The Emerald Necklace is a string of parks that encircles Boston – it plays a big part in the city’s green reputation, and the best way to explore it is on foot, or take the T. So if you’re passing through the Massachusetts capital on a road trip, opt for a hotel with free parking. Here’s our pick.
The AC Hotel by Marriott reflects the new urban esthetic of Medford’s Station Landing neighborhood: the five-story high-rise in brick and concrete presides over a strip of trendy restaurants, retail, dining and luxury apartments. The industrial-posh vibe continues inside with grey-stained floorboards, minimalist sofas and mid-century-inspired pendant lights. A covered glass skyway takes you directly to the Wellington Square T station, five stops from downtown.
This boutique hotel on the banks of the Charles River immerses you in Boston’s innovative art scene, starting with the hypnotic geometric murals in the lobby. The public spaces and each of the 117 guest rooms feature original work, and the artists’ suites feature installations by local and international talents. The Drink in the Cosmos Space Suite by Jim Drain is a stellar space with lots of purple and orange, while the Top of Mind Runway Suite has fluid wallscapes by Sophia Ainslie.
The Hilton Garden Inn Logan Airport feels serenely removed from the commotion of the city, despite being a quick hop away by public transport. A stretch of blue harbor separates East Boston – or Eastie – from the Financial District. This blue-collar-meets-boho enclave attracts artists and immigrants from all over the world. Have lunch at one of the many family-run Mexican, Italian or Peruvian spots before exploring the converted warehouse galleries on the waterfront.
Settle in for any length of stay at the contemporary but homey TownePlace Suites in Chelsea. Each suite comes with a full modern kitchen featuring granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and a flat-top stove. Boston’s marquee attractions are minutes away on the Silver Line bus rapid transit system. Meanwhile, take a detour from the tourist trail to explore Chelsea’s Broadway Street, where classic brick storefronts have been taken over by thrift stores and taquerias.
Park, unpack and slip on your sandals. The Comfort Inn is not only handy for the airport – it’s near the beach, too. Graze on fried clams and hot fries while watching the waves roll in on Revere Beach – pronounce it re-vee-uh if you want to sound like a local. The Comfort Inn also houses Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant, a popular local chain famous for – what else? – margaritas, which come in an array of exotic colors, with names such as the naked jalapeño.
Enjoy the best of Boston without actually staying in Boston. Technically located in Somerville, the Holiday Inn Boston Bunker Hill Area is only steps from Sullivan –“Sully”– Square, one of the city’s biggest transportation hubs. Walk or pedal – you can take advantage of the public bike-share program – to the Charlestown Gaslight District or the hipster-haven of Union Square Somerville, home to the area’s first axe-throwing bar and the Maple Bacon Donut, as sold at Union Square Donuts.