I started visiting Boston the summer before my daughter’s senior year in high school, so all-in-all I have been traveling there to visit and explore for the last five years. I have been there in all kinds of weather and in all seasons. Top two words of advice in visiting Boston is always pack an umbrella! I have bought more umbrellas in Boston than a lifetime of living in California; and learn how to use the T – it will get you everywhere. With a three- day or seven-day (depending on how long you will be there) Charlie Pass, you can’t beat the price.
A first visit to Boston is different than later ones. There is so much to do and so much to see, that once you hit the mainstays a few times, it’s time to explore new areas. My top five places to visit assume that you have never been to Boston before. After that I will list (in a later post) some of my favorite finds – some well known, and some not so much. All worth checking out.
1. Walk the Fredom Trail
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long red (mostly brick) path through downtown that leads to16 significant historic sites. It covers important sites such as the Paul Revere House, Boston Common, and USS Constitution. Plus you are out walking – a great way to see so many sights! Most of the locations along the trail are free, some have a small entrance fee. But whether you choose to go in or not, they are historical locations worth seeing. Be sure to take you time to explore Faneuil Hall and Boston Common.
You can find a map with information put out by the boy Scouts of America with this link at The Freedom Trail.
2. Take a Duck Tour
Yes, it is a bit cheesy, but it is a great way to see a lot of the city sitting up on a large WW II style amphibious landing vehicle. You will see many of Boston’s neighborhoods, pass by many historical sites, and even splash into and travel a short bit down the Charles River. The tour guides go through a rigorous training, and they know their local history. It’s fun and informative!
You can find more at Boston Duck Tours.
3. Visit Fenway Park – the Green Monster
If you have time, take in a Red Sox game! But if that won’t work – still head over to the park to walk around. They offer tours and they have The Bleacher Bar – a bar and grill right on the field! OK, not on the filed, but the Bleacher Bar is part of Fenway and they have a LARGE window that opens up right onto the filed. A must see for any baseball fan!
4. Visit Newbury Street
This is the street to visit for shopping and dinning! Walk and enjoy shopping (or just window shopping) the many boutiques and stores. A few of my favorite stops on this street: Pavement Coffeehouse for a cappuccino; Boston Olive Oil Company for olive oil and vinegar tasting – they ship; Raven Used Books – so many books; and The Cafeteria for a great meal.
5. Eat a Cannoli and a Lobster Roll – Not necessarily together 🙂
I am clumping these two together because you cannot visit Boston without eating these two items!First the cannoli – head on over to Mike’s Pastry in the North End. There will be a line out the door, but it moves fast. I have never been a cannoli fan until I had Mikes! And they are the only cannolis I ever eat – they are divine and like no other.
Eat a lobster roll. I love lobster rolls and have tried many different ones in Boston. It is hard to declare a favorite, but…. if I had to I would choose the one from Yankee Lobster Fish House down on the Waterfront.
6. Museum of Fine Arts
I was trying to keep this list to five, but I need to add one more. Simply because if you never make it back to Boston for a second visit, you must go to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. I know this will not be everyone’s cup of tea. But their art collection is incredible! The MFA is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world! Their art collection encompasses nearly 450,000 works of art. I can wander the museum for hours. When the weather is bad, it is the best place to be!
This list of six is just the tip of the iceberg. I will follow up with more places to visit while in Boston. But if you only get one visit, these are my must-dos. Whenever you go – I hope you have a wonderful trip!