Beacon Hill by Day


Take the “T” to the Charles St/Massachusetts General Hospital stop and exit onto Charles Street. Enjoy a light breakfast at Panificio Bakery (144 Charles St) where the scones and muffins are other-worldly. Then continue along Charles Street and turn right onto Beacon Street for a glimpse of the Bull and Finch Pub (No. 84) – the bar that inspired the TV show Cheers. Continue up Beacon to the Massachusetts State House for a free 45-minute tour; times vary. Afterward, cross the road to the Shaw Memorial, where a National Park ranger-led Black Heritage Trail tour departs at noon during summer. The trail provides an excellent survey of the area’s architectural styles as well as its black culture sites, and terminates at the Museum of African American History .


Walk back down the hill to Charles Street for a fortifying late lunch. Weather permitting, stock up on fresh fruit, a crusty baguette, and a sampling of imported cheeses at the charming Deluca’s Market (11 Charles St) and have a picnic on the Common. Or for inexpensive, diner-style American fare (meatloaf and fruit pies), check out the Paramount (44 Charles St). After lunch, peruse the sleek accessories, art, and design at Good (88 Charles St) and spend the rest of the afternoon browsing Charles Street’s antique Shops. Round the day off with a pint at Seven's Ale House .

Antique Shops

  1. Room with a Vieux

    Owner Jeff Diamond scours France for unique furniture and light fixtures, which span the centuries. High-end Art Deco furniture pieces, bedboards, and Louis XV mirrors are strong points.

    • 20 Charles St

    • Closed Sun

    Room with a Vieux
  2. Eugene Galleries

    This shop has an excellent and fascinating selection of antique books, maps, and prints, including many depicting the development and history of Boston through various periods.

    • 76 Charles St

  3. Upstairs Downstairs

    This cozy shop places a refreshing emphasis on affordability and function. Everything from mahogany four-poster beds to belle époque opera glasses are on display.

    • 93 Charles St

  4. 20th Century Limited

    Vintage designer costume jewelry and estate jewelry are the main attractions here. But don’t overlook the handsome 1950s barware, vintage clothing accessories, and other collectibles.

    • 73 Charles St

  5. Boston Antiques Cooperative

    Seven dealers run this bi-level space filled with dozens of 19th-century Japanese woodblocks and Impressionist landscape paintings.

    • 119 Charles St

  6. Antiques at 80 Charles

    Should your predilection be antique jewelry, keep this address in mind. Ornate gold brooches, platinum earrings – plus excellent examples of Wedgwood ceramic work – populate the glass cases here.

    • 80 Charles St

    Antiques at 80 Charles
  7. Elegant Findings

    This intimate shop specializes in museum-quality, hand-painted 19th-century porcelain from all over Europe. You’ll also find marble statuary, exquisite linens, and period furniture.

    • 89 Charles St

    • Closed Tue & Wed

  8. Marika’s Antiques

    Packed to its dusty rafters with oil paintings, tarnished silverware, and mismatched china – nothing quite beats that thrill of discovery you’ll find here.

    • 130 Charles St

    • Closed Sun & Mon

  9. Antiques at 119 Charles

    Formal pieces of 19th-century Continental furniture and accessories, such as drop-leaf dining tables, wrought iron wall sconces, and beautiful Tiffany-style lamps, are the draw at this elegant shop.

    • 119 Charles St

  10. Judith Dowling Asian Art

    More of a gallery than an antique shop, Judith Dowling carries superlative Asian pieces, ranging from 17th-century Japanese Buddhist figurines to exquisite ceramics.

    • 133 Charles St

    • Closed Sun & Mon (Jul–Aug: closed Sat–Mon)

Unless otherwise specified, antique shops are open Mon–Sat (10 or 11am to 5 or 6pm) and Sun (noon–6pm)

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