Monday, July 28, 2014

How to Experience Boston Through Bookstores

Boston is filled with history and literature, and there are a number of amazing local bookstores that truly capture the city’s literary spirit. Whether you are looking for the latest best seller, or a rare antique book, Boston is the place to find it. We have created a list of a few of the local’s favorite book sellers, and each one offers something unique!

Harvard Book StoreHarvard Book Store located on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge is arguably the most famous bookstore in the Boston area. Surrounded by academic prestige and scrumptious coffee shops, is there anything more a bookworm could wish for? Harvard Book Store has been around since 1932, and ownership has been passed onto Jeff Mayersohn. While the book selection here is extensive, there are a few special features that truly individualize this bookstore. To start, Harvard Book Store teamed up with Metro Pedal Power to become more eco friendly, and they offer services to deliver books by bicycle. If you need a book and do not have time to wait around for the book to be delivered, have no fear. Harvard Book Store has a book making robot that can print and bind millions of titles in just minutes! 

Commonwealth Books in Boston
Commonwealth Books is located on Milk Street in Boston, which is the oldest street in the city built in 1630. Commonwealth specializes in art monographs, decorative arts, poetry, history, and literature. With over 40,000 books including medieval manuscripts, old prints, engravings, and present day sell outs, everyone is sure to find a book that they like here! This bookstore is open every day except for Christmas day and Thanksgiving, so any day is a great day to stop in and find a new gem to read.

Trident Bookseller's and Cafe in Boston
Trident Bookseller’s and Café on Newbury Street in Boston is a must see for breakfast lovers. Aside from an unbelievable book selection, a huge breakfast spread is offered including french toast, build your own omelets, and New England craft beer. Trident sells used and new books, rare finds, classics and also has an award winning magazine selection. Trident has a number of specialties including science, music, cooking, U.S. history, science, art, poetry and biographies. If you feel like showing off what you know, every Friday night Trident hosts trivia where you can challenge friends, and have a fun night! 

Raven Bookstore in BostonRaven Bookstore also has a location on Newbury Street, as well as JFK Street in Cambridge. This bookstore opened in 2010, and although it is young in age, it already has many awards to boast such as, “Best of Boston” in 2012, and “Best of New” by the Boston Globe in 2010. John Petrovato is the owner, and strives to maximize selection and minimize prices. Every book is 50 to 80% off the cover price, and with strong selections in American history, art, architecture, photography, philosophy, poetry, music, religion, and fiction, you can pick out a few different treasures that are wallet-friendly. There is also a great children's section in the store, as well as numerous cookbooks. 

No matter what type of book you are looking for, you will be sure to find it in Boston. Once you have found the perfect book (or two), cozy up in the Clarendon Square Inn! Enjoy a good read on our outdoor patio, roof deck, or in one of our luxurious guest rooms.

Monday, July 21, 2014

How to Experience Boston Through Microbreweries

Boston is known for a number of city staples, and since the Revolutionary War era, beer has been an essential part of Bostonian culture. We have compiled a list of the best microbreweries in the city, and each one provides a unique experience!

Harpoon BreweryThe Harpoon Brewery, located on Northern Ave in Boston, opened in 1986 and has captured the hearts of Bostonians since. Harpoon started off in a warehouse space surrounded by fish companies on the docks of South Boston. Since then the local business has exploded, and even has another location in Vermont! One of the most popular items in the brewery is the Harpoon growler, which is a 64 ounce collectible bottle that is filled to order using an Austrian-manufactured growler process. This machine ensures the highest possible quality. Whether you are coming in with old friends, or looking to make new friends, Beer Hall is a fun and laid back location to socialize. Open 11 am to 7 pm Sundays-Wednesdays, and 11 am to 11 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, beer lovers can sit at the bar or around long wooden tables to enjoy pints of brewed Harpoon draft beer with friends, a great view of Boston, as well as a fresh baked pretzel! Tours are offered at Harpoon, and a full schedule is located on the Harpoon Brewery website 

Samuel Adams BreweryThe Samuel Adams Brewery is a unique microbrewery where you can taste special recipes, experience the entire brewing process, and learn about Samuel Adams, the American brewer and patriot. Started in 1984 by Jim Koch, a sixth generation brewer, everyone at Sam Adams from the customers to the employees share a love of great beer. The success started in 1985 when American craft beers were virtually non existent, and the Samuel Adams Boston Lager was introduced in 25 bars. The brew caught on so fast that by the end of the year, sales had reached 500 barrels and distribution had expanded all the way to Germany! While the Boston Lager is the flagship of the brand, other popular collections include, Brewmasters collection, Rebel IPA, Sam Adams Light, and the rotating Seasonal collection. Information about tours and the gift shop can be found on the Sam Adams website.

Bukowski TavernBukowski Tavern has been around since 1998, and it serves the best beer from local, regional and global breweries. In addition to great beer, they also serve delicious American-style cuisine. There are two casual settings in Cambridge and Boston, and for those dedicated customers the ultimate goal at Bukowski’s is to be a member of the prestigious Mug Club. A rack of mugs with different known author’s names hang above the bar. In order to receive one of these mugs, you must finish every beer on the menu within 6 months. Once you receive the honor, you get to
enjoy discounted beer in your huge trophy mug!

Each microbrewery offers different benefits, but all of them are a guaranteed fun time! After sampling the unique beer at the breweries, you will be in need of a tranquil night sleep and a delicious breakfast. Luckily the Clarendon Square Inn provides both, as well as a friendly and intimate environment. Come join us after experiencing the best of Boston's microbreweries!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Best Lobster Rolls in Boston

A summertime staple in Boston is the lobster roll. There are many places that serve lobster rolls, but not everyone does it right. Our list provides some of the best places in Beantown to enjoy the New England favorite.

