A Breakdown Of Boston’s Must-See Neighborhoods

August 12, 2014 8:00 AM

(Credit, Cameron Bruns)

Boston is a diverse and vibrant city. Though it is small and known as the “walking city,” Boston’s neighborhoods offer all types of activities, cuisine, art and culture. Head into the city this summer to explore all Boston has to offer. The following neighborhoods boast some of the best cultural activities, cuisine and historical sights for people visiting the city for the first time. For tourists, here is a list of where they should head first.

North End

The North End is Boston’s charming Italian neighborhood. The scent of fresh-baked bread wafts down the winding cobblestone streets, making this neighborhood a favorite of tourists and residents alike. The North End is home to some of Boston’s most famous historical sites including Old North Church and Paul Revere’s House. In addition to the history, the North End has some of the best food in the city and is the perfect place to have a celebratory dinner or dessert….can you say cannoli?! Three famous bakeries compete for Boston’s favorite bakery: Mike’s Pastry, Modern Pastry and Bova’s Bakery. Ask locals which they prefer, or try a treat from each and let your taste buds decide.

Beacon Hill

Another historic neighborhood located just across from Faneuil Hall is Beacon Hill. Wandering through Beacon Hill feels like a tiny European city. The beautiful brick buildings and pretty gas lamps make the streets romantic and picturesque. Generally, apartments in this neighborhood are tiny, making it the home of many young professionals and newlyweds. Nearby Charles Street is the perfect place for a Sunday stroll and casual shopping. Popular restaurants such as The Tip Tap Room and Figs make Beacon Hill a destination for food as well as history and shopping.

Jamaica Plain

Over the past 20 years, Jamaica Plain has become one of Boston’s most creative and culture-filled neighborhoods. This neighborhood is also home to New England’s favorite beer: Samuel Adams! From breweries, to food, to innovative startups, Jamaica Plain has a lot going on these days. Jamaica Plain is an up-and-coming art community adding to the fun, bohemian vibe of the area. From yoga studios for kids to the city’s best Cuban food, Jamaica Plain has something for everyone.

Related: Ask A Boston Expert: Dressing For Work In The Summer Heat

(Credit, Cameron Bruns)

(Credit, Cameron Bruns)

South End

The South End is one of Boston’s most beautiful areas and though it is in the middle of the city, it seems almost quaint. The neighborhood is defined by high-end restaurants, art galleries, the SOWA open market and the vibrant gay and lesbian community. The new eco-beauty boutique, Follain, has also helped recently make the South End a hot destination for shopping. The South End is also a cultural center for theater lovers as it is home to Boston Center for the Arts.

South Boston

Since the capture of Whitey Bulger in 2011, South Boston has become the city’s most famous neighborhood. Several reality shows are filmed there, and even more scripted shows are set in the iconic area. The beachfront neighborhood features linear blocks of renovated triple-deckers. And though “Southie” is well known for its blue collar culture, the area is quickly gentrifying. South Boston also boasts the city’s longest stretch of beach and great scenic views off Castle Island.

Related: Boston’s Best Stores For Swimsuits

Cameron Bruns is the founder of BostonGreenBlog.com and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston’s North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.