Discover one-of-a-kind stops for your next Boston trip

Sometimes you have to get off the beaten path to truly experience the soul of a city. And in Boston, you'll discover tucked-away under-the-radar gems around almost every corner. Take a look at our favorite best-kept secrets in Boston!


Courtyard Tea Room at the Boston Public Library

Tucked away in the Boston Public Library’s historic McKim Building, the Courtyard Tea Room offers an elegant and intimate tea-time experience in the heart of Copley Square. Uncover the tea rooms menu, which is fittingly hidden on a bookmark in a book at each table, to discover a prix fixe menu featuring finely crafted sandwiches, sweets and scones that pair excellently with the awe-inspiring views of the library’s Italianate Courtyard. Although the dress code is smart casual, this hidden jewel provides the perfect excuse to be a bit extra on your next trip to Boston. So go ahead, get dressed up (Tea hats welcome!), grab your favorite people and while away the afternoon with tea!

CLOSEST MBTA STOPS: Copley Station – Green Line; Back Bay Station – Orange Line, Commuter Rail, Bus

COOL PLACES NEARBY: Copley Square, Trinity Church Boston, Prudential Center, Newbury Street

Boston Athenaeum

Founded in 1807, the Boston Athenaeum is one of the country's oldest and most distinguished independent libraries. Featuring a circulating collection of over half a million books dating from the early 1800s to present-day best sellers and over 100,000 works of art, the library is a must-visit for all readers, art lovers and knowledge seekers. Plus, the Boston Athenaeum might just be one of the most beautiful buildings in Boston that you didn't know about! Although the library requires a membership to visit, Day Passes are available for $40 per person.

CLOSEST MBTA STOPS: Park Street – Green Line; Downtown Crossing – Orange Line, Red Line

COOL PLACES NEARBY: Granary Burying Ground, Massachusetts State House, Boston Common, Boston Public Garden, The Embrace 

Long Crouch Woods & Franklin Park Bear Dens

The Franklin Park Bear Dens were an original exhibit when the Franklin Park Zoo opened in 1912. Since the closure of the dens in 1960, their remains have become a secluded gem only accessible by hiking trails in the Franklin Park woodlands that you can explore. As you wander the bear dens, check out the historic bas-relief of two bears holding the City of Boston seal with the 1912 skyline behind them. And since you're so close, why not visit the Franklin Park Zoo afterward!

CLOSEST MBTA STOPS: Blue Hill Ave @ Franklin Park Rd – Bus

COOL PLACES NEARBY: Franklin Park Zoo, Franklin Park, The Arnold Arboretum

Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame

Housed in Boston's world-renowned Wang Theatre, the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame pays homage to Boston’s history as one of the greatest music cities in America. With over three floors of one-of-a-kind exhibits filled with artist memorabilia and artifacts, this gem celebrates the likes of Keb Mo', Joan Baez and Noel Paul Stookey. Take a guided public tour of the theatre, including its Cultural Heroes, Boston: A Music Town and Life in Six Strings exhibits. Or book a private tour for up to 30 of your favorite people. And did we mention that you'll get a behind-the-scenes look of where the artists hang out during the tour? Pretty cool, right?

CLOSEST MBTA STOPS: Tufts Medical Center – Orange Line

COOL PLACES NEARBY: Chinatown, Theater District, Boston Common, Boston Public Garden

Boston Speakeasies

You don’t need to find a speakeasy to enjoy prohibition-era cocktails and 1920s vibes – take 1928 Beacon Hill, for example - but there is something so intimate and mysterious about sipping craft cocktails at a local speakeasy. Whether it’s the swanky atmosphere or the thrill of uncovering the door and knowing the password that appeals to you, Boston has plenty of hidden bars and restaurants to discover. Check out our list of the best speakeasies in town!

Kelleher Rose Garden

Located in the Back Bay Fens section of the Emerald Necklace, this whimsical garden features over 200 varieties of rose bushes. Despite being close to Boylston Street, Fenway Park and the Museum of Fine Arts, this gem feels like a secret garden untouched by its urban neighbors. Featuring a formal landscape style design with symmetrical pathways, statues, a fountain and arched trellises, the garden takes you back in time, and is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Although the rose garden is a peaceful sanctuary anytime it is open, we recommend visiting from late June to Labor Day. 

