Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Weekend in Boston

We'll be celebrating Christmas in Boston this year, and I'm excited to revisit some of our favorite spots in between catching up with friends and family.  Neal has North End pizza and cannoli on his list, and I plan to swing into a few boutiques in our old South End neighborhood.

I frequently get asked about "must-see" sights around the city, so if you're traveling to Boston and are unencumbered by family/holiday events, I've created a three day itinerary that will allow you to hit the highlights.

Boston Public Library Image from Travel + Leisure
  • Check In: The Liberty Hotel is one of my favorite hotels in the city. It's in a great location, plus it has a bit of history- the building housed some of Boston's most notorious criminals for 120 years and you can still see bits and pieces of the old prison throughout. 
  • Visit the Public Library: The library might seem like a lame place to start, but when you arrive you'll realize the building is stunning and worth a visit. Take an Art & Architecture tour to get the highlights. On Fridays, they're offered at 11am. 
  • Walk & Shop: After the library, wind down Newbury Street to the Public Gardens. A left turn will take you down Charles Street where you can shop some of the most charming boutiques in town and stop for lunch if the mood strikes. Once you reach the end of the street, you'll be back at your hotel!
  • Party at the ICA: On the first Friday of every month, the Institute for Contemporary Art hosts a fun themed event with cocktails and hors d'oevres. You can grab a heartier bite to eat in the Seaport District before heading to the party, and once you get there you'll enjoy beautiful views of the Harbor while you get your modern art fix. 
Image from
  • Brunch at CLINK: Put on your comfiest walking shoes (you'll need them later) and head down to CLINK, one of the restaurants in the Liberty Hotel, for a delicious brunch. Pick something hearty to fuel you for lots of activity!
  • Walk the Freedom Trail: This is the best way to see the historic parts of Boston. A 2.5 mile trail will take you to 16 historic sites.  Skip the organized tours and just grab a map- you can explore at your own pace and stop for food/drinks along the way. I highly recommend walking all the way to the end in Charlestown- the USS Constitution is pretty cool and the free museum attached is excellent. 
  • Dinner in the North End: This is Boston's Italian district, and almost any restaurant that you walk into is sure to please. Pizzeria Regina is a Boston favorite (note: the North End location is the best and not to be confused with satellite versions), or you can wait for a spot at Neptune Oyster and enjoy some of the best lobster rolls in the city (not Italian, just freaking amazing). Don't forget to cap off your dinner with a cannoli. My favorites come from Maria's. 
  • Take a Ghost Tour: Ok, you're probably rolling your eyes. Hear me out- The Ghosts and Gravestones tour in Boston is one of the most fun ways to see Boston and Cambridge, plus you get to hear the darker side of the city's history. It's educational, not hokey. 
Image from
  • Dim Sum in Chinatown: Boston's North End is pretty famous, but the city has a great little Chinatown and the Dim Sum is worth a visit. It's not a far walk from the Liberty, but you can also take the T. 
  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: If you're really into art, then you can check out the Museum of Fine Arts, but I think the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a better pick for a Sunday afternoon. This is the site of one of the most famous (and unsolved) art heists, so, like many other places in Boston, there's some cool history here. 
  • Fenway Park: Even if it's not baseball season, you can take a tour of Fenway Park and then stop for a beer at one of the many bars nearby. Boston sports fans are crazy about the Red Sox, and the park is the oldest ballpark in MLB.
  • Walk along the Charles. On your way back from Fenway, take a stroll along the Charles river. It's a scenic way to take in the skyline as you wrap up your trip. 

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