In December, 2018 I took a small city break to the city of Boston. I travelled from New York city on the infamous Greyhound Bus up country and spent 4 nights there, with one day trip to the nearby town of Salem.
Keep reading for my top things you must see, do and eat in Boston.
The Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile long path way through the downtown area of Boston. The path passes through 16 sites linked with the American revolution. Some of those sites include museums, parks, churches and meeting grounds that are significant locations in the history and making of the United States. The Freedom trail is marked on the streets and can be recognised by the red brick lines.
One significant stop is the The Park St. Church. The Church was the site of the first Sunday school in America and where William Lloyd Garrison made his first anti-slavery speech in 1829.
There are a few ways to work your way around the trail, one is to get the audio tour app from the visitor centre and do a self guide tour or you can purchase a fully guided tour through the sites for $14 per person. The trail ends at the U.S Constitution and Bunker Hill Monument. Maps for this trail can be found here.
The oldest public park in the country formed in 1634 outside America's first subway station. The park also hosted the British army camp before the American Revolution. Fairly recently the Common was used for anti-Vietnam war rallies and Martin Luther King Jr gathered there in protest. A design for a statue dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr has been selected in the spring of 2019 with the bronze statue planned to be completed in 2020. However on the corner of the park there is a statue of Victorian Poet - Edgar Allan Poe, which is worth a look!
Nowadays the park is home to a winter ice-skating rink and carousel and plenty park benches to sit and watch the obese grey squirrels that run riot through the park.
You’ve probably seen the TV Show, you'll know and love the characters. Now you can visit this Boston institution that inspired it all – Cheers on Beacon Hill, previously known as the Bull & Finch Pub. Although the exterior is instantly familiar to some, the interior shots were filmed in a studio, so you won’t recognise the inside of the building. It is considerably smaller than the set. However, In 1993 the night of the show’s series finale, the cast did watch from inside the bar.
It’s still worth heading inside though as you’ll find a bar and gift shop along with some Cheers memorabilia.
This really is the place where everybody knows your name.
Beacon Hill Area
This historic and very desirable neighbourhood of Boston is really nice to walk around. It’s just a short walk from the centre (Near Boston Common).
It has narrow cobbled streets and red-brick houses that are the big feature here. They’re all so pretty! The most photographed street in the USA is undoubtedly Acorn Street.
This very affluent area was built up in the 1820's and known as the narrowest street in Boston. Get there early to avoid the selfie stick army.
Inside the Mary Baker Eddy Library is the Mapparium which is essentially a haven for geography nerds. It is the world's largest walk in globe. The earth sphere is 30 feet in diameter and can be crossed by a glass bridge walk way. Once you are inside the world the globe is lit up and glows and illuminates. There is over 600 stained glass panels which has recreated the world as it was back in the 1930's. The map hasn't changed since then and you can still see the USSR and some of the European colonies marked on the globe. When you are inside the globe the sound bounces off the glass panels and amplifies every by 10 times. The acoustics work so that you can hear your voice in 360 surround sound.
SOWA Vintage market
Situated in the south end of Boston, the SOWA vintage open market has a plethora of vintage vendors and curated collections. The market is on every Sunday all year round. There are over 70 artisans selling handmade wares, jewellery, art and vintage clothing. On occasion there is food trucks and live music, so check their Instagram for updates. If you are on the look out for some worn in cowboy boots you will definitely find some here!
Quincy market is a historic food market place near Faneuil Hall in the Downtown area of Boston. The market hall has 18 restaurants and countless food stalls of all sorts of food. However, if you want to try some Bostonian food these are some classics to look out for:
- Clam Chowder
- Boston Cream Pie (The official dessert of Massachusetts)
- Lobster Rolls
- Boston Baked Beans with Bread
- Locally brewed Boston craft beer or cider
I tried my Chowder and the "Boston Chowda Co." stall the bowls of hot chowder are served with a bag of Oyster crackers and it is very filling!
If you are a foodie then I'd highly suggest a visit to this market, just work your way down the stalls until you are ready to pop! If you want a more in depth experience, I have linked Boston Food Tours here
I hope you've gained some inspiration for things to do in Boston, it is a wonderful city and relatively easy to explore on foot. Be prepared if travelling in the winter time - it is bitterly cold!