I shared my New York highlights HERE, now it's Boston's turn! We were only there for a couple of days but as is our way (I say our but really it's down to my husband's remarkable planning skills) we packed in loads!
We took a train from New York to get there which was comfortable and quick. We stayed in the Hotel Buckminster which was only a ten minute walk from Fenway Park, close to a "T" station (Boston underground) and near to shops, restaurants and bars. The decor of the hotel could probably do with a revamp but it was a comfortable stay and although there's no kitchen services within the hotel, we were given vouchers for breakfast for one of the days to eat in the attached restaurant next door.
Boston has a very different vibe to New York; obviously the population is a lot less but even still, it's all just a bit calmer. The pace is more relaxed and everything feels a lot…older. Because it is! Boston is a historic city; it's where the American Revolution was plotted. Because of that and its British connections, it feels much more European so it's easy to feel at home.
Back to our first day there! After we checked in we headed off to Fenway Park, a 100+ year old baseball stadium and the place to be in Boston when the Red Sox are playing. This was actually a highlight of the trip for us; it was just a wonderfully American experience; hot dogs, cold beer, the national anthem, various baseball chants, dedicated fans and of course; the game itself, which is like a super long-winded version of rounders (so definitely something the Irish can get behind).
There's an awesome atmosphere at the game; the camera zooms in on the crowd loads and it feels like a community affair with all the little kid Red Sox fans dancing to the music and getting super excited when they see they're on camera!
Amazingly; there was a proposal on the big screen too! Like being in a sitcom! If you're going to Boston, this is high on the to-do list!
That night we were peckish and had heard great things about Little Italy so we hopped on a T and began the lengthy struggle to try and pick just one restaurant! The area is full of good quality and highly rated places to eat; most of them will be busy and it's hard to find anything to set them apart from each other so in the end we just picked one at random! Thankfully it was lovely but honestly, you could eat in any of them and be happy! The quarter itself is aesthetically quite beautiful; it's old with a lot of the Freedom Trail running through it (I'll get to that later) and the streets are cobbled with nice little shops in lovely buildings. A top tip; skip dessert in whatever restaurant you're in and go and queue in Mike's Pastry. The line will be out the door but it moves fast and it's worth the wait. Their cannoli are famous and it was easy to see why! Delicious and authentic, they were a real treat but if that's not your thing, they have all sorts of cakes and pastries too!
As we didn't have long in the city we thought a sight-seeing tour was the way to go and it was! While we were shown all of the city's most prominent monuments and learnt lots of history we were also kept entertained by Flo, our very cool driver! There's lots of tours in the city but the official duck tour was great and we obviously got on the water too which was lovely.
Boston Public Library
After the duck tour we popped into the Boston Public Library, which like the NYPL, is just a stunning feat of architecture and worth a look for the book nerd. There was a Revolutionary war exhibition on there that we had a look at too.
Freedom Trail & Boston Common.
I'm putting these together because they're all about the walking! The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile self guided walking tour (you can pay for a walking tour but get a map and be grand!), that leads you to 16 historically significant sites via a red-lined brick pavement, so you can't really go wrong!
Boston Common is actually the oldest park in America and again, has historical significance as well as being a lovely area to get a fresh lemonade (I mention that cause we found a lemonade stall there and it was DAMN GOOD) and wander around happily!
Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market
These are also right beside each other; Faneuil Hall is another very historic building that you'll no doubt see at some stage if you're in the city and Quincy Market is a great spot for getting a quick bite to eat. There's stalls of every possible food imaginable in here as well as jewellery, gifts, some clothing and other knick knacks. The market is also surrounded by lots of nice stores if you're looking for somewhere to shop. We found a super nerdy shop where we were in our element. As in, we bought Jaws slippers and an Archer t-shirt. Good times!
Speaking of shopping, I'm including this premium outlet centre in here as it's just a short drive from Boston. It is absolutely huge. I'll leave the link HERE if you want to see all the shops there but highlights for me were Kate Spade (although the manager was quite rude to be honest), All Saints. Ted Baker, The Body Shop, Beauty Outlet Stores and Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth. Himself did well here too in some of the athletic stores. You can get some really good discounts and there's places to eat and take a break from the deluge of shops but be careful; we ended up spending way longer here than we expected!
I have no photos of Wrentham Village for you because, well, it's just shops etc. Instead, there's this; I think this photo nicely captures the city and its mix of old and new!
We loved Boston! It was a great stop after the intensity of New York but was still full of life and was a beautiful and historic place to walk around. I'm not sure we would have needed more than the two days there to be honest but that might just be down to himself's Turbo Planning!
Next Stop; the start of our New England Road Trip!!