If you could afford to live in any area of Boston, the Back Bay would be it. It is the most expensive place to live in Boston with median rental prices at $2,600 and $4,170 for 1 and 2-bedroom apartments, as well as median home values of $957,705. The cost is mostly justified due to the amenities surrounding this posh section of Boston. Your green spaces rule as the Boston Common, Boston Public Gardens, Charles River Reservation, and Back Bay Fens ( watch out for Benders!) are all within walking distance. For your wee ones the Clarendon Street playground, at the intersection of Clarendon and Commonwealth Avenue, is hands down the best playground in the city with enough varied play structures to tucker out even the most vigorous parkour toddler.
As for upscale retail the Back Bay has its two indoor shopping centers in the Prudential/Copley shopping centers and everyone’s favorite tourist trap Newbury Street. Newbury Street is long, beautiful, picturesque, and dotted with must dine restaurants (Stephanie’s, Sonsie, L’Espalier). Upscale boutiques, 1%er fancy label shops-e.g Cartier/Chanel, art galleries, and much more draw throngs of shoppers and lucky loos here the moment it is above 50 degrees in Boston.
One of the main draw’s to living here is the ease of navigation. It gets a 96 out of 100 walkability score, has 3 MBTA train lines that run through it with multiple stops each, and has the Massachusetts Turnpike/Storrow Drive to easily glide out of the city. Granted Storrow drive is not always the friendliest road to navigate with exit signs seemingly popping out of nowhere and drivers that don’t always seem keen on letting one merge on or off. There is parking available in Bay Bay but it comes at a very high cost with spaces going for the cost of studio apartments in other neighborhoods. My recommendation would be to uber/lyft it around and if an out of town guest comes to visit to have them use Spothero to locate the cheapest garage space.
If religion or religious architecture are your bag then I recommend the scintillating Trinity Church with 21,500 feet of murals, Venetian Gothic style Old South Church, as well as the Christian Science Plaza ( the reflecting pool is for relaxing while taking in the Back Bay Skyline, not for washing ones feet aparrently!)
Perhaps you’ve had a bad experience with religion (looking at you Catholics!) then your soul can be saved amidst the limitless volumes of books of the Boston Public Library. Its main buildings include lavish decorations, stunning arched ceilings, and a central courtyard surrounded by a renaissance style gallery. The library regularly displays its rare works such as first edition Shakespeare!, often in exhibits that will combine works on paper, rare books, and works of art.
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