What are the Local Spots in Boston?
If you're visiting Boston and want to get away from the touristy sites and attractions, there are plenty of more "local" spots around Boston to see. After all, Boston is a large city with plenty to offer for residents, too. All of these places are popular with locals relaxing, hanging out, dining out, and enjoying life in Boston.
Technically, its own city, Cambridge is an iconic area near Boston that is home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The town has a number of museums, mostly affiliated with either of the universities, as well as a lively music scene, an impressive art culture, and excellent restaurants. The Charles River is a defining feature of Cambridge. There are also a number of notable city squares as well as several distinct neighborhoods within Cambridge. While nightlife might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Cambridge, there are actually some great clubs and bars where you can grab a drink and party with the Ivy Leaguers.
Rose Kennedy Greenway
This stretch of interconnected parks running through Downtown Boston is a great spot for a walk, run, or even a bike ride - or for just exploring the city. Starting at the north in North End near the Haymarket T station, the connected parks and trails run south through the Waterfront and Downtown areas until they reach Chinatown Park. Along the way, visitors will find smaller parks, interactive fountains, a carousel, gardens, public restrooms, restaurants and cafes, and more. If you're wandering along the path, it's quite easy to make short detours to explore the various attractions and historical spots of Boston.
John F. Fitzgerald Expressway, Waterfront, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110
Allston is a popular hangout spot for students in Boston. Many students live in the area, but even those that don't often head here to party with friends. The area is close to a number of Boston colleges and universities so the student population is strong, but in recent years it's also started to attract more young professionals and immigrants. Head to Harvard Avenue between Gardner Street and Commonwealth Avenue to explore the city's unofficial Koreatown. The area has a number of great Korean barbeque restaurants as well as bubble tea shops.
East Boston has long been a neighborhood of immigrants, and the area's ethnic restaurants reflect its diverse roots. Sitting on the waterfront, it was once the center for shipbuilding in the city but today it is where you'll find Logan International Airport. It's location on the waterfront means it offers impressive views of the city's skyline. You can reach East Boston on the subway's Blue Line or by ferry boat.
Roslindale has a lot of natural beauty, colonial homes, and a charming Main Street. This neighborhood is where you'll find the Arnold Arboretum, which is a 265 acre park, and along the Main Street there are many great shops, restaurants, cafes, and bistros, making this a charming place to spend some time.
Located right by the Allston neighborhood, Brighton sits along the Charles River and has a number of shops along Washington Street. It's a quieter neighborhood that has a mix of young professionals, young families, and students. Boston College is in the neighborhood at the end of the Green B line along the subway.
Dorchester is a large and diverse neighborhood with more than 500 acres of green space as well as a zoo. The neighborhood is where you'll find Franklin Park and a large portion of Boston's Emerald Necklace. The population is a diverse mix of long time residents and newer immigrants from countries such as Vietnam, Cape Verde, and Ireland. For the best Vietnamese food, head to Dorchester Avenue between Charles and Victoria streets.
South Boston was traditionally a working class neighborhood, but it has also become a trendy area for dining and nightlife. Head to the "Seaport District" for some of the most lively activities. This area also has some of the city's most famous seafood restaurants. The neighborhood also has a beautiful waterfront with views of Boston's skyline. Along the waterfront there are a number of beaches and parks. Also in the area is Dorchester Heights, which is where George Washington's army forced the British out of Boston in 1776.
Located on the north side of Boston by the the Boston Harbor and the Mystic River, this neighborhood once had a large Irish population. It's a historic neighborhood with a number of monuments in the area including the Bunker Hill Monument and the USS Constitution.
Jamaica Plain, often called "JP", is a diverse neighborhood with a number of local businesses and a large amount of green space. Head to Jamaica Pond to take a relaxing walk. This is also a very active neighborhood with a number of great festivals and outdoor concerts. This neighborhood really comes to life during the warmer seasons when the festivals and street fairs are common.
Named for the Mattahunt Native American Tribe that lived here during the 1600s, today this neighborhood is home to a mixing bowl of African American, Caribbean, Irish, Jewish, and Haitian residents. There are a number of great ethnic restaurants in the neighborhood.
Roxbury was once a large farming community. Today it is at the heart of Black culture in Boston. The neighborhood has a number of great restaurants along Dudley Street that serve Caribbean, regional African and soul food. This neighborhood is also where you'll find the only remaining country house built by a British Royal Colonial Governor.
How much does it cost?
Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $4 to $498. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $145. A few of the best options are below.
Where to Stay in Boston