October 24, 2012

Boston, MA

Boston is one of our favorite cities in the United States. I first visited Boston with my parents, while on a college touring trip. The way my mother tells the story (which is most likely the true version...knowing teenagers) is that they showed me all the city had to offer, took me to the museums,  and the historic place markers  and all I wanted to do was go shopping at the Ann Taylor store. (What? we didn't have one back then in our little city in Arkansas...). I just remember walking away from the experience with a memory of how cool the city was. Its possible the newly purchased Ann Taylor dress had something to do with it, but even so, I remembered Boston being somewhere I'd want to visit again. Fast forward several years (of maturation) and I returned to the city,this time with Sky by my side. We've been back twice since, once on a trip two years ago, and then again on this trip. I'm pretty sure Boston is one of those cities that we will never grow tired of.

It's hard to put my finger on what exactly it is about Boston that entices us to come back, its really just a feeling we get when we're in the city. If Boston was a person, I would call them a DINK, someone with Dual Income No Kids. Although Boston is one of the oldest cities in the US, it still feels young to me, totally unencumbered, ready for a good time- therefore the No Kids part. The reason I picked DINK over a Yuppie is because in my mind a Yuppie is a singular individual. Boston has a very strong feeling of wealth to it. There is a strong whiff of old money, yet just as strong feeling of newly accumulated wealth through hard work. I imagine a power couple where one person comes from family money and the other from playing the corporate field correctly- therefore the Dual Income. Boston is the Park Place neighborhood of town. Boston is the little-big city that could.

And while that might sound uptight and boring, it's not. Aside from the upscale factor and youthful carelessness, Boston delivers on so many other factors. The city is very walkable. While strolling the city you are likely to round the corner and come face to face with a historic relic from centuries ago, right in the middle of the skyscrapers. Cemeteries, churches, placards marking battles, and statues litter the city. Boston's central public park, the Boston Common, is the oldest city park in the United States. Boston proper has over 50 higher education institutions, and there are more than 100 colleges and universities in the Greater Boston area. Boston is the home to the first public school in the US and as well as the first subway system. Boston is also one of the most expensive cities to live in, which is probably why it will always remain a city for us to visit and not live in.

So, in case I've enticed you to visit the city yourself, here are some places I think that are worth the visit (in no particular order, and this is by no means an all inclusive list, there are LOADS of things to see and do in Boston):

- Stroll through Boston Commons, preferably on a Saturday afternoon, during warm weather when the swam boats are out.

- Stop by the Cheers bar. The Cheers sign was shot for the TV show, although the bar downstairs looks nothing like the one in the show. You will not find Norm sipping beer there, but you will get a chance to stand by the sign and hum "Where everyone knows my name..." to yourself.

- Go walking or shopping on Newbury Street, preferably just after dinner on a weekend night. That is when you'll find the best people watching. If you're in the mood for good Thai food for surprisingly reasonable prices, I'd recommend eating at the Thai Basil restaurant.

- Walk through the Christian Science Plaza after dark. The dark pool and the illuminated buildings there come together to create some really picturesque reflections.

- Visit the Boston Public Library and then shop the farmer's market on Copley Square. Again, Saturdays are probably best for this.

- Follow the 2.5 mile Freedom Trail to see the historic sites of the city.

- Grab a bowl of clam chowder at the Quincy Market.

- Drive directly under the skyscrapers of downtown in the city's tunnel system, the infamous Big Dig project.

- Take in a few brews at two free (or almost free) brewery tours- the Samuel Adams Brewery and the Harpoon Brewery.

- And last but not least, watch an old American tradition come to life at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

Some of the best times (and also probably the worst times due to high tourist volumes) to visit the city are during the Boston Marathon, on the Fourth of July, and in October during the Head of the Charles Regatta. I would recommend spending at least two or three days in the city, and if you like the Hop On Hop Off type of tours, Boston has plenty of options and might be one of the few cities where I would recommend doing it.

I hope you like Boston as much as we do! Here are some pictures from our last trip into the city:

Old State House in downtown Boston
The Old State House in downtown Boston
The Bunker Hill Monument in Boston
The Bunker Hill Monument
Place marker of the site of the Boston Massacre
Place marker of the site of the Boston Massacre 
Red brick Freedom Trail through Boston
Following the Freedom Trail through Boston
Quincy Market in downtown Boston
Quincy Market 
Fountain in Boston Common
Walking around Boston Common 
Cheers bar sign in downtown Boston
Sky and I outside the Cheers Bar 
Pool reflections at the Christian Science Plaza in Boston
Reflections at the Christian Science Plaza
To see more pictures of Boston you can click here.

Happy Boston exploring!


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  1. Hey guys...now I want to go to Boston! Actually, we've wanted to visit before, the NE being the only part of the USA we haven't been to. Enjoy your time there!

  2. I'm surprised you guys haven't been! I think you'll like it!

  3. Hey guys...now I want to go to Boston! Actually, we've wanted to visit before, the NE being the only part of the USA we haven't been to. Enjoy your time there!