Looking for a fun weekend getaway? How about 3 days in Boston? In this Boston guide, we cover the city’s wide variety of museums, restaurants, hotels, shops and beautiful sights. You’ll have plenty to write home about. 😉 All that’ll be left for you to do is pack your bags and head out the door. Let’s go!
In this blog, I share…
- What to do in Boston
- Where to eat in each neighborhood
- Where to shop in Boston
- Where to stay in Boston
[Originally posted May 2022, Last updated August 2022]
3 Days in Boston
What is there to do in Boston? Quite a lot! But, since the city is so big, I’ve given you a Boston guide that covers the city’s highlights which gives you a little taste of everything the city is famous for.
Your Boston Guide
Tour a local brewery
- Sam Adams Boston Brewery | Jamaica Plain District, Boston
Everyone knows Sam Adams! But, not everyone knows that it’s brewed right here in Beantown. For a fun weekend in Boston, you’ll want to check out this Boston staple which has been brewing beer since 1984. If you like beer, you’ll really enjoy the tour where you can sip on samples and learn the brewing process.
Check out a Museum
Whether you’re interested in history, art, science or all of the above, Boston has a museum for everyone!
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum | Fenway, Boston
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a gorgeous museum with European, Asian and American art, a collection which was donated by the person who the museum is named after, Isabella Stewart Gardner.
The beautiful Courtyard, filled with flowers, encapsulates all 3 floors and is a work of art in itself. This museum used to be one of my favorites. You may recognize the name from the infamous museum heist and a recent Netflix series, “This is a Robbery” focusing on the events.
To this day, it is still the largest museum theft in history, with a collection valued at over $500 million with 13 works still having never been recovered. One of the missing pieces was a Seascape by Rembrandt called, “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee“, the only known Seascape by this artist.
Why did I say this used to be one of my favorites? Well, I’ve been coming to this museum for years and they have now changed your experience. There are no placards, signage or any of the usual descriptions near art pieces that you would expect to find in a museum.
Instead, they have all been replaced with a single QR code that requires visitors to spend most of their time looking at their phones and playing a matching game while trying to connect each of the art pieces to a room diagram on the screen.
I for one appreciate art but am in no means an expert so, it is disappointing to not have the opportunity to be educated as you view the pieces. Nonetheless, it’s still an absolutely beautiful home turned museum and definitely worth a visit. They also have a pretty tasty restaurant where you can grab a glass of wine, charcuterie cheese platter or an entree.
Enjoy Seaport, Boston’s Historic Waterfront
- ICA | Seaport, Boston
Another great museum is the Institute for Contemporary Art in Seaport which has a variety of exhibitions for you to enjoy. The museum is constantly keeping things fresh so most likely, each time you return it will be new! Then again, if you’re visiting for the weekend, it’ll be new to you anyway, haha. 😉 This is a great museum if you don’t have a whole lot of time. I experienced the whole thing in an hour.
- Fan Pier Park | Seaport, Boston
This is one of Boston’s most idyllic waterfront spots with all the views. 😉 Walk up the tall stairs to really take it all in. I highly recommend not skipping the walking path along Boston Harbor that leads you to Fan Pier Park. Have a picnic on the docks or grab a bite at one of the many restaurants nearby. I’ve included some options at the end of this blog.
- Lookout Rooftop Bar & Lounge | Seaport, Boston
Atop The Envoy Hotel, you can grab a drink at their rooftop bar which has great drinks and amazing views of the city.
Take a relaxing stroll
- Boston Common & Boston Public Garden | Downtown Boston
Boston is such a beautiful walking city. Therefore, no trip is complete without a visit to Boston Common, otherwise known as America’s 1st public park. Right next to the park is Boston Public Garden which is truly lovely, especially in the sunnier seasons.
On any given day, you can expect to find strolling minstrels and see people feeding squirrels. Sit on the well-manicured lawns and do some people watching. Enjoy a ride on the famous Swan boats. On a sunny day, it’s such a relaxing ride. I like waving to the people on the bridge.
NOT SO FUN FACT
Boston is notorious for their parking tickets. I once racked up $600 in tickets in just 1 month when I first moved to the city. Here are some tips to prevent your car from getting a ticket or worse, towed.
Stop by a library
- Boston Public Library | Back Bay, Boston
More than a library, this lovely sanctuary in the middle of a busy city is a perfect spot to spend the afternoon.
