Boston is no stranger to history (Boston Tea Party, anyone?), but history lies in other places throughout this cosmopolitan city, too. Beacon Hill is one of Boston’s oldest, most historical and, well, most expensive neighborhoods, and it’s one that is well worth your time (especially on a mildly sunny lazy Sunday afternoon, if I do say so myself).
What makes it so special?
Take Acorn Street, for example. An adored street by locals and visitors alike, this alleyway is one of the most Instagrammable in the country (seriously, photographers flock here for pictures). The picturesque cobblestones against the red-brick townhomes will make you wish you could stay there forever. But Acorn Street is just one charming section of Beacon Hill—there’s plenty more where that came from.
Charles Street is where to head to for an unmatched shopping experience, namely when it comes to antique stores and family-owned establishments. Some staples include Good, a recently revamped home goods store that also sells jewelry and accessories. Given that it’s a family neighborhood, of course it needs a store for kids. NRO Kids has all your favorite high-end brands, only in kids size! Described on their website as “your neighborhood stationary boutique”, Rugg Road Paper Company is a specialty shop that makes buying cards more than just an item on your to-do list. Other shops worth stopping into on Charles Street include Black Ink, Flat of the Hill, December Thieves, and plenty more that you’ll stumble upon on your sojourn.
What lies at the heart of quaint Beacon Hill, aside from the Instagram-worthy photo opportunities and one-of-a-kind boutiques, is the historical value. If you want to see what life was like in the late 19th century, head to the Nichols House Museum, which portrays what living in Beacon Hill during this time period was like. In fact, you might not be able to see inside a townhouse in this million-dollar neighborhood any other way. You’ll have to make time to stroll through Boston Public Garden—24 acres of flowers and foliage that is a must-do for a sunny day. Don’t forget about Boston Common though, which is the oldest park in the US, and is actually where Freedom Trail starts for you true history buffs! The Massachusetts State House is another Boston landmark located in Beacon Hill that you simply can’t skip out on (and with its signature 23-karat golden dome, that won’t be hard anyway). Finished in 1798, this structure is currently the seat of government for state affairs, but it does offer tours for visitors. And it wouldn’t be a Beacon Hill profile without mentioning the restaurant scene, which is noteworthy due to the elegant atmospheres and top-notch cuisine.
Beacon Hill is one cobblestone-filled, prestigious neighborhood that any Bostonian or outsider should take a day or two to soak up.