The Massachusetts capital is a joy for fitness fanatics, whether it's going for a long run alongside the Charles River, discovering a new class, or shopping for a workout wardrobe
Title Boxing Club at FitRow
For a city synonymous with cutting-edge medicine, education and bio-tech, it's no surprise to find a population clued up about health and fitness. 'It's a huge part of life here. I always say, you can't walk two blocks without seeing a yoga studio,' says Jamie Ducharme, Health Editor at Boston magazine.
'We're also very competitive – go to any Patriots game for proof. And the Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon, while sportswear companies like New Balance and Reebok call Boston home. All of that adds up to a city whose residents work hard and have a feisty spirit when it comes to fitness.'
Arc'teryx in Newbury Street
According to Ducharme, the most hyped new opening is FitRow a 15,000-square-foot fitness emporium opening at shopping and dining destination Assembly Row in Somerville District this spring. It has been labelled a 'physical manifestation of ClassPass'; in other words, five boutique studios under one roof. Title Boxing Club and Orangetheory Fitness are among the line-up, and Squeeze Juice Bar will be harvesting many of its ingredients from the building's own terrace.
For smart workout gear that you will want to wear all day, look no further than Crane & Lion in Beacon Hill. The Boston-born brand (of which Oprah is a huge fan) is known for its flattering tees, sports bras and yoga pants, all in muted block colours and not a pattern in sight. Serious outdoor kit can be bought at Arc'teryx, which has a store in Newbury Street, carrying everything from stylish, insulated parka jackets to merino wool shirts.
Those who enjoy exercising in the elements will love East Boston's Piers Park, which has stunning water views and an outdoor gym. Or you can walk, jog or cycle along the Charles River Bike Path – a 17-mile loop that offers great views from many of Boston's bridges.
Healthy food from restaurant Whole Heart Provisions
Refuel at Jugos, a stylish hole-in-the-wall juice bar next to Back Bay Station; a sustaining Nantucket (oats, banana, honey, blueberry, cinnamon and almond milk) will set you up after even the most punishing workout. Another must-try is Whole Heart Provisions, an award-winning vegetarian restaurant in Allston known for its satisfying grain bowls and quirky ingredients, such as shaved Brussels sprouts and bulgogi-style beets.
For more on local eating spots and the latest classes, ask in-the-know Spa Director Virginia Lara at Mandarin Oriental, Boston (who, incidentally, buys all her fitness clothing at Lululemon in Newbury Street). 'Floating Meditation is becoming hugely popular here in Boston,' says Lara. 'Try Swet Studio in South End, where you can relax and experience the calm of meditation while suspended in a silk hammock, which feels as if you are floating.'
A soaking bath at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Boston
The hotel's Spa is also a popular place for locals in search of rest and relaxation. The tranquil, 1,600-square-foot space is the only Forbes Five-Star-awarded spa in Massachusetts. Escape the hubbub of the city in the vitality pools (set to a soothing 102 degrees), his-and-hers quartz-crystal steam rooms, and treatment suites with luxurious oversized soaking tubs.
For the ultimate reboot, book The Bostonian. This indulgent treatment, lasting four and a half hours, crams in a week's worth of pampering with a mood-boosting coffee and frankincense body scrub, an aromatherapy massage, and an Oriental foot therapy. It also includes a collagen-boosting Linda Meredith Couture Facial, and a nutritious lunch in the tea lounge. Bliss.