Monday, May 22, 2017

Tall Ships Sail Into Boston June 17-22

Boston is a city rich in history that extends to the sea. Celebrate this maritime history with Sail Boston. 

Sail Boston returns this June 17-22 for the largest gathering of Tall Ships in Boston since 2000. The last event held in 2009, while spectacular, did not include the beloved "Parade of Sails."  However, this year promises to deliver not only on scale and breadth, but also on the “Ohs and Ahs” that come from seeing the Boston Harbor filled with 30+ ships “peacocking” with all sails raised. A majestic sight indeed and not to be missed!
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The event is also the only American stop for the Rendez-vous 2017 Regatta, honoring the 150th Anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. The race is set to begin in the UK and end in Canada, with stops in Portugal and Bermuda.

There will be plenty of activities and events as millions of people are expected to turn out. So get your pirate flag ready to fly! But before you unleash mutiny on Boston Harbor, read this helpful reference on the different types of tall ships. Do you know your Brig from your Brigantine?
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June 17th: The Grand Parade of Sails, of course. The event begins with vessels arriving from Bermuda and falling into formation as they make their way to their berths.

June 19th: The crew and cadet street parade: hundreds of sailors will stroll through Boston.

June 17-21st: Ships are open for visitor boarding.

June 17th and June 21st: Fireworks!
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There are numerous maritime vendors who are offering special cruises and sails to paying customers to get up close and personal while on the water. Choose from viewing cruises, sunset cruises, dinner cruises – the Harbor is your oyster!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Take a Day Trip to Provincetown

Now that the warm weather is here, a visit to Provincetown (located on the famous Cape Cod) is a must. "P-town," as it is affectionately called is just a ferry ride away from Boston, and if you choose the speed ferry, you can arrive in the heart of Provincetown in just 90 minutes. There are endless things to do in P-town, no matter what your interests are.

Are you an outdoor enthusiast? Almost 3/4 of the entire town is preserved in its wilderness state through the Cape Cod National Sea Shore. Explore the magnificent sand dunes and beaches that wind through Cape Cod Provinceland Trails. This 5.25 mile loop will take you through cranberry bogs, beaches, sand dunes, marshes, and salt water kettle ponds. It also is a fantastic workout as the trail is known for its hills. A definite summer highlight for anyone who visits this unique nature wonderland will be the sand dunes topped with tall waving grass with and an ocean view.

One extension off of the Provinceland Trails is Race Point Beach. This beach is the highest point of the Cape, and is known as the best beach in the town. Not only is the water crystal clear, but on good days you can see whales and seals at the surface. This beach is very large as well, so there is always room for everyone. P-town is famous for its sand dunes, and Race Point Beach certainly does not lack them. The entire beach is surrounded by them, and provides some of the most stunning views in the cape.

If you love to shop and eat great seafood, venturing down to Commercial Street in Provincetown is the place for you. There is a wide variety of shops that sell everything from clothes, to furniture, to various Cape Cod novelties. One of the most popular stops is the Shell Shop. Everything in the store is made from sea shells, and will provide you with some of the most unique souvenirs around.

Make sure to leave time for a meal as some of the best seafood in New England can be found at little seafood shacks that line the edge of Commercial Street. Get an amazing lobster roll or mouthwatering scallops and take a walk along the pier.

Extend your day trip into a weekend and stay at the White Porch Inn. This boutique bed and breakfast and art hotel is what the Boston Globe refers to as "beachy-chic." This gorgeous inn is located just steps from Commercial street and is the perfect place to relax after a day of taking in the beach.
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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Spring Inspired Cocktails that are Sure to Wow

As the leaves turn green and the flowers start to blossom, I’m sure we can all feel the invigorating northern breeze announce that spring is here! A sudden burst of energy, new projects, exciting plans; there is a lot to embrace now that cool air and sunshine have settled in. In order to properly celebrate the new season and your renewed sense of self, make sure you try one of these spring cocktails. 


Sparking Strawberry Cocktail - This is a refreshing summer cocktail with fresh strawberries accented by sparkling wine.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Sangria - The strawberry-rhubarb duo escapes its typecast role as pie filling to star in a sparkling sangria that will be the hit of your next party.

White Nixon Cocktails - Ruby red grapefruit juice and a special tea blend that includes white tea and lavender, make this vodka cocktail bright and refreshing.

Honey-Vanilla Spritzer - Nothing welcomes guests for an outdoor party like a spritzer. Made with or without wine, they make refreshing, elegant coolers.

Rose Grapefruit Cocktail  - This citrusy cocktail, perfect for sipping on a spring evening.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Best Boston Brunch Spots for Mother's Day

Mother's Day is just a few weeks away. If you haven't chosen a spot to take mom, don't panic we've got you covered with a list of places that will have her smiling all day.

