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Steeped in history and tradition, Boston is one of America's finest cities – at least that's certainly what its residents believe. After recently spending a week in Boston, I too came to realize that this is quite a special city, with its picturesque red brick buildings, old cobbled streets and its rich New England culture. During my stay in Boston, I made it my mission to explore as many neighborhoods as I could, and I tried to experience these neighborhoods like a local would. So when I toured the charming, collegiate neighborhood of Brighton, I asked the locals about their favorite restaurants, sights and hangout spots, so ultimately I felt that I got a great beat on life in the Brighton area of Boston. And since I used HotelTonight to book my last-minute hotel in Brighton, I never had to stress or worry about finding good accommodations. Right from the get-go, I was ready to experience Boston like a local.

The Charles River

Brighton, which was named "Little Cambridge" hundreds of years ago, is one of Boston's oldest neighborhoods. Today, it's home to a young, lively crowd and it's full beautiful, historic buildings as well as hip new restaurants and bars. One of my favorite parts of Brighton is the area surrounding the Charles River, where you can take scenic walks, find quaint coffee shops and cafes, and even take a kayak out on the river. If you're looking for charm and beauty in Brighton, I'd suggest starting at the river--you won't be disappointed by the views or the ambience.

The College Community

Brighton is best known as a college neighborhood. Many students from Boston University and Boston College call Brighton home, which is why the area is such a young, exciting area to visit. Thanks to its youthful, college-aged population, Brighton is full of great--yet affordable--dining options and bars. So if you're looking to do Boston on the cheap, you may want to take some tips from the college students in Brighton. This neighborhood is also a great area for those who want to enjoy Boston's rowdiest nightlife, and if you venture into one of the bars, it won't take you long to discover just how passionate the students are about their college "town" of Boston.

The Chestnut Hill Reservoir

Even though Boston is a major city, it has no shortage of public parks and open spaces for locals to enjoy. One of the very best public spaces in the city is located in Brighton. The Chestnut Hill Reservoir dates back to 1870, and to this day it remains a beloved outdoor space in the heart of Boston. Locals run, walk and bike the 1.56 loop that lines the reservoir, and I did as the locals do and headed to the reservoir every morning for a bit of fresh air, exercise and greenery.

HotelTonight – Brighton Boston Hotels at Your Fingertips

There are so many beautiful, lively areas to explore in Boston, but Brighton was one of my favorites. I was fortunate enough to stay in this young, vibrant area thanks to HotelTonight, which helped me book a Brighton hotel at the very last minute, making my Boston vacation one to remember.