Logo   Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts
The 19th-century residential and commercial heart of western Boston.




Boston's Back Bay, once a breadth of calm water in the Charles River, was filled with soil during the late 1800s so the city could expand westward from Beacon Hill and Boston Common (map).

Laid out with straight streets on a grid plan, the Back Bay became a prime residential and commercial area.

Today it has a large number of the city's best hotels. More...

Back Bay's main east-west residential axis is stately Commonwealth Avenue (map), which begins at the Public Garden and extends westward for several miles. In the Back Bay it is a shady mall—a narrow, extended park really—that's an important element in Frederick Law Olmsted's Emerald Necklace of parks and greenways extending through Boston.

To the north of Commonwealth Avenue and parallel to it are the residential thoroughfares of Beacon Street and Marlborough Street.

Back Bay's main east-west commercial axis is Boylston Street (map) to the south of Commonwealth Avenue, with shops, office towers, hotels and the Hynes Convention Center.

Newbury Street, between Commonwealth Avenue and Boylston Street, holds boutiques, restaurants and cafes, and stately old townhouses. It's the place for upscale boutique shopping, cafe-sitting and people-watching. More...

Back Bay Station, two blocks south of Copley Square along Dartmouth Street, just over the (underground) Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), serves both Amtrak intercity trains and MBTA Commuter Rail suburban trains.

—by Tom Brosnahan

Hotels in Back Bay

Commonwealth Avenue

Emerald Necklace

Hynes Convention Center

Kenmore Square

Back Bay Fens


Finding Your Way in Boston

What to See & Do in Boston

Boston Hotels

About Boston


Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


La Voile French Restaurant, Back Bay, Boston MA

La Voile, a French restaurant on Newbury Street in Back Bay, Boston MA.





FTP on Facebook    
Pinterest    Twitter