It's official, I have taken my first day of "vacay"! And oh what a day it was! A three day weekend spent in Boston was more than enough to fall in love with the city. Only a few hours away from New York, Boston is a great place to spend an autumnal weekend!
My first guest for the year (my wonderful sister Emily) and I had been planning a weekend away so that we could both explore a new city. Having both been to New York before, we wanted to go somewhere new together, and as I had already been to Philadelphia, I thought that Boston would be similar. I took the Megabus up to Boston which takes around 4 to 5 hours depending on traffic, and met Emily at our AirBnb near Brookline.
We were up early on Friday in order to get to our Duck Tour. We grabbed breakfast at Tatte, an instant favourite, and got the "Charlie" in to the city towards the Prudential Center. Duck Tours are a must-do in Boston as they take you around on the land and the river in a really cool amphibious truck. I would recommend getting the 9am tour as it wasn't as busy which meant that we got to drive the "Duck" ourselves!
After the duck tour we strolled around the Boston Public Library before heading in to Back Bay for some coffee and people watching at Sonsie, with bi-fold doors making the inside feel like you were sat outside. Back Bay was absolutely stunning, and I think the hefty housing prices (yes I was that excited that I looked up how much an apartment would be) are fully justified living in such a beautiful area. We strolled around, grabbed a view of the Charles river, and stopped off for lunch at Stephanie's On Newbury where I had some delicious New England Clam Chowder filled with bacon, creamy sauce, onion and minced clams. We strolled over to Trinity Church to admire the beautiful interior, before hopping in to another church nearby to see the Tiffany lamp and windows. Our afternoon consisted of wandering through the Boston Common to see the duck statue, Massachusetts State House, and Nichols House Museum. After a couple of drinks at Faneuil Market we strolled down to the Italian part of town for some pasta at Mauricio's. We were recommended a place called Giacomo's but the line was huge, and to be perfectly honest Mauricio's had a much more authentic Italian feel, complete with vaguely outdated furnishings and food that tasted like a 100 year old family recipe! Perfect for a long day of walking and sightseeing.
A very exciting day! After breakfast again at Tatte, we hopped into an Uber and whizzed over to Cambridge on the other side of the river to visit one of the oldest places in the history of the United States... Harvard University! We joined a tour with a current student and found out lots about the history of the university, which is closely tied in with events during the American Revolution and the founding and continuation of the USA (the amount of President's or notable politicians who attended Harvard is staggering). We got to see the Harvard Yard, and although we weren't allowed in the buildings we were allowed in the Harvard Coop bookstore, where we both picked up interesting reads. We grabbed a coffee and went and sat in the Yard under the shade of the trees and imagined how amazing it would be to live and study in such a beautiful place.
Afterwards we grabbed another taxi to the Charlestown Navy Shipyard where we were lucky enough to be there on the weekend of the USS Constitution's birthday. It was cool to see the old ship and learn about the founding of the US Navy. After lunch at the naval yard cafe, we decided to do the section of the Freedom Trail that goes up to the Bunker Hill Monument. We climbed the 290 or so steps to the top and looked out over the gorgeous views. Finally we wandered back along the Freedom Trail*, stopping off at the Copp's Hill Graveyard, Old North Church and Paul Revere House, before heading home via Mike's Pastry to change into more dressy outfits for a lovely dinner at Ruth Chris's Steakhouse. Afterwards we went to Scholar's Bar, followed by a crazy bar called Gem's which I would 100% recommend for the experience, before heading on to another bar. On our way to the final bar we walked back past Scholar's which had a huge line (queue) outside. After a brief chat with the bouncer asking why it was suddenly much busier we found ourselves being escorted past the line (queue) into the very lively bar where we spent the rest of the night. Lesson learned: Make friends with the bouncers more often!
With a teeny-tiny bit of a hangover we grabbed breakfast at Dunkin Donut's (hey they do great coffee and are a New England staple) before making our way to the Boston Tea Party museum (a really fun and interactive museum) for a history lesson. They have two replicas of the ships present at the Boston Tea Party, and it was another beautifully sunny day to spend by the waterfront. Afterwards we went to James Hook Lobster for lunch (a lobster bisque for me and chowder for Emily). It was delicious! From there we wandered back to where we had left off in the Freedom Trail*. We did the Faneuil Market, Old State House and King's Chapel, before ending at Boston Common. We chilled out at the park for a little while before grabbing dinner at Back Deck before heading to catch the bus back to NYC. We had a fabulous weekend exploring a beautiful new city and I hope to visit again soon!
More new posts on their way soon I promise! I know I have been rubbish at updating this recently but in all honesty there was nothing more important than catching up with my sister last week. With a chilled weekend in sight I will be blogging like crazy to make up for it don't worry. And as always let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations for Boston or just fun facts about American history!
*It made sense because of where we were to start at the end but in hindsight it is probably less confusing to start at the beginning of the Freedom Trail like a normal tourist so as not to mix up your American History dates.