Since New York is a mere four-hour train ride from Boston, I decided to go for a quick two-day trip. However, I didn’t realize how much there is to do. I wish had an extra day, but I still managed to have a great time and see almost everything I wanted. One of the things that added to my trip, was that I was staying in the absolute heart of the city at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Boston. I was a short walk away from all the places I wanted to go to, it was perfect. I had enough time to sightsee, check out the nightlife and unfortunately… experience one of the worst meals I have ever had (more about it below). I saw the typical landmarks such as Fenway Park and Boston Common, as well as do some other fun things that gave my trip some extra zest!
I arrived in the afternoon, so instead of wasting time and having a sit down lunch, I decided to check out the markets. There are a few main ones, such as Quincy Market which has a variety of food shops where you can grab food to go or sit down in the food court. It has regular food court grub such as Japanese, Italian, etc, OR you can go for the New England lobster rolls, clam chowder, baked clams and delicious desserts. I always go straight for the local food and treats. There are also many sit down restaurants surrounding it, in case you aren’t too keen on that idea. Later on in the day, I went back for the best clam chowder I ever had.
Before I spotted the Quincy Market, I stopped into a market that I discovered on my walk, which had cider donuts and smores fudge. Those were great snacks to nibble on, as I walked over to the Freedom Trail. The Freedom Trail starts in Boston Common and from there, you follow a brick road (no it sadly wasn’t yellow and didn’t lead me to a wizard) which leads you to many landmarks. This 2.5 miles trail brings you to places like the State House, Old State House, Park Street Church, Paul Revere House, Faneuil Hall and even guides you through Little Italy where you can stop for a tasty cannoli. Depending on how far you want to walk, if you cross the Charlestown Bridge, you can go to some of the museums such as the USS Constitution Museum and Battle of Bunker Hill. I made it to the bridge and decided to walk back. I was getting hungry!
Once I got back to my hotel, I decided to eat there for dinner, since I heard great things about the food at its Avenue One restaurant (read all about my yummy experience). I tried haddock for the first time, which was amazing! My friend, Juliet, got honey glazed salmon and we finished off by having Boston cream pie. The rumors were confirmed, the food was extraordinary!
Since it was a Thursday night, I wasn’t sure if there was any nightlife, but I was told about a strip of bars on Union Street, not far from my hotel so I decided to check it out. After I arrived, I recognized it from my walk along the Freedom Trail. Bell in Hand was a popular one with a live band downstairs and DJ upstairs. Fair warning, the line to get in was long and if you want to get upstairs you have to wait on another line once inside. Despite the lines, it is a fun bar. Juliet and I didn’t want to wait on the line so we went to a different bar, Hennessy’s and then came back to no line. Hennessy’s was also a good spot and the drinks were cheap, it was only $6 for a mixed drink. This one had a DJ and later on they had live music. There are many bars on this street, which makes it incredibly easy to bar hop.
Today, I wanted an easy way to get around and sightsee, so I decided to book a trip with Boston’s Super Tours. This was a great way to see the city since it loops around the city, Seaport and Cambridge with a hop on and off trolley. Another plus was that it has a tour of the inner harbor on a duck boat, that allows you to see sights that you are unable to see from dry land.
One of the stops was at Fenway Park, where I booked a 15 minute tour of the stadium when I arrived. It costs $10 and was a good way to get a quick overview. We walked to the field and then to a small museum area, it was a short and sweet tour. I didn’t have time to watch a game, so this was another good alternative. The only thing it was missing was that it was not quite as informative, as I would have liked it to be. Ideally we would have learned some facts and history as we walked around the stadium, but we just ambled around aimlessly. I guess I can’t expect too much from a $10 tour though! If you want a more concentrated tour, there are longer ones that bring you to other parts of the stadium (and hopefully give you some information). I spent the whole day hopping on and off the trolley until it was time to go back to the hotel and get ready for my fun night ahead!
I booked a sunset sailing cruise with Liberty Fleet, which sailed around the Boston Harbor. Sunset over the city seemed like a unique way to see a Boston. Plus, there was a bar on board, so it had everything I needed.. scenery, drinks and relaxation. Hear more about it and check out some beautiful photos from my excursion!
I had heard great things about the amazing restaurants and nightlife at the Seaport, so we decided to go there for dinner. Cuisines in the restaurants there ranged from Seafood, Mexican, American, etc making it hard to decide on a place to eat, but as we were by the water, we went with seafood. We found a place right on the water called Legal Seafood. The wait was estimated to be an hour, but we had our hearts set on it so we decided to wait at the bar and get some drinks and an appetizer. I should have run out after the appetizer. We ordered pita chips and hummus. The pita chips were like rocks, I had one bite and thought my tooth was going to crack off. After waiting an hour and a half, we were finally seated. The view was nice, the food on the other hand… not so much. My friend ordered the char-grilled shrimp and her entire plate came out cold. I had the haddock because the mushrooms and bacon sauce described on the menu sold me. The dish was bland and there was no trace of anything bacon related in the sauce or flavor. We mentioned something to our waitress, so the manager gave us a free banana foster crème brûlée… which was also ice-cold. He was also supposed to deduct $15 from our tab, which would have been a nice gesture if not for the fact that they only deducted $6 off the bill. You live and learn!
We woke up early for brunch, not knowing that on the weekends, the restaurants don’t open until 11/11:30am. I found this very odd, considering people like to get up early and sightsee or get an early start. We sulked and went to Starbucks instead. Our Super Tour trolley pass was valid for two days, so we took advantage of it and checked out some of the sights we missed. Eventually when the restaurants opened, we went to The Living Room for brunch which is by the marina. Yum, yum yum! I had the croque madame and Juliet got an American breakfast with pancakes, eggs and hash browns. We both devoured our meals, because we were starving and because they were amazing!
Sadly, we only had a short time to stroll around some more, until we had to catch our 1pm train back to New York. First, I had to stop at Quincy Market to get a hot buttered lobster roll to go from Boston Chowda! It made us nearly miss the train, as we had to run down the platform with luggage, just as the conductor was about to board and get the train moving. It definitely mirrored a dramatic scene from a movie, but it was worth it. Once settled, I happily scoffed down my lobster roll, even though I was still full after my giant brunch. Choo-choo.. all abroad!!! 😛
Other things to do:
- Skywalk Observatory – Go to the top of the Prudential Tower for stunning views of Boston.
- New England Aquarium – Check out the various animals, exhibits and shows and more.
- Whale Watching – See whales jumping out right in front of your eyes!
- Jamaica Pond – Spend the day rowing, sailing and kayaking.
- Samuel Adams Brewery Tour- Perfect for beer lovers plus, it’s free!
- Museum of Science – Filled with exhibits, IMAX films, presentations and even a 360° thrill ride!.
- Nightlife at the Seaport – Full of restaurants, clubs, bars and lounges that guarantee you a fun night. Some even have beautiful views of the marina.