24 Hours in Boston

This past April, I needed to travel to Cape Cod for a friend’s wedding. After assessing options of getting there from New York, my friends and I decided to take a bus or train to Boston to rent a car and drive out from there.

Having only been to Boston once before for a conference, I decided to leave a day early and do a bit of sightseeing before journeying out to the Cape.

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One day isn’t nearly enough time to see all of the things that make Boston a great city, but it was enough time to see some of its charms and pique my interest for a longer visit.

The city itself is relatively small and well connected by the subway system, the T. If you’re short on time like I was, these are the things I’d recommend you check out.

Interesting Attractions

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile route that hits 16 of the main historic sites in Boston, e.g., Boston Common, home of Paul Revere and so many more. It’s a great way to better understand the city’s revolutionary history

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Boston Public Garden and adjacent Boston Common are beautiful. The garden and park are the perfect place for a morning or late afternoon walk. Fun fact: The Pubic Garden was the first public botanical garden in America.

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Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a good place to stop for lunch or a snack, and watch street artists perform. Inside Quincy Market you’ll find every kind of food stall imaginable

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Beacon Hill was unsurprisingly one of my favorite parts of Boston. With cobbled walkways, Federal-style row houses, gaslit streets and immaculate flower boxes, every nook and cranny is picture perfect. According to Wikipedia, the neighborhood is named for the location of a former beacon atop the highest point in central Boston, which was used to warn residents if there was an invasion.

  • Pro-tip: Acorn Street, the most photographed street in Boston, is located in Beacon Hill- it’s beyond dreamy
  • If you have time to shop while you’re wandering Beacon Hill, check out the boutiques along Charles Street. Two favorites: Good (unique gifts and pretty jewelry) and December Thieves (amazing accessories)

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Acorn Street

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Acorn Street

Cambridge is where you’ll find Harvard University. We stayed near this area, which made it easy to explore Harvard Yard and the shops and restaurants near the university.

  • If you have time to shop while in Cambridge, two of my favorite places: Black Ink (adorable stationary and quirky gadgets) and Mint Julep (pretty dresses for any occasion)
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Sweet in Harvard Square

Favorite Places to Eat & Drink

  • Crema (Cambridge): Preferential to the ginger lemonade and savory spinach and feta croissant
  • Render Coffee at 121 (Downtown Boston): New to downtown, this cute and quiet space is a great place to spend an afternoon working. PS. Their iced teas rule
  • Flour Bakery & Cafe (Locations Across Boston): You really can’t go wrong here- everything from the homemade pop tarts to sticky buns and french toast rocks
  • Diesel Cafe (Davis Square): The Vietnamese coffee is excellent, and although I’m not a huge bread fan, I loved the pumpkin bread- so rich in the best way. This is a pretty big cafe, which would make it a great option for doing some work if the wifi time wasn’t limited to an hour
  • Loyal Nine (Cambridge): Often compared to open-air coffee shops in Chiang Mai, it’s a great place to sit, work and sip some tea
  • Thinking Cup (Chinatown): Rumored to have the best coffee in Boston, but I’m a fan of the hazelnut latte
  • Wagamama (Locations Across Boston): I first fell in love with this Asian chain in London because the food is fresh and amazing. Love the juices and veggie noodle bowels
  • Loco (South Boston): Fish tacos and coconut margaritas, need I say more?
  • Beat Brasserie (Cambridge): The food here is bomb. With live music, a vegetarian friendly menu and wine on tap, it’s my dream dinner spot. Really impressed with the kale Greek salad and buffalo cauliflower bites
  • Sweet (Locations Across Boston): Quaint cupcake shop, we picked up a few cupcakes to celebrate a friend’s birthday- highly recommend the cappuccino one
  • Mike’s Pastry (Cambridge):  Cannolis are great (if they’re freshly filled)

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On my next visit, I’d like to: 

  • Walk the full Freedom Trail
  • Catch a baseball game at Fenway Park
  • Visit the Museum of Fine Arts
  • Explore more of Cambridge
  • Take a day trip to Salem, MA

And, if you’re passing through Boston on your way to Cape Cod, check-out my recommendations for a weekend in a quintessential part of New England.

 

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