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Back Bay

Introduction to Boston's Downtown

Back Bay

Built in 1859 because the demand for luxury housing exceeded real estate availability in Boston, the Back Bay neighborhood has quickly become one of the most popular and well-preserved examples of 19th century architecture in the United States. Known for being home to famous brownstones and the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the Back Bay neighborhood offers stunning views of the waterfront from the Charles River esplanade and legendary shopping at high-end stores on Newbury Street. With the Back Bay’s landscaping inspired by Paris, it is not surprising that some of the world’s most expensive fashion designers maintain storefronts on Newbury Street where it isn’t at all surprising to see a celebrity or professional athlete eating on a restaurant’s patio or browsing for clothes at a shop. Despite being home to many of Boston’s tallest skyscrapers to include the John Hancock Tower and the Prudential Center, Back Bay maintains a largely residential feel with lots of greenery and residential brownstones.

Despite having an upscale feel, Boston is known as a college city and there are no shortage of places for the young to congregate. The Corner Tavern and Cornish Pastry Co offer a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the rich and famous along Newbury Street and Copley Square for the fraternity-like atmosphere that the younger population prefers. While the area remains high-end and expensive during the day, at night it becomes more lively with a rowdy crowd enlivening the streets whenever the Boston Red Sox play. Known for its quintessential location, Bay Bay offers easy access to nearly every inch of Boston whether it is crossing the Harvard Bridge to Cambridge or stepping on the Green and Orange Lines to reach other neighborhoods. Cultural icons in Back Bay include the Boston Public LIbrary, Symphony Hall, the Boston Public Garden, and Commonwealth Mall. If visiting Boston in the Spring, be sure to visit the Back Bay’s most famous residents - Romeo and Juliet - two ducklings that reside at the Boston Public Garden.

Explore Boston with a visit to the Back Bay neighborhood and expect to be rewarded with excellent shopping, delicious food that can be enjoyed at tableside seating along the sidewalk of streets throughout the Back Bay, and easy access to iconic buildings like the Prudential Tower and John Hancock Building. Great for people watching, you won’t be disappointed if you devote at least a half day to exploring the Back Bay. Be sure to venture off the beaten path of popular streets like Newbury and Commonwealth Ave to be rewarded with some of the most well-preserved examples of brownstone architecture in the world.