Boston Neighborhoods

5 Ways to Spend a Rainy Day in Boston

What to do on rainy days in Boston, Massachusetts

Although it can be nice staying inside on a rainy New England afternoon, the wet weather hardly spoils Boston's lively activities. The city and the Greater Boston area have a variety of local treasures worth exploring for everyone!

We've made a list of rainy day activities and suggested places to visit in Boston:

Get lost in an independent bookstore. There's nothing like finding a good book to curl up with and read on a rainy afternoon. The first step? Finding a new book or two. Grab a coffee-to-go and head to the local bookstore in your neighborhood. Trident Booksellers & Café in Back Bay has become a well-known Boston institute for book lovers. If you're looking for a large selection, the Brattle Book Shop is one of the oldest used booksellers in the country. 

Find a new cozy brunch spot. Rainy days in Boston present great opportunities to check out brunch places that you haven't been able to try because of the long lines that typically appear on sunnier days. The Paris Creperie's food truck makes its rounds through Boston, but their café in Brookline is well worth visiting with friends for fresh crepes and Nutella chocolate drinks. If you're looking for a healthier brunch option, head to Za, a restaurant that makes pizza and salad using seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients from local farms. Want more suggestions for brunch in Boston? Thrillist has you covered with the best brunches to try in Boston right now.

Hit the shops. Between Copley Place and The Prudential Center, you have plenty of stores to choose from to update your wardrobe. You'll find that there's a wide selection of luxury and contemporary brands available in Boston! If you're not in the mood to shop for clothes, you can always simply window shop or make your way to Barnes & Noble at the Prudential Center. 

Treat yourself to a spa day. If you know that your weekend plans may be rained out in advance, book a facial or massage in Boston! Take the opportunity to do some self-care and escape from stress for an hour or a half-day. We recommend Balans, the only all-organic spa in Boston, and Corbu at The Charles Hotel in the heart of Harvard Square. 

Check out the latest museum exhibits and explore Boston's smaller museums. Take advantage of living in Boston by exploring the incredible museums in the city! The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), the Museum of Science and the Harvard Museum of Natural History are some of the larger museums that are more likely to have active, rotating exhibits, but it's also worth visiting the smaller historical treasures Boston has to offer. Trinity Church, the Nichols House Museum, and the Paul Revere House are centrally located in Boston and are only a short walk away from downtown shops and restaurants.

U.S. News Ranks Massachusetts as #1 for Education

The U.S. News & World Report released their 2018 Best States report based on a total of 77 metrics

Using McKinsey & Company's Leading States Index, each state was assessed under eight major categories with the following weighted values:

 

Massachusetts earned the eighth spot in the overall state ranking. New Hampshire (#5) and Vermont #9 were the other states from New England who ranked in the Top 10. Here's how Massachusetts lined up in the 2018 Best States report:

  • Overall Rank: #8
  • Education: #1
  • Crime & Corrections: #5
  • Healthcare: #5
  • Economy: #9
  • Quality of Life: #25
  • Fiscal Stability: #40
  • Infrastructure: #45

Learn more about the full methodology and the other state rankings on the U.S. News & World Report website

Another study published earlier this year recognized Massachusetts as the "Best State to Raise a Family."

Parks and Green Spaces in Boston

With spring coming around the corner, Bostonians are getting ready to smell blooming flowers, see green grass and take in the warmer weather!

Residents and tourists are familiar with Boston Common and Public Garden, but there are more green spaces throughout the city. Smaller neighborhoods have corners of green gardens peppered on every other street, whereas other neighborhoods are in close proximity to large parks like Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park or the Wharf District Park.  

We've put together a short of list of parks and green spaces in some of our favorite Boston neighborhoods:

Back Bay-Beacon Hill

For everyone:

  • Copley Square
  • Public Garden

For playgrounds:

  • Clarendon Street Play Lot, 260 Clarendon Street
  • Myrtle Street Playground, 50 Myrtle Street
  • Phillips Street Play Area, 21 Phillips Street

Charlestown

For everyone:

  • Thompson Square, 111 Warren Street
  • Winthrop Square, 55 Winthrop Street
  • Mayor Menino Park, 1st Avenue Street Frontage

For playgrounds:

  • Caldwell Street Play Area, 9 Caldwell Street
  • Cook Street Play Area, 15 Hill Street
  • Harvard Mall, 29 Harvard Street

Downtown

For everyone:

