A Perfect D.C. Getaway with Ames Boston Hotel

Boston doesn’t always get the buzz it deserves—some regard it as little more than the brainy older sibling to trendy New York City. But there’s a second revolution brewing in the city, resulting in revitalized neighborhoods and an exciting culinary scene. Ames Boston Hotel’s central location in the Financial District makes a prime base for exploring Boston through the centuries. You’re steps from iconic landmarks and can take one of the complimentary bikes for a spin to explore farther afield.

Ames Boston Hotel

Boston is a city of firsts, and Ames Boston Hotel has its own place in area history: At 13 stories, the former office building was regarded as the city's first skyscraper when it opened in 1893. Nowadays, the building seamlessly melds past and present, from the stately Romanesque-style sandstone façade to the 114 ultra-contemporary rooms with low platform beds, marble bathrooms, and stainless-steel accents. Other eye-catching old-meets-new details include ornamental fireplaces, sleek oak floors, and a state-of-the-art gym.

The Freshest Tables

One of the most anticipated openings of the summer is the Ames Boston Hotel’s own Cultivar. Chef Mary Dumont’s passion project sees her sourcing much of her fresh produce from a hydroponic garden on the premises, to come up with creative dishes like rabbit mortadella agnolotti with sugar-snap peas and pork cheeks with whey-braised carrots. In Fort Point, lately the scene of a major restaurant boom, two culinary players are leading the wave: Barbara Lynch’s contemporary trattoria Sportello and the lively oyster bar Row 34. In the Back Bay, quirky-named Saltie Girlis a temple to all things seafood, from sea urchin crudo to fried lobster and waffles — but the main event is the vast selection of tinned fare, like octopus, eel, and cockles. The quaint South End, with its endless lanes of photogenic brownstones, is also a brimming with don’t-miss eateries, chief among them Myers + Chang, an award-winning modern-Asian diner that also boasts a popular dim sum brunch.

The Impassioned History

If you’re here for the history, you’ll be tripping over it the second you step outside the Ames. Within a few minutes’ walk from the front door you’ll find yourself following the Freedom Trail, helpfully marked with a bold red line along the sidewalks. Stops include Faneuil Hall and the Old State House, a place where John Adams said, “freedom was born.” And while the JFK Presidential Library and Museum has a series of special events commemorating his 100th birthday this year, it’s also worth a visit next door to the EMK Institute for the United States Senate named for his brother, lifelong senator Ted Kennedy. Another notable local, Isabella Stewart Gardner, ventured farther afield, canvasing the globe and collecting art. Her finds, including some Italian masterpieces, are now on view at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, complete with a lavish garden.

The Craft Brews and Cocktails

Fort Point brewery Trillium made a splash this summer with the opening of an open-air beer garden at the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, a 10-minute walk from the Ames hotel. Swing by to try out their Sleeper Street, Congress Street, and Melcher Street IPAs al fresco. Samuel Adams Brewery, a Boston institution, is often credited for kick-starting the craft-brewing craze three decades ago. If you’re more into cocktail culture, Yvonne’s is a sexy supper club with funky interiors—opulent wallpaper, glittering chandeliers suspended from pressed-tin ceilings, and plush chesterfields—plus a mean cocktail list. Order a Pumpkin-Spiced Mule or Enchanted Catnip to toast your trip as you sink into an animal-print chair in the library.

The Great Urban Outdoors

Come summer, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a Bostonian indoors. The 17th-century Boston Common is the oldest public park in the country, and it’s perfect for a stroll, a picnic, or a ride on the swan boats. Another popular point of convergence for cyclists and kayakers is the Charles River, and the Hatch Memorial Shell hosts concerts and festivals on the banks of the river throughout the summer. Head to the Lawn on D to chill on the funky circular swings or play mega-sized Connect Four or checkers. But perhaps no activity is more synonymous with Boston than a ball game at Fenway Park. There are few baseball fans in the world quite like Red Sox devotees, so be sure to catch a game—even if the Sox aren’t playing their lifelong arch nemeses, the New York Yankees.

Curio experiences await. Share your own #CitiesByCurio.