Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Staying in Jamaica Plain While Visiting Boston

When I learned I had won the HomeAway Blog Away contest and we would be heading to Boston for the 4th of July, the trip was already less than two months away. Needless to say, many of the HomeAway properties in the city were already booked for that time period.

I soon narrowed our search down to ArtHouse in Jamaica Plain. I knew nothing about Jamaica Plain, but the house itself met our needs perfectly, so I took a chance and booked it.

Jamaica Plain

Jamaica Plain, photo courtesy of Wikipedia
The minute we arrived in Jamaica Plain I knew it was a perfect fit. It reminded us so much of our old neighborhood in downtown Indianapolis--lots of one and two family homes just a few inches apart from each other. It also had a diverse mix of people that we love.

Plus, we were just steps away from the Stony Brook T station, meaning we could be in downtown Boston in about 10-15 minutes. While my initial preference was to stay in the heart of the city, it was actually nice to escape it throughout the day, give The Arrow a little more room to play, and just relax a bit more than we might have otherwise.

We didn't rent a car, and we certainly didn't need one while staying in Jamaica Plain. We were just a few blocks from several grocery stores, restaurants, and other life necessities. Our favorite restaurant in Jamaica Plain was Bella Luna, which I'm sure I'll be writing about soon. Great spot for gourmet pizza, with a beautiful outdoor patio.

So Much To Do

We soon learned that Jamaica Plain is a destination in and of itself. The Sam Adams Brewery was just around the corner from ArtHouse. We tried to take the tour, but the last tour of the day on our last day of the trip was already sold out when we arrived (so book in advance or arrive early if it's on your list of things to see).

There's also Jamaica Pond, which is another attraction we didn't get around to visiting. The Franklin Park Zoo and Arnold Arboretum are both just short T rides (or long walks) away. In fact, if we would have had another day in Boston, I think we would have just spent it exploring this vibrant area.

Southwest Corridor Park near the Stony Brook T station
As it turns out, our favorite feature of Jamaica Plain was Southwest Corridor Park. It basically stretches from Back Bay to Forest Hills along the orange T line. A portion of the park was directly across the street from ArtHouse, making it incredibly convenient for our family. This section of the park featured a large, grassy space crying out for a picnic, a basketball court, a large playground and a small splash pad for cooling off. Needless to say, The Arrow insisted we make a lot of stops here as we walked to and from the T.


The HomeAway rental property that we selected is called ArtHouse. It was a great two-bedroom, one-bath two-family home. We rented the first floor, while the owners live on the 2nd floor. This meant they were accessible and helpful to us if we needed anything, but yet we all had our own space and privacy.

It was decorated very nicely, was very bright and cheery, and overall, just a really comfortable and clean place to relax and rest our heads at night. Perhaps our favorite feature, although we didn't use it as much as we would have liked, was the backyard patio area. Very shady and serene, a perfect place to crack open a beer or have a glass of wine after a day of sightseeing.

Backyard patio at ArtHouse in Jamaica Plain
ArtHouse was ideal for staying in Boston with a toddler. The owners also have a young child, and we were greeted with several baskets of toys and books to entertain The Arrow during our stay. The small yard meant we had some extra space, and the proximity to the park just can't be beat.

There are many, many reasons I prefer rental properties over hotels when traveling, and ArtHouse was no exception.


One of the requirements of winning the HomeAway contest was that we would spend a portion of the prize money on a HomeAway rental property. HomeAway covered all of the expenses associated with renting ArtHouse. I was not required to write about our experience staying there, and all opinions are my own. If I were traveling to Boston on my own dime, I would definitely consider renting this property.

For more information on our time in Boston, read my Boston Trip Report.

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