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How to spend a weekend in Boston, from Fenway to food

The Massachusetts capital offers plenty to do both

The Massachusetts capital offers plenty to do both on and off the Charles River. Photo Credit: Kyle Klein

Boston — one of the oldest cities in the United States — is a scenic four hours by train from Penn Station. Here’s how to see the Massachusetts capital in a weekend.

Attractions old and new

Boston is easy to explore by foot thanks to its compact layout. Stroll through Beacon Hill, a central neighborhood known for gaslit streets and Federal-style rowhouses, before heading to Boston Common, the city’s landmark park.

From there, follow the red lines painted on the ground that trace the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail (617-357-8300, thefreedomtrail.org), which leads to 16 historic sites, including the popular Paul Revere House and the Old North Church.

For a scenic route, the Charles River is lined with paths for cyclists and runners. From Allston, book a one-way canoe excursion at Paddle Boston (from $15/hour; 1071 Soldier’s Field Road, 617-965-5110, paddleboston.com) across the river to Cambridge, home to Harvard and M.I.T., independent bookstores and museums.

Once dominated by warehouses, Boston’s waterfront Seaport District is flourishing, with new residential high-rises and cultural attractions, including the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (admission $15, $13 seniors, $10 students, FREE ages 17 and younger, closed Mondays; 25 Harbor Shore Drive, 617-478-3100, icaboston.org), which hosts rotating exhibitions and performances; and Harpoon Brewery (306 Northern Ave., 617-456-2322, harpoonbrewery.com), where you can tour the original factory and sample brews in the tasting room.

Boston abounds with markets. Highlights include the South End’s long-running SoWa Open Market (Saturdays and Sundays, April through October; 530 Harrison Ave., sowaboston.com), which features food trucks and stands selling designer crafts and local produce, while downtown’s year-round, indoor Boston Public Market (100 Hanover St., 617-973-4909, bostonpublicmarket.org) is home to vendors selling products from all over New England.

If you time it right, you will be able to catch a game at Fenway Park, the oldest stadium in baseball and since 1912 the home of the Boston Red Sox (4 Yawkey Way, 877-733-7699, boston.redsox.mlb.com). Seats atop the left field wall, aka the Green Monster, are still among the most coveted.

Buzzy restaurants

Start the day at Pavement Coffeehouse (multiple locations, pavementcoffeehouse.com) for drip coffee and kettle-boiled bagels, or downtown’s George Howell Coffee (505 Washington St., 857-957-0217, georgehowellcoffee.com) for cold brew and Union Square Donuts.

At Saltie Girl in Back Bay (closed Mondays; 281 Dartmouth St., 617-267-0691, saltiegirl.com), sample sustainably sourced seafood such as fried oysters and charred octopus. In the burgeoning Seaport District, Committee (50 Northern Ave., 617-737-5051, committeeboston.com) serves Mediterranean meze. In Fenway, Hojoko (1271 Boylston St., 617-670-0507, hojokoboston.com) offers a late-night spot for fresh takes on sushi.

For dessert, get cannoli from Mike’s Pastry (300 Hanover St., 617-742-3050, mikespastry.com) or dairy-free ice cream in flavors including cold brew at FoMu (655 Tremont St., 617-982-7955, fomuicecream.com).

Hip hotels

The Envoy Hotel (70 Sleeper St., 617-338-3030, theenvoyhotel.com), the first hotel to open in the Seaport District, has a rooftop bar overlooking the harbor. The new Godfrey Hotel Boston (505 Washington St., 617-804-2000, godfreyhotelboston.com) is near Boston Common.

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