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The Top 10 Things to Do and See in Jamaica Plain, Boston

The Top 10 Things to Do and See in Jamaica Plain, Boston

Picture of Camille Carr-Harris
Updated: 9 February 2017
The Jamaica Plain neighborhood in Boston is home to parks and natural landmarks that are part of the Emerald Necklace. It is a diverse community that is the home to many college-educated professionals, artists, and political activists. With such an interesting population and geographic location, there are plenty of ways to keep busy in Jamaica Plain.

Exploring Jamaica Pond

Dive into the Boston’s natural beauty

Jamaica Pond was first included in Boston’s Emerald Necklace, a 1,100-acre chain of linked parks, in 1892. Watergoers can rent rowboats, kayaks, and sailboats from the Jamaica Pond Boat House to explore the pond, which is an average of 25 feet deep. It’s also possible to fish off boats in Jamaica Pond, making it the perfect family destination. All in All, Jamaica Pond, is a Central Park in the middle of Boston, and a great way to get your nature fix in the city.


Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 12pm-7:30pm, Fri-Sun 10am-7:30pm

Address and Telephone Number: 507 Jamaicaway, Jamaica Plain, MA, USA +617 522 5061


Tres Gatos

Colorful Spanish tapas restaurant and wine bar

Tres Gatos – the bookstore/cafe turned tapas bar – was rated among Boston’s Top 50 Restaurants by Boston Magazine. The book and record store in the back of the restaurant gives it an artsy, quaint atmosphere. Service is superb and the food served is very creative, ranging from spicy dill pickles to soft shell crab and vegetarian paella. This charming tapas place is the perfect place to go for any occasion ranging from a nice birthday dinner to curling up – gato style! – with a glass of red wine and a book.


Price: Mid-range

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 5:30pm-close Sat-Sun 10am-close

Watch out for: Patatas bravas, tortilla española

Address and Telephone Number: 470 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA, USA +617 477 4851


Forest Hill Cemetery

Boston’s premier garden cemetery

In addition to being a cemetery, the historic 275-acre burial ground is also a greenspace, arboretum, and home to a beautiful sculpture garden. It is the final resting place of author e.e. cummings, poet Anne Sexton, and suffragist Alice Stone Blackwell, as well as containing several famous statues and memorials including the Firemen’s Monument by renowned Nova Scotian sculptor John Wilson. With dozens of walking tours available every season, it’s easy to delve into the rich history of this splendid cemetery garden.


Address and Telephone Number: 95 Forest Hills, Boston, MA, USA +617 524 0128


Ten Tables

Intimate and cozy restaurant with a rustic charm

Serving locally sourced, fresh food from New England farms that is handpicked by the Ten Tables team and chosen with sustainability in mind: that’s the Ten Tables way. In accordance with the organic and fresh ingredients, the menu changes regularly as new foods come into season. The Chef’s Table section of the restaurant is a particularly great spot – customers can see the kitchen staff, and Chef Eric himself, in action.


Price range: Fine dining

Opening hours: Mon-Thur 5:30pm-10pm Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm Sun 5pm-9pm

Watch out for: Hanger steak, thai basil ice cream

Address and Telephone Number: 597 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA, USA +617 524 8810


Arnold Arboretum

Natural scenery in an urban setting

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead in 1872 and is part of Boston’s Emerald Necklace. It consists of 281 acres of greenery – its mission, to increase knowledge of the biology and evolution of woody plants. To shine a spotlight on one of the Arboretum’s highlights, the second Sunday in May is ‘Lilac Sunday,’ and the only day of the year that picnicking is permitted. All in all, the Arboretum is a scenic way to explore the nature side of urban Boston.


Opening hours: Mon-Sun 6am-7pm

Address and Telephone Number: 125 Arborway, Boston, MA, USA +617 524 1718


40 South Street

Boston’s best vintage store

40 South Street has had a reputation as being a hidden gem in Boston for the past three decades. The store offers customers an eclectic rotating collection of clothing and accessories from the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. Although stuck in the past with its stock, the store itself is perfectly technologically up-to-date: its website is top-of-the-line and its Etsy sales are incredibly popular.


Opening hours: Thur-Fri 1pm-7pm Sat 11am-6pm Sun 12pm-5pm

Address and Telephone Number: 40 South St, Jamaica Plain, MA, USA + 617 522 5066


J.P. Licks

Homemade ice cream café

Enjoy the legendary ice cream, frozen yogurt, and coffee at its original location in Jamaica Plain. J.P. Licks is as well known for its sweets as it is for the unique atmosphere it provides customers: service always comes with a smile! The continued excellence of the café led it to be chosen as the Small Business of the Year by the Boston Chamber of Commerce in 2006.


Price range: Budget

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 6am-12am

Watch out for: El Diablo flavor

Address and Telephone Number: 659 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA, USA +617 524 6740


Hallway Gallery

Platform for emerging artists

The Hallway Gallery, located on a narrow strip of commercial property, somehow manages to be simultaneously modern and vintage. The yellow and red paint job enhances the old-fashioned tin ceilings, while also creating an interesting, comfortable environment to view local art. The gallery space hosts quality shows from local artists, and is easily accessible to a wide variety of audiences ranging from serious artists to curious passer-bys.


Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10am-6pm

Address and Telephone Number: 66 South St, Jamaica Plain, MA, USA +617 818 599


Sam Adams Brewery Tour

For the love of beer

Boasting intelligent, witty tour guides, the Sam Adams Brewery Tour provides a chance to view the brewery process first-hand. Afterwards, visitors are encouraged to sample the speciality malts and smell the amazing whole-leaf noble hops. In addition, customers have the opportunity to learn about the Sam Adams: brewer, patriot and cousin of President John Adams.


Opening hours: Mon-Thur 10am-3pm Sat 10am-5:30pm Sun 10am-3pm

Address and Telephone Number: 30 Germania St, Boston, MA, USA +617 453 8687


Brendan Behan Pub

Irish pub with regular live music

Established in 1988, the Brendan Behan Pub has a well-deserved good reputation – it boasts superb customer service, incredibly fair prices, and a very impressive selection of beer. Customers can bring their own food to the bar and eat a home-cooked meal while talking to the incredibly knowledgeable bartenders and enjoying delicious craft beers and ales.


Price range: Mid-range

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 12pm-1am Sun 1pm-1am

Watch out for: Trivia nights

Address and Telephone Number: 378 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA, USA +617 522 5386