Curio Collection Local Guide, Boston

We sent Yodeler James Carpenter to the amazing Ames Boston Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton in the heart of downtown to experience the property, shoot some photos and create a Boston Travel Guide. It’s full of unique tips and local secrets, just for you.

Name? James Carpenter

Occupation? Freelance Photographer & Graphic Designer

Preoccupation? Traveling, exploring cities and drinking lots of coffee

Can you sum up Boston in a paragraph? Being one of the oldest cities in the United States, there is so much charm and beauty that makes Boston stand apart from others. You see this when you walk through areas like the North End and Beacon Hill. Today, Boston is mainly known for being a giant college town, its sports teams and some of the best researchers & hospitals in the world.

What is the best thing about Boston? The history! You can walk in the same steps that so many historical figures have walked before. Also, the size of the city is great. You are able to walk from one end of the city to the other, which makes everything accessible.

What is a perfect day in Boston? A perfect day in Boston for me starts with enjoying a cup of coffee outside from Tatte Bakery and getting some fresh air. Then, depending on the weather, I would explore the North End and Beacon Hill neighborhoods and take pictures. A weather change always makes me excited, it is New England after all! We are always embracing the unexpected and the constant change of weather throughout each season. I would get a sandwich to-go from Sam LaGrassa’s and enjoy it in the beautiful Boston Public Garden. I would take a stroll through the South End viewing the beautiful Victorian style homes and then head over to my favorite place to be for sunset, the Charles River Esplanade, taking in the city skyline.

What are the people like in Boston? Diverse! There are so many different types of people. Boston is filled with college students, business professionals, artists, scientists, doctors, and of course, the hardcore sports fans. The people here are incredibly hard working, persistent, committed to their passions, and protective of their hometown.

If Boston was a person who would it be? Paul Revere when he rode his horse through the city with lanterns to hang in the Old North Church so the residents knew the British were coming.

Can you tell us about your experience visiting Ames Boston Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton? Arriving at the Ames Boston Hotel was an incredibly welcoming experience. The Team Members here are great! After checking in and taking the elevator up to our room, we walked into one of the most beautiful hotel spaces I have ever stepped foot in. Our room had huge round windows that opened up to the busy downtown streets bustling with cars and people. The hotel is contemporary and hip but they preserved elements of the historic building which, in my opinion, captures the essence of Boston.

Breakfast in the Library is a delicious breakfast spot located in the hotel; and the dinner at the attached restaurant, Cultivar, is to die for. Cultivar has craft cocktails mixed with some of the freshest and tastiest fine-dining in Boston. (Try the Pride Tai Cocktail!)

The Bobby Orr Suite dedicated to Orr fans, Bruins fans, and hockey devotees was amazing. Be sure to check it out!

Overall, Ames Boston Hotel was by far one of the most accommodating and thoughtful hotels I have ever stayed at—and I travel quite a bit!

What did you love about the hotel? I loved the classic architecture of the building and the contemporary comforts. When we explored the hotel we would walk from room to room, space to space and light would constantly pour in from the giant windows that overlooked the busy Boston streets. While my room had the giant round windows that overlooked the Custom House Tower, I was equally amazed by the views on the other side of the building. When exiting the building, you were positioned right in front of the old Massachusetts State House, a historic brick building that is actually a stop on the Freedom Trail (a path, well worth exploring that brings you to the most historic sites all over Boston). The hotel’s architecture, grounds and design all hold qualities that are related to Boston and the Ames really pays homage to the city.

If your best friend was visiting Boston what would you suggest they do? I would recommend them starting their day with breakfast at The Paramount. Then head over to Beacon Hill to explore some beautiful cobblestone streets and the beautiful red brick while of course stopping into Tatte Bakery for a latte. 

After exploring Beacon Hill I would suggest heading towards the Boston Public Garden for a stroll through the beautiful park and a Swan Boat ride. Then take a walk up Newbury Street to visit one of the busiest shopping centers in the city. Stop along the way to pick up a takeout lunch to eat in the beautiful courtyard of the Boston Public Library.

Then I’d suggest a walk back through the city to the Ames Boston Hotel to unwind a bit before dinner. Relax and take in the views overlooking the Custom House Tower.

After relaxing, I would suggest a quick walk to the Downtown Crossing T Stop and take the T to the Kendall Stop in Cambridge to explore MIT and the beautiful architecture designed by the famous Frank Gehry. Afterward, I’d suggest heading over to the Charles River for sunset, to watch the sailboats dock up and the see the sun reflect off of the Prudential and Hancock buildings as it sets. 

Finally head off to Lone Star Taco in Cambridge for dinner and enjoy some delicious Mexican eats and margaritas. 




Best place to eat:

I’m a sucker for breakfast sandwiches so Mike & Patty’s in Boston’s South End is my favorite morning stop. For coffee & baked goods, I always hop between Tatte Cafe & Bakery and Thinking Cup (both located in various locations throughout Boston). I suggest grabbing a takeout lunch somewhere in the Back Bay neighborhood and eating it in the beautiful and public courtyard of the Boston Public Library or the Boston Public Garden! For dinner head over to Cambridge (located directly north of Boston) and eat some tacos at Lone Star Taco Bar.

Best place to drink:

Coppersmith in Boston’s South End is the perfect place to hang out and drink some beers with your friends. Or you can head over to Drink in Fort Point for some cocktails.

Best outdoor activity:

Running all over the city from the North End to the South End and then to Cambridge. Immerse yourself in all the different neighborhoods of Boston. Explore!

Local tip:

If you’re in the area on the First Friday of the month make sure you swing by SoWa (South Of Washington Street) when all the artists, galleries, shops, & restaurants open their doors to the public for an evening of art! You can meet tons of artists and view their many different types of work.

Best place to stay:

Ames Boston Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton