The Official Simmons Guide to Boston
There is so much to do and see in the city of Boston — much of it not far from the Simmons campus.
Within Walking Distance
There's tons to do right around the corner from the Simmons campus, and it's FREE. Just steps from our front door, you can take in some of the greatest pieces of art in the world at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (which is right next door to the Academic campus!). Show your Simmons ID for free admission at the MFA and Gardner, or visit the nearby MassArt Art Museum, which is always free.
Popular food destinations include TimeOut Market (which also hosts events), Tasty Burger, and Blackbird Doughnuts. Down Huntington Avenue, you can head to the Mary Baker Eddy Library, take in a concert at Symphony Hall (with a student discount), a free performance at the New England Conservatory, or catch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park (receive alerts for student tickets)!
Travel Time: Five to 20 minutes walking, or 10 minutes on the Green Line to Symphony.
Ready to explore Boston? Grab a few friends, your walking shoes, your T passes, and explore! The Boston Calendar maintains a list of upcoming free events throughout the city, and we have provided a list of some favorite locations for food, history, culture, outdoor spaces and entertainment. We invite you to find your own go-to spots!
Eataly in the Prudential Center is highly recommended when visiting the Back Bay neighborhood.
If you’re looking to grab breakfast, lunch or tea and browse for books, visit Beacon Hill Books & Cafe.
Brookline hosts a wide variety of cuisines. For a tasty lunch of matzo ball soup or a pastrami sandwich on marble rye, try Zaftigs Delicatessen. The Abbey is a popular Brookline joint with daily specials. For a special occasion, try La Voile, a higher end French restaurant. Visit Martin's Coffee Shop in Brookline Village for an amazing brunch.
The South End is home to a South End Boston Women’s Heritage Trail and another tour designed by Boston Public School students and teachers.
East Boston is home to several historic houses of worship. The Maverick Congregational Church (formerly the First Congregational Church) is considered the neighborhood’s first place of worship, whereas the Temple Ohel Jacob was the first synagogue. Although a fire destroyed this synagogue in 1973, visitors can learn more about it, along with the other rich and diverse history of the area, at the East Boston Museum and Historical Society.
If you are in the West End, pay a visit to the old Charles Street Jail, now the Liberty Hotel.
Just across the street from the Public Library in Back Bay is the Old South Church, not far from Trinity Church, which is regarded as one of the finest buildings in America. There are Boston Women’s Heritage Tours for Back Bay East and Back Bay West. Hit up the Skywalk Observatory at the top of the Prudential Building for the city's only sky-high vantage point.
Downtown has its own Boston Women’s Heritage Trail.
The JFK National Historic Site is located in nearby Brookline.
Just steps from our front door, you can take in some of the greatest pieces of art in the world at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (which is right next door to the Academic campus!). Show your Simmons ID for free admission at the MFA and Gardner, or visit the nearby MassArt Art Museum, which is always free.
A short walk from campus down Huntington Avenue, you will find the Mary Baker Eddy Library.
Enjoy a rich and diverse history of the area at the East Boston Museum and Historical Society.
Beacon Hill is the home of the Museum of African American History.
Back Bay is famous for its brownstone homes, but it's also home to some of the most recognizable places in Boston, including the Boston Public Library.
While in the Seapot District, be sure to say hello to the sea creatures at the New England Aquarium, or embrace your inner child at the Children's Museum. You can also head over to the Boston Harbor, home to the historic Boston Tea Party and the Boston Tea Party Museum.
There are a large variety of outdoor spaces throughout Boston. See the Outdoor Edition of our guide to choose your next adventure.
Back Bay includes the best shopping spots in the city. Newbury Street boasts designer boutiques, consignment shops, small galleries such as the Copley Society of Art, and places for yummy bites, like hot chocolate at L.A. Burdick Chocolates, or lunch (and a book) at Trident Booksellers & Cafe. For indoor shopping, visit the Prudential Center (for a bite, Eataly is highly recommended) and Copley Place.
Charles Street in Beacon Hill is home to many boutique shops, including Black Ink, antiques and consignment shops.
When you visit the Waterfront and Seaport, be sure to go book shopping at Porter Square Books: Boston Edition.
For a vibrant outdoor shopping experience with plenty of dining options (and a rich history), visit Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Downtown.
The Harvard Coop, Harvard Bookstore, Porter Square Books, and Pandemonium Books & Games, a Farmer's Market (seasonal) and the Cambridge thrift store in the Garment District that offers clothes “By the Pound” are all located in Cambridge.
Close to campus you can take in a concert at Symphony Hall (with a student discount), a free performance at the New England Conservatory, or catch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park (receive alerts for student tickets)!
Check out a show at the Improv Asylum Theater in the North End.
Cheer on the Celtics or the Bruins at the TD Garden in the West End.
Head to Boylston Street in Beacon Hill to take in a movie at the AMC Boston Common 19 movie theater.
The Seaport District is home to Leader Bank Pavilion, one of the city's most popular outdoor amphitheaters, with great views of the water and some memorable concerts. Oh, and if you're looking to get out on the water, make sure you check out Codzilla, Boston's very own high-speed thrill ride boat!
Are you a fan of Broadway shows, ballets or even operas? You'll feel right at home in the Theatre District, where you can see everything from the Boston Ballet perform some of the world's most famous ballets to Blue Man Group perform their innovative and amazing performance you just have to see for yourself. Laugh at Shear Madness or catch the latest great show at the Boch Center Wang Theatre, the Boston Opera House, the Charles Playhouse, the Colonial Theatre, the Cutler Majestic Theatre, the Modern Theatre, the Orpheum Theatre, the Paramount Theatre or the Wilbur. Make sure to search online for Student Rush tickets.
