best area to stay in Boston without a car

The Best Area to Stay in Boston For A Fun Family Vacation

Looking for the best area to stay in Boston? Choose among our list of the perfect family-friendly neighborhood in this historic city and make the most of your getaway. Creating your itinerary has never been easier with our simple guide below.

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Best Area to Stay in Boston with Kids

1. Downtown

If you’re looking for a place full of sleek spots and historic sites in Boston, Downtown is definitely the way to go! The area is famous for being the city’s tourist center and business district. With that, your family will never fall short of luxurious hotels and other comfortable accommodations to choose from.

Downtown also has plenty of T stops, providing travelers commuting convenience all throughout the city. And don’t forget to have your tummy ready as the place offers a wide variety of restaurants ready to fill you with delicious goodness! This bustling place comes with ample attractions that you can explore with your family. It’s also a great place to stay and bed down if you’re planning to explore the entire city.

Hotel/hostel recommendations: Four Seasons Hotel

Downtown
Photo credit: fourseasons.com

Four Seasons Hotel is among the most reputable family-friendly hotels in Boston. They offer complimentary cookie-making classes and even have a dedicated “Raid the Fridge” event for kids every Saturday. The hotel also has an indoor pool and a variety of pool toys children can use. Not to mention they have babysitting services to give you enough time for yourselves.

What to do/see here

Explore the heart of America’s revolutionary history. You and your kids can walk around the Freedom Trail and visit some of the 16 historic sights of the area. Or you can enjoy the splash fountain in Rose F. Kennedy Greenway, especially during summer. A swan boat ride in the Public Garden is also a good idea when traveling with children.

2. North End

The North End is perfect for those who want a more exotic and vintage vibe for their travel. Being the oldest neighborhood in Boston, the place offers a distinct atmosphere and an array of historic sites. You can even just go around its maze of narrow streets and experience a slice of Italy in the area! And did we already mention it’s about 420 years old?

With gorgeous architecture, cobblestone roads, and the delicious aroma of the Italian food filling the streets, what‘s there not to love here? Note, though, that there are only a few available accommodations around the neighborhood. So, it’s best to book ahead or just visit and go around the area for a family day.

Hotel/hostel recommendation: Residence Inn Boston Harbor on Tudor Wharf

Residence Inn Boston Harbor on Tudor Wharf
Photo credit: marriott.com

This is an all-suite property that has lovely Boston Harbor views you can enjoy in comfort. They’re pet-friendly and even offer grocery shopping services for your convenience. The hotel also has a complimentary breakfast buffet and evening socials every Monday to Thursday. Plus, they have a heated indoor pool the kids can enjoy.

What to do/see here

The place is rich in history so you can have a quick visit with your kids at the Old North Church and the Paul Revere House. If this seems lame for your little adventurers, you can simply explore the hearty Italian cuisines on the streets of Little Italy. Just a pro-tip, you can get free samples at Captain Jackon’s Historic Chocolate Shop and Regina Pizza! The area also has pirate-themed games at Room Escapers.

3.Seaport District

Once a mere stretch of fishing docks full of parking lots, the Seaport District has now become the hottest area in Boston! This section of the city was just a humble waterfront until a few years ago when it suddenly became the largest development in Boston. Its main selling point was its then-undiscovered gorgeous harbor and skyline views that are surely breathtaking. Today, the bustling Seaport District is filled with different hotel options and trendy restaurants for all travelers from different countries. What’s more, it’s actually close to Downtown Boston, allowing you to easily access the area should your family decide to explore the city a bit more. Overall, it’s a great place for a short getaway.

Hotel/hostel recommendation: InterContinental

InterContinental
Photo credit: icbostonhotel.com

Westin Waterfront offers comfortable rooms that’ll definitely get you and your family a good night’s sleep. As you wake up, take some time to look at the window and admire among the most beautiful views in the area. And for those who are wondering, they also have a heated indoor swimming pool and a whirlpool the little ones can splash on.

What to do/see here

Before enjoying the beautiful skyline views of the Seaport District, you can roam around the area first with your family. Visit the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) or the Children’s Museum. Those with older kids can also check out the Lawn on D.

4. Beacon Hill

A delightful neighborhood that will surely bring out the bourgeois in you, Beacon Hill is a perfect place for family photo opts! This residential area is among the most popular places in Boston due to its unmatched charm. Its narrow cobblestone streets and stately homes, along with the aesthetically pleasing streetlamps just shout luxury! And with that, it may be among the most expensive neighborhoods in the city. Most houses have been built and preserved since the 18th and 19th centuries, being the home of the Boston Brahmin. These are aptly paired with a fabulous commercial strip for shopping and dining. Not to mention, being among the oldest places in the city, Beacon Hill is also full of history waiting for you and your family to explore.

Hotel/hostel recommendations: The Liberty

The Liberty
Photo credit: marriott.com

The Liberty is one of the preserved jewels of Beacon Hill. Enjoy the vintage elegance of this historic landmark and travel in style with your family. They even provide free seasonal bicycle rentals and yoga classes for guests.

