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Anchored by the gleaming, golden dome of the State House, Beacon Hill is one of Boston’s most desirable neighborhoods. It’s quintessential Boston: steeped in tradition but forward looking, with homes that balance their historical facades with updated interiors. Walk out the front door and down the cobbled streets toward the sparkling Charles River for a jog along the Esplanade, or pack a picnic and take in a concert at the Hatch Shell while sailboats float by. Stroll down Charles Street to browse boutiques and grab a coffee before crossing Beacon and wandering through the Common or the Public Garden. This is where all of Boston comes to play, whether to walk the Freedom Trail, watch in Shakespeare in the Park or simply enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
The neighborhood is bordered on the north by Cambridge Street and to the east by Bowdoin Street, the dividing line between Beacon Hill and Government Center. Beacon Street runs along the southern border, while to the west is Storrow Drive. The neighborhood is primarily served by the Red Line, though the newly renovated Government Center T stop offers nearby access to the Green and Blue Lines as well. Truly, Beacon Hill is at the heart of it all.
Beacon Hill was always intended to provide a comfortable lifestyle for Boston’s elite, known in the eighteenth century as the Boston Brahmins. This ruling class was well educated and wealthy, and they enjoyed spacious and stately brick row homes on quiet, tree-lined streets. In this respect, not much has changed. The neighborhood remains one of the most sought-after residential areas in the city, thanks to its carefully preserved good looks that include brick sidewalks, cobblestone streets and functioning gas lamps. The Beacon Hill Civic Association is one of the most active neighborhood groups in the city and tirelessly advocates for the maintaining the neighborhood’s character while seeking to enhance a sense of community in the neighborhood.
In addition to the State House, Beacon Hill is home to several historic landmarks, including the Charles Street Meeting House and the Hayden House. Nearby Boston Common is the country’s oldest public park, dating from 1634; the adjacent Public Garden is America’s oldest botanical garden. Both are still vibrant green spaces today and form part of the city’s famed Emerald Necklace, where Bostonians of all ages gather to relax, exercise, take in outdoor concerts or enjoy the iconic Swan Boats.
Not everything about the neighborhood is old, however. There are plenty of local restaurants to cater to a wide range of tastes, and the Cheers bar and pub on Beacon Street is a popular tourist destination made famous by the long-running TV sitcom. Charles Street is home to bistros and cafes, as well as upscale boutiques and antique shops for residents to browse. The neighborhood itself is also a destination in its own right, as history buffs and architecture fans stroll the area and make Acorn Street one of the most photographed in America.