It can be hard to imagine while walking along chic streets with designer stores and patio cafes, that Boston’s Back Bay was once a literal bay.
In the 1800s, overcrowding in Boston forced the city to fill in the bay and create a new neighborhood—Back Bay. At its center is Copley Square, where you can find concerts and farmers markets during the summer. Along the square are some of Boston’s most historic sites. Trinity Church and Old South Church offer tours for the architecturally minded. The Boston Public Library, among the first public libraries in the country, stands proudly. Step inside to take a break in its beautiful courtyard and be awed by the murals from John Singer Sargent.
Rich in history, Back Bay is also a mecca for shopping. About a mile long, Boylston and Newbury Streets are full of high-end brands, trendy boutiques, specialty shops and art galleries. If you want even more designer fashion, nearby Copley Place and Prudential Center don’t disappoint.
During the summer, take advantage of outdoor seating for a tasty meal and listen to the street musicians. Beautiful hotel bars and hip new spots make meeting with friends or even new clients feel like a celebration.
If you’re looking for an oasis after a day of shopping, walk to the Boston Public Gardens. Designed in the style of an English landscape garden, its pathways lead you to a small pond in its center. There, you can hop on a swan boat and feel like you’re in a fairy tale. You may even get to meet Romeo and Juliet, the Gardens’ resident swans.
Back Bay is within walking distance to downtown Boston, Symphony and the South End, where you can catch a show or a movie, or check out even more galleries and artisan markets. The New England College of Optometry and the Boston Architectural College are nearby. A short subway ride away is Kenmore Square, home to Boston University.
Who Lives There
Working professionals and students looking for short commute and people who like to be in the center of it all.
Affluent, sophisticated and right in the center of it all.
Well-to-do professionals and established families
Classic and contemporary.
Not to Miss
Shopping on Newbury, gourmet sandwiches at Parish Cafe, a martini at the OAK Long Bar and Kitchen and the Sargent murals in the Boston Public Library.
- South End
- Beacon Hill
- Beacon Hill