Boston has always been a city that has appealed to me, an historic metropolitan town, with amazing architecture and full of cultural diversity, ranging from the Italian North End to the Hispanic Mission Hill. Having only visited Boston once before when I was a young teenager, I was excited to go back and explore this city as my first solo stop on my year long adventure.
Being a bit of a history nerd, passionate about American history and of course the infamous Kennedy clan, Boston is a city so full of revolutionary records that I found myself in history heaven! As it is one of the oldest cities in the United States, and was essentially the centre of the American Revolution, this is probably the most historical city to visit in the US, offering an abundance of interesting sites and locations that are sure to entertain anyone’s level of history knowledge. However, Boston is not only for the history buffs of the world, if you love beautiful architecture, more antique shops than you could every possibly imagine, or if you enjoy a university city, than Boston is a must-see.
One of the absolute best and easiest ways to see many of the city’s most important sites is to walk the famous Freedom Trail, which lines the sidewalk with either red bricks or paint, and follows in the footsteps of people including Paul Revere and Sam Adams. Starting in the Boston Common in the downtown area you are able to explore one of Boston’s largest parks, and experience the place where the public hangings took place for over three centuries, and where both Dr Martin Luther King, Jr and Barack Obama spoke about hope and freedom. Wandering through the city you’ll come across treasures like the Quincy Market, where you can find some of the tastiest chocolaty treats in all of Boston at the North End Bakery. While the Freedom Trail is almost 3 miles long, I would highly recommend walking the long path just to go across the bridge into Charleston, one of the sweetest areas of Boston. Lined with multi coloured houses and beautiful churches, wandering the streets of Charleston is like taking a step back in time, and is definitely well worth the visit. Charleston is also home to the Bunker Hill Monument, the end of the Freedom Trail.
Boston is full of interesting and diverse neighbourhoods that are easy to explore being that it is a relatively small city. From the Victorian buildings in the South End to the historic Italian North End, Boston is overflowing with little treasures. However, my absolute favourite, favourite, favourite section of Boston is, of course, Beacon Hill. With brownstones and cobbled streets, this idyllic neighbourhood has always been popular with the elite due to its high real estate prices. Home to some of the best cafes, restaurants, and antique shops in Boston, you could easily spend a few hours meandering around this hilly community imagining every house was your own. I myself couldn’t resist coming back again and again to wander around pretending that I owned one of the many picturesque homes. When in the area, don’t miss walking down one of the most photographed streets in Boston, Acorn Street, which is even more adorable in real life. And of course, no visit to Boston would be complete without visiting the famous Back Bay for a spot of shopping on Boston’s most luxurious street, Newbury Street, before dropping into the stunning Public Gardens for a relaxing afternoon of people (and squirrel) watching.
If in Boston for longer than just a few days, consider taking a trip to either Harvard University or Salem, or even better, do both! While on my recent travels around the Olde Town, I had limited time in the city so I opted for visiting Harvard and the surrounding area of Cambridge. Being so close to the city centre it is possible to see most of the campus and town in just a morning or an afternoon, or you can choose to do guided tours of Harvard that offer isights and trivia into one of the most praised universities in the world. However, if you have a whole day to spare, head up to Salem to experience one of the most well known places within the United States that held the infamous witch trials.
If you’re anything like me and love museums, then I would highly suggest the Museum of Fine Arts and the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, and even the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, for a fun look into the memorable event that shaped the American Revolution. The Museum of Fine Arts offers an array of exhibitions and collections ranging from jewellery and musical instruments to ancient art and photography, while the JFK Museum gives an insight into the 35th Presidents’ life, from a young boy to his unfortunate assassination.
Boston is one of the most important cities in the history of the United States, and offers the feel of a metropolitan city but still holds an old world sort of charm. Full of beautiful architecture and deliciously diverse cuisine, Boston is a great city to visit if only for a short time, though with so much to see in and around the city centre I would highly recommend staying for at least three days.