I recently spent a week in Boston to attend a marketing conference - a city I’d never been to but always wanted to visit and one that was full of surprises. Rich is history, architecture, unique eateries, and ridiculously easy to navigate, Boston won me over in a matter of minutes.
I was lucky to have some recommendations from local Bostonians which, combined with a bit of insta-research, meant that my itinerary outside of the conference was packed with some awesome sight seeing and some great meals. So here are my top tips if you’re considering a short break!
Visit the reading room at the Public Library
An impressive building in itself the library is located in Back Bay on Copley Square - it’s free to go in and you don’t need long (20-30 mins) to explore the old wing of America’s oldest and second biggest library. The reading room is at the top of the main staircase on the second floor.
Take a stroll through the Public Garden and Boston Common
The parks link Back Bay with Downtown Boston and take in part of the Freedom trail. The Public Garden is home to beautiful flower displays and leads you over a lake bridge onto the Common. Right in the top corner is the State House - you can’t miss the giant gold dome which makes it one of the most recognizable buildings in the city. We didn’t go in but free tours are available Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Be inspired at the Isabella Gardener Museum
Isabella Gardner was quite a character and her home is now a museum displaying her incredible collection of art from around the world. It’s slightly off the beaten track but well worth a visit and the $15 entry fee. Perhaps the most intriguing fact about the museum is that it was victim to the worlds biggest ever art heist with 13 pieces of art worth an estimated $500 million being stolen in 1990 but thieves dressed as police officers. Oceans Eleven eat your hearts out, the robbers have never been caught and the empty frames remain hanging as placeholders should the art ever be recovered. Dun dun DUN!
Soak up the atmosphere in Fenway Park
Boston is a city absolutely obsessed with baseball and on game day the area around Fenway Park is flooded with adoring fans out to support the Red Sox. You can buy tickets to the game, or just soak up the vibe in one of the many lively bars around the stadium.
You can’t come to Boston and not visit Cambridge, the part of town that’s home to the most famous university campus in the world. Don’t waste a day there though - an hour before sunset to walk around the main buildings and surrounding area before hitting one of the many, buzzing bars and going out for dinner in Harvard Square is a great way to spend an evening.
Rent a bike
Boston is easy to walk around but if your legs start to get tired, there are bikes available for rent all over the city. Unlike in other places where you have download an app, sign up to a newsletter and guess the magic password, Boston makes hiring a bike SUPER easy - just swipe your card, chose whether you want two wheels for an hour or 24 hours and off you go!
Shop on Newbury Street
Quite possibly the most civilized shopping experience in the world. Zero crowds in sight on this tree lined boulevard where beautiful old building house all of your favorite high street names. There’s even a Restoration Hardware which is inside the old Natural History Museum Building - as you do! Restaurants spill out onto pavements while delicious coffee shops serve up fresh brews to eager shoppers - it’s people watching and retail therapy at it’s best.
Tucked away in the basement with a cute outdoor courtyard, this fabulous restaurant serves up modern American tapas-style dishes and delicious cocktails.
An Instagrammers paradise, this funky Mexican is great for a quick lunch while shopping on Newbury or dinner. Beware the kitchen closes at 2 so you have to be prompt for lunch! Don’t leave without trying the duck flautas - YUM!
This lively eatery specialises in super fresh seafood. You can’t come to Boston without trying Oysters and a lobster roll and this is definitely a good place for both. Beware the portions are massive!
The perfect place to refuel after a wander around Harvard, the menu is designed for sharing and features some unusual dishes. An unlikely favorite among our group was the kale salad - you’ll just have to trust us!
Tucked behind Copley Place shopping centre, this cute and simple restaurant offers a small but delightful menu of filling dishes. Design your own charcuterie board or chose from the freshly made pizzas and pastas - all delicious!
Thank goodness I don’t live anywhere near a Tatte because if I did I would be a) bankrupt b) 300 lbs. Hands down the best coffee I’ve ever had alongside delicious pastries and breakfast / brunch dishes. Try the pistachio croissant and the shakshuka.
Crescent Ridge, Boston Public Market
The best ice cream in the world - made at a local farm and available only at the Public Market, an indoor artisans food market in Downtown. The portions are massive but I bet you eat it all!
It’s all about the views at this bar on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Tower. Go just before sunset to sit back and relax with a cocktail while you watch the light change and dance over the city.
On the rooftop of the trendy Envoy Hotel, this bar opens at 4pm each day and even though it’s not that high up, it has a gorgeous view of the bay, funky tunes, friendly bar staff and surprisingly reasonably drinks prices. There is a dress code so no flip flops and they don’t accept international ID unless it’s a passport.
Right opposite the baseball ground, this massive microbrewery gets packed out with Red Sox fans and offers awesome beers made right there on the premises and an extensive menu if you’re hungry for a snack.
Also a restaurant, this lively bar is in a converted bank and serves great cocktails and a cool vibe.
Let me know if you’re heading to Boston and you go to any of the places above - I hope you love the city as much as I did!