Once the workday is over, business travel in Boston can lead to just about anything you want – from seaside harbour strolls to reliving moments in America’s history, funky jazz clubs to tours through a ballpark or brewery. When the meetings and presentations have come to a close, it’s time to turn work into play. Here’s our city guide to being on business in Boston.
Where to stay: Where you stay in Boston is as important as what you do while you’re there. Nobody plays the chic boutique hotel hand better than a Kimpton hotel, and its Nine Zero is no different. This hotel blasts you out of the standard overnight experience with its vintage cocktail lounge, colourful modern décor, and even a “floating” suite that uses futuristic retinal scans.
If you want to keep your stay classic and cosy, book a room at the Boston Harbor Hotel on the historic Rowes Wharf Harbor with its picturesque iconic archway, or the Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common, where you’ll soak up the views of America’s first public park, the Boston Common, and the Public Garden.
Where to eat: Pump up your morning with hot java from Ogawa Coffee. This is the Japanese coffee shop’s first U.S. location, and if you’re lucky, your cappuccino will be adorned by Haruna Murayama, the 2010 World Latte Art Champion. Later in the day, fill up on traditional New England fare (think lobsters and fried clams) under the iconic red striped awning of the lively waterfront Barking Crab. Or simply eat your way through the North End, Boston’s famous Italian District. It might only be 0.36 square miles but its winding streets are packed with cafes, grocery stores and restaurants. While there are plenty of steakhouses in Boston, Strip by Strega has some of the best cuts, along with a glam dining room and tunes spun by the most amazing DJs in town. The handsome French-inspired bistro Bar Boulud brings charcuterie to the next level, along with seasonal New England dishes, pâtés, terrines, and its famous Coq au Vin.
Where to go for evening cocktails: Gauzy swags, shimmery pillows, globally infused tunes, the swanky W Boston‘s lounge sets a scintillating scene for sipping cocktails among the city’s trendsetters. Or try your hobnobbing skills at the upscale Oak Long Bar + Kitchen, a Back Bay brasserie that offers classic handcrafted cocktails. For a suds selection like no other, visit the Tip Tap Room for its immense list of beers on tap and craft bourbons.
Top Sites: With Boston holding court as a walking city, it isn’t hard to get around its top sites with or without wheels. Hit most of history’s hot spots by following the famous Freedom Trail, a DIY 2.5-mile, brick-lined route through Boston that takes a page out of America’s past with 16 historically significant stops, such as Granary Burial Ground, Kings’ Chapel Cemetery, the Old State House and the Boston Massacre Site. It also goes right by the USS Constitution, or “Old Ironsides.” A true symbol of Boston’s seaside status, this is U.S. Navy’s oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world, and you can explore its decks on a guided tour. Miss a visit and tour to Fenway Park, America’s most beloved baseball park and home of the Red Sox, and you’ve struck out.
Great Gifts: There’s nothing like bringing home something special for someone special to commemorate your time away. When you’re in need of a little local flare, a visit to Quincy Market is a must. Home to the country’s first pushcart, the cobblestones of this 6.5 acre outdoor marketplace weave you from cart to cart decked in Boston garb. For more notable names (think Valentino, Max Mara and Ted Baker), hit up Newbury Street, the “Rodeo Drive of the East”.
Going Local: When locals want to get outside and play, they grab their sneakers and hit the pavement for a run along the Charles River, which runs between Cambridge and Boston. There’s also the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway. Once the home of the main highway, it’s now a peaceful outdoor setting with fountains, a carousel, and benches for sunny day appreciation. Or check out the Emerald Necklace, a vibrant park system consisting of six parks, the Arnold Arboretum and Jamaica Pond. If you work up a thirst, blend hops with history during a tour of one of Sam Adams, Boston’s most beloved brewery.
Where to Break Curfew: When meetings have wrapped, you deserve a little fun. Head over to the South End’s shaggy chic Beehive or its sister restaurant in Cambridge’s Harvard Square, Beat Brasserie, for live music, psychedelic art, and funky fare. Or kick it old school and relax at Wally’s Café, a tiny jazz and blues hideaway. For fast and furious release, step into the bustling Jillian’s Pool Hall to play on their 24 tournament calibre pool tables, six bowling lanes and 12 plasma screens.
Header Image: The newly renovated luxury Parkview Suites at the Ritz Carlton, Boston Common offer sweeping city views © Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common
Virgin Atlantic operates daily flights to Boston from London Heathrow, making planning your business trip easier than ever before.
Have you been on business in Boston? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Cheryl Fenton