I’ve visited Boston many times in the past three decades, as my Aunt moved there when she got married. I love the city but don’t go as often now, as Margaret lives in Atlanta. But I’ve been back recently for Christmas and weddings, as two of my three wonderful cousins are still there.
So I thought I’d share my tips. They are probably well known but I if they’re useful for even one or two people about to go there, then that’s a job well done.
- Make sure you see the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Prioritise it, as it’s unique and lovely, and filled with a staggering array of art.
- Walk. Boston is a small enough city to get to know on foot. Walking from Boston Common, to Quincy Market, to the North End is a great way to spend the best part of a day. Even better, you can have a fantastic Italian lunch and cake in the North End.
- Do visit the Holocaust Memorial when you’re walking in the Quincy Market area. There are many around the world but I find this one particularly haunting and moving.
- Book a table one evening at the Atlantic Fish Company on Boylston Street. Not only is the Lobster simply supreme but pretty much everything else on the menu makes my mouth water. It’s a blow out because it isn’t cheap but it is very much worth it if you love fresh, perfectly cooked seafood and fish.
- Sign up to ‘Secret Boston‘ – it’s an email service that lets you know of cheap/exclusive/unusual things to do. They’re all at really short notice, so it’s best to sign up shortly before you go.
- Have a drink in the Top of the Hub – the bar at the top of the Prudential Center. The views are fantastic and the drinks are not outrageously priced. Obviously it makes sense to do this on a clear day, though! Now that the John Hancock tower observatory has shut, this is the place for views and if you want the full 360 degrees, you’ll need to pay $17 for the Sky Walk a couple of floors down, as that’s where the full landscape can be seen.
- If you have time for more than one museum, make your Number 2 visit the Museum of Fine Arts. It is fantastic. A great collection and they always have fantastic exhibitions too.
- If you have time for a third culture vulture experience, go on an Art and Architecture tour of the Boston Public Library. I did this for the first time on my most recent trip and I was very glad I did. It has a gallery upstairs filled with murals created by John Singer Sargent and they are a wonder to behold.
- Visit Harvard. It’s lovely just soaking up the atmosphere but there are good museums too.
- Trinity Church on Copley Square has free lunchtime organ recitals. If you want an unusual break during the day, it’s impressive. This is on a Friday only.
Here are my photos from the Art and Architecture tour of the library and the views from Top of the Hub.