Especially from New York and Washington, business trips to Boston are distinctly in-and-out affairs, rarely spanning a night. The flights are short, and the temptation to get back home is always powerful for road warriors. Well, if you have a few days’ business in the city or are willing to allow yourself a little time to check things out, take a look at the five essentials below. They’ll change your view of New York’s little sister forever.
1. Get a suite at the Colonnade: There’s no shortage of Back Bay hotels, but the Colonnade stands out. The friendly staff is what you’d expect in any up-market hotel, but it’s the small touches that make the difference. The room décor was thoughtful and tasteful, so when you’re up working until 3 AM, you won’t be offended by an institutional feel around you. Also, stop by Brasserie Jo in the morning for hot apple cider (by the way, dinner there is worth your time, too).
2. Dash over for breakfast at Fill-a-Buster: Whether your meeting is in the Back Bay or the Financial District, make time to get over to this Beacon Hill institution. It’s a small diner across Bowdoin Street from the capitol building and does look as unimpressive from the outside as within. Don’t let that deter you: Fill-a-Buster has the best breakfast sandwiches in the city. Nobody else is even close.
3. Meet for a cigar at Cigar Masters: I used to hit this cigar shop for lunch back when I worked in Boston and now it’s a mandatory stop for me whenever I hit my ol’ stomping grounds. It’s a great place to talk business or pleasure with like-minded puffers, and there is a solid selection of beer and wine on hand. Located on Boylston Street (a short walk from the Colonnade), it is the top cigar spot in the city.
4. Wait for your flight at Santarpio’s: Before going to Logan Airport to put Boston behind you, make some time to get a pizza at this East Boston institution. I just went back for the first time since leaving Boston in 2004 and was surprised to see a (relatively) fresh coat of paint and an expanded menu (there are actually a handful of toppings now!). The Santarpio’s grub is mind-blowing, and the staff and diners are mostly hard-core locals. If you’re looking for a taste of Boston, this is it. And, it’s a short cab ride up to the airport.
5. Tell the city how you feel: If the meetings you had didn’t go as planned, use your time near the airport (un)productively. Catch the National Car Rental shuttle, and walk out the airport’s back exit (the driver will scream at you, but in your mood, that won’t matter). Cross Maverick Street, and take the Harborwalk to the end, right next to the Hyatt. You’ll have a fabulous view of Boston that you can flip off and hurl invectives at. Get it out of your system; you’re about to go home.
Disclaimer: I spent two nights at the Colonnade on my last trip to Boston free of charge and with no expectation of coverage. My opinion is my own.
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