Boston is a perfect city to pair with a trip to New York or Montreal. We took advantage of its proximity to Montreal to visit it in 3 days.
“Only” 5/6 hours by road from Montreal, Boston is an American city that is absolutely charming and full of history, with the added bonus of a lovely view of the sea. It was our first time on American soil with Mickaël and we loved it! We can’t wait to pack our bags again to explore the riches offered by the United States.
To prepare well for your weekend
If you can, try to rent your accommodation in advance because the good deals go very quickly. For our part, we found an AirBnb at the last minute in the Chelsea district but we do not recommend that you stay there. The area is certainly residential, but its attendance leaves something to be desired… We therefore advise you to stay, for example, near Cambridge or Charlestown, which are residential and affordable, unfortunately one week before departure, the good plans were no longer there. for us.
If you are more of a hotel, look at the offers in advance on Booking: here is a selection of hotels in Boston. Otherwise, if you like to meet the locals you can go to Airbnb. In addition, if you register on AirBnb via our link you will earn a credit of -25 euros for any reservation of at least 65 euros.
We went to Boston by car, leaving on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. we had a normal wait at customs, about an hour, the time to get out of the car for fingerprinting in order to do our ESTA (remember to have US$6 on you). You can view the wait at the various customs offices at the border with the United States in near real time on the website of the Government of Canada.
In Boston: you can take the car but be aware that parking spaces in the free zones are rare and that the car parks are overpriced, count US$28 for 4 hours in underground parking… The application Parkopedia, will be very useful for you to consult the prices of the car parks before going to a Boston district. Otherwise you can take a 7-day bus or metro pass at US$15 (knowing that the day pass costs US$11).
As you know we are in the United States so the currency is the US dollar. If you come from Montreal you can order USD on the site of call me.com and pick them up during the day (Beaubien metro station) without paying any exchange fees.
Day 1: Downtown, Beacon Hill and Waterfront
We arrived early afternoon in Boston, so we stopped at Quincy Marketa food market which is part of the buildings of the Faneuil Hall, where we were able to discover local specialties such as the “lobster roll” (a lobster sandwich). It is therefore here that we began our visit by following the famous red line of the Freedom Trailthis approximately 4 km long line takes you on a tour of Boston and its historic buildings, starting from the Boston Common to Bunker Hill Monument.
Since we were already halfway through, we chose to start from Faneuil Hall and go down to Boston Common, successively discovering: the Old State House, which is one of Boston’s oldest buildings. It’s a brick house that housed British officials until the American Revolution, and the Boston Massacre of 1770 took place right outside. We continued with the Old South Meeting House, the Old Corner Bookstorethe King’s Chapel and Burying Ground and the cemetery Granary Burying Ground, which are all close to each other. And we finished the Freedom Trail by the Boston Common, the prestigious Massachusetts State House whose dome is covered with gold, which notably inspired the Washington Capitol.
At the end of Freedom Trail, you will arrive in the elegant and picturesque district of Beacon Hill, considered the most expensive in the city, and this is immediately apparent in its attendance. It is the historic district of the city, which dates from the 19th century, with small cobbled streets and brick houses that remind us of England. You can walk for an hour in this district, the tour is very quickly done and do not hesitate to come back at night because the streets are lit by gaslights, atmosphere love at first sight in Beacon Hill.
After a good day of walking, nothing like a good aperitif by the water, right? Come and breathe in the sea air and enjoy the magnificent view of Boston offered by Waterfront. If it’s dinner time you can go and eat seafood at The Barking Crab, we loved the spirit of this restaurant with its air of a tavern. Small flat on the lobster sandwich at US$24 which was not very good, but the Fish & Chips was, for its part, to our taste and plentiful.
The Barking Crab
88 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA 02210
Reservation at: +1 617-426-2722
Prices: Lobster roll US$24, Fish & Chips US$16, Corona US$5.50
Day 2: Cambridge and Back Bay
Cambridge is the district that hosts the two most prestigious universities in the city: Harvard and MIT. So we started our day with a visit to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology dating from the 19th century. It is a very reputable university both in the United States and internationally and which specializes in science and technology. Unlike Harvard, you have access to the buildings of this university as well as its central garden with its magnificent view of the sea.
On the way to Harvard, you can eat at LifeAlive, it’s a vegetarian restaurant that offers salads, wraps and smoothies and juices made from fresh products in a hipster atmosphere.
765 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139
Prices: Wrap US$10 and smoothie US$6
We then followed in the footsteps of the American elite at Harvard, a university that is part of the very private circle of the Ivy League, which brings together the eight most prestigious and oldest American universities, along with other renowned schools such as Brown, Colombia, Dartmouth, Princeton, Stanford and Yale. The year of study still costs US$50,000, so it’s not allowed to just anyone…
The architecture dating from the 17th century is very well preserved even if I admit that I expected something more grandiose… Different personalities have come out of school, there are still 45 Nobel Prize winners, but also American presidents such as Kennedy, Obama or even famous people like Mark Zuckerberg or Nathalie Portman. We feel everything to tell ourselves that we have walked in their footsteps.
Very close to Harvard, for those with a sweet tooth, you can take a taste break at Mike’s Pastry to taste one of their pastries, it’s a must in Boston! If you do not go through Cambrigde, know that it has several points of sale in the city, you are reassured.
11 Dunster Street,Cambridge, MA02138
It is a neighborhood wherewhere old historic buildings blend wonderfully with more modern buildings. For example the Trinity Episcopal Church which was built by Henry Hobson Richardson in 19th century, on Copley Square is right next to a huge glass building. Opposite, you can visit the Boston Public LibraryI’m still going to tell you about the Harry Potter atmosphere, but I find that the library with its little green lights looks like the Hogwarts library.
Boston Public Garden
We then went for a drink at rooftop Revere, which offers a standing bar for a moment of relaxation and a high view of Boston. Returning to the car we couldn’t help but take a detour through the Boston Public Garden. And that’s where the magic happened… Me, the lover of big cities and nature, who didn’t like the United States, I saw myself living in front of this magnificent park filled with squirrels. Ah the squirrels, I can spend hours watching them chasing each other and jumping from tree to tree. A lady was giving them food in the park so they would climb on top of us to see if we had a peanut for them. Real little loves!
Day 3: Charlestown and its magnificent view of Boston
You have to arrive early to avoid the influx of tourists or even worse, the schools with their fifty students, who come to visit the Bunker Hill Monument. The visit is free, just go to the office in front of the Bunker Hill Monument to pick up tickets. And prepare for the 294 steps that await you before finally arriving at a magnificent 360 degree view of Boston. Then you can walk the streets of charlestown ohwhere brick houses and colorful wooden facades rub shoulders which give the district a crazy charm.
We then returned to the Faneuil Market to do some shopping at Abercrombie and Fitch and Uniqlo which unfortunately we don’t have in Montreal, then we took the road back to Canada passing through the American countryside where we could admire the sunset while waiting for us to cross the border.
We hope to return to Boston because we still have plenty of places to discover in this pretty American city. And you, what are your favorite neighborhoods in Boston?
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