Film buffs will enjoy the Coolidge Theatre in Brookline, an Art Deco-designed movie theater that first opened in 1933. The Coolidge Theatre also hosts a variety of cult classic movies, midnight horror marathons, and free lectures from some of the best film professors in the state!
Boston Neighborhoods: Each one has a story
Named after the American painter and proponent of Romanticism Washington Allston (1779–1843). Allston hosts numerous small businesses and restaurants, including several Korean American establishments. This neighborhood is especially popular with college students.
Travel Time: The Green Line (branch B) toward Boston College runs through much of Allston. For a more direct route from campus, walk to Tremont Street at Huntington Avenue and take the 66 Bus toward Allston. Depending on your stop, this trip takes 40 minutes or less.
Beacon Hill s a charming half-square-mile neighborhood replete with Federalist Era architecture and topped by the gleaming gold dome of the State House. It includes some of the city's most vibrant green spaces: the Boston Common, and Public Garden.
Travel Time: 20 minutes to Park Street on the Green Line
Brighton is a located on the northwestern edge of Boston proper. Brighton contains a significant number of Irish Catholics residents, and several members of the Kennedy family have lived here at some point.
Travel Time: The 65 Bus provides the most direct route. Embark on Brookline Avenue at Pilgrim Road toward Brighton Center. This trip takes approximately 30 minutes.
Located in downtown Boston, this Chinatown is one of the largest outside of New York City. With a dense population of Asians and Asian Americans, Boston's Chinatown features a plethora of Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese restaurants and markets.
Travel Time: From campus, walk to the Museum of Fine Arts and take the Green Line (E branch) toward Medford/Tufts and get off at Boylston. The entire trip takes approximately 29 minutes.
Dorchester is one of Boston's biggest neighborhoods. Its residents are especially diverse, both in terms of cultural background and gender/sexual identity. This area offers a number of museums, historic sites, outdoor trails, and eateries.
Travel Time: From campus, the 19 Bus provides the most direct route. From Avenue Louis Pasteur and The Fenway, take the 19 in the direction of Fields Corner, get off at Geneva Avenue and Tonawanda Street, and walk another minute to Dorchester. This will take about 44 minutes.
The Financial District of Boston is located in the downtown area near Government Center and Chinatown. Shoppers can browse for Boston keepsakes and one-of-a-kind gifts at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which also offers plenty of dining options. Some of Boston's oldest landmarks can also be found in dowtown.
Travel Time: 20 minutes to Park Street on the Green Line.
Also known as “Eastie” or “Boston’s Ellis Island,” East Boston is located just beyond Boston Harbor. This section of the city became a second home to Irish, Italian, and Russian Jewish immigrants. Today, East Boston is perhaps best known for the Logan International Airport.
Originally a part of Roxbury, Jamaica Plain is now a thriving, independent neighborhood. Significant portions of the Emerald Necklace, a public park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, adorn the locale. Since the 1980s, Jamaica Plain has attracted numerous artists, political activists, students, and members of the LGBTQ community. This part of Boston also boasts a significant Latinx demographic.
Travel Time: From campus, walk to Ruggles and get on the Orange Line toward Forest Hills. This trip takes around 32 minutes, depending on your specific stop.
The North End is Boston's oldest residential community, and people have continuously lived there since it was settled in the 1630s. It's distinctly known for its Italian community.
Travel Time: 20 minutes on the Green Line to Government Center or Haymarket, and then 5 to 10 minutes walking.
With a dense population of African American residents, Roxbury is often called “the heart of Black culture in Boston.” Roxbury is also known for its community gardens and for developing the first urban farm in Boston.
Travel Time: From campus, the 19 Bus provides the most direct route. Walk to Avenue Louis Pasteur and The Fenway and get on the 19 in the direction of Fields Corner. Get off at Warren Street and Waumbeck Street and walk another 8 minutes to Roxbury. The entire trip should take about 37 minutes.
The Seaport District is part of the Port of Boston on Boston Harbor and is the newest and fastest growing and neighborhood in the city. The area is seeing extraordinary growth in commercial buildings, new restaurants and residential buildings.
Travel Time: 40 minutes (train time and walking).20 minutes to Park Street on the Green Line, then transfer to the Red Line (Ashmont/Braintree train) two stops to South Station. From South Station, walk to Seaport or take one of the Silver Line Buses to different parts of Seaport.
The South End is one of Boston's main restaurant districts and features Tremont Street, which is often called "Restaurant Row."
Travel Time: Walk to Ruggles Station to catch the 8 Outbound bus towards Harbor Point for 20 minutes to Harrison Avenue. Or take the Orange Line 25 minutes to Back Bay or Massachusetts Ave.
Are you a fan of Broadway shows, ballets or even operas? You'll feel right at home in the Theatre District, where you can see everything from the Boston Ballet perform some of the world's most famous ballets to Blue Man Group perform their innovative and amazing performance you just have to see for yourself.
Travel Time: 20 minutes to Park Street on the Green Line.
Explore the Boston suburbs for more great places to visit
Just across the river is Cambridge, which has its own collection of neighborhoods known as the "squares".
Travel Time: 35 to 40 minutes on the Red Line. If the train isn't doable, Central Square in Cambridge is only 15 minutes by the CT2 Bus or the 47 Bus, both of which stop within five minutes of the residence campus.