20 January 2014

6 Highlights of Boston, Massachusetts

Before heading to New York, meeting Lady Liberty, enjoying the birds-eye view from the Empire State and Top of the Rock and chilling out in Central Park, I headed to Boston. My friend, a local Bostonian - minus the accent thanks to a Canadian dad - was going to show me around. Aside from the incident with the plane, I really enjoyed Boston, more than I expected.

Boston Library
Trinity Church

So here are some places to visit if you ever find yourself in Boston, in no particular order.

1 - Boston Waterfront
Its lovely and reminded me a little of Sydney Harbour. There is no Opera house or Harbour Bridge but the shape of it with the skyscrapers were similar enough to make me a teensy bit homesick.

Boston Waterfront

Charles River
2 - Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market
When in Quincy Market make sure you try the local speciality, clam chowder. Any one of the shops will be good (it wouldnt survive if it was bad) but its always best to go to one that has a lot of people ordering the dish. My friend  thinks the markets look a bit like Covent Garden in London and I can see why he thinks that, its a old stone market hall surrounded by paved open space. If you are a popcorn lover lover like me, take note, i bought the most delicious bag of popcorn from a stall out front...I was eating from it for days and it was still good!

Candy apples at Quincy Market

Clam chowder from Quincy Market
3 - Harvard University
You can take the metro directly to Harvard University from the centre of Boston. The university does run free tours led by students, but, unfortunately I didn't manage to go on one. They do have self guided tours or if you prefer, just wander around. During the day the gates are usually open and you can usually access the common grounds. Even away from the actual campus, the area around Harvard square has a nice vibe, is full of cafes, restaurants and ice-cream shops (try J.P Licks, such an awesome name for an ice cream shop don't you think?)

Houses around Davis square
4 - Freedom Trail
I confess I didn't do this, I saw parts of it like Paul Reveres House and Park Street Church, but I wish I had done more of the trail. The Freedom trail takes you around some of the most historic and key sites of the American Revolution. Even if you are not interested in American history, if you have seen National Treasure, you'll see the sites of some of the places they refer to in it.

Park Street Church

Paul Reveres House
5 - The North End
North End is full of restaurants, cafes, coffee and pastry shops. If your looking for a nice place for dinner, you cant go wrong here, they are really pricey but my local guide says you'd be hard pressed to get sub-par food or service. If your up for something lighter, try Mike's Pastry, it has all kinds of sweets and I can totally vouch for the custard puffs. Mmmm...custard puff...

Mike's Pastry cake counter
Mike's Pastry custard puff
6 - Top of the Hub
For a breathtaking view over Boston and an elegant dinner or lunch then make your way to Top of the Hub. I went for dinner and each dish was delicious. If you already have dinner plans elsewhere, you can just go for a drink and to listen to the live jazz. The restaurant is in the Prudential tower which is the highest in Boston and watching the twinkling lights over dinner or a drink makes for a very romantic evening.

View of Boston at night from Top of the Hub

I hope you find something that appeals in this list. Boston is only 4.5-5 hours by coach from New York and about an hours flight from JFK airport.

A special thanks to my friend and local guide for showing me around his home city. I had a great time :)


  1. Aaah, I really regret not taking a day trip to Boston when I was in New York. I had planned two day trips - one to Boston and one to DC but ultimately I ran out of time. This is a fabulous guide though! I shall keep it in mind for when I return. I love the look of those houses and buildings with their bold blue and red colours.

    1. Glad you liked the guide! I hope you do make it to Boston next time, i'd love to hear your impressions.