Ready for lunch? No need to leave the building as The Map Room and Courtyard Tea Room offer bar bites, cocktails and even full-service high tea. They’re both equally unique experiences with The Map Room giving off a more steampunk vibe and The Courtyard Tea Room being more elegant and dainty. After, take a walk in the courtyard for some fresh air or read a book.
- Mary Baker Eddy Library | Back Bay, Boston
Since we are on the subject of maps, you must take a trip over to the Mapparium. Coming in at 3 stories, this stain glass marvel of an atlas was constructed in 1935. The Mapparium is part of a permanent exhibit entitled “How do you see the World”. It’s located at the Mary Baker Eddy Library and part of the Christian Science building. Tours are available and very much worth the time. You can also explore the various documents, artifacts, photographs, art and books they have in their collection.
Where to Shop
I’m not one to shop on vacations but I know a lot of people love it. So, if you’ve hit the museums and still got some energy in you, do a little shopping. My favorite place to go shopping when I’m back in Beantown is Newbury Street!
From my favorite stores for jewelry, watches and sunglasses, Cartier & Tiffany & Co., to fashion brands like Max Mara and Valentino, you’ll find all your favorite stores on this street and throughout the Back Bay area. The Prudential Center is also a great place to check out. They have tons of shops and restaurants to choose from including at the Boston’s newest addition, a European inspired shopping center, The Superette in the city’s Seaport District.
Foodie Finds in Each Neighborhood
I highly recommend making a reservation for these places in advance, especially on a weekend in Boston when it’s busy like at Contessa.
- Yvonne’s … dimly lit speakeasy and delicious
- Ruka … for delicious food and drinks in an edgy environment
- Union Oyster House … for a taste of history (America’s oldest restaurant)
- Kane’s Donuts … for the city’s best donuts (GF too!)
- Lolita … dark & mysterious on the inside, relaxing waterfront views on the outside
- Menton … for a splurge that’s worth every penny
- Contessa … rooftop restaurant with gorgeous city views
- The Courtyard Tea Room … the most charming high tea, library themed
- OAK Long Bar + Kitchen … for drinks and a bite in a sexy atmosphere
- Levain Cookies … big, warm & yummy cookies
- Sweet Cheeks Q … for the best Southern BBQ in the North
- Loretta’s Last Call … for line dancing & some
Where to Stay
There are so many great hotel options in Boston. A great way to determine which part of the city to stay in is to determine where most of your activities will be so you can pick a hotel that’s centrally located.
- Boston Harbor Hotel | Rowes Wharf, Boston
For a taste of waterfront luxury, you can’t go wrong with Boston Harbor Hotel in Boston’s Rowes Wharf district. The hotel also has a bar & lounge, in room dining, as well as a seafood restaurant where you can also make a reservation for high tea.
- Omni Parker House | Downtown, Boston
While you don’t stay for the rooms, you stay for the hotel’s character, history and location. As Boston’s oldest hotel and the birthplace of the famous Boston Cream Pie, Omni Parker House has no shortage of history and appeal in Downtown Boston. Book your stay here to be right on the Freedom trail. Ask for a room facing King’s Chapel and Old City Hall for the best views.
- Liberty Hotel | Beacon Hill, Boston
Formerly known as Charles Street Jail (yes, an actual jail), Liberty Hotel has the kind of swanky, cool atmosphere that leaves you wondering whether you’re in a bar, a club or maybe just a really awesome event space. Well, it’s all of the above… PLUS a hotel, restaurant and lounge having been transformed in 2007 from its original 1851 look into what you see today.
Grab drinks & light bites at Alibi, then some dinner at CLINK before enjoying the rest of your evening at the hotel. You can also catch one of their many fun events and live music. I had a blast at their Dia de los Muertos themed Halloween party. Oh, and don’t forget to snap a selfie by their jail cells. 😉
Good news! Liberty Hotel is a Marriott property which means…. travel perks & rewards ya’ll. Whether you travel frequently or not, you can take advantage of Marriott’s loyalty program to get the best rate on this hotel with their price match guarantee + an extra 25% off.
Book Liberty Hotel with Marriott
That’s a Wrap!
I hope you enjoyed this 3 day Boston guide! I had a lot of fun writing it. What would you do in Boston? Comment below! If you found this blog useful, share it!
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They’re both really amazing experience in their own unique way. I highly recommend Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum!
I had a chance to visit the Museum of Science in Boston and really enjoyed it, but I do want to also visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum sometime. I also need to go to the birthplace of Boston cream pie as it’s one of my favorite desserts.