Last year, I made a promise to myself that I was going to travel to at least three places a year. I manifested hard and wound up traveling four times and the first trip I made in 2017, was to Boston to celebrate my birthday. I can’t tell you how many people were shocked when they learned it took me – a native New Yorker – this long to visit this cute and relatively close, little city. That’s because Boston is loaded with historical landmark gems and colonial-era architecture that makes it more than a worthwhile experience – especially for a history nerd like myself.
One of the coolest things about Boston is the way it beautifully juxtaposes old and new. One second you’re looking at an 18th century historic site and the next you’re in the midst of modern skyscrapers.
Here’s a look at a few spots you must see in Boston!
You have to hit up the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museums.
You can’t visit Boston without visiting this place. It literally feels like taking a step back in time. The museum centers on all the events that lead to December 16, 1773 and how it all resulted in the American Revolution. You can explore the ships, check out the exhibits with a tour guide, or sip delicious tea at Abigail’s Tea Room – which is adorable by the way.
Walk the Freedom Trail.
This trail consists of established businesses, schools, underground road sites and more that were established in the 19th and 20th centuries by freed American blacks. You can be adventurous and do a self-guided tour – which is what I did – or do a free guided walk tour with interpretive rangers that take you everywhere from the Robert Gould Shaw to the first African American Meeting House. It’s definitely a powerful place to check out this month in honor of Black History Month – that’s for sure!
Eat in Boston’s Little Italy.
Like NYC, Boston also has it’s own Little Italy flooded with cobble stone streets and delicious Italian restaurants. If you’re looking for a more authentic cuisine, I highly recommend La Famiglia Spagnuolo, a small family-owned spot that serves Italian comfort dishes that have been in their family for centuries. The prices are unbelievably affordable, the service is amazing, and the plates are big enough to share!
The college towns are a must-see.
Boston is known for their cool and collegiate culture so if you’re in town, I suggest checking out Harvard University or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or if you have time – both! You can walk around the campuses and a lot of the buildings are actually open to the public. There are also guided trolley tours for both. If you have to choose one – go to MIT. The sick architecture and design is worth seeing. If you don’t check it out for yourself at least do it for the Gram.
If you’re a fan of old architecture – go visit the Boston Public Library.
I thought the New York Public Library was impressive. You know, where they filmed Carrie’s failed cancelled wedding in the first Sex in the City movie. But you haven’t really seen a library until you’ve visited the Boston Public Library. Plus, it’s just another fun touristy thing to do that won’t cost you a cent.
Have a drink in historic downtown Boston.
It’s a great place to look at cute colonial townhouses during the day and to hit up a great Irish pub at night. If you’re looking for some excellent beer options and great pub food – hit up The Black Rose, Ned Devine’s or The Green Dragon Tavern.
Even if you’re not a baseball fan, you have to visit Fenway Park.
This stadium is home to the Boston Red Sox and is loaded with history. They do guided tours daily and all year round.