A bustling city like Boston wouldn’t necessarily top your list as a place for a retreat, but Boston has everything you would want and need! It’s a perfect city to rejuvenate and unlock all your senses. Feel the crisp Boston breeze when you’re strolling down Boston Common, and watch history unfold right in front of your eyes as you walk along the Freedom trail. Hear the loud passionate cheers from the Red Sox fans and join in the crowd cheering like you’ve never done before, smell the fresh seafood from the waterfront seafood restaurant, and enjoy every crunch of your sinful Boston maple bacon donut. Listed below are 15 things to do in Boston … it may be the best place for a retreat after all!
1. Roam around Harvard Square for interesting finds
Bustling with friendly locals, students, and tourists, you would think that Harvard Square is just another overrated tourist area flooded with annoying tourists (though you are one yourself!). But that’s not true! The crowd adds to the atmosphere of this beautiful square. The vibrant vibes it emits will make you fall in love with this place immediately. It’s happening, yet laid back at the same time. Be sure to buy some Harvard souvenirs and gain bragging rights that “you’re a Harvard student”, and drop by the Harvard Book Store, which is a real haven for bookworms! You can lose more hours here, just looking at their wide collection of books.
Harvard Book Store
Address: 1256 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138, United States
Opening Hours: 9 am - 11 pm
Contact: +1 617-661-1515
Nearby Food: there are many places close to the square where you’ll find good food!
Website: Harvard Bookstore
2. Take a jog down Charles River Esplanade
Jogging is the best way to fully take in the surroundings of a new city, and the Charles River Esplanade provides you a path to do just that! This three-mile (4.8-kilometer) leafy path will help you to familiarise yourself with the new city as you feel the fresh air brushing softly against your face and helping you to be captivated by the beauty of this historical city. You will be tempted to buy a thirst-quenching lemonade as you pass by lemonade booths. You’ll be amused by the flocks of wild geese, but start to panic when they refuse to leave you alone. And you may get irritated when the path is crowded with other runners. But, at the end of it all, you will probably say its one of the nicest jogs you’ve ever had!
3. Walk around Jamaica Pond and treat yourself to JP Licks for an ice cream sandwich
Jamaica Pond is a serene oasis in the heart of Boston, the epitome of tranquility, peacefulness, and calmness. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, here you’re welcome to sit near the banks of the pond, munch on a sandwich, and watch the ducks waddle around the pond. If you’re visiting during fall, you’re in for a real treat. Just imagine walking through a gorgeous blend of fiery red and electric yellow fallen leaves, you can hardly resist taking a photo here! With the weather just right, head over to J.P Licks for an ice cream sandwich. #livingthelife!!
JP Licks Jamaica Plain
Address: 659 Centre Street Jamaica Plain MA 02130
Opening Hours: 6 am - 12 noon
Contact: 617 - 524 - 6740
Website: Jamaica Plain
4. Unfold history as you walk down the Freedom Trail
Take yourself to places where history was made as you walk down the Freedom Trail. The Freedom Trail is one of the best ways to know more about this barrier-breaking city. Discover the rich history of the American Revolution, as it began in Boston, where every step tells a story. There are several tours conducted to take you along the route, but you can buy a map from the information center, which offers information about all the sights. The trail starts at Boston Common, all you have to do is follow the painted line and you will be able to cover the whole trail. Not only is this option cheaper, it is also a better alternative for those who like to go at their own time and pace! The trail is 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) long so get prepared to walk and wear comfortable shoes!
Address: Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116, United States
Opening Hours: 7 am - 9 pm
Contact: +1 617-635-4505
Website: Boston Common
5. Make a pitstop at Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Housing plenty of stalls selling all kinds of cuisine and delicacies, Quincy Market / Faneuil Hall Marketplace sure attracts loads of tourists. It’s a great pitstop while you’re on the Freedom Trail and a food haven to feast on wonderful delicacies like clam chowder and Boston cream buns! While you may get excited over filling your stomachs, don’t get too carried away with the feasting! The highlight of this stop is the magnificent Faneuil Hall and its New England charm. Every part of the building is a piece of history, so give it the attention it deserves! It’s livelier at night, bustling with tourists and street performers and rowdy bars blaring thumping music, but you really get to experience a whole new culture.
