Mention Boston to an outsider, and the exploits of Colonial revolutionaries first come to mind. And if not that, it's invariably a nod to the city's world-renowned institutions of higher learning or the championship pedigree of the city's professional sports teams. Or for a certain subset of pop-culture aficionados, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and perhaps Dunkin Donuts.
Understandable, sure, but Boston also boasts another laudable quality that only comes into view when experiencing the city with a partner or spouse or simply someone whose company you enjoy — it's a wonderful place for romance.
Young couples, in particular, will find the city's numerous neighborhoods and points of interest amenable to hosting any manner of engagements. And along with the many romantic places in Boston, there's always something unique to do or see. In many instances, you can combine all three.
We offer 10 unique date ideas and romantic places to go in Boston for young couples.
1. Stroll the Boston Public Garden
When the Boston Public Garden opened in 1837, it was the country's first botanical garden accessible to the public. More than 185 years later, it remains an enchanting, verdant space to get lost in the moment, especially when you have someone at your side to share the moment with.
Of Boston's many romantic destinations, the Public Garden is perhaps the most celebrated and underappreciated spot to spend time with a partner or spouse. There's no need for grand overtures, pricy meals, or elaborate entertainment, just the simple luxury of being together, walking hand in hand, in a peaceful, postcard-perfect landscape.
2. Dine at Bistro du Midi
Follow up your stroll through one of Boston's most romantic locales with reservations at one of its most sought-after restaurants — Bistro du Midi. The two-story upscale eatery is a dual-purpose establishment located on Boylston Street across from the Public Garden and next to the Four Seasons Hotel Boston. The first floor is an airy French-style sidewalk bistro with an always festive bar and relaxed, come-as-you-are vibe.
Upstairs is the more traditional, but by no means stuffy, main dining room, which also features its own cocktail bar. Bathed in natural light for lunch and the Sunday brunch crowd and softly lit for evening dinner, Bistro du Midi maintains a blissful, flirtatious aesthetic no matter the time of day. Of course, the food is equally divine, serving some of Boston's best French fare expertly garnished with New England influences with a wine list to woo the most discerning of sommeliers.
3. Boston Waterfront, Part I — Boston Harborwalk
Boston's waterfront is extensive, and the 43-mile Boston Harborwalk allows young couples to explore almost all of it. Extending from Chelsea Creek in East Boston down to the Neponset River south of Dorchester, the Harborwalk is a boardwalk, park space, entertainment district, and transportation corridor. One could estimate that more than three-fourths of the city's most significant landmarks and destinations are within a mile of some segment of the Harbourwalk.
Offering an abundance of unique destinations and romantic outings in equal measure, the Harbourwalk might be a couple's best de facto suggestion when neither one conjures up a viable date idea. If you are curious where to start, the downtown Waterfront district offers plenty of couple-centric adventure, including the New England Aquarium, harbor boat rides from City Cruises Boston on Rowes Wharf, Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, and the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.
4. Crash at a romantic Boston hotel
Sometimes, when you and your spouse or partner want to get away, it need not be an elaborate multi-day trek to points far afield. Instead, a simple change of scenery is all you need to recharge and rekindle your relationship. Since no rules currently exist denying you the opportunity for a high-end staycation, you should make your new scene inside one of Boston's lavishly appointed luxury hotels.
5. Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
In a city filled with stunning museums, few impress the senses, like the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. With a nod to 15th-century Venetian design, the glassed roof interior courtyard is itself a work of art — a four-story atrium with three floors of galleries overlooking the courtyard's lush, thriving garden.
The intimate atmosphere is arguably the most serene art gallery of any in New England. It offers the perfect setting for a pair of art lovers to admire a collection that includes 7,500 paintings, sculptures, and other art pieces, 3,000 rare books, and 7,000 archival objects representing ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, Renaissance Italy, Asia, the Islamic world and 19th-century France and America.
6. Bike Boston's scenic trails
Boston offers an outstanding assortment of dating destinations for active, outdoorsy couples, specifically those possessing a secondary love affair with two-wheeled, self-propelled transportation. Foremost is the 23-mile Charles River Bike Path, including its popular 17.1 loop that runs on both sides of the river from the Museum of Science to Watertown Square and back again. It's a familiar and engaging way for couples to spend a morning or afternoon.
7. Dine at Deuxave
Situated on the majestic corner of Commonwealth and Massachusetts Avenues in Boston's celebrated Back Bay neighborhood, the French-American fusion of Deuxave offers patrons a fresh take on classic cuisine. Elegant and sumptuous, French staples are prepared with thoroughly modern flare and delivered without a hint of pretension.
For romantic dinners, you couldn't dream up a better setting for a first date, a celebratory meal, or a night out on the town. Decorated in a warm, understated opulence, the dining room only holds 90 guests, so even at the height of a weekend date night, there remains an aura of intimacy.
8. Boston Waterfront, Part II — Seaport District
The Seaport District represents the city's neighborhood of the future. Situated across the Fort Point Channel from Downtown Boston, Seaport is home to a budding tech sector and vibrant waterfront scene; romance is always trending up, and dull and docile dates are not optional.
Seaport doesn't feature any one place that is romantic or unique; it's the entire neighborhood that can play a starring role in your winsome date night extravaganza — through The Lookout Rooftop at the Envoy Hotel, Serafina Seaport, and Committee are excellent places to start.
9. Immerse yourself in the North End
If you and your date love Italian food, then Boston's North End should feature heavily in your date night rotation. As the city's celebrated Little Italy neighborhood, there's no shortage of exceptional and authentic Italian fare to satisfy you and your partner's hyper-specific palette. In fact, with just a handful of exceptions, many of Boston's best Italian restaurants are found in the North End, including Caffè Vittoria, Carmelina's, Galleria Umberto, La Familia Giorgio's, Mamma Maria and L'Osteria.
10. Boston's Freedom Trail
Finally, though you would normally file this under the unique date idea category, couples who share a romanticism of Colonial Boston might find an even deeper connection with Boston's 2.5-mile Freedom Trail. One of Boston's best attractions, the trail connects 16 national historic sites, including Boston Common, the Massachusetts State House, the Old South Meeting House, Faneuil Hall, Old North Church, Paul Revere House, and the Bunker Hill Monument.
Private tours are available for couples seeking a more personal trip through history, including those that visit all 16 sites, a historic pub crawl tour, and holiday tours in November and December.
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