With summer fleeing and fall upon us, why not make this a time to travel to Boston? It’s not only an important city of historical significance to America, but also a thriving metro with much to enjoy: music, sports, colleges, and culinary scene. If you haven’t done a Boston sightseeing trip, you must. Beantown will not disappoint.
After having lived there for 6 years and frequently returning to visit friends, family, and fellow adventureros, it would be my pleasure to recommend sights to you through a Boston Sightseeing Must Visit List. In fact, if you travel to Boston this fall, I might see you. I’ll be there this October.
1) Boston Common
The Central Park of Boston, the Boston Common, is a park area nestled in the city between the State House, shopping streets like Newbury St as well as Downtown Crossings, and a central hub for the mass transit system called the T. I would recommend taking the T or walking to the Common from your chosen Boston hotel. Bring good walking shoes for exploring the frog pond (turned into a skating ring in the winter), State House, memorial to African American Civil War Veterans, and even walking past the ball fields to the Public Garden from a relaxing ride on the swan boats and a peek at the famous bronze duck statues from the book “Make Way for Ducklings.” Hint: the real Cheers bar with the facade you remember from the sitcom is on this side of the Common.
2) Freedom Trail
From the T station on the street level near the State House end of the Common, look for a red painted line on the street, which is the Freedom Trail. This makes sightseeing Boston a no-brainer with 17 historic sights along the line ranging from graveyards, Paul Revere’s House, Old North Church, and the USS Constitution in only 2.5 miles. My recommendation follow the line, but take the opportunity to see it all, not just your feet by taking lots of pictures and stopping for snacks, pints of Sam Adams, and some clam chowder.
3) Quincy Market & Faneuil Hall
Along the Freedom Trail and off of the Government Center or Haymarket T stops are Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall, a mecca of entertainment and shopping. This is a great place to people watch, enjoy circus performers, and listen to street musicians. There are chain stores like other malls, but everything has an old Boston flavor with outside, open entrances on cobblestone streets. Don’t miss the food court. It is tremendous; try pizza, lobster, ice cream, cannolis, pretzels, Chinese food, Greek, and more. Tip: save room for clam chowder at the Union Oyster House, which is located next to Quincy Market and the Holocaust Memorial. It just so happens to be the oldest restaurant in Boston, which is THE place in Boston for all politician stops and anyone wanting the best clam chowder (pronounced chow-dah) as well as raw bar, serving dozen oysters on the half shell or just a shooter. Tip: take advantage of walking around to view the photos of the history of the Union Oyster House as well as famous visitors. Also, take a mural tour of the Freedom Trail in its dining room.
4) North End
The North End is the Italian neighborhood of Boston, which houses great Italian breads, pastas, markets, and desserts. The primary thoroughfare is Hanover St. I would suggest strolling this street until the statue of Paul Revere, which leads you to the Old North Church. As you enter the church, make special notice to the church pews that are box shaped. They offer guided tours that talk about the church as well as the, “one if by land, two if by sea” warning from Paul Revere’s midnight ride prior to the battle of Lexington and Concord. Tip: Make room for Mike’s Pastry also located on Hanover St. If you can’t make room for a lobster tail (puff pastry stuffed with whipped cream), a cannoli, or tiramisu, at least have an Italian soda or cappuccino. If you still have time, hit my last must visit stop for an aerial view of Boston.
5) Prudential Tower and Top of the Hub
Take the T to the Copley Plaza or Prudential stop on the Green Line where the best view of Boston, the Harbor, Charles River, Fenway Park, and Cambridge awaits you from the top of the Prudential Tower; atop is a bar and restaurant called the Top of the Hub. You can purchase an appetizer or just drinks if you don’t want a full meal. Often times there is great live jazz in the lounge area. Hint: this is an better option than going to the Hancock Tower and paying for admission. Why not get an app or drink for the same view at the same price?
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Here’s to more good times and good stories.