When you’re not in sessions or visit our sponsors in the exhibit hall, consider spending some time exploring the city of Boston. Below are some of the CHI staff’s favorite things to do, see, and eat around Boston to keep you entertained in and out of the session room!
Please note: Attractions within easy walking distance of the hotel are marked with an asterisk
Back Bay Back Bay is famous for its rows of Victorian brownstone homes, which are considered one of the best-preserved examples of 19th-century urban design in the United States, as well as numerous architecturally significant individual buildings and important cultural institutions such as the Boston Public Library. It is also a fashionable shopping destination (Newbury Street), and home to some of Boston's tallest office buildings (The Prudential Center), the Hynes Convention Center, and numerous major hotels.
Beacon Hill is a neighborhood of Federal-style rowhouses and is known for its narrow, gas-lit streets and brick sidewalks. Today, Beacon Hill is regarded as one of the most desirable and expensive neighborhoods in Boston. Because the Massachusetts State House is in a prominent location at the top of the hill, the term "Beacon Hill" is also often used as a metonym in the local news media to refer to the state government or the legislature.
Boston Common (also known as "the Common") is a central public park in Boston, Massachusetts. Dating from 1634, it is the oldest city park in the United States. The Boston Common consists of 50 acres (20 ha) of land bounded by Tremont Street, Park Street, Beacon Street, Charles Street, and Boylston Street. A visitors' center for all of Boston is located on the Tremont Street side of the park.
Bunker Hill Monument
The Bunker Hill Monument was built to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill. The 221 foot (67 m) granite obelisk was erected between 1827 and 1843 in Charlestown, Massachusetts with granite from Quincy, Massachusetts, conveyed to the site via the Granite Railway, built specially for that purpose, followed by a trip by barge. There are 294 steps to the top.
Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market*
Faneuil Hall, located near the waterfront and today's Government Center, in Boston, Massachusetts, has been a marketplace and a meeting hall since 1742. It was the site of several speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis, and others encouraging independence from Great Britain, and is now part of Boston National Historical Park and a well known stop on the Freedom Trail. It is sometimes referred to as "the Cradle of Liberty". Faneuil Hall combines the glories of Boston's past with the urban sophistication of the city today
Fenway Park has been the home ballpark of Boston Red Sox baseball since it opened in 1912, and is the oldest Major League Baseball stadium currently in use. Because of the ballpark's age and constrained location in the dense Fenway–Kenmore neighborhood, the park has had many renovations and additions over the years not initially envisioned, resulting in unique, quirky features, including "The Triangle," "Pesky's Pole", and most notably the famous Green Monster in left field. When the Sox aren’t playing a home game, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, tours run every hour on the hour until 4 p.m.
Harvard Square is a large triangular area in the center of Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Brattle Street, and John F. Kennedy Street. It is the historic center of Cambridge. It is also a world-renowned shopping, dining, cultural and historical destination .Adjacent to Harvard Yard, the historic heart of Harvard University, the Square (as it is called locally) functions as a commercial center for Harvard students, as well as residents of western Cambridge and the inner western and northern suburbs of Boston. (P.S. It is illegal to “Pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd.”)
The North End is a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. It has the distinction of being the city's oldest residential community, where people have lived continuously since it was settled in the 1630s. Though small (⅓ mi²), the neighborhood has approximately 100 eating establishments, and a variety of tourist attractions. It is known as the city's Little Italy for its Italian-American population. The neighborhood has a mixture of architecture from all periods of American history, including early structures such as the Old North Church (1723) and the Paul Revere House (1680). The historic Copp's Hill is the site of Copp's Hill Burying ground, one of America's oldest cemeteries. The cemetery contains many graves dating back to the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries including Puritan divines Cotton and Increase Mather and Prince Hall, founder of Prince Hall Freemasonry. The Skinny House, the narrowest house in Boston, is across the street. The famous Great Brink's Robbery took place in the North End. The Brink's Building in which the robbery took place still stands as the North End Parking Garage, at the corners of Prince St., Hull St., and Commercial St. The Freedom Trail passes through the North End, making official stops at some of the sites mentioned above.
Boston by Foot
Boston By Foot, Inc., is a nonprofit educational corporation with a mission to promote public awareness of Boston's rich architectural and historical heritage through its guided tours, lecture series, and other activities. The tours are conducted by a well-trained, enthusiastic and diverse corps of over 200 volunteer guides, many of whom have served Boston By Foot for more than 10, 20, and even 30 years. Tour schedules vary depending on month. See the schedule for the month of August here!
Boston Harbor Cruises*
Go on a whale watch or just tour the harbor on Boston Harbor Boat Cruises. The company, founded in 1926, is New England’s premier cruise company and the nation’s largest private operator of passenger vessels, Boston Harbor Cruises.
You've never toured Boston in anything that comes close to this tour. The fun begins as soon as you board your "DUCK," an authentic World War II amphibious landing vehicle, renovated for sightseeing. You'll cruise by all the places that make Boston the birthplace of freedom and a city of firsts. View sights such as the golden-domed State House to Bunker Hill and the TD Banknorth Garden, Boston Common and Copley Square to the Big Dig, Government Center to fashionable Newbury Street, Quincy Market to the Prudential Tower, and more.
