Boston is one of my favourite cities – I’m normally not a fan of the hustle and bustle of large cities but there’s something about Boston that seems to avoid that stereotype. I’ve been three times now and I love returning to these places time and time again.
Boston Common is the oldest city park in the United States. On a sunny afternoon it is the perfect place to wander and maybe even picnic. You can hop on one of the park’s famous Swan Boats or simply meander round its many pathways discovering the many statues and memorials that can found throughout the park. Any way you choose Boston Common is one of my favourite places to head to when the city starts feeling too big and busy – the perfect retreat for some quiet inspiration.
The Freedom Trail
If you’re not sure where to start in Boston, walking the Freedom Trail is a great start to not only give you some bearings but to gain an insight into the significant historical background of the city. A two-and-a-half mile long walk through downtown Boston all the way to the famous USS Constitution, the Freedom Trail links notable monuments and buildings with bricks and markers – an idea put forward in 1951 by a local journalist and a member of the Old North Church, one of the stops on the trail. This is a great way to squeeze in all the historic sights of Boston and the best part? You can do it all at your own pace, take an hour or two or even a whole day!
Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market
So I’m merging these two places into one point due to their proximity to each other.
Faneuil Hall, a stop on the Freedom Trail, once had the likes of Samuel Adams and James Otis giving speeches from within its walls. Today it is a Government Center and market place and a very impressive looking one at hat. It’s probably one of my favourite buildings in Boston just because in amongst the modern architecture it holds its own and stands out. Quincy Market is one of my favourite buildings for an entirely different reason – food! Quincy Market houses a whole host of culinary delights from the classic clam chowder to Asian street food. If you’re after food on the go head down the center of this historic building and take your pick! If a sit down meal is what you have in mind walk around the perimeter for restaurants galore. If you’re up for a laugh and can take an insult – head to Dick’s Last Resort, you’ll see why I gave you the warning! Otherwise there’s plenty to choose from and if you have enough room for dessert after all of that then Ghirardelli Chocolate will have you covered.
As someone who likes to wander I loved coming across Chinatown. Visually there’s something going on any direction you turn your head and it’s hard to resist the lure of food – the smell wafting into the streets from the many restaurants you’ll find. As a creative one of my favourite things about Chinatown is all the colours you encounter and the touches of a different culture seemingly so far from its country and yet somehow right at home.
So I admit, this technically isn’t Boston but if you have a spare day on your hands, a day trip to Cambridge is an awesome way to fill your time. Home to the prestigious Harvard University and MIT, Cambridge has a rich diversity, independent businesses and plenty to see and do. There are regular tours of Harvard (or should I say Hah-vahd) that give you an insight into the background and culture of the university, often led by students themselves. From buildings steeped in history at Harvard to futuristic architecture at MIT there’s plenty to discover and the surrounding areas are full of interesting shops and bars when you want a break from the sight-seeing.