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Breaking the BC Bubble: Discovering Beacon Hill

On one of the first gloriously sunny Saturdays in Boston this spring, we ventured away from campus over to the Beacon Hill neighborhood.  This neighborhood is not only quaint and picturesque, but also one of the most iconic and historic sites in Boston.  Known for its steep hills and Charles Street, Beacon Hill is also home to many notable residents, including John Kerry and Uma Thurman. 

We thought this neighborhood was so fun and cute, that every single Collegiette™ ought to visit.  For your convenience, we have planned the perfect day away from campus, eating and shopping in Beacon Hill!  To get there, you simply take the green line to Park, transfer onto the red line, and get off at the Charles/MGH stop.

Café Vanille
70 Charles St

There’s no better way to start off your day than breakfast at Café Vanille.  This quaint little coffee house has delicious French pastries, including almond croissants, as well as a wide variety of espresso drinks.  There is outdoor seating available, perfect for people-watching in the spring and summer.  If you are looking for a sugar kick to begin your day, they have HUGE cupcakes to satisfy that sweet tooth.  Easy access and a delicious breakfast makes it a great way to start off your Beacon Hill adventure.

49 Charles St

When you wish upon a star… you get this cute little boutique and beautiful dresses.  The selection of shirts, jeans, and dresses is incredible and everything is so cute and unique!  The clothes look like they are pulled straight from a magazine.  Although the prices are expensive, I would suggest hitting up Wish during their annual sale.


Upper Crust
20 Charles St

When you’re ready for lunch, head over to the original Upper Crust.  The Upper Crust was recently named Boston’s Best Pizza by Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston 2010.  They’re known for their delicious thin crust, which can be made with whole wheat dough.  You can order a huge slice for under $4 or choose a slice and salad combo.  Their unique flavors will give you a taste of Boston, as they are literally named after Boston hotspots, like “The Harvard Street,” “The State House,” “The Newbury Street” and “The Fenway.”  Since you’ll already be in the neighborhood, you might want to try “The Beacon Hill,” which is a mix of sun-dried tomatoes and eggplant.  Or you might choose the “Charles Street,” a combination of portabella mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and chopped garlic. 

One of the best ways to get to know a new neighborhood is to just walk around.  We recommend just wandering around the neighborhood, up the hilly residential streets, or down Charles Street.  You should also cross the Charles River over the bridge to check out Cambridge.  We walked all the way to Harvard Square, but you could just look at the sailboats on the Charles.

Paramount Café
44 Charles St

For those who love being starstruck, come visit the Paramount Café!  This restaurant has been a favorite of Beacon Hill residents and many celebrities for many years.  If you don’t feel like braving the long lines or waking up early for brunch, we recommend checking this place out for dinner.  The mouthwatering “Paramount Classics” on the dinner menu include chicken marsala and teriyaki-glazed salmon.  Simple and classic should be enough enticement for everybody to try this restaurant.
When you get tired of walking down Newbury Street every time you leave campus, try our guide to Beacon Hill.  Take advantage of this exciting city and expand your horizons by trying new places.  You won’t be disappointed!
Photo Sources:

Melanie is a senior at Boston College. 
Katie Moran is a junior at Boston College, majoring in Communication. Originally from Seattle, she loves the East Coast but misses her rainy days and Starbucks coffees. On campus, Katie is involved with Sub Turri Yearbook, the Appalachia Volunteer Program, UGBC Women's Issues Team, Cura, and the Women's Resource Center Big Sister Program. She loves reading, watching "Friends," and exploring new places. She has a passion for creating and hopes to begin a career in marketing and advertising.
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