There are exactly two cities I have visited and instantly felt like this is a place I could realistically call home. The first is Seattle (shocking, I know) and the second is Boston. Much like Seattle, I don’t know what it is specifically about Boston that I fell in love with. Maybe it’s the history. Maybe it’s the pride residents have in their city. Maybe it’s the endless food choices. But most likely it’s a combination of a bunch of little things. I am by no means a Boston expert, but I can still share my awesome experiences with y’all!
Where I Stayed
I visited Boston for a conference, so I did not really have a choice in hotel. I stayed at the Westin Boston Waterfront and it was nice and clean, but not in the best location for exploring the city. Luckily, nothing was more than a $10 Uber or cab ride away. If I were to go again, I would want to stay somewhere that is a little more central. The Boxer Boston Hotel and the Revere Hotel Boston Common both look like great options.
Where I Ate
Caffé Nero: I found this cute little coffee shop the first day I was in Boston and ended up going back every morning. The vanilla lattes and pastries are yummy, but more than anything I loved the vibe this place had! There are cozy chairs to curl up in, books everywhere and more than one fireplace.
Union Oyster House: Located in a pre-war building and in operation since 1826, this place lives up to all of the hype that surrounds it. I went here for lunch, so I got the classic Oyster House Clam Chowder which comes with cornbread. It was creamy, smooth and delicious. Plus they have some of the biggest lobsters I have ever seen…
Legal Sea Foods: Eating copious amounts of seafood is a must while in Boston. This was the first place we went and is actually a local chain. I got the lobster mac-n-cheese and it was magical. The lobster roll and scallops are also pretty amazing.
The Paramount: This is one of the cute little food joints in Beacon Hill. They get busy at dinner time and don’t take reservations so you may have to wait, but it is well worth it! I went with a group of friends, we all got something different and it was all mouthwatering. The Brussel sprouts appetizer and spinach/feta stuffed chicken breast entree were my favorites!
Trattoria Il Panino: Realistically, I don’t think you will find a bad Italian restaurant in the North End neighborhood of Boston. The wine list is extensive and ranges from reasonably priced to I better be celebrating a new job, a marriage and buying a house all at once (a.k.a. very expensive). The food is obviously amazing, I recommend the Ravioli Porcini, which is a wild mushroom ravioli with the black truffle cream shop. Lastly, the service is AMAZING and the entire staff is incredibly helpful and kind.
Mike’s Pastry: This beyond wonderful bakery is down the street from Trattoria Il Panino. So if you are not too full from dinner there, head over to Mike’s. The cannoli is what they are known for and there is a reason for it… they are possibly the best cannoli I have ever had. Also, they deliver if you want to enjoy a cannoli from somewhere other than Boston.
What I Did
Walked the Freedom Trail: The entire trail is around two and a half miles and hits 16 different historic locations. Because of time constraints, I started about half way through at Faneuil Hall and ended at Boston Common. Even though I wasn’t able to see the whole thing, it was still one of my favorite adventures in Boston. The sheer amount of history that surrounds the trail is still mind-blowing to me. You can also book tours through the Freedom Trail Foundation that take you through eleven of the historic sites on the trail.
Explored Boston Common and Boston Public Garden: The Freedom trail ends (or starts) at Boston Common, a 50 acre park founded in 1634. The park has all sorts of monuments and memorials and a cute little frog pond (which turns into an ice rink in the winter). The Boston Public Gardens are right across the street and was the first public botanical garden in the U.S. Even in the winter, the gardens are beautiful.
Visited Harvard University: I felt like it would be wrong to be in Boston and not make the quick 20-minute trip to Cambridge to visit Harvard. The campus is beautiful. There are fun little restaurants surrounding the campus. And you feel smarter just by visiting.
What I Want To Do Next Time
See a Boston Red Sox Game at Fenway: Seeing as I visited Boston in December, a Red Sox game wasn’t exactly an option. I am a diehard SF Giant’s fan, but I would not pass up an opportunity to catch a game at Fenway.
Visit the Paul Revere House: This was on the part of the Freedom Trail that I wasn’t able to walk, but wish I had been able to see it. Based on research, the Paul Revere Memorial Association has done a great job of keeping the house and attached historic sites as accurate as possible and provide educational elements to the sites.
Explore Beacon Hill: I was able to have dinner in Beacon Hill one night, but was not really able to explore the neighborhood. There is a walking tour you can do of the neighborhood and all sorts of fun little shops to pop into. Plus the Cheers bar is in Beacon Hill!
Visit Museum of Fine Arts: If you couldn’t already tell, I am a sucker for a good museum. The museum holds over 500,000 works of art and is one of the most comprehensive collections in the world. I want to get lost in there for hours.
All in all, it was a great trip to a historic city and I cannot wait to go back at some point. Until next time… CB