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Boston's Back Bay Neighborhood


Boston's Back Bay Neighborhood

The Prudential Center towers above Boston's Back Bay.

Photo by Eric Wilbur

Back Bay Overview:

Swarming with unique shops, gourmet restaurants, and classic architecture, Boston’s Back Bay is the place to be – and to be seen - for the city’s visitors and residents. This neighborhood, which includes the trendy Newbury St., Copley Square, the Public Library, and the Prudential Center, is Boston’s most affluent, evident in the boutiques, salons, and other services available to its residents.


According to 2007 data provided by Onboard Infomatics, the Back Bay is home to 17,398 residents, with a median age of 35.61 and a median household income of $79,152. The average household’s net worth is $825,117 with an average of 1.52 people per dwelling. Many crimes occur at a higher rate in the Back Bay than the national average, particularly the risk of automotive theft and other robbery.


The Boston Public Library is a commanding presence on Boylston St. The first of its kind, its ornate architecture is not to be missed. The John Hancock Tower is the tallest building in New England. Its mirrored surface has long given a shine to the Back Bay. At the nearby Prudential Center, visitors can reach the summit to take in wondrous views on the SkyWalk Observatory. The Public Gardens area is arguably the most serene section of the city. The reflecting pool at the Christian Science Monitor Plaza is almost twice as long as a football field.


There is no shortage of options here, no matter what you're looking for.
  • Grill 23: Steak and seafood in an ambiance that oozes elegance.
  • Sonsie: Eclectic cuisine served street side on Newbury St.


  • Rattlesnake Grill and Bar: There are few more pleasant places in the city than the Rattlesnake roof deck in the midst of summer.
  • City Bar: A comfortable spot to meet up for a martini before or after dinner.
  • Bukowski’s – One of the best beer bars in Boston.
  • McGreevy’s: Owned by members of the Dropkick Murphys, this old-time baseball-themed bar is named after local barkeep legend, “Nuf Ced” McGreevy.


The Back Bay is the premier destination in Boston for anyone with shopping on the brain. There are three distinct destinations.
  • Newbury St.: Boutique shopping at its best with a bevy of clothing, shopping, and other services available.
  • Copley Place: Mostly upscale shopping featuring Jimmy Choo, Burberry, and Tiffany and Co.
  • The Shops at Prudential Center – More of your typical mall, featuring Barnes and Noble, Ann Taylor and GameStop.


For a list of local public schools, visit the Boston Public Schools, click here.


The Green Line runs through the heart of the Back Bay with stops at Boylston, Arlington, Copley, and Hynes Convention Center. The Orange Line makes a stop at the Back Bay station, which also features a commuter rail. For more information about navigating the T, click here

Grocery Stores:


  • CVS Pharmacy: Multiple locations
  • Walgreen Drug Store: 841 Boylston St.

Post Office:

800 Boylston St.
Monday-Friday 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m.-2 p.m.


Boston Public Library Main Branch
700 Boylston St.

Police station:

650 Harrison Ave., 617-343-4250

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Boston's Back Bay
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