Boston has so much culture, history and traditional classic style. But what to do if you only have 24 hours in this distinctly New England city? Well, we have you covered with some of Boston’s finest places to relax, eat, shop and soak in the culture
SHOPS & GALLERIES
Opened eight years ago by stylish New Englander Jill Goldberg, who attributes her relaxed design sensibility to years spent living in L.A., this chic shop claims the “Traditional, Country and Vintage Meets Modern” approach to home design. New this year is the Hudson Discovers program, which spotlights emerging artisan-designers around the country.
International Poster Gallery
Celebrating 20 years on Newbury Street, this world- class gallery boasts more than 5,000 original posters from Toulouse-Lautrec to mid-20th century “Mad Men” designs for travel, sports, wine and spirits, war propaganda and more. Smaller graphics and luggage labels from the interwar golden age of travel make nice gifts.
Robert Klein Gallery
Established in 1980 by a major force in the photography world, this long-standing Back Bay dealer has shown many of the art form’s biggest names. Offerings range from 19th century pioneers like Charles Aubry to contemporary talents such as Doug & Mike Starn.
Open (albeit not always as a Taj) since 1927, this 273-room hotel across from the Public Garden evokes patrician-style Boston living with its gilded décor and impressive collection of antiques and fine art. Services like free overnight shoeshines add to the air of a traditional, well-furnished private home.
Mandarin Oriental, Boston
This 148-room hotel strikes a contemporary note with its sleek, Asian-inflected styling. Service is excellent, and the treatments and quartz-crystal steam rooms at the world-class spa (the only five-star spa in Massachusetts) might be worth the booking alone.
There’s often a line outside this classic-styled North End raw bar, which honors Boston’s seafood tradition as well as anyone. The oyster menu is comprised mostly of super-fresh Maine and Massachusetts varieties. Crab claws and the heaping, butter- slathered lobster roll are favorites, too.
The Butcher Shop
Daily specials are scrawled on chalkboards at this unpretentious meat-lover’s wine bar. It’s an actual butcher shop as well, selling alternative cuts such as offal, marrow and tongue. Things get lively in evening, when top-quality charcuterie is served on simple brown-paper placemats for those lucky enough to snag a seat.
Outfitted with antique décor—zinc bar, globe lamps— this nostalgia-tinged French brasserie in the South End serves updated fare such as French onion soup with truffled beef short ribs, sautéed trout and a succulent rotisserie chicken with garlic-herb frites.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
A one-of-a-kind art viewing experience, envisioned by a Boston society woman who broke the mold. Open to the public since 1902, Gardner’s spectacular Venetian-inspired palazzo is a work of art unto itself. The extraordinary collection of over 2,500 pieces of art is notable for top-notch paintings and drawings of the Italian Renaissance. Titian’s “Europa,” which has been called the finest painting this side of the Atlantic, is a must-see.
The restorative offerings at this chic relaxation center in Battery Wharf range from various massages to acupuncture and reflexology. Exhale also offers fitness classes (including Core Fusion and barre), a wonderfully detoxing hammam and a handful of therapy rooms with water views. There is a second location in Back Bay.