Boston is one of the country’s oldest cities, with tons of history and culture within a small area. Whether you prefer nightlife, art, or outdoor recreation, you will find it here. Choose a vacation home in historic Beacon Hill, diverse Allston/Brighton, or artsy South End. No matter what your interest, you are sure to find a perfect fit in one if the city’s neighborhoods. Let’s take a look at nine Boston vacation rental locations.

1. Beacon Hill

Source: Flickr / tenaciousme

Beacon Hill may be one of Boston’s best known neighborhoods, and it is easy to see why. This area has gorgeous brick homes dating back to the colonial era lining its cobblestone streets. Free Tours by Foot has weekly tours of this neighborhood, and is an excellent way to learn more about your home away from home. Your vacation home also puts you near Charles Street, Beacon Hill’s commercial district filled with antique stores, upscale restaurants, and locally owned boutiques. From here, you can walk to Boston Common, the city’s public park, to enjoy time outdoors.

2. North End

Source: Flickr / 6SN7

Known as Boston’s “Little Italy,” the North End packs scores of Italian restaurants, delis, and cafes into its narrow streets. It can be hard to choose which one to try, so stroll the neighborhood and stop in whichever one appeals to you. Every weekend during the summer, the neighborhood celebrates a different patron saint, with live music, carnival games, and tasty street food. The North End borders the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, which offers grassy areas for lounging, art vendors, and a carousel for the kids. Bring a picnic lunch and spend the day people watching here.

3. Back Bay

Source: Flickr / Nathan Rupert

Back Bay is a mix of upscale Victorian brownstones and some of the city’s best shopping. Over on Newbury Street, you’ll find plenty of trendy boutiques and restaurants, while the Prudential Center provides an indoor shopping mall right in the city. It’s not all shopping in the Back Bay, there is much to see and do. Take a walk from your vacation rental to the Public Garden to sit among the flowers or to glide along the lagoon in a historic Swan Boat. Later, get up close to the beautiful architecture of Boston Public Library, see the finish line of the Boston Marathon, or take in an outdoor music concert at the Hatch Shell.

4. South End

Source: Flickr / Vernaccia

The South End is a lovely neighborhood of Victorian homes, cafes, and shops. Walk down any of its streets to discover tiny parks and hidden courtyards for you to explore. One of the highlights of South End is SOWA, an open air art market filled with local art vendors and food trucks that is a must visit on the weekends. If you are here the first Friday of the month, be sure to take part in First Friday, when the resident art galleries and studios open their doors to visitors.

5. Allston/Brighton

Source: Flickr / Ethan M. Long

The bordering neighborhoods of Allston and Brighton create a eclectic mix of trendy restaurants, unique shops, and lively entertainment venues thanks to the large student population that calls this area home. It is not unusual to see a street fair or music festival on the weekends, offering visitors a taste of all Allston/Brighton has to offer. Those who want to be in the center of the action choose vacation homes in Allston Village, while those who prefer a quieter locale turn to Oak Square. The neighborhood is well served by public transportation that connects you to the rest of the city.

6. Seaport

Source: Flickr / Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

Boston’s Seaport district is one of the city’s newest neighborhoods and an excellent choice for those looking for a vacation rental on the water. The Seaport’s Harbor Walk connects you to Boston Children’s Museum, the Institute for Contemporary Art, and several restaurants offering local seafood and harbor views. Take a ferry to one of the islands that make up the Boston Harbor Islands National Park and enjoy a peaceful oasis not far from the city. In the evening, stop by Lawn on D to play lawn games, swing dance, or listen to live music.

7. Charlestown

Source: Flickr / Teemu008

History buffs won’t want to pass up a chance to rent a vacation home in Charlestown. This neighborhood is home to the USS Constitution, the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel. Take a walk to Charlestown Navy Yard to tour “Old Ironsides” and learn about her role in the country’s naval history. Afterwards, stop by for lunch at colonial Warren Tavern. To see the site where the Revolutionary War began, visit Bunker Hill. Pick up a climbing pass at the museum so you can climb Bunker Hill Monument to enjoy views of the city.

8. Downtown Crossing

Source: Flickr / 6SN7

A vacation rental in Downtown Crossing give you easy access to some of the city’s most popular sites. Walk over to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market for an day of eating and shopping. You also include Haymarket in your itinerary. Take a tour of Boston’s history along the Freedom Trail, a red painted sidewalk path that connects you to 16 historic locations. In winter, you can ice skate in the Frog Pond at Boston Common or take in a show at one of the many theaters of this area.

9. East Boston

Source: Flickr / Sonia Keys

East Boston is known for Logan Airport, but this neighborhood offers much more than just air travel. It’s not far from downtown Boston, so you can hop on the Blue Line and visit the Aquarium and Boston Common in minutes. This diverse area has plenty of local cafes and restaurants, especially around Maverick Square. If you are looking for outdoor recreation, head to Belle Isle Marsh Reservation or Constitution Beach. These locations are both close to your vacation rental. In the evening, grab a slice at Santarpio’s Pizza. Then walk to Piers Park to enjoy a free concert and spectacular views of downtown.