Visit Seven Top Boston Universities from One Perfect Location

If you’re visiting Back Bay universities with a prospective student, for graduations, reunions, the big game or any number of major college events, location counts. Boston is the textbook definition of “college town,” home to some of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious higher learning institutions, seven of which are in easy walking distance of Newbury Guest House. Here’s a quick education:

Boston Conservatory at Berklee

Opened in 1867 just across from the Boston Common, the "Boston Conservatory of Music" launched a new renaissance of music education in Boston. Today, the Boston Conservatory at Berklee offers leading graduate and undergraduate programs in music, dance, and theater, graduating some of today’s most well-regarded performing artists. More than 300 Grammy Awards have gone to Berklee alumni.

The conservatory also hosts more than 1,500 highly anticipated concerts, master classes and other events on campus each year, highlighting the work of its students, alumni, and faculty as well as performances by many professional acts. 

Book early for: The Berklee Popular Music Institute (BPMI)’s annual Epic Event, a spring showcase featuring six student artists chosen to perform at some of the country’s biggest and most iconic summer festivals. 

Boston Conservatory at Berklee is a 10-minute walk from Newbury Guest House.

Boston University

Founded in 1839, Boston University’s main campus lies along the Charles River and is home to 80 percent of its undergraduate students. The private, independent university is consistently rated among the nation’s best and is known for its highly ranked law, management, medicine, engineering, and education graduate programs. Boston University created one of the first study abroad programs, and currently sponsors more than 90 international programs. Boston University was the first university to open all divisions to female students in 1872, and its famous graduates include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Game days are big deals at BU. The Terriers participate in 20-plus NCAA Division varsity sports and boast multiple NCAA national hockey championships. 

Book early for: The Green Line Rivalry – BU’s matchup with fierce local hocky rivals the Boston College Eagles.

Boston University is a 17-minute walk from Newbury Guest House

Northeastern University

A proud Boston institution since 1898, Northeastern is an elite research university focused on global challenges in health, security, and sustainability. Northeastern (NU) is known for its tough acceptance rate of 6.7 percent and its 100-year-old cooperative education program, one of the largest in the world. Widely known as “Co-op”, it combines classroom study with professional experience provided by thousands of partners worldwide. NU students have the option to customize their study programs through one of its 270 major programs. 

Like Boston University, the Northeastern Howlin’ Huskies are also known for their hockey teams, recently defeating Boston University, Boston College, and Harvard.

Book early for: The Beanpot, the annual February ice hockey tournament for the four major U.S. college hockey schools in Boston. Or if your tastes run to the more whimsical, don’t miss the fall campus Underwear Run (exactly what it sounds like), or the Husky Hunt, a city-wide scavenger hunt for 50 qualifying teams. This is Northeastern, so Hunt participation is selective – only a third of the teams pass the qualifying quiz to proceed to the actual fall event.

Northeastern University is a 15-minute walk from Newbury Guest House.

Suffolk University

Suffolk University, another of Boston’s noted private universities, was founded in 1906 as a law school and counts dozens of U.S. state and federal judges and congresspersons among its graduates. Today Suffolk is ranked as one of the best universities in New England and known for its focus on student career preparation, with highly respected leadership, business, and engineering programs. Students love Suffolk’s heart-of-downtown Beacon Hill location for its city setting and access to internship opportunities, cultural events, and night life. 

Book early for: SpringFest, Suffolk's annual April variety show and 100-year-old arts spectacular. The one-night-only event at Boston’s Royale night club showcases the performing arts talents of Suffolk students and staff. 

Suffolk University is a 30-minute walk from Newbury Guest House.

New England Conservatory

New England Conservatory is the nation’s oldest (1867) independent music conservatory and among the most distinguished in the world. Appropriately located near Boston Symphony Hall, NEC is an integral part of the city’s rich cultural history. New England Conservatory is the only music school in the U.S. designated as a National Historic Landmark, and Jordan Hall, its main performance venue, is recognized as one of the world's top concert halls for its superb acoustics. 

The school emphasizes classical training and performance, but also offers undergraduate degrees in composition, contemporary improvisation, music theory, jazz, and musicology, as well as graduate degrees in conducting, accompaniment, and voice instruction. Recent collaborations with Tufts and Harvard Universities have created double-degree programs providing first-rate academic resources to students pursuing multiple music disciplines. In other words, the place is serious about music. Not-surprising fact: NEC’s faculty and alumni make up nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 

Book early for: Whatever music you love! NEC has an ongoing calendar of recitals and major concerts with dozens of world-class performances happening every week.

New England Conservatory is an 18-minute walk from Newbury Guest House.

Emerson College

Founded in 1880 by Charles Wesley Emerson as a "school of oratory," Emerson offers highly regarded academic and professional training programs in the arts, communication, and liberal arts. The college sits in the Theater District on south side of the Boston Common, and owns and runs the Back Bay’s historic Cutler Majestic, Paramount, and Colonial theaters. In 2003 Emerson built the Tufte Performance Production Center, a spectacular steel and glass building that contains its Performing Arts department, two TV studios, two theaters, and makeup and costume labs. 

Funny business: One rising senior each year receives the Emerson College Comedy Scholarship for comedy writing, performance, or directing. The college is also home to the American Comedy Archives and the alma mater of comedy icons including Norman Lear and Jay Leno.

Book early for: The annual EVVY Awards – the largest multi-camera, student-run award show in the nation. Judged by renowned industry professionals every May, the EVVYs honor outstanding achievements by students in their selected disciplines. 

Emerson College is a 20-minute walk from Newbury Guest House.

Simmons University

Since its 1899 founding by clothing manufacturer John Simmons, the university’s mission has been to expand opportunities for women by offering a liberal arts education for undergraduates to bring to their professional work experience. Today Simmons’ undergraduate program is still women-focused while its graduate programs are co-educational. Its 60 majors and study programs include nursing and health sciences, public health, liberal arts, communications, social work, business, and library science.

The school has a long history of inclusion, graduating its first Black scholar in 1914 and refusing (unlike most private universities of the time) to put admission quotas on Jewish students for the first half of the 1900s.

Book early for: Homecoming weekend. The fall extravaganza combines class reunions, “Simmtober” and Friends & Family Weekend, all designed to deepen Simmons student and alumni connections and awareness, and to celebrate successes and encourage networking. Alumni, students, and community leaders come together for a packed schedule of celebrations, talks, cookouts, outings and other “Shark pride” events.

Simmons University is a 30-minute walk via the Back Bay’s beautiful Emerald Necklace from Newbury Guest House.

Newbury Guest House is a top campus-adjacent choice for Back Bay university sporting events, reunions, commencements, parents’ weekends and other school events. Our boutique hotel fills up early for major events, so book today – unlike college, it’s a no-brainer.