Everyone has been looking forward to planning some summer trips after an extended time at home – and while many will flock to the west coast, I highly recommend checking out the other side of the country and exploring New England. I’ve been so looking forward to planning a trip back out to the east coast – and the first stop I’ll make: Boston.
I had the opportunity to live in Boston a few years ago, and exploring this city was an absolute dream. When we ventured back to our now-home in Minneapolis in 2015, I missed Boston’s historic charm, the short drives to the beach or mountains, and the thick Boston accents. If you’re considering an east coast adventure, check out Boston for a mix of old and new, a city with some of the most incredible attractions I’ve seen.
Here are some of my tips for things to do in the city, getting around and making the most of your time, whether you’re there for a week or a long weekend.
My Favorite Spots
Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Quincy Market is one of my favorite historic sites that’s as alive and well as it was in 1742, with hundreds of shops and restaurants. It’s one of the top places to see and is located in the heart of downtown, near the waterfront district and the Boston Harbor, so a perfect area for an afternoon of exploring.
By far my favorite neighborhood in Boston is Beacon Hill. Something about cobblestone streets, beautiful old buildings and local shops is the perfect combination for me, with a stop into J.P. Licks to top it all off.
We also had a wonderful experience touring and tasting at the Sam Adams Brewery. The sample sizes they give you on the tour are generous, to say the least – and learning about the brewing process is always interesting. And even if there’s not a game, the atmosphere around Fenway Park is always a hit. If there is a game, definitely try to get tickets to see the Green Monster in person.
History is Everywhere – Embrace It!
Because Boston was founded in the 1600s, you’re likely stepping on history everywhere you go. You’ll turn a corner and see giant, new skyscrapers next to old, short brick buildings. You’ll go from walking on cobblestone streets to paved sidewalks and back again in an instant. Embrace this city for its history as no matter what you plan, it will be a huge part of your trip!
Just south of Beacon Hill is the Boston Common, which is the oldest city park in U.S. history. This well-kept park also has a beautiful public garden. The Boston Common is also the Freedom Trail starting point, which is a great free activity for the history lovers on your trip! This trail is a 2.5 mile-long loop around the city that can be self-guided or with a tour guide, taking you to the most historic markers in one of America’s most historic cities.
My Best Tips for Getting The Most Out of Boston
Make the most of walking and using public transportation. As gross as it sounds, I have always loved the hustle and bustle of public transit and the T in Boston is just about as crazy as it gets. While I didn’t love being smashed against other humans on my commute when I lived there, I loved how easy it was to get around and how walkable sights were after stops. There are also many bikes and scooters for rent if you want to buzz around the city that way.
And lastly, I’m not an expert foodie, but I know you cannot leave Boston without eating some Italian food. Explore Italian restaurants in the North End and beyond for a dinner that will leave you happy.
Enjoy your trip to Boston and make sure to explore Boston guides for more detailed itineraries, best-kept secrets and more.