James Hook & Company

James Hook and Co. is a family owned restaurant that has been around since 1925. Since opening, they have had plenty of time to perfect their recipe, as their fresh lobster roll was awarded the Best of Boston 2013! The hot dog bun is filled with nothing more than lobster meat, topped with celery and mayo, but here simplicity is key. If an award winning lobster roll is not enough to satisfy your hunger, top off your meal with a creamy cup of James Hook and Co's New England clam chowder. Their clam chowder is a two time champion of Boston Chowder Fest!

Boston Chowda Co.
Another family owned star, Boston Chowda Co.has two locations in Boston at both the Prudential Center, and Faneuil Hall. While Boston Chowda is famously known for their clam chowder, their Maine lobster roll is another gem on the menu. Available in large and jumbo, this lobster roll is served with fresh lobster meat, a hint of mayonnaise, and is served on a grilled New England style brioche roll. Both sizes come with a combo option to include any choice of chowder or soup, so Boston Chowda Co. is certainly a great spot to fulfill your seafood craving!

Island Creek Oyster BarIsland Creek Oyster Bar is a sit down restaurant that offers exquisite seafood, as well as amazing modern design to marvel at while you enjoy your meal. Their "Ethel's lobster roll" is complete with kettle chips, cole slaw, and served on a rosemary roll. Their fish selections and oyster dishes change daily depending on what the freshest catch is, but their lobster is caught up in York, Maine by the chef's cousin, and is offered everyday!

Be sure to get the full New England summertime experience by indulging in classics such as lobster rolls and clam chowder. Take your order to go, and enjoy it on the Clarendon Square roof deck complete with a hot tub, and a magnificent view of the city! Check out more Boston eateries that are must-see's in the summer on our Pinterest board.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Where to Watch the World Cup in Boston

The World Cup is like a holiday that comes around every four years for soccer fans, and in Boston there are a number of hot spots that you can cheer at with fellow fans. All of our options provide a spirited and unique experience!

Lir in Boston Lir on Boylston Street is a fun and friendly Irish pub that offers an extensive and affordable
menu for lunch and dinner, as well as a number of HDTV’s for viewing your favorite teams. Lir
also provides private functions, which is a perfect way to gather all your friends and family to
watch the games while enjoying great food! If you are rooting for Italy, Lir is also the “Official
Italian Team Headquarter”.

Pheonix Landing in CambridgePheonix Landing, in Cambridge, is an alternative Irish Bar that offers live coverage of every game during the World Cup. It is the “World Cup Headquarters”, and is filled with enthusiastic fans. You can eternalize your World Cup experience at Pheonix Landing by buying a World Cup T-Shirt for only $15. There are fantastic pictures on the Pheonix Landing website of the World Cup in 2010 to check out as well!

Cask N' Flagon in Boston
Cask N’ Flagon is known for being the top baseball bar in the nation according to ESPN, but
they also provide a great setting to enjoy soccer as well. Not only does Cask N’ Flagon boast 60
high-definition TV’s, but they also provide a World Cup themed cocktail to enjoy while you root for your favorite teams! This cocktail is a special Caiprinha with Boca Loca cachaça, mashed limes and sugar, and is available until July 13th.

This event only comes around every four years, so make sure you watch it at a place to
remember! Do you want to watch the games in a low-key and intimate environment? The Clarendon Square Inn is a foolproof place to do just that with our flat screen TV's that complete each guest room! Whether you need a laid back night after a long day of cheering, or a mellow environment to watch the games, the Clarendon Square Inn is the perfect place to settle in.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Nature in Boston

City living does not have to mean compromising nature scenery. Boston is filled with everything from beautiful historical buildings, to modern architecture, and lovely nature views. The following are a hidden gems located throughout Boston that are truly unique spots.
Charles River Esplanade
First up is the stunning Charles River Esplanade. This is a state owned park in the Back Bay area of the city, right on the banks of the Charles River. The park consists of walkways, statuaries, and the Hatch Memorial Shell which hosts the Boston Pops every Fourth of July. This 18 mile loop is the perfect spot for running, walking or biking as it spans to both the North and South sides of the river.

Boston Common and Boston Public Garden

The Boston Public Garden is a must see no matter what time of year you venture to Boston. The garden spans for 24 acres, and is decorated with blooming flowers and rolling greens in the warmer months. From around April to September, the Swan Boats glide across the lake, and if you are lucky you can even see some of the real swans that inhabit the lake! Did you enjoy the book, “Make Way for Ducklings”, by Robert Mcloskey growing up? If you did, going to the bronze statue of Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings is a must. If you are here in Boston in the colder months, do not worry! The Garden is still a mesmerizing New England winter wonderland complete with ice skating, frosted grounds, and dreamy snowfalls.

Boston Harbor IslandsThe Boston Harbor Islands has something for everyone to love. The Islands are a place where you can explore tide pools, hike breathtaking trails, camp under the stars, fish, and even visit historical sites such as lighthouses and Civil War-era forts. To experience the islands, you can take a quick ferry from Long Wharf-North in Boston, complete with a view of the Boston skyline. If you would like to travel independently, you can also reach the islands with your own motorboat, sailboat, or kayak.

After adventuring to these beautiful spots, you deserve a relaxing night! The Clarendon Square Inn provides a soothing environment for you to rejuvenate, and enjoy delicious breakfast in the morning. For more information on nature sites in Boston, feel free to check out our Nature in Boston Pinterest board.