Visit Boston, USA
The city of Boston is an amazing mix of history and contemporary. Rich in sports, arts and culture, and home to some of America’s most prestigious universities. Its many diverse neighbourhoods offer a lively food scene and great shopping: alongside the stylish arcades, you’ll find open-air marketplaces like Faneuil Hall, chic boutiques in Newbury Street and eclectic shops and eateries in Harvard Square. There are all sorts of ways to tour the city: on foot, trolley (tram) bike or boat. Boston is undoubtedly one of America’s most attractive cities, and it offers something for everyone. Here are some of our favourite spots to visit:
Walk around Beacon Hill
This historic, colourful neighbourhood in Boston is home to many shops, cafes, and bars. Stroll down the cobbled streets, lined with red brick townhouses, lit by iconic street lamps. It is a lovely area to walk around and take in the surroundings, or just to sit and people watch.
Photo: Beacon Hill
The one & only coffee shop
In the four days spent in Boston, I couldn’t bring myself to go anywhere else other than Tatte. The coffee is seriously good, strong, and delicious; and it’s impossible to resist their pastries, especially the strawberry turnover or pistachio croissant. If you are in the mood for something more substantial, there’s a breakfast and lunch menu. They have multiple cafes around Boston, but the one in Beacon Hill is the most charming (and probably the busiest, so prepare to wait!), with a lovely outdoor area, and lots of dogs!
Photo: Tatte bakery & café
Boston Public Garden
Just a short walk from Beacon Hill is The Boston Public Garden. It’s the perfect place to enjoy nature inside the city, and only takes about 20 minutes to walk around. The park has well-landscaped gardens, a pretty lake area with its famous swan boats, and don’t miss the ducklings statue. If you get thirsty on your walk, stop at one of the many homemade lemonade stands for a little refresher!
Fanueil Hall & Quincy Market
This marketplace and meeting hall opened in 1742 and was the site of several speeches made by Samuel Adams (sometimes called the ‘Father of the American Revolution’), so it holds a lot of American history; it is a well-known stop on the Freedom Trail around Boston due to its ties to slavery. Today, Fanueil Hall is a bustling complex of distinctive shops, food and drink vendors and is a great place to visit. Just a short walk away, you’ll come to Quincy Market, a historic building in downtown Boston, hosting over a hundred shops, restaurants and small business stalls. Enjoy some of the local favourites: fresh seafood, lobster rolls, clam chowder and Boston cream pie. You’ll often find street performers outside Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market, so it is well worth grabbing a bite to eat and sitting on the benches for some light entertainment.
Bunker Hill Monument
This monument was built in 1845, to commemorate the 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill, which was one of the first major battles between British soldiers and American patriots during the American War of Independence. The 221-foot granite obelisk took over 17 years to complete and is an impressive piece of architecture. If you’re feeling energetic, you can climb the 294 steps of the tight spiral staircase to the top!
Hire a kayak & explore the River Charles
For a welcome respite from the busy city, head to the river and hire a kayak, canoe or paddle board. Enjoy views of Boston from the water and take in the downtown skyline. This is a great activity for a hot day as the breeze of the Charles keeps you nice and cool!
Visit Harvard & MIT universities
After kayaking, take an enjoyable walk from Kendall Square to visit MIT and Harvard, two of the most prestigious and internationally recognised universities in the world. Wander around MIT‘s library and learn about all things science and tech. When visiting Harvard, it is imperative to visit the Law School to recreate your very own Elle Woods from Legally Blonde moment…I don’t make up the rules!
Boston Public Library
This beautiful library is free to visit and will take your breath away. It is as famous for its art and sculptures as for its massive collection of books. The marble interior is a lovely spot to relax in the afternoon. During summer evenings, the courtyard comes alive with free one-hour concerts, featuring many genres of music, from jazz to classical to folk.
Photo: Boston Public Library
The Public Library is located on Boylston Street, which is a busy area of Boston and a great place to explore. It is also known for the tragic Boston marathon bombing in 2013, and the finish line memorial is a permanent feature just outside the library, so be sure to visit this too.
Head to Boston’s lively waterfront to visit the New England Aquarium and a great selection of restaurants and bars. Go on a whale watch adventure or hop aboard Boston Duck Tours for an informative guided tour of city highlights. You will ride and cruise in a WWII style amphibious vehicle that travels on both land and water!
The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
An interactive experience that will enlighten you about the event in 1773 that started the American Revolution. It is brought to life with actors, exhibits and full-scale replica 18th-century sailing vessels.
Restaurants & bars in Boston
All this sightseeing and exploring has probably built up a bit of an appetite!? Boston is a city awash in seafood, with fresh daily catches right off its shores, supplied to local independent restaurants. These are some of our favourites:
Located on the Freedom Trail near Fanueil Hall, this historic eatery has been serving chowder and other New England seafood specials since 1826. The menu is simple and relatively inexpensive. There is often a queue, so we suggest booking ahead, or grab a takeaway and enjoy your meal in Union Street Park just outside.
This casual-dining seafood restaurant chain is located in the North-eastern region of the United States, so if you are only visiting Boston, then this is your time to try! Enjoy ocean-side dining, with great views of the busy harbour. We recommend their clam chowder with some traditional oyster crackers, and the menu has plenty of other options if seafood isn’t your favourite.
If fish and seafood doesn’t take your fancy, then look no further. Regina’s Pizzeria was founded in 1926 in Boston’s North End, otherwise known as the Italian district. There will almost definitely be a queue out the door, but don’t worry, it moves quickly. Inside, things are super traditional and old fashioned, with typical American diner seating, so you’ll really get a taste of USA in ‘Boston’s best pizza restaurant’.
You really can’t visit Boston without paying a visit to Fenway Park, home of Boston Red Sox. However, tickets can be pricey and hard to get, and maybe baseball isn’t your bag; so, this bar offers a great solution! Located beneath Fenway Park’s bleachers, it has a great view of the centerfield. (Be sure to check game fixtures ahead of your visit as the shutter viewing centerfield will be closed on game days.)
More to do in the USA: