Winter in Boston means snow, cold, and more snow. However, that’s no reason not to visit. In fact, given that Boston’s winters can stretch well into parts of the calendar that are typically categorized as spring, chances are, if you are traveling to Boston anytime between October and April, it’s probably going to be chilly when you are there. No worries, there is still plenty to do in Boston with or without all that white stuff.
Boston has a variety of accommodations from your standard chains to houseboats. Below are two of the hotel options that could only be found in Boston:
21 E. Concord St.
Boston, MA 02118 USA
When Dympna and James immigrated to the US from Ireland in 1981, it certainly wasn’t to open a bed and breakfast. A lawyer and a doctor, they first spent several years in rural West Virginia and then the Eastern seaboard before eventually ending up in Boston. This charismatic couple will make you feel right at home at their beautiful 19th century Victorian rowhouse in the South End (a great area for restaurants). The communal sitting room is complete with a fireplace so it makes for a great place to get out of the cold and relax with a cup of coffee and a book. There are only 3 guestrooms, so be sure to make a reservation as early as possible.
15 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
At the XV Beacon both history and luxury are combined. With a variety of unusual amenities, including complimentary local car service in an eco-friendly Lexus and in-room fireplaces, the XV Beacon is a pleasant respite from the cold and blustery winter weather. The building itself is an example of the Beaux Arts architecture style from 1903 and the service is second-to-none (the hotel was named the best in the country by Condé Nast magazine in 2014). Prior to your visit, the staff will even see if they can locate pictures of your friends and family online and add these pictures to the frames in your room. During your stay, items that you like or dislike are noted and added to your file for your next visit (and most guests do return). With only 63 rooms and situated in a great location, a stay here will be unlike any other in Boston.
No one in Boston will say that this winter (or really any winter, for that matter) is easy but there is still plenty to do and see. In fact, the snow and cold will make you feel a bit like an arctic urban adventurer and not just one of the throngs of tourists that crowd the streets when the weather is nice!
190 Park Road
There are lots of places for downhill skiing around Boston and further north. However, for a nice day that doesn’t require a bunch of gear and involve lift lines and crowds, try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing at Weston Ski Track. Easily accessible from the city (even without a car as Uber drivers are plentiful in this area), you can rent skis or snowshoes and explore the 15km of groomed trails. A completely different experience than a downhill ski resort, you can amble along the paths through the woods and enjoy the quiet that comes from being out of the city and on foot. There are also lesson available for first time skiers. Snowshoeing is even easier and requires no instruction. Even better, with snowshoes, you aren’t restricted to the trails and can do a bit more exploring.
4 Yawkey Way
Boston, MA 02215
Regardless of the time of year, someone in Boston is talking about the Red Sox. And the weather sure isn’t enough to stop people from visiting the iconic ballpark. Tours operate daily on the hour, year-round and are worth the visit if you can’t make a Sox game while in town. The oldest major league baseball park still in use, little has changed since it opened. While historic the American Revolution sites throughout the city show the history of the United States, an argument could be said that Fenway Park holds the history of modern Boston. A truly world-famous sports park, regardless of whether you are a baseball fan or not, you will enjoy visiting this iconic space.
Boston is a city by the sea that eats from the sea! Seafood reigns supreme here so landlubbers beware. Lobster is so abundant that it appears on virtually every menu. Sure, you can find some chicken somewhere but why bother? It will never be what this city is known for.
323 Hanover Street
Boston, MA 02113
If there is one place you must eat before you die, this is it. A tiny, shoebox restaurant with 20 chairs (you may have to share your table with others); the open kitchen takes up the majority of the space. The smell of fresh garlic fills the air and draws customers in from the cold. Of course, if there are no available chairs, they are shooed back out the door to wait on the sidewalk as there is not an inch of space to spare. No menus, no plates, no glasses, no credit cards, no frills, just great seafood cooked in Italian-American style. Wine is served in plastic cups and your entree will come to you still hot from the stove in the metal skillet it was prepared in. Homemade calamari black pasta is a specialty here and not to be missed. So just dig in, don’t worry about the decor, and enjoy the food – that is what this place is all about.
550 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116
New England seafood classics are served at this modern oyster bar. Take a seat at the bar rather than one of the tables so you can watch the chefs prepare the dishes and shuck the oysters. With a constantly rotating variety of oysters available, you are sure to enjoy fresh, regional bivalves served on the half shell. This is also a great place to start the night with an imaginative appetizer menu and a nice selection of wines available by the glass. However, should you stay for a full dinner, it will not disappoint. Whether you get the New England famous lobster roll (which is particularly good here) or a more artfully prepared entree, the bustle of the chefs, wait staff, and customers brings a contagious energy that makes for a delicious experience.