Beacon Hill Neighborhood Guide
Naming favorites isn’t a thing that I typically try to do but when it comes to Boston, I found myself leaving with too many of them. While I found a favorite restaurant, coffee shop and street, I would even go so far to say I found a favorite neighborhood as well. Beacon Hill encapsulates everything that comes to mind while thinking about Boston. Old-fashioned street lamps, cobblestone streets and historic buildings make up this hill top neighborhood. Walking through the streets in the residential area, you get a good leg and butt workout wandering about. I promise, it’s worth the repeated climb. And for a little direction to your Beacon Hill wandering, we’ve put together a few places to grab a bite, a few spots to visit and tips to take with you.
3 Spots To Grab a Bite
Figs, located on Charles Street, is a local favorite. Todd English provides guests with a casual bistro-style setting and his famous super thin crust, free-style pizza. The pizza is made with an almost cracker thin crust and rolled out rustically giving foodies a different shape every time. The restaurant also serves up homemade pasta making it a standout simply for that.
Tatte Bakery & Cafe is a spot I’ve already included in several posts including our restaurant round-up and 3-day itinerary. It was the second place I ate at while visiting Boston on my first full day in the city. It was cold and rainy and I had only brought sweaters with me but I fell in love anyway. Tatte’s is another local favorite, especially the Charles Street location because of it’s large outdoor patio. They serve breakfast through dinner with a great amount of variety. There are many locations around Boston and in Cambridge so even if the Charles Street location isn’t doable, make sure to check out one of the others.
Toscano is more upscale compared to the other two restaurants but well worth a try. Serving up Tuscan food made famous in Florence, Toscano pays homage to their roots with seasonal and imported ingredients. You’ll find handmade pasta, a variety of cheeses, sausage, tomatoes and more. Their wine list is large and in charge featuring variety but also Tuscan wines that are well-known like Chianti. It’s about as Tuscan of an experience you’ll get outside the region itself.
3 Places You Must Visit
Beacon Hill Chocolates is a tiny shop with artisan chocolates from all over the world. From truffles to chocolate covered pretzels, there’s a treat for everyone. You’ll find seasonal chocolates and treats as well as classics. According to their website, the owner travels around the world to find the best chocolates and ingredients making her shop wonderful.
The majority of Beacon Hill’s attractions are along Charles Street so it would be impossible to miss it. Much of Beacon Hill is residential buildings except for the top of the hill (literally) where the Massachusetts State House sits. Charles Street is home to a number of restaurants, antique shops, boutiques and more including the Charles Street Meeting House. Veer off of Charles Street and you’ll see lots of brownstone buildings and cobblestone streets the neighborhood is known for. It’s also part of what makes it so expensive to live in!
A historical building. Beacon Hill has several historical buildings that visitors can tour. The Park Street Church and Charles Street Meeting House are both part of the freedom trail but only the Park Street Church is available for tours. For those who love a good home tour, the Nichols House Museum is one of the earliest recorded homes in Beacon Hill and serves as a museum open to visitors.
Where to Grab Photos
All of Beacon Hill is Instagrammable. For specific locations to keep in mind, keep a close eye for interesting and unique shops along Beacon Street. There’s a post-office that looks like something out of an old movie. Acorn Street is also a must. There’s nothing spectacular about it in particular but it makes you feel like you can touch another place in time by being there. If you plan to venture outside of Beacon Hill, there is the Boston Common, esplanade and Beacon Street which are all photo-friendly. Finally, veer off Charles Street and the main roads because the residential parts of Beacon Hill are incredible. The houses are beautiful not only because of their architecture but because the people who live there no doubt take pride in their homes and the location they’ve chosen to live.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes. Beacon Hill is full of steep hills, cobblestone and brick sidewalks and roads and they’re not always even. Being fashionable is great but spending an afternoon of your trip in the emergency room because of a bum ankle ruins everyone’s time.
- Beacon Hill is within walking distance from the Back Bay, North End, West End and downtown neighborhoods. Pack your schedule by visiting one of those neighborhoods and Beacon Hill in the same day.
- Visit the Boston Public Garden along Charles Street across Beacon Street. It’s a great spot for photos with lagoons, boat rides, fountains and more.
- Access the esplanade from Revere Street, Mt. Vernon Street or Pinckney Street.
- For a true tourist spot, the original Cheers Bar is located at the edge of Beacon Hill along Beacon Street. Stop there for a photo and if you’re in the mood for classic bar bites.