Boston's Fenway neighborhood lends its name and gains its fame from Fenway Park, home ball park of the Boston Red Sox, but it also includes 18 colleges and universities, world-renowned research centers and hospitals in the Longwood Medical Area, top museums and concert halls, and some of the city's liveliest nightlife.
"East Fenway" includes the famous ballpark, House of Blues Boston, and other bars, restaurants, and shops in the Kenmore Square commercial stretch near Boston University. "West Fenway" includes museums, the Longwood Medical Area, and more colleges and universities. Lots of medical professionals and students live in the neighborhood's residential areas.
Fenway's most famous attraction - Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox
Fenway Park - Cheer the Red Sox for the quintessential Boston experience - or catch one of the star-studded rock concerts or other sports events hosted twice a year here. Red Sox schedule and ticket information.
Ball Park Tour - See the famed ballpark up close, and enjoy your guide's entertaining stories about Fenway history, legendary players, and funny events. You even get to go on top of the Green Monster. Allow about 1 hour. Included with Boston discount card
Museum of Fine Arts - World-famous for its comprehensive collections spanning 7 thousand years. Must-sees include the Egyptian mummy collection and the dazzling new Art of the America's wing. Included with Boston discount card
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - This 1903 mansion, modeled after a 15th century Venetian palace, displays the wide-ranging art collection of its creator. Free admission if you're named "Isabella." Don't miss the Sunday afternoon concerts. Included with Boston discount card
Symphony Hall - Home to Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops. Attend a concert and enjoy its perfect acoustics, or join a free tour for behind-the-scenes views and stories.
Jordan Hall - Another acoustically superb concert hall, and the main performance venue for the New England Conservatory as well as guest performers. Free admission to many student performances - huge bargain considering that some students here are already renowned professional musicians.
Mapparium (200 Massachusetts Ave, next to the Christian Science Mother Church) - This enormous walk-through painted glass globe in the Mary Baker Eddy Library at the Christian Science Mother Church features a 1935 world map overlaid with geography and global history. Included with Boston discount card
CITGO Sign - Dating back to 1940, this red triangular sign measures 60 feet by 60 feet and can be seen from many Boston locations, including Fenway Park. The sign, now considered a historic landmark, used to be neon, but now sports thousands of LEDs. The lights go out at 1am - coincidentally, closing time for Boston bars.
Fenway's famous Citgo sign, photographed from Brookline Ave next to Buckminster Hotel
Area Four (500 Technology Square, Kendall Square) - Contemporary American cuisine. Fresh seafood straight from RI, home-made mozzarella and soft-serve ice cream, and pizzas baked in wood-fired ovens. Very affordable, great flavors. Outdoor seating.
Buckminster Hotel (645 Beacon Street)
A block and a half from Fenway, and one of Boston's biggest hotel bargains. No designer linens here - but great rates for a comfortable stay.
Designed by famed architect Stanford White (Boston Public Library) and built in 1894, the 97-room Buckminster played its own role in Fenway's history. The Buckminister is where:
Happily, the Buckminster became a hotel again in the early 1970s and remains one of Boston's true bargain hotels. Its Kenmore Square location places it within easy reach of Fenway Park, Boston University, and all the Lansdowne Street nightlife, and its proximity to the Green Line's Kenmore station makes getting to other parts of Boston easy.
Hotel Commonwealth (500 Commonwealth Ave)
One of Boston's top luxury boutiques, replete with Italian linens, down comforters, complementary WiFi, and nice electronics. You'll even find pet-friendly amenities, such as a pet bed and tasty treats.
What makes Hotel Commonwealth outstanding, though, is its personalized service, designed to make guests feel like . . . well, like pampered guests.
The independently-owned 148-room Hotel Commonwealth is only 2 blocks from Fenway Park, and about a 10-minute walk from the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Museum, and Boston University (one of the partner/owners).
Although the Second Empire-inspired Hotel Commonwealth fits in visually with some of the other mansions along Comm Ave, it is actually one of Boston's newer hotels, built only in 2004. However, it occupies a Kenmore Square location made famous by the previous occupant, punk rock club, The Rathskeller.
Over the course of several decades, The Rat, as it was called, hosted stellar rock and punk performers - Aerosmith, Joan Jett, Thin Lizzy, the Dropkick Murphys (catch them these days at nearby House of Blues), Stevie Ray Vaughn, Mission of Burma, U2, Talking Heads, Metallica, The Ramones, Patti Smith - and many, many more.
With Back Bay's Newbury Street, Boylston street, Prudential Center, and Copley Place just next door, Fenway offers mostly small neighborhood and specialty shops.
Back Bay Fens - A serpentine-shaped park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted as one of the "jewels" in the Emerald Necklace of parkland encircling Boston. Usually just called "The Fens," and known for its World War II era Victory Gardens and Kelleher Rose Garden. Rumored to be dicey late at night but filled with students, joggers, and gardeners during the day. Big playground, lots of statues, and Vietnam War memorial.
Ramler Park (Peterborough Street) - Half-acre urban oasis, once a parking lot. Plants, flowers, benches, a fountain, plus a summer concert series make this a favorite neighborhood gathering spot.
Footbridge over Muddy River in The Fens
Eighteen colleges, universities, and professional schools call Fenway "home," giving it the highest concentration of higher education institutes of any Boston neighborhood.
Find more information about each of these Fenway colleges, universities, and schools at Universities and Colleges in Boston
Fashion creations by Fenway's Mass Art students on display at Chestnut Hill Mall
The 213-acre Longwood Medical Area bounded by Riverway, the Fenway, and Huntington Ave contain some of the world's premier medical research and care institutions, as well as top academic institutions. More than 40,000 people work within the LMA, more than 18,000 students study here, and approximately 1 million patients receive care here each year.
Medical centers located in Cambridge MA include:
Tracks for the T's Green Line B runs down the center of Comm Ave near Boston University -
Photographed during early evening in January
On-street parking is almost non-existent in most areas of Fenway, aside from metered spaces along some parts of Huntington Ave and Commonwealth Ave. and nearby streets. You're almost always better off taking the T, especially on Red Sox game days.
But if you must drive, check out nearby parking garages and lots
North: Charles River
East: Charlesgate West, Massachusetts Turnpike, Boylston St, Dalton St, Belvidere St, Huntington Ave, Massachusetts Ave
South: Southwest Corridor, Ruggles Street, Parker Street, Ward Street, Huntington Ave, Francis St
West: Muddy River, St Mary's Street, Commonwealth Ave, Boston University Bridge
Caveat: These boundaries are approximate, and opinions about Fenway boundaries vary. Boston neighborhoods don't have "official" boundaries, so they're often ambiguous and sometimes contentious.
Vintage photos and historical information about Hotel Buckminster, Grahm Junior College, and Kenmore Square
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