Boston’s Best: The Perfect Long Weekend

October 10, 2013 6:00 AM

File image (Credit: iStockphoto)

Boston is known as a city of neighborhoods and there is much that both locals and visitors can do and see in a weekend. It is highly recommended that visitors to the city use public transportation because parking spaces are difficult to find and Boston drivers are notorious for their bad driving skills. Additionally, the street system is not numbered well and can be very confusing. So before venturing out, visitors should find the closest “T” station and purchase a “Charlie Card” which can be used to pay for subway rides. For visitors and locals with four days to spend exploring the old and the new in Boston, here are a few suggestions for some innovative ways to spend that precious long weekend.
(Photo Credit: Institute of Contemporary Art Boston/Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Institute of Contemporary Art Boston/Facebook)

The Institute of Contemporary Art 
100 Northern Ave,
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 478-3100

Boston is home to several world class museums. Among them is The Museum of Fine Art (MFA) and The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. However, the hottest museum in Boston these days is The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) which just moved to a great new location on Boston’s bustling waterfront area. The ICA displays modern art of all kinds for people of all ages and specializes in visual arts including film, video and new media. Performance art and literature are also featured. In recent years, the museum has developed new programs such as “Fast Forward,” a filmmaking workshop for teenagers where young people make their own documentaries. With a beautiful view of Boston Harbor and a new cafe, a visit to the ICA is something special. Check the ICA website for special showings. Free tours of the museum are also available during specific times with the purchase of a ticket.

(Photo from Huntington Theatre Company)

(Photo from Huntington Theatre Company)

Huntington Theatre Company
264 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(671) 266-0800

Boston may not have the number of live theatre performances to rival New York City, but the Boston theatre scene is growing, and offers some top-rated performances. A best bet for an afternoon or evening of theatre is the Huntington Theatre Company. This small but ambitious company presents a diverse menu of engaging and innovative works throughout the season. Productions include new works and classics, comedies and dramas. Affiliated with Boston University, the Huntington Theatre Company also educates the next generation in theatre arts. Located on Boston’s”Avenue of the Arts,” this small, intimate venue is a wonderful place to see a play with friends and then get a bite to eat at one of the many new restaurants and bistros popping up in the area. The Huntington Theatre is just a short walk to Boston’s Prudential Center for dining and shopping and is accessible by the Green Line on the “T”. Check the theatre website for listings of current and upcoming productions and special events.

Related: Boston’s Best Bars for a Blind Date



The Beehive
541 Tremont St.
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 423-0069

Looking for some nightlife in Boston? The Beehive is where the hip crowd hangs at night. This spot is an offbeat eatery and bar that has won the praises of Travel and Leisure Magazine and Zagat. What makes is so cool? First of all, The Beehive is located in Boston’s South End in the Boston Center for the Arts, a venue and area of the city known for being on the cutting edge. Visitors can check out The Boston arts scene at The Beehive while savoring great food, cocktails and live entertainment. Downbeat Magazine rated The Beehive as one of the “Top 100 Jazz Clubs in the World,” so that endorsement alone makes it worth a visit. Performers such as Deva Mahal, one of the most talented soul singers in the country, have performed here. The Beehive also features “Dinner Jazz Sets,” a “Saturday Jazz Brunch” and “The Blues on Sunday.” Check out the current calendar of events at The Beehive website.

(Photo from Red Bones)

(Photo from Red Bones)

Redbones Barbecue
55 Chester St.
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 628-2200

A visit to the Boston area would not be complete without crossing the Charles River to visit Cambridge and Somerville. In its heyday, Cambridge was known as “The Berkeley of the East.” Harvard Square still has its charms, but Davis Square in Somerville has quickly taken over as “the new kid on the block” when it comes to cool. Davis Square is packed with clubs, stores and restaurants for all tastes. For those seeking an alternative to the traditional Boston fare of seafood, check out Redbones Barbecue in Davis Square. Redbones features authentic Southern-style food, a rarity in Boston, and a funky and friendly atmosphere. Redbones serves 24 microbrews on tap and also features local brew fests. For those who choose to dine at Redbones, be prepared for great food and music, along with some nostalgia. Visitors can feast on the BBQ while enjoying autographed photographs of former stars of rhythm and blues. Casual diners can grab a counter seat in the front for a bird’s eye view of the action. Davis Square is a stop on the Red Line of Boston’s “T” so it is accessible to those without a vehicle. For bicyclists, Redbones offers bicycle valet service.

(Photo from Friends of Public Garden)

(Photo from Friends of Public Garden)

Boston’s Public Garden
Friends of the Public Garden
69 Beacon St.
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 723-8144

For those who would like to experience the more traditional side of Boston, stop by the Public Garden sometime during your four-day visit. Boston’s Public Garden is the first public botanical garden in America and is a wonderful place to stroll and take a break from sightseeing and shopping. Located in the center of the city, the 24-acre public garden is a green oasis and is most inviting in autumn, spring and summer. Here visitors can enjoy the greenery of weeping willow trees, multi-hued flowerbeds and statuary that reflects Victorian history. The public garden is a good place for Boston photo opportunities, especially on one of the park’s graceful curved bridges. For those visiting in spring and summer, an unforgettable treat is a ride on the foot-pedaled swan boats across a lovely lagoon. The Public Garden is just around the corner from busy Boylston Street and Copley Square where visitors can shop, dine and grab something cool to drink. The Public Garden is also a short walk from the Boylston Street “T” stop on the Green Line.

Related:  Boston’s Best Bars for Local Beers and Brews

Mari DeAngelis is a freelance writer covering all things Boston. Her work can be found on

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