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Going local in Boston
Each of Boston’s neighbourhoods is a microcosm of the city itself: diverse, full of energy, and with a wealth of personality and cultural attractions. Whether you want to discover Boston’s take on Little Italy in the North End, follow the hip set to Jamaica Plain, or meander among the historic brownstones of Back Bay, you’ll discover the city’s signature enthusiasm and inclusivity everywhere you roam.
The North End
New York has Little Italy, and Boston has the North End. You won’t have to stumble far along Hanover Street, the neighbourhood’s principal artery, to find mouth-watering treats like cannoli, gelato, and cappuccinos. Pizza and pasta are also, naturally, abundant. But the North End also has a modern side, too. Think independent boutiques, subterranean speakeasies, live comedy spaces and other venues contributing to its unique cultural mash-up.
Stretching from Boston University’s campus along the Charles River all the way to the parks of the Emerald Necklace, expansive Brookline is charming, well groomed, and packed with culture. Visit landmarks ranging from the JFK Birthplace to the Larz Anderson Auto Museum, indulge in some greenery, and seek out some of Brookline’s popular gastro haunts (think everything from sloppy subway sandwiches to vegan ice cream) before venturing back to the city centre.
Jamaica Plain — or JP, as it’s more commonly known — is one of Boston’s most happening hoods, and is especially popular with the city’s young professionals. Venture to Hyde Square to see what the fuss is about: from tapas to third-wave coffee, vibrant restaurants to classic Irish bars, there’s always something new to try. When you want a break from the buzz, head to nearby Jamaica Pond, where you can stroll, fish, or rent a rowboat in the summer months.
While the North End is all about Italian-inspired charm, Boston’s South End is an upscale neighbourhood full of beautiful brownstones, cool galleries, and chic cafes. The area is also a hub for the city’s LGBT community. Make your way to South End for an inclusive neighbourhood experience, and be sure to time your visit for the evening hours; South End’s nightlife is certainly worth experiencing.
Few neighbourhoods are as prototypically Boston as super-chic Back Bay. Paradoxically, Back Bay had some pretty insalubrious beginnings: the area was in fact submerged in swampy marsh waters until it was dredged in the 19th century. But you’d never know it today. The district’s popular Newbury Street, lined with Victorian brownstones and busy with see-and-be-seen shoppers and restaurant-goers, is all about highbrow style.