  • Angell Memorial Square, 152-158 Congress Street
  • Bay Village Garden, 32 Melrose Street
  • Bay Village Neighborhood Park, 113 Charles Street South
  • Boston Common, 139 Tremont Street (location of tourist office)
  • Cardinal Cushing Park, 5 New Chardon Street
  • Christopher Columbus Park, 110 Atlantic Avenue
  • Copp's Hill Terrace, 520 Commercial Street
  • Faneuil Square, 1P Faneuil Hall Square
  • Lincoln Square, 2 Columbus Street
  • North Square, 1P North Square

For playgrounds:

  • Langone Park, 529-543 Commercial Street
  • Puopolo Playground, 517 Commercial Street

Fenway-Kenmore

For everyone:

  • Back Bay Fens, 100 Park Drive
  • Commonwealth Avenue Mall, 484 Commonwealth Avenue
  • Ramler Park, 130 Peterborough Street

For playgrounds:

  • Edgerly Road Playground, 6 Edgerly Road

Jamaica Plain

For everyone:

  • Arnold Arboretum, 125 The Arborway
  • Jamaica Pond Park, 507 Jamaica Way
  • Mahoney Square, 399P Centre Street
  • Nira Rock Urban Wild, 22 Nira Avenue
  • Olmsted Park, 217 Jamaicaway 

For playgrounds:

  • Forbes Street Playground, 60 Forbes Street
  • Mission Hill Playground, 60 Smith Street
  • Mozart Street Playground, 10 Mozart Street

For the complete list of parks and green spaces, visit The City of Boston's website.

Study Ranks Massachusetts as "Best State to Raise a Family"

Massachusetts ranks #1 Best State to Raise a Family according to 2018 study

Whether you're a young couple looking to build a family or a larger family seeking more opportunities, moving to the right place can be an overwhelming decision for anyone. Will there be relatives and friends nearby? How are the public schools for your children? Are there plenty of activities to engage different ages? Is the area you're interested in even affordable?

Massachusetts 2018 Best State to raise a family WalletHub published 2018’s Best & Worst States to Raise a Family to address many of these concerns. 

The WalletHub study evaluated each state based on 42 indicators of family-friendliness under five main categories—Family Fun, Health & Safety, Education & Childcare, Affordability, and Socio-economics. 

The highest average score between the five categories produced the overall rank.

The Results

Massachusetts, followed by Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Vermont are the top five ranking states. The lowest ranking states are Louisiana, West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, and New Mexico. Connecticut (#11) and Maine (#17) were the only other New England states to make the Top 20.

"States can make family life better—or worse—by taking steps to ensure quality childcare and education and by providing economic programs that support families," says Anne L. Alstott, Jacquin D. Bierman Professor in Taxation at Yale Law School. "Families are inevitably affected by the cost of living, by child care, and educational quality, and by policies like family leave and mandated sick leave. And facilities like public transportation, public parks, and affordable housing can all improve the quality of family life."

In addition to earning the top spot, Massachusetts ranked #3 for having the lowest infant mortality rate. However, Massachusetts was recognized as one of the least affordable childcare costs in the country at #48. 

Review the full WalletHub study to see the complete list of rankings, methodology and expert panel. 

In 2017, Boston ranked #8 on The 25 Best Places to Live in the U.S. for its strong job market opportunities, low unemployment rate, and high desirability to live in the New England city. 

 

5 Classic Boston Sports Bars

It's no secret that there are few sports fans that are as avid and loyal as Boston sports fans.

Each Boston neighborhood has its own spots, so it's hard to name every amazing sports bar in Beantown!

Here are five Boston sports bars that are tried-and-true places to grab a few beers and cheer on the Celtics, the Red Sox, and the New England Patriots:

The All-Star Line Up

Cask 'n Flagon, 62 Brookline Avenue (also located in Marshfield)

Claim to Fame: The Fenway staple has been serving Boston sports fans since 1969

The Fours Restaurant and Sports Bar, 166 Canal Street (also located in Norwell and Quincy)

Claim to Fame: Recognized as #1 Sports Bar in America by Sports Illustrated—a claim that no other local sports bar refutes

The Bleacher Bar, 82A Lansdowne Street 

Claimt to Fame: With a centerfield view of Fenway Park, it's hard to think of a better place for Red Sox fans to enjoy the ball game. The space was previously used as the visiting team’s batting cage, as well as field storage.

The Harp, 85 Causeway Street

Claim to Fame: In addition to being a favorite sports bar and restaurant steps away from TD Garden, The Harp hosts a variety of nightlife entertainment that is perfect for post-game celebrations

Parlor Sports Bar, 3 Beacon Street, Somerville

Claim to Fame: Named 2017 Best Sports Bar by Boston Magazine and known for having a well-curated beer and cocktail list 

More Suggestions for Boston Sports Bars:

Romantic Restaurants in Boston

Have you thought about where to go for a special date night in Boston?