Quincy Market / Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Address: 367 S Market St, Boston, MA 02109, United States
Opening Hours: 10 am - 9 pm
Contact: +1 617-523-1300
Website: Quincy market
6. Take a selfie at the Old North Church
The Old North Church might be old, but it hasn’t lost its charm. Thanks to its tall steeple, the Old North Church will easily catch your attention. It first opened its door to worshippers in 1723, and it is the oldest church standing in Boston. It’s an important piece of history, and the entrance is free, so why not stop by to hear more about the history and significance of this church? And maybe take a few selfies here too.
Old North Church
Address: 193 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113, United States
Opening Hours: Mon - Sat: 10 am - 4 pm. Sun: 9 am - 4 pm
Contact: +1 617-523-6676
Website: Old North Church
7. Stroll along Boston’s waterfront: Boston Harbor Walk
The Boston Harbor Walk is a great and inexpensive way to view the harbor and city skyscrapers. It’s a nice place for a coffee in the morning, when the morning breeze is blowing right against your face, freshening you up almost instantly. It’s also beautiful at night, when it’s cool and the city lights are illuminated. The Boston Harbor Walk connects many other trails from north to south, including the famous Freedom Trail. It is still being developed, and the final product will be 76 kilometers (47 miles) long. While the boardwalk is a public space free for everyone, if you’re driving, plan your parking ahead because the car park fees are expensive here!
Boston Harbor Walk
Address: Boston Wharf Rd, Boston, MA 02210, United States
Website: Boston Harborwalk
8. Go on a swan boat at Boston Public Garden
Dubbed as Boston’s “Central Park”, Boston Public Garden is a must-visit when you visit Boston. Surrounded by a landscape full of lush green, and with frequent joggers, couples on dates, and families laying out their mats for a picnic, the public garden is a peaceful place where lots of good memories are made. Make your visit even more special by hopping into one of the iconic swan boats on the pond! It’s a great way to enjoy the park, and is most certainly a good break from all the walking you’ve done in Boston.
Address: 4 Charles St, Boston, MA 02116, United States
Price: from 3.50 USD
Opening Hours: 10 am - 4 pm.*timings vary during seasons
Duration: 15 minutes
Website: Swan Boats
9. Spend a cold afternoon at the Museum of Fine Arts
A museums is a perfect place to spend a cold afternoon! The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is the fourth-largest museum in the United States, and houses more than 450,000 works of art, making it one of the most comprehensive collections in America. From ancient wonders and rooms dedicated to Monet, to rare masterpiece paintings and exquisite Japanese porcelain, they have almost everything related to art. You will certainly never find yourself bored! With such a comprehensive collection, it’s no surprise to find yourself wishing you had more time to spare in this museum.
Museum of Fine Arts
Address: 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, United States
Price: from 25 USD
Opening Hours: 10 am - 5 pm. *Wed - Fri: 10 am - 10 pm
Duration: around 3 hours required
Contact: +1 617-267-9300
Website: Museum of Fine arts
10. Unleash the baseball fan within you at Fenway Park
Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, you’ve got to stop by Fenway Park when you’re in Boston! Home to the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park is the oldest park in the Major League Baseball (MLB). There are tours conducted around the park, where the knowledgeable guides will bring you around and tell you more about the history of baseball and the park. It’s super insightful! Of course, if you’re not budget-constrained, you should definitely attend a baseball game. It’s quite unlike other games; the atmosphere here is wild, with passionate fans cheering enthusiastically, even when their own team is disadvantaged, never losing the game spirit. Soon enough you will find yourself cheering and shouting at the top of your lungs, even though you aren’t completely sure what’s going on in the game! It’s a fabulous experience, and the super-good hot dog booth outside is just the icing on the cake.
