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Find the Best Things to Do in Beacon Hill
Boston Local Expert
About Beacon Hill
Think Cobblestone Streets and brick town homes lining gas-lit, tree-lined sidewalks is a thing of the past? Check out Beacon Hill. One of Boston’s most famous zip codes is one of the most charming neighborhoods in the city. Rich in history and teeming with significance, Beacon Hill welcomes visitors to explore. Whether at the State House, prominently displayed above the Common, or along the charming streets within, the collection of small shops and eateries (most lining Charles Street) that dwell on the Hill allow residents the ability to stay in the neighborhood to meet most of their needs. Oddly enough, this expensive address is home to a few of Boston’s best dive bars, including the Beacon Hill Pub and the Sevens. Somehow, these lively nightspots only add to the charm of being on Beacon Hill.
The State House sits across from the Boston Common, overlooking the city from it’s Beacon Hill high spot. Built in 1798, the copper sheathed dome is covered in 23karat gold and sparkles upon the city it oversees.
Within these walls, bills are passed, legislation is made, and tours are given. Open to the public, 45 minute State House Tours are offered Monday through Friday between 10am and 3:30pm. Tours are free of charge but a reservation is requested. Walk through the halls while seeing elected lawmakers hard at work. Who knows, you may even catch a glimpse of the Governor.
Restaurants on the Hill range from simple sandwich shops to special occasion spots to amazing ethnic eateries. One local favorite Beacon Hill stop is Figs. This casual bistro concept from famed chef Todd English is the type of place you can pop into for lunch while touring the Hill or dawdle over dinner after a day of fun.
A menu filled with thin crust wonders loaded with toppings that are not typical to your corner pizza place, Figs is famous for offering an unusual twist to this classic dish. Pizza is not all you’ll find at Figs, simple salads, filling sandwiches, and sinful pasta dishes are also available, and are truly delicious.
Beacon Hill’s high rents don’t seem to make nightlife stay away. On the contrary, Beacon Hill is home to some of the best dive bars in the city. The Beacon Hill Pub is one such place that draws loads of 20 somethings to drink the night away. The casual environment screams “relax” and allows guests to let loose at the pop a shot machine or enjoy a game of Golden Tee. Cheap beer on tap or domestic by the bottle is the drink of choice for most of the people you’ll meet.
The former Charles Street Jail that is. Now known as the Liberty Hotel it lives at the foot of Beacon Hill and is the place to stay for those looking to enjoy the best of Boston’s nightlife. Some of Boston’s best bars (Alibi, Clink the Yard, Liberty Bar, and Catwalk) and one of the most talked about Italian restaurants (Scampo) call the Liberty Hotel home. All this, plus great views of the Charles River, and a Beacon Hill location make the Liberty Hotel a simple choice for fun.
With a plethora of possibly the most unique shopping in the entire city, Beacon Hill’s main drag, Charles Street, sets the stage for shoppers to buy. Home to antique shops, boutiques and even stationary stores, Charles Street has many “musts”, one of which is Red Wagon where you can indulge your inner child.
A favorite among city residents searching for that special something that can’t be bought in a big-box store. The selection of, apparel, toys and books changes regularly and allows for seasonal updates. This is a favorite for those seeking a gift that they know no one else will give (grandparents go ga-ga over the toys that are a blast from their past).