Whether you're looking to plan Valentine's Day dinner or surprise someone you love for no reason, these Beantown restaurants check all the boxes for a romantic evening. 

The Classics

It's no surprise that the highly-recommended romantic restaurants in Boston are French—after all, it is one of the most romantic languages and cultures in the world. 

  • L'Espalier, French, 774 Boylston Street, Back Bay
  • No. 9 Park, Italian/French, 9 Park Street, Beacon Hill
  • Bistrot du Midi, French, 272 Boylston Street, Back Bay 
  • Mistral, French, 223 Columbus Avenue, South End
  • Tasca, Spanish Tapas, 1612 Commonwealth Avenue, Brighton

The Newcomers

Spoke Wine Bar, 89 Bennet Square, Somerville

Spoke Wine Bar has been around since 2013, but has been under new management since April 2017. Late founder and original owner Felicia “Flea” Foster had stepped away from the restaurant in 2015 as she dealt with her amyotrophic laterals sclerosis (ALS) diagnosis. Spoke reopened last spring with new owner Mary Kurth and new executive chef Eric Frier who sought to combine their new ideas with well-loved Spoke's legacy. Foster, who passed away in October 2017, is remembered for her many accomplishments, fierce spirit and opening one of America's Top 20 Wine Bars and a Somerville neighborhood favorite. 

Benedetto, Italian, 1 Bennett Street, Cambridge (inside The Charles Hotel)

When The Charles Hotel made the decision to close Rialto in June 2016, shortly after the departure of chef and owner Jody Adams, the restaurant space was leased and replaced by Michael Pagliarini, chef and owner of Giulia. An Umbrian native, Pagliarini and his wife Pamela Ralston invite customers to "experience the re-imagining of rustic Italian recipes with luxe ingredients and artisan bravado." If the main plates aren't enough to entice you, perhaps Boston Magazine's review of the "enchanted sugarscapes" crafted by pastry chef Renae Connolly will hit your sweet spot. 

Café Du Pays, French-Canadian, 233 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue, Cambridge

The same restaurant group behind State Park, Mamaleh's and Hungry Mother—which closed in 2015—opened the new French-Canadian restaurant in July 2017. If the established restaurant collection doesn't indicate a positive future for Café Du Pays, the restaurant has earned 2017 Restaurant of the Year and 2017 Top Best New Restaurant. Not convinced enough to make reservations? Read this review.

Additional Recommendations

Check out the Boston Chefs website for a more comprehensive list of Valentine's Day restaurant specials.

A Guide to Apartment Living in Boston, MA

Decide where you want to live in Beantown

 

Boston has so much to offer, but depending on your workplace or your situation, those factors impact your decision on which neighborhood you would like to live in. Also, it may be worth considering living outside of downtown Boston. According to an interactive map created by the founder of Mobyus, a mobile shopping service, over 310,000 commuters live within 20 miles of Boston. There are a number of towns that are easily accessible to Boston via commuter rail or the T if you want to avoid traffic.

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Prioritize the amenities you need for your lifestyle

 

Outside of your workplace, it’s important to ensure that your needs at home are met. What luxury amenities are you looking for? Would you want to have access to a fitness center in your apartment complex or would you rather go to a gym in your neighborhood? Is a shopping center within walking distance or will you take the T to run your daily errands? Do you currently have a pet (or two!) or are you planning on having a pet in the future?


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Personalize your new space

 

Once you have found your perfect Boston apartment, it’s time to add personal touches to throughout the space. Incorporating vintage accents in a modern space is a common approach to decorating Boston apartments because it brings the character of the historical New England city in your home.

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Top 15 Hotels in Boston Named in Conde Nast Traveler's 2017 Readers' Choice Awards

Boston has been getting a lot of attention lately.

With its well-established rapport in higher education and professional industries, as well as the growing opportunities in technology and business, Boston welcomes a positive influx of change that has revived the historical city center and the surrounding neighborhoods. According to the 2016 Boston Housing Report, greater Boston has experienced an even higher growth rate with young professionals moving to the area.

In addition to voting for the top 15 favorite hotels in Boston, Condé Nast Traveler readers ranked Boston as No. 5 for Top 15 Large Cities in the United States.

If you live already live in the city, or greater Boston area, it’s always good to know the hot spots in Beantown for family and friends who plan to visit or check out chic hotel bars, restaurants, and spas nearby.

Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards 2017

Here’s the list of top Boston hotels that impressed Condé Nast Traveler readers this year:

 

  1. Mandarin Oriental, 776 Boylston St

  2. XV Beacon, 15 Beacon St

  3. InterContinental Boston, 510 Atlantic Ave

  4. Kimpton Marlowe Hotel, 25 Edwin H. Blvd, Cambridge

  5. Hotel Commonwealth, 500 Commonwealth Ave

  6. The Boxer, 107 Merrimac St

  7. Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf

  8. The Langham Boston, 250 Franklin St

  9. Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel, 90 Tremont St

  10. Hyatt Regency Boston, 1 Avenue de Lafayette

  11. The Ritz-Carlton Boston, 10 Avery St

  12. W Boston, 100 Stuart St

  13. Lenox Hotel, 61 Exeter Street at Boylston

  14. Four Seasons Hotel Boston, 200 Boylston St

  15. The Liberty, 215 Charles St

 

The New England city has plenty of offer visitors who want to stay downtown, but Boston residents appreciate the how each neighborhood reflects its own unique character—there’s plenty to see beyond Faneuil Hall or FiDi, such as Brookline or Cambridge.

Read Condé Nast Traveler’s full list of 2017 Readers’ Choice award winners online.

Studio Apartments in Boston

A studio apartment is a rental unit with everything but the bathroom combined into one main room. It doesn’t contain any separate bedrooms. You may be interested in studio apartments for rent if you’re a single person who doesn’t require a lot of space; or are simply looking to save money. However, even studio rentals can provide luxurious accommodations. Longwood Residential rents and manages several luxury studio loft apartments that we encourage you to check out today.

How to Determine What You Can Afford to Spend on Rent

Food, transportation, and housing costs, make up nearly two-thirds of the budget for most people in the Boston area. However, financial experts recommend trying to cap these costs at 60%. With the high cost of living in Boston, we recommend that your annual salary be at least 40 times your monthly rent. This ensures that you can comfortably afford your monthly rent obligation. Be sure to look at all sources of income as well as all recurring and occasional expenses when creating your rental budget. Cheap apartments in Boston are hard to come by, but Longwood Residential studio rentals are your best bet in finding them.

Decorating a Small Apartment

Just because you rent a small space doesn’t mean you must give up your decorating style. Renters with limited space or funds can get quite creative in this department. Local flea markets are an excellent place to find vintage furniture, pottery, and glassware. You can even shop fabric stores to add chic style to curtains, older furniture, and other personal items in your studio apartment.

Where to Find Studio Apartments Near Me

Longwood Residential offers studio apartments in several of Boston’s finest neighborhoods. Please view our listings to learn more, or contact us directly with your questions. We will help you find the best small apartment for your price range, amenities desired, and neighborhood where you want to live.

Condos for Sale in Boston and Brookline!

Do you want the satisfaction of owning your own place without all the responsibility? Then purchasing a condo may be right for you. Condos for sale by Longwood Residential are individual units located within a building or multi-family home. You must get approved for a mortgage just as you would when buying a private home. You pay association dues in addition to your mortgage. These fees are mostly for maintenance of common areas. While you’re responsible for maintenance inside your unit, your condo association takes care of things such as landscaping and shoveling snow.

Luxury condos, such as those operated by Longwood Residential, are run by a board of directors. The board votes on, and enforces, rules that affect residents. You will want to learn about the condo board’s reputation before buying a condo. Also, you should know how much of a reserve fund the association has on hand to handle exterior upkeep.

Mortgage Rates and Luxury Accommodations

In January 2017, Curbed Boston reported condo rates ranging from $263 to $1,467 per square foot. You will find that prices for Longwood condos typically fall into this range. We mostly operate luxury condos with amenities that you won’t find at many others in the Boston area. Some of the amenities at Longwood condos include:

  • Private fitness clubs
  • Concierge services
  • On-site, underground parking
  • Rooftop swimming pools
  • Party rooms
  • Business suites
  • Package services
  • Private balconies
  • Valet services
  • In-unit wash machine and dryer
  • On-site retail stores
  • On-site play areas for children

We offer one, two, and three-bedroom condo options as well as limited studio-sized units. Most of our condos are in neighborhoods that are within walking distance to many of the things you need. Our buildings are also located in areas with excellent access to public transportation.

Which Boston Neighborhood is Right for You?

Deciding you want to buy a condo is just the first step. It can be a bit more challenging to find the amenities, price range, and neighborhood, that is just right for you. Longwood Residential offers condos for sale in more than a dozen Boston neighborhoods. Whether you have your heart set on Back Bay, Roslindale, or The Fenway, we can help you find the best Boston condo for you and your family. Feel free to start your search here or contact our office for assistance. We look forward to working with you.