NEIGH­BOR­HOODS

Where Boston - - THE GUIDE -

ALL­STON & BRIGHTON Capped at each end by Bos­ton College and Bos­ton Univer­sity, All­ston and Brighton are stu­dent vil­lages. This edgy neigh­bor­hood is stud­ded with offbeat shops, some of the city’s best eth­nic restau­rants and a bevy of bars and pubs.

BACK BAY Back Bay is one posh place to spend some leisure time. Stores on New­bury Street and de­signer bou­tiques in Co­p­ley Place pro­vide lav­ish shop­ping op­tions and out­door green spaces like the Pub­lic Gar­den and Co­p­ley Square of­fer serene spots to sit.

BEA­CON HILL & WEST END Vi­o­let-tinted win­dow­panes, iron boot scrap­ers, and cob­ble­stone streets named for trees cre­ate a quaint mys­tique that is rich in his­tory. Across Cam­bridge Street, the Hill meets the West End, home to the Mu­seum of Science.

BROOK­LINE Ex­plore a smat­ter­ing of tourist des­ti­na­tions like the John F. Kennedy Birth­place, or visit bustling Coolidge Corner for in­de­pen­dently owned shops, a cool old art cin­ema and a va­ri­ety of restau­rants, tav­erns and delis.

CAM­BRIDGE

Cam­bridge is a city in its own right, with many unique squares like Cen­tral, Ken­dall and In­man. Its most well­known square is Har­vard, home to the tit­u­lar univer­sity and its yard, as well as book stores, bou­tiques, and amaz­ing restau­rants.

CHI­NA­TOWN

This en­clave may be diminu­tive, but there is no limit to its abun­dance of au­then­tic culi­nary de­lights. Asian food fans can dig into Can­tonese, Tai­wanese, Thai, Ja­panese and Viet­namese eats at the many fam­ily-owned bak­eries and restau­rants.

DOWN­TOWN

This is the his­toric heart of Bos­ton. The Free­dom Trail be­gins here at Bos­ton Com­mon and con­tin­ues past sights like the Gra­nary Bury­ing Ground and Old State House. For shop­ping and din­ing, head down Win­ter Street to Down­town Cross­ing.

FENWAY

Peo­ple hear “Fenway” and im­me­di­ately think of Ma­jor League Base­ball’s most valu­able di­a­mond. But is thanks to its for­mer life as fens (low-ly­ing marsh­land). To­day, Fenway is home to top-cal­iber mu­se­ums and pop­u­lar clubs along Lans­downe Street.

NORTH END

Once Bos­ton’s orig­i­nal posh neigh­bor­hood (home to Thomas Hutchin­son and Paul Re­vere), this long-lived sec­tor of Bos­ton is now awash in Ital­ian her­itage. The North End shows off dozens of restau­rants, ar­ti­san food mar­kets and sum­mers rife with saints’ fes­ti­vals.

SEA­PORT DIS­TRICT

The Sea­port Dis­trict boasts three things: art, food and wa­ter views. It has a ro­bust cre­ative com­mu­nity, and in­no­va­tive restau­rants keep pop­ping up. For panora­mas of the sky­line, walk the Har­bor­walk or sit out­side the In­sti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Art.

SOMERVILLE

Arty, eclec­tic and eth­ni­cally di­verse, Somerville is a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion bor­der­ing Bos­ton and Cam­bridge, and

cafes, bars, restau­rants and live mu­sic clubs con­gre­gate here. The his­toric Somerville Theater screens films and of­ten hosts in­ter­na­tional per­form­ers.

SOUTH BOS­TON

The moniker “Southie” refers to this here ‘hood, which plays host to neigh­bor­hood beaches and many an Ir­ish pub. Be sure to take a jaunt to Cas­tle Is­land, tour Fort In­de­pen­dence, have a pic­nic and walk the loop that juts right out into Plea­sure Bay.

SOUTH END

This en­clave jumps right from the pages of a Henry James novel and is on the Na­tional Regis­ter of His­toric Places as the coun­try’s largest Vic­to­rian row house dis­trict. Food fans go wild for the sheer vol­ume of great restau­rants, while cul­ture vul­tures de­vour the vi­brant art scene.

THEATER DIS­TRICT

His­toric stages clus­tered on Tre­mont and Wash­ing­ton streets, such as the Colo­nial, Wang, Shu­bert, Ma­jes­tic and the Opera House, host Broad­way tours as well as smaller trav­el­ing pro­duc­tions and homegrown the­atri­cal en­deav­ors.

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