Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Home of the Red Sox and the Patriots.
Mid-October. I went up to Boston on the Columbus Day long weekend. I had a few days to play with because that led into Yom Kippur, and my college closed to observe it. Perfect time to go, especially if you want to visit Salem; October and Halloween are full-swing festivities. Downside was that on my day exploring Boston it rained non-stop!
I flew up to Boston from New York, mostly because I was able to score a great deal to fly out of and back in to JFK. Depending where you’re coming from, Amtrak, Greyhound and Megabus also all go into Boston. Once actually in Boston, I mostly walked everywhere. The Metro is pretty good in Boston and easy enough to navigate if you want to visit Harvard. To get out of Boston, to Salem for example, if you’re not driving, I recommend getting the train from North Station. It doesn’t take very long and it’s a nice train ride.
I stayed at a hostel that I didn’t particularly like, so I won’t recommend it. The area was really convenient though. I stayed quite close to Faneuil Hall Marketplace, so it was a very lively area and close to a lot of the fun.
Things to do:
Faneuil Hall Marketplace – Super lovely place and there’s always something happening! I liked it because it had a lot of nice places to eat and some stores to shop at too. It’s not too far from the harbor, so rug up if it’s cold. It’s also beautifully decorated, especially at night, which you can view in the gallery down below.
North End – The North End of Boston is gorgeous and I would highly recommend taking some time to wander around. There were parts of it where it’s resemblance to the small towns in the UK I have visited was incredible.
Paul Revere’s House – A cool historic house that dates all the way back to the 18th Very interesting historical site.
Old North Church – Another historical site. This one is also a working church still, so it’s important to be courteous if there is a service going on. The really cool thing about this Church, apart from its age, is its role in the Revolutionary War. The well know quote about lighting a warning for invading forces; “One by land, two by sea.” This is the church that would have its tower’s lit for that signal! How cool is that!
Boston Commons – Boston Commons is a very large public park but it is beautifully maintained and definitely worth a turn or two!
Cheers Bar – This is a popular one; the original set for Cheers! It’s super fun to go in and see the bar for real, even if you haven’t seen much of the show. It’s a working bar, so you can stay for lunch or just grab a drink.
Ghost tour – Boston is full of ghost stories and haunted happenings. Boston is also full of graveyards. I want on a tour with Ghosts and Gravestones and had a brilliant time! The tour guides are ghoulish characters and there is a tone of interesting stories for them to tell. You get to visit several graveyards and hear about lots of spooky legends. It’s a really fun tour and I highly recommend it.
Harvard Tour – If you have time I do recommend getting out to Cambridge and taking a tour of Harvard University. It’s not far at all and it’s really cool to see such a famous college. Trademark Tours Harvard tour is a really good one. I chose this one because the tour guides are actual Harvard students. They’re super informative and they’re great to chat to because they’ve got first-hand experience with not only the campus but insight of what it takes to get into Harvard University.
Salem – Salem is a bit further away but it is such a gorgeous town to visit. There’s quite a few museums and you’ll learn all about the Salem Witch Trials. Salem also has a rich maritime history and has a house/museum dedicated to the author Nathaniel Hawthorn and you can visit the house of seven gables in person.
Cheers – You can definitely eat at the original Cheers Bar near the Boston Commons. There is also a second Cheers at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which is a lot bigger. The food is great and the drinks are flowing, what’s not to love!
Ghirardelli (Faneuil Hall Marketplace) – They have amazing chocolate and this is a great place for dessert! Ice cream and shakes and to-die-for brownie sundaes.
Hennessey’s Bar – There’s an endless amount of Irish pubs in Boston but I really like this one. They have live music and a really great vibe. The food was nice and with their wall of bottles behind the bar, you have your choice of drinks.
Last minute tips:
I didn’t do much shopping while I was there, but it seems that Downtown Crossing and Summer Street seem to be the place to go for your retail therapy.
There’s also several museums in and around downtown, and a few cool old (or replica) ships to see because of Boston’s strong Maritime history.