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Itinerary: A Perfect Day in Chelsea

Any perfect day in Chelsea starts with breakfast. At Katz Bagels, a multi-generational baking tradition has been going on in Park Square since 1938. Grab a “real” bagel as Richard Katz, now in his 80s, continues to bake the iconic Jewish bagel the way it should be baked: with a firm crust around chewy, not-too-dense bread. Unlike over-sized, commercially-produced bagels, Katz’s bagels aren’t puffed up with air; they’re made in small batches, baked daily in the original bakery with whole ingredients. Katz is also famous for their own innovation - the widely revered pizza bagel.

If you’re looking to start the day at Chelsea’s Latin American bakeries, known as panderias, be sure to visit Cafe El Dorado on Broadway. Café El Dorado is an airy, light-filled space, flooded with aromas of sweet baked goods and enticing savory pastries. Everything is baked on premises, and many Colombian specialties are made from 100% corn flour, processed in house. For a quick snack, pick up a pretty pandebono, a Columbian corn flour roll that is warm, soft, and flavored with a hint of cheese. They take their Colombian coffee seriously, so grab a cup and enjoy.

Follow the route of one of our walking tours to explore one of Chelsea's neighborhoods. Explore the public art of the downtown, from traditional sculpture to murals by local artists along the art alley of the Division Street Neighborway. Learn about Jewish history and the immigrants that continue to shape this city. See the locations where some of your favorite movies were filmed. Or wander Prattville where for three centuries the Pratt family lived.

Lunch is great on the go, especially at Chelsea’s award-winning oven fired pizzeria, Ciao Pizza and Pasta. Take your pizza or panini over to the waterfront at PORT Park. This award-winning landscape design was created out of the remains of an industrial oil tank farm. Sit in the grassy amphitheater, eat lunch and watch the ocean-going vessels pull into port from points all over the globe.

Take in an afternoon jog around Mary O'Malley Park, with spectacular views of the harbor among the grounds of the former Naval Hospital.

After that exercise. take in the steam at Dillon’s Russian Steambath just behind Chelsea Square. It's the oldest steam bath in America, founded in 1885, and comes out of the Shvitz tradition from Eastern Europe. The hidden gem keeps separate hours for men and women. (Women are welcomed at the moment on Mondays only.) Grab your towel and relax in the hot steam or step over to the sauna. Along with modern massage, Dillon offers the traditional platza. Using a broom made of fresh oak leaves, a Dillon’s platza specialist will scrub you while the broom foams with olive oil soap. The oak leaves contain a natural astringent which opens pores, removes toxins, and takes off layers of dead skin. You’ll leave feeling 10 years younger.

Cool off with a “cold one” and in Chelsea isn’t just an ice cold beer. In Chelsea Square, try the michelada at Mi Salvador Mexicano. It's refreshing and spicy, akin to a beer-based Bloody Mary.

Take a break by Stebbins Fountain in Chelsea Square, people watching and enjoying the sights and sounds of the city is always a great late afternoon activity, and you won’t be alone. Chelsea Square is always brimming with activity.

You can’t have an evening in Chelsea without taking in a production from Apollinaire Theater. In the summer, they run outdoor, interactive theater productions.

After the show, it’s just a short walk to Chelsea Station Restaurant, where the hip American bistro scene takes place in a former firehouse. Get the Station Burger and don’t be afraid to add a fried egg to this masterpiece. A cold soda or a flight of draught brews rounds out the meal, with the flights offering four, 7 oz. tastings of the freshest local beers on tap.

Walk it all off with a jaunt up to Admirals Hill and into Mary O’Malley Park to watch the sunset, and observe the Harbor wind down for the night.


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