Boston is a cultural mecca, filled with an eclectic variety of shops, restaurants and museums. Like New York City, it has a lot to offer, but in a smaller, less intimidating package. This historical city is a must-see for avid travelers; here’s what to check out during your trip.
9AM THE FREEDOM TRAIL
99 CHAUNCY ST. BOSTON, MA 02111
Start your day by taking the historic Freedom Trail Tour. This 2.5-mile route takes you to 16 historic sites in downtown Boston, including Boston Common, Old North Church and the site of the Boston Massacre. One of the most compelling things about this great city is all of the American history it includes, so this will be sure to start your trip off right.
12PM YANKEE LOBSTER
What would a trip to Boston be without a delicious seafood meal? Head over to Yankee Lobster and enjoy a fresh lobster roll in a waterfront diner setting. This restaurant is a must for tourists but is a hot spot for locals as well.
1PM NEW ENGLAND AQUARIUM
From Yankee Lobster it’s a 10-minute drive or 20-minute bus ride to theNew England Aquarium, just across the Fort Point Channel and still on Boston Harbor. It is popular among students and tourists; check the website for discounts on the entrance fee. The aquarium welcomes you with a large penguin sanctuary, which, in itself, is worth the price of admission. This is a breathtaking part of Boston with some of the most beautiful sea creatures you can imagine. Whale-watching boat trips are also offered through the aquarium from April to October.
4PM BOSTON TEA PARTY SHIPS & MUSEUM
This is no ordinary museum. A fully interactive, immersive experience, follow live actors and costumed characters through high-tech exhibits and authentically restored tea vessels as you learn about the colonist's famous act of rebellion as part of the American Revolution.
6PM NORTH END
After an afternoon at the aquarium, head over to Boston’s North End (located near the harbor) to experience the best dining in the city. The North End features a variety of restaurants, pubs, bakeries and cafes, so there is something available to please anyone's taste. Try the authentic Italian food at Lucia or Al Dente, or pop into Ernesto’s for some of Boston’s best pizza. After dinner, the North End offers a lovely background for a late-night stroll on the harborwalk to savor your dinner and wind down from your busy day.
8PM THE HAWTHORNE BAR
Boston is home to great bars and a lot of personable bartenders. The Hawthorne Bar is a sophisticated lounge with a very welcoming feel. Filled with local art and an eclectic array of furnishings, this fairly new bar is something locals and tourists are excited to check out.
9AM THE BRISTOL LOUNGE
200 BOYLSTON ST. BOSTON, MA 02116
To start your busy day, head over to The Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons for a top-notch breakfast and cappuccino. Try the smoked salmon frittata with goat cheese, dill and asparagus, or the lemon ricotta hotcakes with blackberry preserves. The omelets have Boston-themed names like The Fenway and The Constitution. The restaurant overlooks the city’s public garden, which complements the elegant feel of your breakfast setting.
11AM FENWAY PARK
After breakfast, it's time to head to the most sacred spot in Boston. It doesn’t matter if you're not a baseball fan; Fenway Park is the heart of this city, and no trip is complete without at least a short visit. There are always tours going on at the park if there isn’t a game for you to catch, and all around Fenway are the best pubs and bars in the city. Before, after and during Red Sox games, the bars and streets are packed with fans, creating one of the best atmospheres in sports. And if the Red Sox win, it’s even more exciting!
1PM BOSTON BEER WORKS
For a great game-day meal, head over to Boston Beer Works. There are more than 16 types of beer on draft, and there is always a great new seasonal beer to try. This is a perfect place to soak up the Boston pride atmosphere while also sampling the best sweet potato fries in the city.
3PM SAMUEL ADAMS BREWERY
Boston has two major breweries, Samuel Adams and Harpoon. I recommend visiting both, but if time doesn’t allow for it, either one will be a great way to spend your afternoon. Sample some delicious craft beers and learn about the brewing process, Boston style. Also try to count how many times your tour guide says “wicked,” the most overused phrase in Massachusetts. Make the trip even more entertaining by taking a drink every time you hear “wicked.”
7PM FANEUIL HALL MARKETPLACE
Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a hotspot for tourists, and also for locals with a shopping addiction. The outdoor, mall-like area features unique local stores like Newbury Comics and a plethora of street performers who always draw a crowd. Drop by one of the many Dunkin Donuts in the area and grab an iced coffee, complete with a Red Sox logo on the cup, to fuel you for the rest of the night.
For your last stop in Boston, why not dine at one of the most famous places in the city? Cheers is a restaurant and bar that was the backdrop to the hit 1980s television show of the same name. The food is comforting, and the vibe is historic. This is the perfect place to end your trip.
WHERE TO STAY: THE LIBERTY HOTEL
215 CHARLES ST. BOSTON, MA 02114
Though it's located in what was formerly Boston's Charles Street Jail, the swanky Liberty Hotel feels anything but confining. If "jailhouse chic" is a thing, it was made so by the Liberty, with its lofty lobby and plush accommodations. Plus, the hotel's hip and cleverly named restaurant and bar, CLINK and Alibi, ensure that the finest dining and best nightlife atmosphere are within arm's reach.