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America's Most Beautiful Neighborhoods

Back Bay, Boston

The Back Bay encompasses so much that is Bostonian that tourists could visit only it and feel as if they know Beantown. Reclaimed from waterways in the 1880s, it’s the city in microcosm—touristically, if not demographically, speaking—with skyscrapers (I. M. Pei’s John Hancock at Copley Square), fine stone Victorian dwellings with distinctive bay windows, shopping avenues (upscale-artsy Newbury Street), and name-brand hotels. Visitors can even eat “chowdah” at Legal Sea Foods and rummage through bargain bins at Filene’s Basement without departing the confines of America’s brownstone heaven.

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