Boston is the best in the summer! The long, cold winter nights, give way to temperate sunny days, perfect for exploring the city. As a three year native of Beantown, I have some opinions on what to see, where to go, and what to do. I’m happy to say its a world class city full of landmarks, shops, and restaurants to keep you busy. Living in Boston was great. We took advantage of the ample public transportation, and used the pedestrian friendly trails throughout the city. Boston is a big hub for those in the education and biotech sector, and it’s easy to tack on a long weekend if you’re there for work or a convention.
A lot of what I enjoy about traveling is being able to meader the streets, with no particular destination. Or rather, maybe a destination in mind, but not opposed to detours and serendipitous finds. Boston is a perfect destination for that!
The city is known as the cradle of American democracy, and as such has a lot of historical landmarks to keep you busy if you’re a history buff. But even if you are not a fan of old things, the culmination of over 250,000 students makes this a great place to be active. The city is fairly compact, and there’s a lot to see in a small area. So get your T card ready and your walking shoes, because I’m going to outline and easy to follow 8-10 hour tour of the city.
Sam Adams Brewery
30 Germania St
Boston, MA 02130
I use to live in Jamaica Plain and I’m partial to the free beer at Sam Adams Brewery and Tap Room. It’s not such a bad place to start your trip as you work your way into the city. Sam Adams is credited with kicking off the craft beer movement in the United States, having started in 1984. The brewery is easily accessible from the Stoney Brook station on the orange line. The tour is free (with a recommended donation to their charity), and ends with a beer tasting of their latest releases. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this tasting over the years. The best advice I can give you is make sure when you reach the mash tuns, try to be in the back of the crowd. That way when you are ushered into the tasting room, you’ll be at the front of the tables for first stab at the beer.
This was my favorite neighborhood in Boston to hang out in. It’s full of neatly rowed brownstones brimming with architectural character, and tidy shop fronts with bespoke goods. It’s worth a trip to stop on the Orange line at Mass Ave and walk through the garden behind the homes. Or you can take Columbus north and admire the shops. Maybe even stop for lunch at one of the best pizza places ever: Picco.
Along the Orange Line you can stop at Back Bay and take a short stroll to Copley Square. There you can walk into the Boston Public Library, a massive building where many “Harvard Library” scenes are filmed for the movies. The building is a large structure with a courtyard, and many a quiet nook to read or study. After the library, another point of interest would the Old South Church or Trinity Church if you enjoy historical architecture. Both face a wide green yard where you can bask in the sun and people watch.
If you are a shopper, you’ll want to hit the stroll along Newbury Street. Heading north and south, many well known brands have shops in the converted brownstones. There are also restaurants and cafes to take a pause and people watch if your feet are hurting.
Boston Public Garden and Boston Commons
Newbury Street conveniently turns into the Boston Public Gardens, where flowers bloom (in the spring and summer) and squirrels busy themselves with whatever squirrels do. It’s a lovely place to stop and smell the roses, literally. There are numerous park benches, paddle boats to rent on the pond, and you might even see the resident Swans: Romeo and Juliet. On the northeastern edge of Boston Public Garden, you can cross Charles Street and enter Boston Commons. This is where they use to hang people! It’s the oldest city park in the United States with a founding date of 1634. Here where you’ll find the south end of the Freedom Trail if you should choose to follow this path.
I love the North End for the cafes, Italian food, and the tightly weaving cobble stoned streets. This is a great stop for lunch, dinner, or dessert. Make your way to Paul Revere’s house to tour his humble abode. The house is a museum, and kept the way he would have lived during his fateful ride to warn the revolutionaries. Warm up to a warm bowl of pasta at Giacomos, Daily Catch, or Prezza. Then head over to Modern Pastry for some decadent dessert. The North End is a foodie’s paradise!
Bonus: Fenway Stadium
4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA 02215, USA
I’m not a big fan of baseball, but you gotta appreciate the history of this place. Almost unchanged since it was built (they still have some of the original chairs you can squeeze into…man people’s butts were smaller back then!), this tour is worth the time. This is the house that legends such as Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and most recently Big Papi built. Compared to the monstrous stadiums that are planned today, Fenway is really quite quaint in comparison. The Fenway Tour will take you throughout the stadium, from the infield to the outfield and all around. As an added benefit, it’s probably your only chance to sit in the Green Monster, without paying the high Fenway prices!
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