Yes, you’ll be in good company with hoards of other tourists, but to experience the diversity of Beantown you need to include the beauty, the brains, the history and the passion of this city.
What is the best time to visit Boston?
Time of year doesn’t matter, but for those of us who hail from warmer climates, I’d seriously consider April through early November. It’s really hard to enjoy the Freedom Trail walk when you can’t feel your toes.
A Perfect Day in Boston, MA — What to Do!
I’ve been to Boston many times, and have sampled all the aforementioned places. So with only one day to explore, I thought I’d try something new. The perfect Boston day began like this…
I woke up and pulled back the curtains to reveal a beautiful sunny day. I threw on layers of clothes, because the reality is that a crisp day for Bostonians can seem bone chilling to me. I tossed the camera in my purse and walked a few blocks to the Boston Public Library on Boylston Street to meet my niece, Natalie.
Once she arrived, we made our way to Trident Booksellers and Cafe. Trident is a funky mix of magazines, new and used books, and assorted dime store paraphernalia, surrounded by an old-fashioned looking soda counter and tables where locals can grab a bite to eat. Natalie had the Apple Brie Omelet, while I tried the Frittata. This was seriously yummy food and lots of it!
After getting bundled up, we began the walk over to the Colleges of the Fenway. This is the collective name for 6 small colleges that rest in the neighborhood of Fenway Park. Together they host events, share some classes, participate in sports and generally behave as friendly neighbors. It’s really a great concept, and a way for the small colleges to keep their own identity yet benefit from the girth of a larger crowd.
As Natalie headed to class we said our goodbyes, and I hopped on a tourist trolley. This is a great way cover lots of ground and brush up on history. You can hop off at sights you want to explore, knowing other trolleys will be along in 15 minute intervals.
To me, half the fun of trolleys in any city is the personality of the driver, and Boston’s trolley drivers didn’t disappoint! Peppermint Patty was the first to welcome me on board, yes that’s what her badge said, and she was quite a character.
In the first few stops I learned more about her political persuasion than I cared to, but she did share some gossip about New England Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady.
I got off at the MIT stop to stroll a campus I’d never seen–lovely.
I hopped off at Charles Street to check out antiques and stroll past historic homes–expensive.
Finally, I checked out Quincy Market because it’s always been a favorite–so disappointing.
If you’ve never been, you still need to visit Faneuil Hall, but Quincy Market has become an outdoor mall complete with Crate and Barrel, Victoria’s Secret and all the other ubiquitous shops that are easily accessible in twenty malls that populate Dallas.
A little deflated, I hopped back on the trolley, but John the driver cheered me up immediately. As we headed toward the Historic North End, John told the story of Paul Revere, and the two other riders.
Obviously they didn’t have press agents as good as Paul’s; do you know their names?
Crossing Charlestown Bridge and looking across the Inner Harbor to see the white steeple of the North Church, knowing that many years ago someone was on this side waiting, watching to see how many lights would briefly shine, I choked up a bit.
As we passed the USS Constitution, John was really getting into the history, complete with sound effects and songs.
By the time we reached the original Cheers bar, I felt like I’d been traveling with my friends, and many of them hopped out to sample a beer.
I said good-bye to John so I could begin the next phase of my perfect day–shopping!
Newbury Street is the place to grab some fabulous finds. I picked up a t-shirt pillow for my daughter that says Everything’s Bigger in Texas. The clerk rolled her eyes and guessed where I was from.
I got a mini-facial at Lush, picked up chocolates at Hotel Chocolat, and couldn’t resist a few shiny apples at the local market.
As I was buying some jeans at Madewell, I happened to glance at my watch, and realized that I was supposed to meet my hubby across town in 15 minutes!
We finished the evening with tuna tartare, bacon wrapped swordfish, seared duck, summer squash ravioli and some cocktails at the Rustic Kitchen on Stuart Street. It was the perfect ending to a perfectly enjoyable day in Boston.
If you find yourself in Boston, here are 5 other things that I would add to my “What to Do in Boston list”!