Boston Public Gardens. Credit Boston Photosphere
Step into an autumn wonderland at the Boston Public Gardens. Credit Boston Photosphere.

By Steve Jermanok

Fall is arguably the best time to visit Boston, and there’s no better place to stay than Boston hotels to experience the seasonal colors of the city’s public lands and storybook history.

Begin your Boston leaf-peeping tour in the Fens, the park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, which will show off its finest fall colors in mid-October. The Fens is home to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts — while you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to pop in for its new American Wing, a $500 million expansion housing more than 5,000 works of art produced in North, Central, and South America over the course of three millennia.

Continue your stroll through the Public Garden and neighboring Boston Common, the oldest city park in America, and along the Charles River on either the Boston or Cambridge side, a favorite for joggers and bike riders. Stop and take a picture at the end of the Mass Ave bridge on the Cambridge side looking toward Boston: you’ll have a picturesque backdrop of the golden dome of the State House and splashes of crimson, orange and gold from surrounding foliage, all framed by the city skyline behind.

Location, location, location. That’s what you get when you book a room at the new Fairmont Battery Wharf. Nestled alongside the Boston Harbor, this is a favorite of all Boston hotels that puts you within easy walking distance to the Italian restaurants in the North End, the penguins and other marine life at New England Aquarium, and the shops and restaurants at Faneuil Hall. Take your lunch to go and eat it under the colorful leaves in Columbus Park overlooking the harbor.

In the shadow of Fenway Park and under the large red, orange, and blue Citgo sign, Kenmore Square has always had the foot traffic — folks going to and from Red Sox games, and students heading to classes at nearby Boston University. But it never felt hip until the 150-room Hotel Commonwealth made the bold move to open in the heart of the neighborhood in 2003. Dine al fresco in the crisp autumn air at this Boston hotel’s trendy but consistent Eastern Standard restaurant.

Steve Jermanok has explored more than 75 countries and written over 1,000 articles on subjects ranging from art to adventure. He has worked as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor for Budget Travel, guest editor for The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine and writes regularly for Away.com, Health, Men’s Journal, Outside, and Yankee.

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