Massachusetts

DAY TRIP: THE BEST OF BOSTON

George Washington Statue in Boston Public Garden

My goal this summer has been to visit cities across the U.S. that have been on my list for a while. My first stop was Seattle, where I caught a bird’s eye view of the city and devoured a delicious cup of seafood bisque. Next on my list was Boston. I knew very little other than what I learned from many viewings of “The Town”, which admittedly did not offer the best depiction. So, last week I decided to venture there with an open mind to see what the city had to offer. Below are some highlights from my recent day trip and what I found to be the best of Boston.

GETTING THERE

A Bostonian

After landing at Boston Logan International Airport, getting to downtown Boston is a breeze. Simply hop on the free airport shuttle, which takes you to the train station known as the ”T”.  A one way ticket is $2.75.  Take the train “Inbound” towards Bowloin for 2 stops and get off at Aquarium.

WATERFRONT

Seagull on the dock in Boston

Boston Waterfront Marina

Boats in the Boston Harbor

Part of what makes Boston such a special city is its proximity to the water. Boston has an extensive waterfront featuring several restaurants, an aquarium, yacht clubs and the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park as well as several lookout points and boat tours. You cannot visit Boston without spending time near the harbor.

CAFES & COFFEE HOUSES

Cute street in Boston

An afternoon latte in Seattle

My first stop was the Thinking Cup, a small coffee shop in Boston’s North End on Hanover Street. Although there’s no wifi or working power outlets, it’s worth visiting for one of their refreshing basil cucumber lemonades…yum! There are also several other restaurants, cafes and coffee houses located along Hanover Street that are perfect for a leisurely lunch.

HISTORICAL LANDMARKS

Sam Adams statue outside Faneuil Hall in Boston

Old State House in Boston

History buffs will love exploring the city of Boston. There are countless landmarks that played a pivotal role in shaping our nation. Follow along on the Freedom Trail and marvel at the museums, churches, meeting houses ships, parks and burial grounds that have been in existence since the Revolution.

MARKETS

Fresh flowers at the Boston Public Market

Farmer selling fresh produce at the Boston Public Market

Boston has a thing for markets. There are 4 situated within walking distance of one another. The Boston Public Market is an indoor market open year round where you’ll find locally sourced produce, fresh meats, seafood and cheeses, fresh juices, sweet treats such as fudge and gelato and so much more! It’s a great spot for lunch if you don’t mind long lines. They also offer cooking classes throughout the year.

Just behind the Faneuil House are 3 more bustling markets – North Market, Quincy Market and South Market. Here you’ll find local food options as well as staples like Qdoba and Starbucks. Walking through these markets is quite an experience particularly around lunchtime when the crowds are at their peak.

PARKS & GREEN SPACES

Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park

Boston Public Garden on a sunny day

Commonwealth Mall in Boston

Boston has some terrific parks that should definitely be on your to do list when visiting. The Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park offers serene views of the harbor and is the perfect spot to lay out or enjoy a leisurely stroll. The two largest and most popular parks are located in the center of Boston adjacent to one another. The Boston Common and Boston Public Garden offer a relaxing respite after exploring the bustling city. If you’re up for walking, I highly recommend taking a stroll along Commonwealth Avenue Mall. This green space stretches 8 avenues from the entrance of the Boston Public Garden to the South End of Boston. Marvel at the architecture of the Bostonian brownstones lining the street and you’ll wonder why they didn’t name it  UNcommonwealth Avenue.

EATS

New England clam chowder at Chart House in Boston

Chart House Boston

In addition to serene parks and historical landmarks there are also plenty of great eateries throughout Boston. For dinner with a view head over to the waterfront and grab a table on the patio at Chart House. For a New England classic that’s been in business since the 1800’s, check out the Union Oyster House located in the heart of the North End. Or make your way over to the South End and dine at the trendy Banyan Bar and Refuge or the Beehive, located right next door. There are so many great options to choose from!

SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Inside the Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library

Photo Source

Swan Boats in the Pond at the Boston Public Garden

Photo Source

If you’re wanting to experience more of Boston after marking the main attractions off your list, pay a visit to the Mary Baker Eddy Library and take a tour of the Mapparium. It’s a 608 panel stained glass sphere depicting the world map that you can actually walk through. Once inside feast your eyes on a dazzling light show as you listen to famous quotes from world leaders. Tours are $6 and run every 20 minutes. It’s definitely worth going if you’re looking for something different to do in the city.

Want a bird’s eye view of Boston? Check out the famous Custom House Tower. This landmark is also a Marriott hotel and welcomes visitors to the 26th floor twice a day at 2pm and 6pm. $7 includes a ticket to the top plus a soda or $12.50 if you prefer a cocktail.

For a unique experience, take a swan boat ride in the pond at the Boston Public Garden. Rides are $3.50 for adults and are offered daily from 10am-5pm.

Beer connoisseurs will enjoy touring the famous Samuel Adams Brewery. The Brewery is located 30 minutes away from the North End by train. It’s worth the journey if you have the time. Tours are free, although a $2.00 donation is suggested and proceeds benefit local charities. Tours last 1 hour and run every 45 minutes and of course include samples of some of their best brews!

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Have you visited Boston? What would you add to the list? Share your comments below!

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