What to do/see here

You’ll never run out of things to explore in Beacon Hill. Take a peek outside the Massachusetts State House or visit their private library called Boston Athenaeum and admire its sophisticated decorations along with its extensive book collection. And your kids will surely love to join their storytime with stuffed animal friends. Also, do yourself a favor and don’t miss out on their cute Make Way for Ducklings statue. If you love shopping crafts, you can sweep by Charles Street before heading back to your place. Lastly, you might want to visit during winter and see this marvelous place blanketed by the white snow.

5. South End

Moving on to the South End area of Boston lays the outer reaches. Away from the crowd, this neighborhood is mostly residential and may not be for you if you’re into the usual tourist attractions. But if you and your family love art and food, this is definitely a perfect place to stay. Boston’s South End offers a vibrant art scene any artist shouldn’t miss. They have a dozen galleries, open studio events, and even a market for artists! This place specifically has a creative vibe that can surely capture the heart of those who have a passion and love for art. So, if you consider your family as among these and given that walking isn’t a deal-breaker, this is great for you to tap into your imagination and appreciate people’s creative work. This makes it the best area to stay in Boston without a car.

Hotel/hostel recommendation: AC Hotel by Marriott

AC Hotel by Marriott
Photo credit: marriott.com

AC Hotel by Marriott is a 4-star hotel that’s perfect for families. It has a sleek and pretty forward design aimed to provide maximum comfort to all guests. Not to mention that it is conveniently located near various tourist destinations.

What to do/see here

This area in Boston is pretty straightforward as it’s mostly a special place for artists. If you consider your family as those with creative spirits, you’ll surely love going to the Boston Center for Arts and SoWa Farmer’s market which is the most active art district in the city.

6. Waterfront

When you think of the city of Boston, this area is probably the first to come to your mind. Just East of North End’s Little Italy rests the famous Waterfront that offers exceptional views of the Massachusetts Bay. This neighborhood is also a part of Boston Downtown but is especially famous for its series of wharves lined with walkways. The place is full of luxury hotels and many different attractions you can explore with your family, making it the best area to stay in Boston.

Hotel/hostel recommendation: Marriott Long Wharf

Marriott Long Wharf
Photo credit: marriott.com

Stay in Marriott Long Wharf and you’ll never fall short on phenomenal views. They also have a small, heated indoor pool that not only the kids can enjoy but also adults who’d love to take a dip at the stunning view of the marina. And need I say it’s perfectly located near Downtown, other tourist sites, and the airport? Prepare for the hefty price tag, though, as this beauty doesn’t come cheap.Hotel/hostel recommendation: Marriott Long Wharf

What to do/see here

The views in the HarborWalk trails are undeniably breath-taking but it also comes with a lot of family-friendly attractions you can visit. Let your children enjoy watching the colorful aquatic creatures as they swim around the New England Aquarium or perhaps take them to the Boston Tea Party Museum. Other fun activities like boat tours and whale watching cruises are also available nearby.

7. Back Bay

The home of Boston’s tallest skyscrapers and fabulous commercial strips, Back Bay is definitely the place for first-time visitors. Roam around with your family in its exceptionally orderly avenues that are parallel to each other. Talk about elegance and organization! This sophisticated place is also surrounded by a good selection of lovely restaurants, shopping, and hotels. There are even ample sights and architectural gems nearby. Back Bay is just the best of both worlds. Not to mention, they have stroller-friendly streets!

Hotel/hostel recommendation: The Westin Copley Place

The Westin Copley Place
Photo credit: marriott.com

The Westin Copley Place offers modern and spacious accommodations perfect for families. The hotel includes kids’ menus and even gives a free welcome gift for all the little travelers! It’s a great place to relax and recharge before facing another exciting day.

What to do/see here

When in Back Bay, there’s no way you can miss its centerpiece, the Copley Square. With it are two of the most visited places- the Trinity Church and Boston Public Library- that you can also check out with your family. And for some extra fun, go to Esplanade Playspace just along the Charles River. The little ones and those young at heart will surely have a blast!

8. West End

marriott.com

Hotel/hostel recommendation: Kimpton Onyx Hotel

Kimpton Onyx Hotel
Photo credit: onyxhotel.com

Kimpton Onyx Hotel is actually located on the side street of the North End district. But it still makes a great accommodation for those families strolling around the West End as the area is only a few walks away from the North End and Downtown neighborhoods. It is also near the famous TD Garden as well as the North Train Station, making it a convenient place to stay.

What to do/see here

If you’re a fan of basketball, this would be a great place to visit as you pass on to your kids the love for this sport. It boasts the TD Garden which is where the famous Boston Celtics play! You can also opt to explore the Museum of Science and be amazed by their 700 interactive exhibits plus indoor zoo.

best area to stay in Boston

Conclusion

And there you have it- the 8 different neighborhoods that you can choose from based on your preferences. We hope this list has helped you pick the best area to stay in Boston and have fun with your kids.

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