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-   -   Best location to stay when visiting Boston...Back Bay or Downtown? (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/best-location-to-stay-when-visiting-boston-back-bay-or-downtown-927274/)

knwolf Mar 11th, 2012 11:03 AM

Best location to stay when visiting Boston...Back Bay or Downtown?
 
I will be traveling with my husband, sister, and brother-in-law to Boston in May for 2 nights. We are in are early 30's and enjoy good food and bars, as well as the traditional must-see historic attractions in Boston. I am trying to pick a hotel and am having some trouble deciding which area would be best as a base for our trip. We would like a location that allows easy access to great restaurants, but is also close to the main tourist spots. I think we have narrowed it down to Back Bay and downtown. Can anyone offer any advice/information on these 2 areas?

Weadles Mar 11th, 2012 11:14 AM

Back Bay isn't that far from downtown. I've often walked it, but you can also take the T and get there very quickly. I prefer Back Bay because it's away from the crowds at the historic sites/North End, and close to the Charles River, which has a gorgeous esplanade to walk/run if you're interested in that kind of thing. Back Bay has lots of excellent restaurants ( Atlantic Fish and Abe and Louie's, are just two of them) and plenty of shopping, stores on Newbury Street and at the Prudential Center on Boylston. Also it's home to The Lenox, a really great boutique hotel on Boylston right across from a T stop and the Public Library.

yk Mar 11th, 2012 01:00 PM

In your case, I'd choose Back Bay. During the day, it's just a short T ride to the historic core (or 20-min walk) for sightseeing. After sightseeing, you can go back to your hotel, rest/change, then walk out and there are hundreds of restaurants/bars for you to choose from - all within walking distance. Whereas if you stay in DT, most areas are pretty dead at night, except for the tourist traps in Faneuil Hall neighborhood.

Weadles Mar 11th, 2012 02:35 PM

The main advantages of downtown are proximity to the aquarium, The North End, Freedom Trail, and Faneuil Marketplace. But as I posted before, it's great to escape the crowds at the end of the day, and if you really want to go down there for dinner etc. it's an easy T ride or longish walk ( about 45 minutes to the North End from Lenox Hotel/Public Library area, unless there's a short cut I don't know about!).

sassy_cat Mar 11th, 2012 06:14 PM

Back Bay for me too!

saige Mar 11th, 2012 08:53 PM

We loved the Back Bay Hotel in Boston. Located on Stuart Street in Back Bay, it's a former police station that has been meticulously restored and appointed as a modern hotel. There is a good bar and restaurant on site. The location was quite convenient for visitors interested in exploring the city.

cw Mar 12th, 2012 04:58 AM

Boston is compact, so "Downtown" can mean different things. I think the main two area choices for hotels are waterfront (not seaport) or Back Bay. In the winter months, I'd definitely recommend Back Bay but as the weather improves (and May can be beautiful or still cool), I'd say waterfront unless you are interested in a lot of shopping.

As others have said, neither area is very far from the other so I'd see what hotels are available. Some dates in May are very busy and expensive in Boston because of college graduations. If you narrow your hotel choices, we can probably give you better recommendations.

The Back Bay is quite close to some good restaurants in the South End, and the waterfront area is quite convenient to North End (Italian) restaurants.


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