Boston may be a big city, but art lovers can easily enjoy an important part of the art scene in half of a day. Not quite enough time to fully enjoy the Museum of Fine Arts or the Institute of Contemporary Art, a half day is perfect for strolling the open galleries of Newbury Street and the Boston Public Library.
While you wander from one gallery to the next, you'll find that the scene on Newbury is as stunning as the works within the walls of the galleries. Observe the culture and fashion of locals by claiming a patio seat at one of the many restaurants and people watching between sips of coffee or bites of a fresh pastry.
Back Bay's Newbury Street has more galleries per block than the rest of the city. Be sure to hit a few of Boston's best like Vose Galleries. The layout displaying their 18th- through early 20th-century American realist artwork is so much like browsing the walls of a friend's collection that you'll forget you are in a gallery.
Robert Klein Gallery — Photo courtesy of Robert Klein Gallery/Facebook
Those who lean towards photography as their medium of choice should not miss the Robert Klein Gallery. Here pictures speak louder than words as you are drawn into the works adorning the white walls of this popular gallery.
Those seeking more contemporary art will love what they find at the Barbara Krakow Gallery. Browse contemporary art that incorporates an endless variety of media, by both emerging and established artists.
You can rest your feet while you enjoy a bite at one of the many restaurants lining the street. A low-key local favorite is Met Back Bay. Offering a comfortable respite, Met Back Bay has one of the most welcoming bars around and an unusually friendly staff. On a nice day, snag a seat on their below-street-level patio and enjoy the chance to see without being seen.
Once you've done Newbury, walk the short distance to Copley Square and enter the Boston Public Library, where art, literature and architecture collide in a breathtakingly beautiful space. At this main branch, you can tour the library's two buildings at your leisure by using the provided guides or enjoy one of the tours offered by the library.
Courtyard at BPL — Photo courtesy of The Catered Affair at the Boston Public Library/Facebook
When your artistic passion is satisfied, stop into the library's Courtyard Restaurant for afternoon tea or a bite to eat, and relax while you enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.