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Your online travel companion to Spirit Magazine

The best HotelsRestaurantsCultural Attractions, and just plain Fun Stuff to do and see in Boston.

 

Hotels: Boston

The Copley Square Hotel sits 685 feet from the eye-popping spires of Trinity Church, three blocks from the upscale shops on Newbury Street, and less than a mile from Boston Common. But the Cuddle Up package will make you and that special someone reluctant to leave your stylish and historic digs. So why leave? The 1891-built hotel is the oldest in the Back Bay. But even though the stone gargoyle out front and the marble staircase inside go back to the Gilded Age, the rest of the boutique hotel—from the plush beds in 143 rooms to the HDTVs in the lobby “registration pods”—just emerged from a total makeover. Start your Cuddle Up experience by burning your breakfast vouchers at the in-house restaurant, XHALE. Massive omelets and Belgian waffles taste even better when you’re sitting on funky red-leather chairs, contemplating a shared run on the hotel treadmills, and watching non-cuddlers rushing by outside. Though the restaurant doesn’t serve lunch, stay put so you won’t miss Wine Down at 5 p.m. It’s the best time to mix with fellow cuddlers—typically a reclusive species—and the chardonnay and merlot are on the house. When you turn in, you’ll find a bottle of sparking wine and a box of gourmet chocolates from Phillips Candy House in your room—enough to share. The treats perfectly complement the hotel that has everything.

Request a room overlooking the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway at the Boston Harbor Hotel.

Ask for a room overlooking the river at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge.

 

Restaurants: Boston

Fast all day to load up on chef Stefan Jarausch’s Jonah crab cakes, tenderloin with béarnaise sauce, and Vermont crèam fraiche cheesecake at the old-world Oak Room.

Fuel up for your row with mac and cheese, or fish and chips at 21 Nickels Grille and Tap in Watertown.

Order a dinner you wouldn’t want to spoil with sweets at the Butcher Shop in the Back Bay. (Hint: steak tartare, pâtés and terrine, and a bottle of wine.)

Get the floral Elderflower Cocktail—St. Germain, Miller’s Gin, and Prosecco—at the Copley Square Hotel’s popular and stylish lounge, Minibar

Start with the “mozzarella bar,” proceed to the white miso roasted cod entrée, and finish with the chef’s cookie plate at Scampo in the Liberty Hotel, a former prison. 

 

Shops: Boston

Hunt for treasure at Antiques at 80 Charles.

 

Cultural Attractions: Boston

The Boston Underfoot walking tour gives you an in-depth look at what just might be the most expensive park in the world: the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.

 

Fun Stuff: Boston

Community Rowing made the sport more accessible by opening the Harry Parker Boathouse last year in the Boston suburb of Brighton. The 30,000-square-foot modernistic building houses 170 rowing shells, a weight room, a locker room, and several viewing platforms for watching the action on the river below.

Stroll the most scenic stretch of the Charles River by starting at the Anderson Bridge on the Boston side and going downriver to Weeks Footbridge. 

Savor the cookies and the filled-after-you-order cannoli at Modern Pastry Shop in the North End. 

Sweat off your Boston cream pie with a Zumba class at Boston Athletic Club in the Boston Harbor Industrial Park.

Party upscale under the proscenium stage at the Roxy Ballroom, near the Common.

Search for the perfect Boston cream pie—a tender sponge cake paired with vanilla pastry cream that isn’t too thick, all topped by a chocolate ganache that isn’t too sweet—at the place that invented the dessert nearly 150 years ago, the Omni Parker House. Then try a non-traditional entry from Finale. Boston’s dessert-oriented eatery uses Bavarian cream instead of pastry cream—a risk, because Bavarian cream is more fragile. But Finale’s version is tasty. 

 

 

 

 

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