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Top free (and almost-free) workouts for Boston travelers Get in your sightseeing and your steps in Boston’s Back Bay

Here at Newbury Guest House, we get calls from a lot of fitness-conscious travelers who want to stay active on vacation. They’ve read great reviews about our 35-room boutique hotel – its location in a historic 1800s residential brownstone neighborhood in Boston’s beautiful Back Bay, its old-world charm, the spotless new bathrooms in every room, great rates, and proximity to everything you’d ever want to do in Boston. But… You don’t have a gym?


To which we say, why sweat it out in a stuffy hotel basement with a couple of treadmills when one of the U.S.’ most architecturally stunning cities – also known for its 1,000-acre string of public parks – sits right outside your front door? Our friendly staff is always happy to arrange a day pass to a local gym, but with myriad studies showing that exercising outdoors in beautiful surroundings boosts both its physical and mental benefits, we suggest mixing your workout with your sightseeing. Read on for great places to get in a workout in Boston’s Back Bay. They’re just a short walk (or run) from our lobby, and free – no car or wallet required!


Charles River Esplanade

Newbury Guests House is less than a mile from this peaceful park with great views of the water and the city. It stretches three miles from the Museum of Science to the Boston University Bridge, and also includes five miles of paved pathways for running, biking, walking, and rubbernecking at beautiful scenery and historic landmarks. If you’re here in April, prepare to be bowled over by the spectacular cherry blossom bloom.


Run the Boston Marathon – Whenever

Serious athletes can run the world’s most famous marathon. The moderately-trafficked racecourse is accessible year-round. It starts on Main Street in Hopkinton, but the finish line is just four minutes from Newbury Guest House (we won’t fault you for walking that part).


Boston’s best Back Bay walking trails: great ways to get your steps in.


The Freedom Trail: Boston’s renowned 2.5-mile, red-brick Freedom Trail can take 90 minutes to two hours to walk, depending on whether you explore one or more of its 16 Revolutionary historical sites and attractions, including Boston Common, the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, the site of the Boston Massacre, the Old North Church, and the USS Constitution. The trail’s start in Boston Common is just a mile from Newbury Guest House. It’s free if you explore on your own; prices for guided tours vary but average around $40.


Back Bay Fens: Also less than a mile from Newbury Guest House is this jewel in the celebrated Emerald Necklace, a chain of interconnected parks and waterways that graces the city. Stroll through the Kelleher Rose Garden, fast-walk the Fens loop, run sprints at Clemente Field, and then take a lap at Victory Gardens, the oldest surviving victory garden in the United States.


The Riverway: Another park in the Emerald Necklace, The Riverway is nirvana for walkers and gardeners alike, featuring 100,000 plantings whose placements were designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. It’s a little over a mile from our hotel, but more than worth the extra steps for its natural refuge, stunning stone bridges and winding paths for walking and biking.


Commonwealth Avenue Mall: Though it’s just three minutes on foot from Newbury Guest House, you could confuse it with Paris. The 32-acre park cuts through the Back Bay and was designed in 1888 to feel like a grand Parisian boulevard with graceful memorials and statues dotting the length of its 1.3 miles.


Boston Common: It’s the oldest public park in the United States, and another Newbury Guest House neighbor. Created in 1634, it spans 74 body- and soul-restoring acres of trees and flower beds, along with some of Boston’s most iconic sites: Frog Pond, Make Way for the Ducklings, and the Edgar Allen Poe statue, to name just a few.


Blue Bikes: If you’d rather ride than stride, Boston’s public bike share system offers affordable two-wheel transportation throughout the Back Bay and beyond. A single ride costs $2.95 and lasts 30 minutes and each additional 30 minutes is $2.50. Or just walk over to Papa Wheelies to rent bikes of all kinds and get tips on Boston rides and events from their expert staff.


And If shopping is your workout, we’re not judging. How could we? Newbury Guest House sits right on Newbury Street, which ranks among the nation’s premiere shopping streets – and one of its most picturesque. Your resistance training: walking this one-mile thoroughfare without being tempted by the world’s best fashion, art galleries, specialty boutiques, fine dining, and charming outdoor cafes.


There are so many fun ways to stay fit in Boston’s Back Bay, all of them easy to access from Newbury Guest House, and easy on the wallet. Skip the gym and join the real action just outside our doors!