Five Unexpected Places to Explore in Boston


Boston has come a long way since it was founded in 1630. Since the horse and buggy days, we’ve won six Superbowls and have become a Mecca for technology and innovation. But no matter what you know about Boston, the city continues to inspire and surprise you.

In No Access Boston, Maria Olia exposes Beantown’s hidden treasures to help you learn something new about the city. Let’s uncover five of the most unexpected places to explore in Boston!


Afternoon tea at the Boston Public Library

Here’s a brief history lesson: The Boston Public Library (or BPL as it’s known to locals) was established in 1852 and is the country’s oldest free municipal public library. Today it continues to be an inviting and exciting places for visitors.

Sounds like a great spot for a cup of tea and a lobster salad on a mini brioche (a New England twist on the classic cucumber sandwiches), right? Take a break from the hustle and bustle and have a cup of English or herbal tea, or maybe some bubbly – you won’t be disappointed.


Looking for the latest pair of Comme des Garçon Converse? Start your journey to Bodega. At first you’ll find a Latino corner store, selling milk, eggs, beans and laundry detergent. But look a little further and you’ll find one of the biggest and best luxury streetwear retailers in the world.

Bodega is a hidden gem that houses “organized rows of hard-to-find sneakers,” Olia says. The store’s concept and design is modeled around installation art and is unlike anything else in Boston – bringing like-minded individuals together through a love of fashion and non-mass products, rooted in counter culture.


Brattle Book Shop

Calling all bookworms: Brattle Book Shop originally opened in 1825 and ever since has been the home of new and used books alike, as well as out-of-print classics. But if you’re really looking to expand your horizons – discover the hidden treasures on the third floor.

In the warmer months, take a stroll through Downtown Boston and check out Brattle’s open-air bookstore in the lot outside. It’s here you’ll find a great deal on a timeless book for your new beach read, and don’t forget to take a picture on your way out – your Instagram will thank you.


Fenway Farms

Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox and the Green Monster, is America’s oldest ballpark. And since it was built in 1912, it’s been a staple of the city. But one thing you may not notice is the vibrant rooftop garden – thriving with organic veggies, herbs and fruits – taking the park to a whole new level.

Since 2015, Fenway has teamed up with Green City Growers (a Somerville-based commercial agriculture company) and produces about six thousand pounds of produce a year – which go to the park’s fine-dining restaurant, the EMC Club, and to some of the stadium’s concession stands. How’s that for a new twist on an old classic?



Hidden in the Christian Science Church is a room fit for lovers of history and travel. The Mapparium is a “three-story walk-in globe that depicts the oceans and continents, topography and countries,” according to Olia.

Visit the colorful globe and gain a new perspective of the world – one that reflects the geographical and political climate of the world in the 1930s – offering you a moment to travel back in time. The moment you walk across the glass bridge, you’ll be filled with a sense of wonder and awe, right in Boston’s Back Bay.

Whether you’re visiting Boston for the first time, or you’ve lived here for an entire lifetime, Olia’s book will show you another side of the city and inspire you to get out and seek new adventures. Along with these five gems, there are countless places to discover in her book No Access Boston that will leave you wondering, “what else don’t I know about Boston?”

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When Meghan Barrett, Boston-based content contributor, isn’t writing about wellness, work or places to go in Boston, she’s whipping something up in the kitchen or practicing yoga at her local studio. Keep up with her adventures on Instagram @meegzb.