Boston is one of my favorite cities in the United States to visit. For me, the best time to visit Boston is in the Fall, when the leaf colors are vibrant, University students are back in school, and the temps are a little cooler than in the summer months.
So when I had the opportunity to meet my brother there for a few days this fall, I jumped at the chance. Although the weather was still a little too warm for my taste, it was nice enough to spend hours and hours walking around Beantown, taking in the golden hues and the many sites across the city.
If you’ve never been to Boston, know that there is plenty to do to keep you busy for several days. From shopping, to baseball, to great Italian food and of course, amazing history, Boston is a great long weekend escape for just about anyone. Boston is also an ideal location to take a number of side trips along the New England coast, including Cape Code, Kennebunkport, Salem, and Mystic, CT – all of which are within a 2 hour drive from Boston. But that is a whole different blog post!
For this trip, we stayed in Boston proper all 3 days. And, because Boston is a very walkable city, we centered our activities mainly around sites we could walk to or take a short subway or cab ride to visit. On average, we walked around 10 miles a day – about the same as when I go to Disney World. Before you gasp at the thought of walking 10 miles, rest assured, there are plenty of spots to take a break around the city, including coffee shops, restaurants, hotel lobbies and plenty of park benches.
So let’s take a look at how I actually spent my 3 Days in Boston:
Boston – 5 Sites in 3 Days
Historic Freedom Trail – When I think of Boston, the first thing that comes to my mind is History. Considered by many as the birthplace of the American Revolution, Boston is a wealth of American History and much of it can be found along the famous Freedom Trail. During this trip, I spent more than half a day along the trail, which can easily be followed on Google Maps or the free app from the National Park Service. Our first stop was the Granary Burying Ground where you can find grave stones from as early as the 1600’s and most notable “residents” include Paul Revere, John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Next, we made several stops – all within a tight radius – at the Old State House, the site of the Boston Massacre, Faneuil Hall, and Quincy Market. We ended our historical tour with a stop at the Paul Revere’s House and the Old North Church, famous for Paul Revere’ lanterns that signaled a coming attack by the British, hence the famed One If By Land, Two If By Sea.
Harvard University – There are many things that remind me of the Fall – changing leaves, apple cider, pumpkin spice lattes, etc. But a huge symbol of Fall for me is walking around a University Campus, especially those in the New England area. So, it’s no surprise that visiting Harvard University was on my list of things to do this trip to Boston. Although I’ve visited Harvard many times, it’s charm never seems to fade. During this trip, we hit Harvard Yard, the beautiful quad in the middle of classic brick academic buildings, filled with trees and pathways taking students, prospective, and tourists like me to and from their destinations. Walking through campus, it’s hard not to think of the classic movies set in New England schools – Good Will Hunting, Dead Poet’s Society, With Honors and more. If Harvard is not your taste…MIT is literally within walking distance of Harvard, and Boston University, Tufts and Northeastern are close by as well.
Newbury Street – So much shopping and so little time! I could not resist a few hours of shopping along the fabulous Newbury Street. This mile-long stretch of well-known shops, quaint boutiques, cafes and restaurants – all housed inside 19th century brownstone houses – was just what I needed. As an avid runner, with a son who runs cross country, I was especially excited to step into the running store Tracksmith as well as Levain Bakery for its incredible chocolate chip cookie.
Acorn Street – Boston may be most famous for its rich history, but it is also known for having the most photographed street in the United States. Located in Beacon Hill, Acorn Street is a narrow street lined with cobblestones, flanked by beautiful red brick, 19th century brownstones. One look at this street and you will see why it is so enchanting.
Boston Common – And finally, no trip to Boston would be complete without a run (or three) around the beautiful Boston Common and Boston Public Garden. Each morning, I’d start my day with a run around this huge park, which is home to monuments, ponds, lovely gardens and an old fashioned carousel. What’s even better, is that Boston Common is surrounded by cafes and restaurants which made it super easy to grab a quick latte on my way back to the hotel.
Ciao and Happy Travels!