It’s been a long & eventful year (2017-18), now that I come to think of it. A year of many new experiences, from moving all the way to Long Island by ourselves to exploring some of the most varied landscapes that America has to offer.
I haven’t been really blogging a lot these last few months because I had so much on my plate and my parents were visiting me for the first time here! But, I have had a couple of posts piling up in my drafts folder. One of those was about my trip to Boston in 2016 and since I took my parents there, I thought I should publish this one now.
A work trip of my husband brought me to the city of Boston where I explored each and every street till I could. In the whole week that I spent there, I walked across Boston Common, Harvard Yard, Cambridge, Somerville, Copley Square, Newbury Street and visited the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Public Library, Quincy Market, and Museum of Science. A lot!
I went solo to explore because my husband was busy in conferences and dinners 9-to-9. And, I could just be as slow or as fast as I wanted while exploring.
I have made a small list of places to visit and things to do so that it can be of help to anyone traveling to that part. The best way to travel around the city is by taking their Subway (The “T”) which connects you to most parts of the city. Tickets can be bought at the any of the stations and if you’re staying for a week, you can buy their week pass.
Newbury Street: This street is close to the Copley Square, a very busy street, but somehow Newbury Street (two blocks away) retains the charm of Notting Hill. Tons of boutique stores and open-air cafes drew me to this street again and again.
On most of the days, I would head to this street first thing in the morning to grab breakfast.
Beacon Hill: Another charming and affluent neighborhood of Boston where I loved strolling around a lot. Beacon Hill has steep alleys with cobblestone streets where you can walk past Bostons’ most expensive & exquisite houses.
The cafes of Beacon Hill are perfect for sipping coffee and people watching on any day.
Museum of Fine Arts: I ended up spending 8 hours here, still there was so much left to see. By far, this has been the most enriching museum in this country for me. This one is gigantic, boasts of a vast European Art collection (specifically, Claude Monet), allows more hours for exploration from Wed-Fri (till 10 PM), and a one-time ticket gets you entry on two days within a week.
Quincy Market: Though you may find markets like these in every other city, I love to explore food markets a lot, personally. There’s nothing more satisfying than finding tons of food vendors under one roof without the obligation to have your whole meal at one place. Take a slice from the pizza guy, then a cappuccino at the corner cafe and finish it up with a piece of chocolate cake from the local baker. Still, you would have space to try out few other snacks in between!
You can also indulge in shopping here since I could see a flea market right outside the food hall. Since I am not into shopping, I just wandered across in search of my next bite.
Boston Duck Tour: This is the first thing one should do in Boston. Not because this is something extraordinary but they take you around all the landmarks of Boston and you can decide which ones are worth visiting later.
The duck is a replica of boats from World War II which can run on roads as well as water, so that’s something unique. Plus, your guide allows you to ride the duck on water for a millisecond!
North End: A happening neighborhood at night with plenty of Italian restaurants. Visitors flock this area mainly to devour authentic Italian food and cannolis. I visited this one night when every other restaurant had a queue as long as my gaze could follow, so you have to come early or book a table to avoid the hassle. Luckily, we found a table at one of the petite Italian joints wherein we experienced the region’s charming hospitality. Some fettuccine with wine and an Italian server can hardly go wrong!
Boston Public Library: The moment I stepped inside the Boston Public Library (Central), I stood in awe for a couple of minutes. During the week, I explored the library multiple times because one visit isn’t enough! I don’t want to get into how grand it is and how many book titles it holds, but I definitely want to sing about its architecture & murals.
Inspired by the Renaissance era, McKim designed this library and called it a “Palace for People”. Ceiling murals, grand staircases, defining pillars, green courtyard were some of the distinctive features of this library.
Cambridge & Somerville: Just walk by the streets of Cambridge and Somerville for a surreal experience. I did spend quite a lot of time in Cambridge than Somerville but liked both equally, although Somerville is calmer. Cambridge does attract more people because there’s MIT and Harvard.
I didn’t get time to visit MIT, but I did explore Harvard wholeheartedly. Walking around Harvard Yard in itself would make you realize why this is the most sought-after institution in the country.
That’s my bit on Boston. Do let me know in the comments below what you like about this city!