CLOSEST MBTA STOPS: Museum of Fine Arts Station – Green Line (E); Kenmore – Green Line (D)

COOL PLACES NEARBY: Fenway Park, Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Back Bay Fens, Time Out Market

Bleacher Bar

No trip to Boston is complete without visiting America's oldest ballpark. Although Fenway Park might be the complete opposite of a hidden gem, situated beneath the bleachers in the park's centerfield, you'll find our next jewel, the Bleacher Bar. Boosting floor-to-ceilings windows looking straight into the stadium and a menu filled with delicious food and drinks, this is our definition of dinner with a view! No matter if you visit during a Red Sox game or not, this is a must add to your next Boston itinerary. And why not add a tour of Fenway Park while you're at it. 

CLOSEST MBTA STOPS: Kenmore – Green Line (B)

COOL PLACES NEARBY: Fenway Park, MGM Music Hall, James P. Kelleher Rose Garden, Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Innovation Trail

When people think of Boston, they often think of the city's rich history. And rightfully so! But what about its history of innovation? From inventing the telephone, modern surgery, and marshmallow fluff, Boston is a pretty innovative city! Over 21 stops, our next gem, The Innovation Trail, guides you through downtown Boston and Cambridge to discover why Boston might just be the world's most innovative city. Click here for a list of upcoming guided tours.

CLOSEST MBTA STOPS:  Park Street – Greed Line, Red Line; Government Center – Blue Line, Green Line; State Street – Blue Line, Orange Line

COOL PLACES NEARBY: Boston Common, Museum of Science, MIT Museum, Kendall Square

Jazz Clubs

It might surprise you, but Boston is a hub for live jazz music. From hole-in-the-wall bars to historic jazz clubs and casual restaurants, you'll discover multiple gems offering prime experiences throughout the city. And, with most neighborhoods within Boston proper and Cambridge being easily walkable, it’s easy to check out several nearby venues in a single sweep. Check out our list of the best jazz clubs in Boston!

Bricco Salumeria & Pasta Shop

Hidden in an alleyway behind Bricco, you'll discover Bricco Salumeria and Pasta Shop, an authentic Italian market that will have you feeling like you stepped into Italy. This gem carries everything you need for a homemade meal, from imported Italian meats and cheeses, olive oils, vinegar and handmade pasta. While you're there, make sure to grab one of the Salumeria's chicken parm subs for a picnic on the Greenway. You'll thank us later!

CLOSEST MBTA STOPS: Haymarket – Orange Line, Green Line; State – Blue Line, Green Line

COOL PLACES NEARBY: North End, Greenway Carousel, The Paul Revere House, Old North Church, Christopher Columbus Park, Boston Harborwalk

Improv Asylum

What started as a basement theater company in 1997 is still in a basement. But don't let that fool you. For over 20 years, this jewel has been voted Boston's Best Comedy. Featuring several performances each week, including its Main Stage Cast, NXT Cast and all-improv Raunch show, Improv Asylum has something for every comedy lover. Looking for more comedy? Check out our list of the best comedy clubs in Boston

CLOSEST MBTA STOPS: Haymarket – Orange Line, Green Line; State – Blue Line, Green Line

COOL PLACES NEARBY: North EndThe Sports Museum at TD Garden, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Samuel Adams Taproom

Kendall Square Urban Park Roof Garden

Located at 325 Main Street in Kendall Square, our last gem is a breath of fresh air - literally! The new Urban Park roof garden at Kendall Center is a garden oasis that offers free public programming from cooking demonstrations to workouts— and even boasts a pickleball court. To access the Roof Garden, use the elevators in the Kendall Center Green Garage (90 Broadway).

CLOSEST MBTA STOPS: Kendall – Red Line 

COOL PLACES NEARBY: Kendall Square, MIT, MIT Museum