Tales of Wanders: Boston

boston2-downtownNothing better than spending the first weeks of spring in Boston. The place where the harsh winter days slowly blend into cool mornings and warm afternoons. Spring flowers are alive once again, swans return to their ponds and trees revive their green brilliance. This city is well known for its perfect mix of relaxation, sophistication and vibrancy. An ideal travel destination for families, couples, students and people of all ages and backgrounds.

I travel to Boston for three things: the arts, the beautiful street strolls and the delicious food. Downtown Boston has so much to offer, if anyone claims to be ‘bored’ in Boston – they are doing it all wrong. From farmer’s markets on the weekends, shopping along Newbury Street, seafood dinners along the harbor, old city walks in Cambridge to museum discoveries around town, your day itinerary will be packed. This is a perfect blend of hipster vibes on one end and sophisticated classic feels on the other…there is no room to feel anything less than alive.

Here is a short and sweet synopsis of some of my favorite places to visit, things to do and restaurants to dine at during a 7-day holiday in Boston.

The Perfect Afternoon to Evening Stroll…

boston3-beacon-hillBeacon Hill: A beautiful cobblestone laden neighborhood with local art shops, galleries, artisanal foods and stylish boutiques. Walking along the main drag of Charles St. feels like you’re stepping back in time to the 1700’s. Brown brick architecture, tree lined streets and sounds of birds quietly chirping in the background. Stop over at Fastachi for a few gourmet nuts and chocolates and a quick lunch break at Tatte Bakery.

boston4-parkBoston Public Garden: As your stroll along Charles Street comes to an end, your Boston Public Garden experience begins. This is a must-see during the spring/summer months. Allow yourself to explore: circle the gardens, visit the duck pond and smell the roses. Also, make sure to take a camera since you will most definitely find a ton of photo-ops here.

The Streets of Newbury & Boylston: Considered to be Boston’s most fashionable streets…if you feel like shopping, this is where it’s happening. From trendy boutiques, to upscale luxury brands to mainstream shops…so much is going on here that you can easily lose track of time. The dining options are endless and most restaurants feature outdoor patios too. You can choose between elegant Italian dining at Papa-Razzi Trattoria, intricate Indian flavors at Kashmir, sophisticated comfort foods at Stephanie’s on Newbury and dozens of other options from sushi to tapas to cupcakes.

boston7-laburdickHit up Max Brenner for a decadent chocolate fondue trio or L.A Burdick’s for thick French-style hot chocolate before you call it a night.

The Neighborhoods and Districts

North End: Step outside downtown Boston and head towards the water. The North End is full of life during the summer months so take the train to Haymarket and  walk all the way through the many neighborhoods until you reach Boston’s harbor. End the evening at one of the harbor’s waterside seafood restaurants. One great option is the Boston Sail Loft.

boston9-little-italyLittle Italy: Following a morning of fruit and veg shopping at Haymarket, head over to Little Italy in Boston’s North End district. As you walk along Hanover Street you will notice the distinct scents of coffee, baked goods and pizzas. This little street is home to some of Boston’s most highly-rated Italian restaurants and cafes. Sit down with a book, a cup of coffee and freshly baked biscotti or devour a plate of pastries, or a cup of gelato at one of the many dessert shops. Authentic Sicilian restaurants can be found at every corner of this neighborhood’s small walkways. Mixed  in with the delicious aromas of pizza and the vintage architecture, you will definitely feel like you are standing in one of Rome’s old streets. Don’t be afraid to get in line at Mike’s Pastry Shop.

Harvard Square: No visit to Boston should conclude without a tour of America’s #1 university. The campus itself is small and quaint, and bookstores and coffee shops surround the periphery of Harvard yard. Take a walk along Mass. Ave and Brattle Street and stop for lunch at The Beat Brasserie.

Old Town/Historic Boston: Get the old town vibes passing through the streets of State and Congress. You will more than likely see Sam Adams’ Statue and the Boston City Hall. You definitely cannot miss Faneuil Hall Marketplace (Quincy Market) or the Boston Public Market. A short walk from there you will find the harborwalk and the sightseeing cruises.

Things To Do, Things To See

boston1-tatte-bakery

  • Watch a professional NBA game at TD Garden.
  • Plan a shopping spree at Prudential Center.
  • Experience the Boston Skyline at  Top of the Hub and make sure to order their specialty dessert: the “freshly baked cookie platter”.
  • Wear those warm gloves and sip on icy cocktails at Frost Ice Bar.
  • Create your own signature Bloody Mary at Stephi’s on Tremont.
  • Walk the Freedom Trail.
  • Take a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard Island or Castle Island.
  • For the beer lovers: take a tour of Samuel Adam’s Brewery. Boston Brew Tours.
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