I have always been very fortunate in the sense that I get to travel quite frequently. Most of the time it’s for free, and in the unlikelihood that it isn’t free, I generally only have to pay for a plane ticket.
My parents travel a lot for work, and despite not working for them or the same company, I selfishly try to take full advantage of their business trips. They already have a hotel room, so I mean, why not?
One of the coolest places that I have even had the privilege of going to, is Boston, Massachusetts. Since traveling to Boston for the first time when I was sixteen years old, Boston has been undoubtedly my favorite city. If there is one place that I dream of living when I am older, it would be… you guessed it, Boston.
The thing about Boston is that it is so historic and filled with incredibly fun things to do. This list that I am about to share with you, these are just some of the things to do in Boston. I have been there three times and still have only seen a fraction of the city. I guess all that means is that I have to go back again sometime in the near future.
With that being said, here are what I think of to be the top 12 things to do in Boston during your stay.
1. Freedom Trail
Since we were talking about history, what better way to start out a trip than by walking The Freedom Trail. The 2.5-mile-long trail passes by 16 historic locations throughout the city such as Boston Common, Old North Church, Faneuil Hall, Park Street Church, the site of the Boston Massacre, and Paul Revere’s house.
The trail is marked by bricks in the road with special markers in the sidewalk to signify important and significant stops along the way. It’s a really easy trail to follow and is definitely well worth the walk.
2. Faneuil Hall / Quincy Market
I honestly have no idea what to say about Faneuil Hall and Quincy Markey other than that they are the best, most hectic places that I have ever been to. Fair warning, if you do not enjoy being around lots of people and even better food, then Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market are not the places for you.
Faneuil Hall was opened in 1743 and was home to many speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis, and many others who were encouraging the independence from Great Britain during the Revolutionary War.
Quincy Market stands right next to Faneuil Hall and is home to some of the best food and shopping in the city. It’s more of a grab-and-go style food hall. If there was one thing I would recommend there, it would be the lobster mac and cheese bread bowl at Boston Chowda Co.
3. Boston Common
Fun fact, The Boston Common is the oldest city park in the entire United States and spreads across more than 50 acres of land. Think of it as Boston’s version of Central Park in New York City. It’s just a great place to walk around, to read a book on a sunny weekend day, or to sit and people watch. I know it might now sound all too exciting, but once you get there, there is a sense of freedom and peacefulness that falls over you.
If you want to take a ride on a swan boat, the Public Gardens are right next to the Boston Common so that you can do so.
4. Take a Tour to Harvard & MIT
If you want to feel incredibly intelligent without actually having to put yourself through the rigorous curriculum at Harvard or MIT, head on over to Cambridge for a day and get a sense of what life is life as a student.
Harvard was founded in 1636 and is the oldest university in America. MIT, on the other hand, was founded in 1859. Both schools are just as prestigious in their own respective ways, and are only separated by 1.4 miles. If you get the opportunity to travel across the river to Cambridge, I would definitely recommend doing so.
5. Fenway Park
Boston loves its sports teams. Lucky for Boston sports fans, they have had the pleasure of hosting more championship parades in the last year than us Minnesotans have in the last two decades. And no, I’m not joking…
If you want to see the best ballpark in the entire world, you need to take a trip to Fenway. I have made it a tradition to go there every time that I have been out there – once on a tour, and twice for Red Sox games.
6. Beacon Hill
If you ever want to get that old town feel while feeling rich, take a trip through Beacon Hill. Beacon Hill is one of Boston’s most picturesque neighborhoods that provide the old town feel Victorian brick houses and cobblestone streets. It definitely makes you feel like you are living in the 1700s.
Just to give you an idea of how much homes go for on Beacon Hill, for a 3 bedroom 3 bath, it’s probably going to cost close to $4 million. All I can say… goals.
7. Marathon Sports
This one is for all you runners out there. Marathon Sports is the most famous running store in Boston not only because it is the best, but also because it is the site of the first explosion from the Boston Marathon Bombings in 2013. It’s not a “must-see” place, but it is very cool nevertheless.
8. Union Oyster House
The Union Oyster House is Boston’s oldest servicing restaurant, serving amazing seafood and classic New England style dishes. It’s also on the Freedom Trail, so after your walk, you can go grab some of the best seafood that you will ever have and visit the booth where JFK used to sit when he dined there.
Every time I go to Boston, I always eat at Union Oyster House. Not only do they have fresh oysters and the best clam chowder that I have ever had, but they also have the best lobster roll in the world.
9. The Barking Crab
Another good restaurant in Boston is The Barking Crab. I first wanted to try this place for two reasons: the name, and because it was in the movie The Game Plan.
It offers great food along the waterfront with another one of the best lobster rolls that I have ever had. Not quite as good as Union Oyster House, but a great alternative.
10. Get A Beer at Cheers
Have you heard of that super famous TV show Cheers!? Well, it was filmed in Boston and is open to the public.
The bar can get pretty packed on the weekends (especially when there is football playing on Sundays). If you can, I would recommend going during the week and getting one of their many local beers on tap. If you want some food, they also have pretty good tasting bar food as well.
11. Mike’s Pastry
Want an amazing Cannoli? How about some profiteroles, or even some homemade gelato? If so, Mike’s Pastry is the place for you. Two things though, there is always going to be an insanely large line as it’s just that good, and it is cash only. They simply don’t have time with how busy it is to wait for card machines, so be prepared.
There are over nineteen different types of cannolis, as well as their seasonal ones. The last time I went, I had a pumpkin spice cannoli that was incredible.
12. Boston Cream Pie at The Omni Parker House
Okay, so I saved the best for last. As much as I love Mike’s Pastry, it is the second-best place in the world to get dessert. The best, well if you are in Boston, what else could be better than Boston Cream Pie.
The Omni Parker House isn’t just a five-star hotel, but it is also the “birthplace” of the original Boston Cream Pie recipe. If you don’t want to eat in the restaurant in the hotel, they also offer mini pies that you can take home as well.
If you go to Boston, please take me with. It is by far my favorite city in the world and these are just a few of the amazing things that you can do during your stay. Whether you’re there for a few days or a few weeks, be sure to make the most of the time you are there. You will not regret it.