Aside from the academic firepower of Harvard and MIT and the financial heft of such firms as Fidelity Investments and General Electric, Boston prospers from a thriving tourism industry, feeding on its storied past. In Beacon Hill, it’s possible to see the former homes of Henry James and Louisa May Alcott. The Black Heritage Trail includes such pivotal Underground Railroad sites as the Lewis and Harriet Hayden House. And in nearby Charlestown, the 1780 Warren Tavern was once a stomping ground for Paul Revere. Among many other pursuits, Boston lends a certain scope to drinking.
Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston
Opened in 2006, the architectural wonder that is the new ICA building is a cornerstone of the Fan Pier waterfront development along Boston Harbor, exhibiting everyone from Laurie Anderson to Andy Warhol. In September, the cutting-edge work on view includes Barbara Kruger’s Untitled (Hope/Fear), from 2022.
Boston has 2,300 acres of parkland, including Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace, a pedestrian walkway that encompasses Back Bay Fens. Meanwhile, the history of Boston Common is the history of America itself, from George Washington celebrating American independence to civil-rights events led by Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Newbury Boston
Situated within the 1927 Boston Ritz-Carlton building, The Newbury hotel is an axis of intelligent pleasure. The day begins with views of the Boston Public Garden, an eternal grace. The library features coffee and scholarly books on African-American poetry. From morning to night, from the curated art collection to the rooftop Contessa restaurant, The Newbury serves as a true refuge.
Boston is home to many acclaimed female chefs, starting with Karen Akunowicz of Fox & the Knife, which features such delectable dishes as whole branzino with salsa verde. And Tiffani Faison helms the seafood restaurant Dive Bar at High Street Place, a food hall opened last year with a symbol of female power, Mayor Michelle Wu.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
On January 1, 1903, Isabella Stewart Gardner opened her museum with John Singer Sargent painting away in the Gothic Room: Sargent’s work has remained in the collection. In 1990, 13 art pieces were stolen, and in 2012, the museum regrouped with a Renzo Piano addition. The Gardner endures, forever defined by an improbably beautiful inner courtyard.