The Beehive - 541 Tremont St, Boston

Located down the street from Clarendon Square, the Beehive is the perfect brunch spot. This year for Mother's Day, they are hosting a special two course brunch for $48. Special menu items include eggs benedict, smoked salmon, and skirt steak. And of course no trip to the Beehive is complete without a cocktail. We strongly recommend the lavender margarita.

The Gallows - 1395 Washington St, Boston

The Gallows is another spot very close to Clarendon Square. This gastropub boasts a unique menu and cocktail list that has made it a local favorite. Every Saturday and Sunday they offer their brunch menu which includes a lobster gyro, avocado toast, and their famous poutine. This is perfect for Mother's Day brunch if you are looking for a funky and eclectic space with delicious food.

Sonsie - 327 Newbury St, Boston

Sonsie, a Boston brunch staple, is located on the bustling Newbury Street. After taking mom shopping at one of Newbury Street's many boutiques, stop in to Sonsie for a delicious bistro experience. Pair your bloody mary with prime rib hash, spinach frittata, or a pastrami ruben.

Aquitaine - 569 Tremont St, Boston

Another South End favorite, Aquitaine is a chic French restaurant located about a 7 minute walk from Clarendon Square. Their brunch menu includes a black truffle omelette, french toast, and mussels. Be sure to grab one of their delicious mimosas.

Stephi's on Tremont - 571 Tremont St, Boston

We couldn't forget Stephi's on Tremont when listing our favorite brunch spots. Stephi's is a favorite of Clarendon Square due to it's proximity to us and delicious menu items. Some brunch favorites are the crab cakes and the pulled pork enchiladas. Stephi's is also known for its bloody marys. You can add a variety of toppings to it such as bacon.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Best Boston Bars for Watching a Red Sox Game

Spring and the Red Sox season are upon us! With that comes gorgeous flowers in the Boston Public Garden and countless opportunities to catch a Red Sox game. If you are unable to attend the game at Fenway, or want to watch an away game, there's nothing like enjoying it at a bar or pub with local Bostonians. We've rounded up our favorite spots for grabbing a beer and a bite to eat while cheering on the Sox.

Clery's - 113 Dartmouth St, Boston

Located right around the corner from Clarendon Square, this Back Bay favorite features delicious food and cocktails. Their menu has traditional bar food like wings and nachos. They also offer twists on favorites like their truffle-curry fries and buffalo chicken mac and cheese. This is the perfect neighborhood spot to catch a game with locals.

Cask 'n Flagon - 62 Brookline Ave, Boston
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ESPN has voted the Cask 'n Flagon one of the top baseball bars in the country so of course this made our list. Located steps from Fenway Park, this is the perfect venue to watch a Sox game. You can feel the energy from the park radiating throughout the bar. With great bar snacks and plenty of beers on tap, you can't go wrong with Cask.

Baseball Tavern - 1270 Boylston St, Boston

This unique space has a spectacular roof deck modeled after Fenway Park and the famous Green Monster. Perfect for a warm afternoon or evening, patrons are able to see Fenway Park from the roof. This is the perfect place to grab a cold beer while possibly catching a glimpse of the action in Fenway.

McGreevy's - 911 Boylston St, Boston

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Originally opened in 1894 as "3rd Base Saloon," this historic bar would host politicians, ball players, and gamblers alike. It is also the country's first baseball museum with memorabilia covering every inch of the walls. If you are looking for a historic Boston pub to enjoy the game, this is the place.

Stat's Bar and Grille - 77 Dorchester St, South Boston

Located in South Boston, or "Southie" as it is affectionately called, Stats Bar and Grille is a favorite of locals. Boasting a delicious bar food menu and extensive cocktail list, this is a great place to go to watch a game in the heart of a famous Boston neighborhood.



Monday, January 9, 2017

Exploring The New Boston Literary Trail

Offered by the Boston History Collaborative, a three-hour theme tour of Boston's Literary Landmarks is offered the second Saturday of each month. Both a guided tour by bus, and a self-guided walking version,with guidebook, are offered. Among the landmarks "off the beaten path" are Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain, and Sleepy Hollow in Concord.  We recommend joining a bus tour, which departs at 9:00 AM from the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston's Downtown Crossing neighborhood.

The Omni Parker House is where Charles Dickens first read The Christmas Carol before the legendary Saturday Club, whose members included Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, and James Russell Lowell, among others.  Just outside the hotel, at the corner of School and Washington streets, visitors can see the brick house with a steep gambrel roof built in 1712.
At the Old South Meeting House
The building has undergone several incarnations over the centuries, but today looks much the way it did as the Old Corner Bookstore, which occupied the site beginning in the 1820s and was frequented by prominent writers of the day.  Across the street from the bookstore is Old South Meeting House. When the building was threatened with demolition in the 1870s, writers Julia Ward Howe, Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Russell Lowell, and Wendell Philips led efforts to save it.

