Town & Country's Summer Weekend Guide to Boston

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Photo credit: William B. Plowman - Getty Images
Photo credit: William B. Plowman - Getty Images


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When a city like Boston has been around since 1630, there are a lot of opinions about what to do there, and let's be clear, Bostonians have a lot of opinions. So yes, newcomers should definitely walk the Freedom Trail, take a boat out on the St. Charles, and walk around Cambridge to soak up Harvard's museums and buildings. But we like to give our summer trips a little Town & Country spin, like settling in at a restaurant where the caviar flows (Saltie Girl), catching Virgil Abloh's first-ever museum exhibit (and picking up the limited edition swag that goes with it), or restock your wardrobe from Boston society's not-so-secret closet (Alan Bilzerian). Below, the very T&C things to eat, do, shop, and see in Boston this summer.

Where to Stay

The Envoy Hotel

Boston summers can get hot and muggy, so insiders know to escape to the Seaport District, which has a constant, cooling breeze off the water. The Envoy’s modern rooms overlook the Boston waterfront and the rooftop bar is a hot spot on weekends. Easy walking distance to creature comforts like Equinox and La Colombe make it an ideal choice for people who like to keep up their everyday routines on vacation while still feeling immersed in the city.

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Where to Eat

Tatte Bakery & Cafe

Bostonians are obsessed with this Israeli-inspired café chain—get the shakshuka and an almond croissant and you’ll understand why.

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Coppa

The Italian-American culture in Boston is bustling and in your face in the best way, but if you’ve already strolled down the North End (and ideally snagged a cannoli from Mike’s), head over to this enoteca on the South End for that relaxed Italian feel that pairs so well with a long day of travel.

O Ya

This omakase sushi experience is located in a century-old fire station in Boston's historic Leather District and has bragging rights written all over it, not in the least because the sashimi, nigiri, and sake completely live up to the hype.

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Saltie Girl

Of Boston’s many culinary odes to seafood, cult-favorite Saltie Girl is a must. Start with the tinned fish and clam chowder, don’t skip the lobster roll, and yes, you should buy extra bags of the sea salt & vinegar chips for later.

What to Do

Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech at the Institute of Contemporary Art

Don’t miss the first museum exhibition on the artistic director of Louis Vuitton and founder of Off-White, Figures of Speech covers Abloh’s artistic oeuvre, spanning album covers and artwork to his best-known fashion. Abloh has also worked with students in the area, promoting diversity and creativity throughout Boston as part of his creative mission to change the status quo from the inside out. There is also a companion pop-up shop “Church & State” to snag limited edition pieces designed by Abloh himself.

Photo credit: Courtesy ICA Boston
Photo credit: Courtesy ICA Boston

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

The star of the Netflix docuseries, This is a Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist, and beloved Boston institution is worth visiting in any season. This summer, the Titian room, which features Titian’s Rape of Europa is being restored while the painting is on view at the Prado Museum. It returns to the Gardner in August, but enjoy an in-depth look at the room’s meticulous renovation (and a close-up of the to-die-for Prelle wallcoverings) if you go before.

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Fenway Park

This is not on the list for sports people. Sports people already know they should go to Fenway Park and have probably been yapping about the “Green Monstah” for weeks ahead of this trip. For those who have little interest in the great American pastime, you should still go. The stadium holds a lot of vintage charm that goes along way to understanding “why baseball.” Embrace the low of your high-low mix with a hotdog and a beer and we promise you’ll have a good time—just for the love of God, don’t wear anything that could even resemble Yankees colors because some people really, you know, do baseball over here.

Photo credit: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox - Getty Images
Photo credit: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox - Getty Images

Boston Pops Orchestra

Even pop music has been around in Boston since 1900. The Boston Pops Orchestra (an offshoot of the Boston Symphony Orchestra) hosts several shows throughout the year with lighter, more contemporary music. This summer, John Williams’ Film Night is on Friday, August 13.

Where to Shop

Brattle Bookshop

Established in 1825 and located near the Boston Common, this bibliophile’s haven has three floors packed with books. Make a beeline for the third floor, where the most rare and valuable tomes are kept.

Photo credit: Karen Kasmauski - Getty Images
Photo credit: Karen Kasmauski - Getty Images

Alan Bilzerian

Alan Bilzerian is a glorious holdout from a bygone era when certain boutique owners commanded the sartorial world (think of New York’s Jeffrey). Not only is it stocked with Pleats Please by Issey Miyake, Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester and the like, but its own private label is made in-house and is chock full of elevated basics that are totally worth re-organizing your suitcase to take home a new Bostonian-approved wardrobe.

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