Historic Beacon Hill is mostly a residential neighborhood north of the Boston Common and Public Gardens. Most people think of city living as anonymous and isolating. Here you can still find examples of brick Federal style homes, decorative artwork and Greek Revival and Victorian architecture.
Beacon Hill contains a South Slope, a North Slope and a Flat of the Hill. Charles Street is the neighborhood's most famous street, known for its wonderful antique shops - more than 40. Most of the elevation of Beacon Hill has long been stripped away to fill in other developing areas and landfills.
Beacon Hill Neighborhood Guide
The Back Bay runs along the Charles River on the opposite side of Cambridge. Upscale shopping, boutiques, art galleries, and fabulous restaurants makes this trendy neighborhood a must-see on your Boston visit. The area is home to Copley Place, Prudential Center and The John Hancock Tower, Trinity Church (one of the country's 10 finest buildings), and shopping along Newbury Street.
Much of the Back bay is built on a landfill. As a result, it is one of the few places in Boston where streets are actual laid out in a straight line.
Back Bay Neighborhood Guide
Just south of the Boston Common and towards the West end of the Financial District is the Downtown Crossing area, one of the city's main shopping areas. Here you can find stores like Macy's, Saks, and Filenes Department Store, along with various bookstores, jewelers, and street vendors.
The area once known as the "combat zone" or "red light district" is no more. However, the area can still be a little rough around the edges, so it's best to be alert when you are visiting.
Chinatown Neighborhood Guide
The old part of Boston has many of the pre-revolutionary war attractions from the Freedom Trail. Faneuil Hall, Quincey Market, King's Chapel and Burying Ground, Old City Hall, Old State House. For more information see our Freedom Trail Guide.
The more modern and somewhat controversial Government Center sits above this section of the city (just slightly North). To the east you can find the more modern buildings of the financial center.
Financial District Neighborhood Guide
The North End of Boston is the city's earliest neighborhood, settled in the 17th century. This is Boston's Italian district, and it is lined with wonderful restaurants and cafes. The Freedom Trail winds its way through the streets and stops at Paul Revere's House, Copp's Burying Ground, and the Old North Church. Be sure to visit the Paul Revere Mall and take in the famous statue that dates back to 1885.
North End Neighborhood Guide
Just Below the North End of Boston is the Waterfront - where Boston began! Be sure to visit the New England Aquarium with its 200,000 gallon ocean tank. It is a wonderful way to spend the afternoon, and a kids' favorite. For those a bit more adventurous you can take a whale watching tour. These tours are seasonal, and very popular, so plan ahead.
One of the jewels of the wharf area is the Rowes Wharf Complex. This marina complex offers luxury shopping, townhomes and offices.
Waterfront Neighborhood Guide
What used to be a swamp is now the Fenway Kenmore Square Neighborhood. Located near major Universities - Northeastern and Boston University, this area has a very large concentration of students. It's a good place to find fairly inexpensive food, clubs and bars as well as many of Boston's cultural attractions.
Fenway Neighborhood Guide
Just across the Charles River is the City of Cambridge. Often referred to as Boston's "Left Bank", the city is rich in cultural diversity. Over 100,000 residents live in this area of roughly six square miles. Cambridge is home of Ivy League Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It's a young vibrant city and if you are visiting Boston - It's worth the visit.
City of Cambridge Guide