The Boston Athenaeum

The independent library known as the Boston Athenaeum is the depository for important paintings and sculptures, as well as book collections, including the private library of George Washington. Visitors are welcomed into the first and second floors of the No. 10-1/2 Beacon Street address anytime, but reservations are necessary for guided weekday tours of the Edward Clarke Cabot building.  Louisa May Alcott actually wrote her mysteries under a pseudonym while living in the building across the street.

The bus tour stops briefly at the Boston Public Library, and heads outside the city toward Concord, passing by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Cambridge home and Mount Auburn Cemetery, the final resting place of many famous literary figures.   In Concord, visitors will see the desk on which Henry David Thoreau penned Civil Disobedience and Walden on exhibit at the Concord Museum.  Another stop is across the road at the Orchard House, the fictional setting for the Louisa May Alcott novel Little Women.

In the nineteenth century, Boston was the intellectual hub and literary mecca of the United States.  Modeled after the famous Freedom Trail, This Literary Trail spans three hundred years and remarkable numbers of literary talent.  Your journey through literary history is complimented by a stay at the Clarendon Square Inn.  When you return from exploring the Literary Trail, curl up with a classic in our Library with a cappuccino.  Or take your leatherbound to the roofdeck for unparalleled skyline views while you read the classics.  Our Boston boutique hotel in the South End neighborhood is in a carefully restored 19th century brownstone rowhouse offering luxury accomodations. Let the team at Clarendon Square guide you in a discovery of all things Boston!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Innkeeper's Diary: A Walking Tour of Back Bay

Guests will often ask for recommendations on what they should do for an afternoon.  Realizing that I always recommend the same spots and routes, I think it’s time to put it in writing!

The Boston Public Library via Columbus Avenue to Dartmouth Street 
The Inn is centrally located, so walking is always the easiest and fastest way to get around.  When guests want to get out and explore with no real plan, I always point them to the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. Less than a 10 minute walk, it’s an easy way to get started in the city.  The Dartmouth street entrance brings visitors into Charles Follen McKimm’s 1889 Bibliotheque Nationale inspired building. A grand and beautiful Renaissance style structure awaits book lovers and tourists alike. The Bates Hall reading room is why I send everyone. An incredibly expansive and light filled room with a heavenly vaulted ceiling, visitors will find this quiet space loud with visual delights. From the book lined walls, to the streaming sunlight, to the rustic wooden tables and their charming green glass lamps, this room is something to feast on. But be quiet! It’s one of the last respites in the city where a ban on talking is enforced.

After you have been wowed with the reading room and the gorgeous marble staircase and frescoes, it’s time to head downstairs to the other best kept secret of the library; the courtyard. I think of it in terms of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden.

A lovely, hushed open-air space filled with greenery and italicized with a spritely fountain - enclosed by elegant loggias – this secret city garden must be contemplated. City sounds are removed and running water and the wind’s breeze becomes the soundtrack of your day. It’s magical.

Now that you have refreshed your mind and body, it’s time to head back outside and continue on. A quick tour of Trinity Church is always recommended as it’s across the street from the library. But if that doesn’t strike your fancy, there’s always the The Oak LONG Bar + Kitchen at the Fairmount Copley Plaza.

After drinks and bites, it’s time to get shopping! Continue north on Dartmouth to Newbury Street. There are goods and services for every price point, with stores from Tiffany & Co. to TJ Maxx. I always tell guests to start on the east end of Newbury facing the Public Garden to get your fill of luxury shopping. Then walk west towards Mass Ave and find more low to mid priced vendors. With the mix of local boutiques and chain brands, the choices are endless!
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If shopping is not your interest, you’re in luck! One block up from Newbury is Commonwealth Avenue. Modeled on The Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, this grand boulevard has a gorgeous city park nestled between two lanes of traffic flanked by some of the most gorgeous townhouses in Boston. If you want storybook Boston, this is it.
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Stroll east towards the Public Garden. If you are here in spring or fall, then you are in for a treat. Cherry blossoms and tulips decorate the garden when winter breaks. Canopies of yellow, red, and orange foliage greet you come autumn.

Meander east through the garden and you will find yourself on Charles Street. Take a left and follow into Beacon Hill. The cobblestone sidewalks and Federal and Georgian style architecture is enough to charm anyone.

But the lovely local shops and restaurants are what make Charles Street so lovely. I highly recommend stopping in at Eugene’s Gallery. This intimate one woman show of a vintage print shop is the definition of charming. Barbara, the proprietor, reigns over an extensive collection of antique prints primarily showcasing the Boston and New England area. You can choose an inexpensive lithograph and work with Barbara to customize the framing to create a museum worthy piece. It’s incredible!

There are countless options for how to spend an afternoon in Boston. But this walking tour shows off some of the best of Boston. Get out and enjoy!

- Innkeeper Melissa