Located in Massachusetts, Boston stands on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. With its many universities, including MIT and Harvard, and its many colleges, Boston is definitely an intellectual city with a good standard of living. In Boston, sport punctuates the weeks and even the year with legendary teams in all areas: the New England Patriots in NFL (American football), the Red Sox in MLB (baseball), the Celtics in NBA ( basketball), the Bruins in the NHL (Hockey). All of these teams have won the US Championship in the past 10 years. Suffice to say that sport in Boston is a religion and you will quickly see it.
The four of us have set foot in Boston many times. You should know that it’s the first big American city when we cross beyond the Canadian border, if you don’t count Portland. Summer, winter, a long weekend off, these are all good reasons that lead us to return again and again to discover it. City of history, Boston is also the most English city on the east coast of the USA. Here are a few lines of our essentials to visit during a city trip.
Getting started with the Freedom Trail
The unmissable visit is obviously the Freedom Trail. This red brick line on the ground will take you through the city, passing all the historic and significant places of Boston heritage. The “Path to Freedom” will take you to discover sixteen historic sites that have shaped the identity of the city. Relive it tea party, Paul Revere’s Ride, (passing his house), see with your own eyes the Old State House (the Boston Massacre in 1770 took place right in front), the USS Constitution and many other historic landmarks. In short, if you only had to do one and only one activity in Boston, choose this one.
❂ You will need a full day (unless you gallop like crazy) to cover the whole line and appreciate each of its elements. Part of the Freedom Trail (the last three points of interest more precisely) will take you to the Charlestown neighborhood which is a little further from the city center. If you think that’s enough skip the step.
❂ The Freedom Trail is a 4 kilometer walk from Boston Common to Bunker Hill Monument. To see all the details click here on the article dedicated to it ↠ Walk the Freedom Trail.
During our first trip in 2013 we completely missed this area. Before we left for Massachusetts at the end of 2017, I did some research so as not to miss it again. So know that it is very easy to find since Beacon Hill is located just behind the Massachusetts State House (the building with the golden dome near the Boston Common). This district is one of the oldest in Boston but also one of the most sumptuous, you realize it quite quickly after a few steps. The streets are narrow, they go up and down to reveal picturesque residences, each more impressive than the next. In summer they adorn themselves with flowers, at Halloween with pumpkins and at Christmas with fir branches and other magnificent decorations. I let you see the beauty of the place with these few shots…
↠ see and learn more by clicking on Beacon Hill and its Christmas decorations
A business district par excellence, you can also discover magnificent historic buildings. The modern and the old merge wonderfully in this district. Our absolute favorite is undoubtedly the magnificent Boston Public Library which literally immerses us in American films where it is a question of universities (at least that’s how we felt there). The building is magnificent and you have to go there if only to admire its study room or its charming interior courtyard.
Just in front of the library stands Trinity Church on Copley Square. This episcopal church built in 1872 cohabits next to a glass building, the Hancock Tower (the tallest tower in the city) where the blue sky is reflected.
The city is definitely full of must-see places and here is another one to add to your list, Faneuil Hall. Shopping center, heart of the city, restaurants, entertainment, shops, Faneuil Hall is all that at once! Are you looking for the most populated place, the one teeming with locals and tourists? You are definitely in the right place! Faneuil Hall is a succession of three historic markets that house shops and restaurants. It is also the perfect place to buy your souvenirs, there is a large shop dedicated to the city’s sports teams, all disciplines combined. We hiked it in the summer and during the holidays and it’s just as festive and lively. Quincy Market the central market is unquestionably the most beautiful with its dome inside.
The city of Boston has everything going for it, after its historical monuments, its bustling and commercial center, it also offers the gentle sea air to its visitors. The seaside we visited and tasted (so to speak huh!). In our fondest memories of our first visit, a dish of linguine with lobsters keeps coming back to us. Banal, you will tell us and yet we still remember it. Experiencing Boston and its Waterfront also means enjoying its specialty, lobster. Don’t miss the Lobster Roll which is close to a hot dog but with crab meat. You will find them almost everywhere (especially in the restaurants of the Quincy Market). But back to the Waterfront, very close to Faneuil Hall you can see the sea and breathe its salty air. Walk along the promenade and admire the landscape.
Fenway-Kenmore Sports District
Finally, for sports fans, a detour to Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, is a must. This green monster (Green Monster) is one of the oldest baseball stadiums in the USA and one of the most beautiful. Near the city center, you will also find the TD Garden, home of the Celtics (basketball team) and the Bruins (ice hockey team).
North end, Italian quarter
After Beacon Hill, I think this is my favorite neighborhood. The houses are pretty and have an original architecture. The atmosphere is light and warm and the streets are colorful, crowded with restaurants with signs of all kinds. We breathe in the smells of Italian cuisine and we also meet many Italians there. The latter invested the district at the end of the 19th century.
❂ The major point of interest is undoubtedly the Paul Revere’s housethe man who warned Bostonians of the imminent arrival of the British during the American Revolution.
During our first trip, we stayed two full days there and we enjoyed strolling through the streets and the different neighborhoods of the city. I offer you a few summer and winter photos of this magnificent city in all seasons.
Discover the famous universities
In addition to its historical monuments, Boston is also famous for its universities, the two most prestigious of which are Harvard and MIT. Visiting Boston wouldn’t be complete without going to the campus of the prestigious Harvard University. If you only have to do one, choose this one, you will be satisfied. Harvard is located in the city of Cambridge, a town that lives at the rhythm of the school year, teeming from September to June, it becomes more than peaceful during the summer season. Many restaurants and other shops will complete your visit.
↠ Read our full article on the harvard university tour
Here’s an overview of what you can do and see in Boston. One thing is certain: Boston is one of the American cities that will leave you with unforgettable memories. Its European side with American sauce, its sports culture, its taste for science and its history can only leave you spellbound.