating back to 1634).
Other: Whether you want to explore the MIT or Harvard campuses and live out your Elle Woods dreams, catch a game at Fenway or the TD Garden, take a photo on Beacon Hill’s iconic and Instagram-worthy Acorn Street, eat your way through Little Italy in the North End, experience the Paul Revere House, hop on a boat to see some whales, or take a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard (it’s less than a 30-minute flight from Logan!), there is no shortage of incredible things to do in Boston and beyond.
WELLNESS AND BEAUTY
It wouldn’t be an NL city guide without a few of my favorite wellness and beauty spots! Every time I’m in a new city, I get excited to try out local workout classes, wellness practices, and beauty treatments! Here are some of my favorite spots in Boston:
Kimpton Marlowe Hotel: I created (what I think is!) the perfect post-travel workout routine for Kimpton Marlowe guests. All you need to do is turn on your hotel room TV, roll out the yoga mat provided in each room, and select my workout! It’s calming yet energizing and restores your body after a long day of flying. We’ve also made it available on YouTube if you’d like to refer back to it.
Facial: If you want a serious facial, try Natalie at Unique Verve. To say Natalie is an expert at her craft is an understatement. She truly understands not only skin, but how hormones, diet, lifestyle, and other factors impact it. She’ll leave your skin glowing and arm you with an arsenal of knowledge that you never knew you needed. Book her well in advance, though!
Massage: If you’re looking for a holistic spa that offers treatments like dry brushing and Himalayian salt rituals, head to Bella Santé on Newbury Street. The spa is beautiful and the treatments are equally as good.
Wellness: CRYOMED is a one-stop-shop for all of your wellness and recovery needs. From red light therapy, cryotherapy, infrared saunas, and IV treatments, this holistic practice is perfect if you’re feeling a little sluggish from travel.
Workout: My friend Kelly, the founder of Booty By Brabants, has select pop-up classes throughout the year. If you’re planning a trip to Boston, you MUST do one of her classes if she is teaching. It’s the most incredible experience, and you’ll not only leave drenched but with the biggest smile on your face. Her classes are dance-based, but you don’t need to know how to dance to go! Kelly is the biggest ray of sunshine you will ever meet. If she’s not teaching, make sure to stop by one of her stores to pick up a pair of her world famous leggings!
What are some of your favorite things to do in Boston, Cambridge, and greater Boston? Let me know in the comments below!