Museum of Fine Arts
The original MFA opened its doors to the public on July 4, 1876, the nation's centennial. Built in Copley Square, the MFA was then home to 5,600 works of art. Over the next several years, the collection and number of visitors grew exponentially, and in 1909 the Museum moved to its current home on Huntington Avenue. Today the MFA is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world; the collection encompasses nearly 450,000 works of art. We welcome more than one million visitors each year to experience art from ancient Egyptian to contemporary, special exhibitions, and innovative educational programs.
Museum of Science
The Museum of Science has an extraordinary story to tell: new interactive exhibits; leadership in technological literacy; attention to pioneering discoveries in biomedical and life sciences. Along with over 500 interactive exhibits, the Museum features a number of live presentations throughout the building every day, along with shows at the Charles Hayden Planetarium and the Mugar Omni IMAX theater, the only domed IMAX screen in New England. The Museum is also an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is home to over 100 animals, many of which have been rescued and rehabilitated from various dangerous situations. The Museum is also one of the city's three bases of operations for Boston's privately operated Duck Tours.
New England Aquarium*
The New England Aquarium is one of the most prominent and popular public aquariums in the United States. Founded in 1969 on the city's waterfront, it is considered one of the first modern public aquariums and is credited with revolutionizing the modern aquarium experience for visitors through its emphasis on a more natural setting for aquatic life. With a mission “to present, promote and protect the world of water,” it remains one of the few such institutions with commitments to research and conservation as well as education and entertainment. In addition to the main aquarium building, attractions at the New England Aquarium include the Simons IMAX Theatre and the New England Aquarium Whale Watch, which operates from April through November. More than 1.3 million people visit the aquarium and theatre each year.
Boston Restaurant Week is August 17-22
Barking Crab is a landmark Boston seafood restaurant celebrating our fifteenth season. Located on the Fort Point Channel in Boston's Seaport District, The Barking Crab features fresh crabs, lobsters, and day-boat fish brought in each morning. We feature traditional New England fare served in a funky urban clam-shack setting. We have a full bar including over 15 regional micro brews, cocktails, and an approachable value-priced wine list. We are family friendly and a short 2 minute walk from the Boston Children's Museum. Other area attractions include the Institute of Contemporary Art, Harpoon Brewery, the Harbor-walk, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, and Boston's Financial District.
An incredible landmark location on Boston’s Long Wharf, Chart House is situated in the Gardiner Building – the restored 18th-century offices of American Patriot John Hancock. Combine the extraordinary setting with outstanding cuisine & it’s not hard to see why the restaurant is a longtime favorite. Since 1961, Chart House has been dedicated to providing the ideal dining experience. With 27 historic, waterfront & showcase locations across the U.S., Chart House offers spectacular views & exceptional service that you’re sure to enjoy. From top-of-the-catch seafood to succulent steaks, our renowned chefs have tailored a menu to complement local cuisine while introducing a hint of the exotic. Choose from our famous entrées such as Snapper Hemingway, Shrimp Fresca & our slow roasted Prime Rib. We also offer a daily selection of fresh fish, an extensive collection of fine wines & whiskies, & decadent desserts like our famous Hot Chocolate Lava Cake.
See fish. Eat fish. Enjoy ocean-side dining just steps from the New England Aquarium. Our restaurant couldn’t be more convenient to the Financial District, Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall and waterfront hotels such as the Boston Harbor Hotel, Marriott and Intercontinental. Long Wharf is home port for many cruise ships and whale watches, while Duck Tours and Old Town Trolleys see the sights and then make a stop for seafood right outside our door. We think a visit to Boston must include a meal at Legal Sea Foods. If you’re looking for some fun, eat at our food bar where you’ll see what’s cooking in our open kitchen. Or, during the warmer months, dine in our patio if you opt for the fresh seafood and fresh air combo. Our in-restaurant aquarium and lobster tank keep kids entertained.
Mike's Pastry is definitely a hidden gem tucked away in the North End of Boston. Head to the North End for some of the best pastries you’ll ever eat. Our advice? Try the cannolis.
The original Regina Pizzeria sits in Boston’s North End. Since 1926, Regina Pizzeria has been greeting guests in the North End of Boston with a hearty "Welcome to Boston's Original Pizzeria!" for over three generations, Regina's delicious brick oven pizza has been inspired by the love of good food and the special pride of the Polcari Family.
Ristorante Villa Francesca, in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts, is the brain child of Guglielmo Ranauro. Through his desire for perfection and pure love of the Italian cuisine, Guglielmo created Villa Francesca over thirty years ago. He bestowed the name Francesca after his mother, never forgetting the love and wonderful food she always provided while growing up just across the street from the restaurant. Villa Francesca boasts over 160 wine selections, and has received the prestigious Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator awards since 2007. You've got to try the raw bar!
The Wine Cellar*
Located in the Back Bay, The Wine Cellar Restaurant offers an alternative 'to the same old dining experience'. The restaurant specializes in European cuisine with over thirty fondues ranging from cheese, oil, broth, cour bouillon, and chocolate. It was awarded by the Wine Spectator 2005 to 2008 "Two Glasses" of Excellence for its extensive 600 plus wine list. The Wine Cellar is proud to offer one of the best wine collections in Boston showcasing food and wine pairings on price and style (vintage depth and verticals). Step into a small but very cozy dining room with hand painted murals of historic New England buildings and landscape with wrought iron accents and hanging lanterns. The Wine Cellar Restaurant has become a destination for wine lovers and food enthusiasts.
Want more options? Check out the Boston Visitors Bureau on the web.