Fenway Park Tour
Address: 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA 02215, United States
Price: from 18 USD
Opening Hours: 9 am - 5 pm
Duration: around 1 hour
Nearby Food: Hot dog booths
Website: Fenway Park
11. Make a fashion statement with unique buys from Newbury Street
Stand out from the crowd and let your inner fashionista run wild! Bid goodbye to mainstream labels; it’s time to mix and match your own outfit with good steals from these boutiques along Newbury Street. Allow yourself at least 3 good hours of shopping and browsing, for there is so much to look at! Stop by one of the cafes if you’re in need of a break, and if you decide to chill and people-watch instead, bring your sunnies so you can blend in with the throngs at a sidewalk table. Tip: avoid trying to park, because parking is expensive. Instead, take public transit to the Prudential Center and walk from there.
12. Get thrown back to the past at Beacon Hill
A cluster of red-brick row houses and mansions with the occasional USA flag hanging out of windows, narrow cobbled and walled streets, 18th-century houses turned into museums, bars and restaurants … Beacon Hill is incredibly charming. You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into an entirely different country and time altogether; it’s a nice and short getaway from the present. The shops there are mostly upmarket boutiques and the bars aren’t cheap either, so, unless your budget permits, leave out the shopping and drinking. Still, it’s a worthwhile visit to walk around and explore the neighborhood.
For an extraordinary experience near this beautiful neighborhood, check out The Liberty, a luxury boutique hotel that used to be a prison! Go and experience what it’s like to “do time” in their luxurious rooms!
13. Break the bank while you’re at Wrentham Village Premium Outlets
The USA is home to several high end brands, and a premium outlet is most woman’s and some men’s!) paradise! Visiting one is a must-do when you’re in the States to get your shopping fix! The prices you get there are huge steals, and that’s the only time when shopping and breaking the bank is justified. Give yourself a whole day at Wrentham Village Premium Outlets, set off early, bring cash aplenty and your credit card! It’s good to plan ahead what to buy so that you don’t spend excessively (especially if you have poor self control), and there are plenty of shops to browse through, so avoid taking too long at any one shop! Note: if you’re going with a male (possibly female?) who hates shopping, prep yourself for hearing them nag and telling you to hurry up!
Wrentham Village Premium Outlets
Address: 1 Premium Outlet Blvd, Wrentham, MA 02093, United States
Opening Hours: 9 am - 9 pm
Duration: whole day affair
Access: 37 miles (60 kilometers) south of Boston
Contact: +1 508-384-0600
Website: Wrentham Village Premium Outlets
14. Pig out at Row 34
Boston is an oasis for all seafood lovers! Located on the cold shores of the Atlantic, Boston is in a prime location where you can feast on some succulent seafood treats. There are several good seafood restaurants around town, but what better way to enjoy those fresh oysters than by the sea, right? Dig into their signature oysters, buttered lobster rolls, and clam chowder, and wash it all down with some craft beer! The lively and helpful staff definitely add to the ambience, making sure this feast lingers in your mind for the next few days, and leaves you craving more.
To make sure you score a table, make reservations ahead here!
Address: 383 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210, United States
Opening Hours: 11.30 am - 11 pm
Contact: +1 617-553-5900
Website: Row 34
15. Ditch the diet at Union Square Donuts
Donut (do not, get it?!) say diet when you’re in Boston. If Union Square Donuts isn’t already on your food bucket list, put it down now! Take a bite of their maple bacon donut and it might change your life! But going all the way to Boston just to eat one donut is just unacceptable … try their brown butter hazelnut crunch too! It already sounds so great. Vegans too can enjoy this yummy goodness, as there are vegan options available! Do go there early though (before 1 pm); you don’t want to get there and find it closed.
Union Square Donuts
Address: 20 Bow St, Somerville, MA 02143, United States
Price: from 3 USD
Opening Hours: 7 am - 1 pm. 7 am - 3 pm on Sat & Sun
Contact: +1 617-209-2257
Website: Union Square Donuts
Choose your form of transport wisely
There’s a lot of walking to do in Boston! From its numerous parks to cobble-stone streets and its 4-kilometer-long (2.5-mile-long) Freedom Trail, your feet are basically your mode of transport, so ditch those high-heeled boots for comfortable walking shoes. You may be unwilling at first, but you will thank yourself later. Also, while driving may sound like a more convenient way to get around, beware of the parking fees! Unless you’re ready to throw away lots of dollars on a space to park your car, take public transport instead. It’s economical, and may turn out to be more convenient after all.
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