Boston, the capital of Massachusetts, is one of the oldest cities in the United States, founded in 1630. The city played an important role during the American Revolution- it was the site of the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party, and many of the battles of the Revolutionary War were fought near the city. Today, Boston hosts over 12 million visitors annually and is New England’s cultural and economic hub. Travelers come to enjoy the historic neighborhoods, museums, and educational facilities; to attend Boston sporting events; and to run the famous Boston Marathon. Our Q&A with local, Katy, provides a curated list of things to do in Boston.
THE LOCAL: Katy
WHY YOU SHOULD TRUST HER: (From Katy) I moved to Boston from California after graduating from college. I had no job and no plan; I was just chasing my love! It took me about a year, but I absolutely fell in LOVE with Boston. Emory and I have lived in a few different areas, including Jamaica Plain, Brighton, and Allston. We also got married in Boston during our fourth year, so the city holds a very special place in my heart! I love good cocktails, good long runs along the Charles and tasty dinners. If you like these things too, you’re gonna like what you do on your trip. I guarantee it. 🙂
1. Favorite Street to Wander/Stroll in Boston?
Any street in the South End is wonderful, but I prefer spending time amongst the nature in the city. The Arnold Arboretum (or ‘The Arboretum’ for short) is a beautiful place to stroll. If you’re there around Mother’s Day, the lilacs are unbelievable.
2. Best Coffee Shop or Bakery?
Clear Flour. This is LEGIT artisan baking, people! My heart started racing just thinking about their croissants. This is not a place to sit and eat. But get there early, as the line gets long quickly. Grab a few croissants, miller bread or a baguette for a picnic in the Arboretum later. Clear Flour does not disappoint.
3. Best Area to Shop Local?
4. Favorite Sunny Day Agenda?
I vote for a day outside of the City. Go get your inner-transcendentalist on and check out Walden Pond, the former hermitage of Henry David Thoreau. If you’re sticking around the city, grab a guidebook and walk yourself through the Freedom Trail! Then head to the Arnold Arboretum for your picnic. (Can you tell I like the Arboretum?!) Another fun (and free!) activity for visitors is the Sam Adams Brewery Tour. Speaking of beer, if you’re planning a trip to Boston in May, consider getting tickets to the American Craft Beer Fest (ACBF) at Seaport World Trade Center. It’s the largest American craft brewery celebration on the East Coast!
5. Essential Boston Tip?
Streets in Boston are the opposite of logical. Legend has it the cows made their paths and then roads were later built to mimic those paths. Be patient. Google maps is your friend.
TRIPADVISOR’S TOP Things to Do in Boston
1. Museum of Fine Arts – Thumbs Up.
Absolutely check out the MFA. You can easily take the Green Line there to avoid paying for parking.
2. Fenway Park – Thumbs Up.
Fenway Park is the oldest ballpark in the MLB and is one of my favorite things to do in Boston, especially with visitors!
Honestly, I haven’t done any of these but I can say Boston is a running city! Marathon anyone?! Boston is also a very walkable city. I wouldn’t recommend getting a rental car unless you’ve planned excursions outside of the city and in that case a Zipcar will do. If you’re interested in doing something active instead of a Running Tour, I would recommend one of the following:
4. Freedom Trail – Thumbs Up.
This is an absolute must do! The Freedom Trail is best enjoyed walking, not running, due to congestions but I couldn’t recommend it more.
5. North End – Thumbs Up.
KATY’S FAVORITE RESTAURANTS IN BOSTON
Atlantic Fish Co – They serve fancy and delicious seafood. Order the lobster roll; it’s unreal.
Drink – In my opinion, the BEST cocktail in the city. Drink is a speakeasy owned by restauranteur Barbara Lynch. Other Barbara Lynch restaurants to try are Sportello, a modern Italian trattoria above Drink, and B&G Oysters, an oysteria just down the street.
Daily Catch – An great Italian/Seafood spot at Brookline. Try the black squid-ink pasta!
Orinoco – A little taste of Latin America right in the heart of Boston neighborhoods.
Morse Fish Co – A no-frills, true Boston seafood experience in the South End. Their lobsters are caught live daily.
LoneStar – If you ever find yourself in the Allston Brighton area, this dive is a can’t-miss experience. Unbelievable Mescal and Tequila cocktails, tacos and delicious street corn. Their sister bar, Deep Ellum, is just next door and is worth a stop before you leave the neighborhood. They have a deluxe whiskey list complete with an array of manhattans and old fashioneds from different eras. Cheers!
What are your favorite things to do in Boston? Tell us about it in the comments below!