Five Things to Eat, Shop and Do in Boston

Boston library McKim building

It’s time for my final post from our trip to New York and Boston (yep, the one we took in February, oops!), and as with previous travel guides, this is as much a personal reflection on the trip as it is a list of suggestions for anyone planning on visiting to the ‘City on a Hill’ anytime soon.

The Verb hotel Boston
Stay at The Verb
As the reason for our time in Boston was for M’s work, having a well-located and comfortable hotel was important to me, as I knew I’d be on my own a lot and also having to work remotely myself. The Verb Hotel was the perfect hotel for this and so much fun! Themed around music, the colourful lobby is covered in memorabilia, with a rack of records that guests can take back to their rooms to play on candy-coloured record players. The rooms themselves are very comfortable and the location is a stone’s throw from Fenway Park and only a short walk to downtown Boston. I enjoyed starting each day listening to Kate Bush, Disney classics or 1920s jazz, and I could imagine Liz or Liv loving it here.

Freedom Trail tour Boston

Walk the Freedom Trail Tour

I’ll be the first to admit that beyond clam chowder and a cameo mention in National Treasure, I knew very little about Boston before arriving. The city is easy to explore on foot so this, plus my lack of historical knowledge, lead me to Boston Common, where I followed a guide dressed in full historical garb for two hours around part of the city’s Freedom Trail. Marked by red brick embedded in the ground, the trail snakes through the city and is very easy to follow solo – it would certainly suffice for born and bred Americans who learned about the revolution in school – but as I was on my own decided a tour would be more educational. My guide was engaging without over-egging it (I had visions of Mark from Peep Show leading me around while puffing on imaginary pipe) and for $12 this provided a great introduction to the city.

Cafeteria Boston

Eat lunch at Cafeteria

The Superbowl took place the night we arrived in Boston, and days later the New England Patriots – the victors and Boston’s own team – celebrated with a parade through the streets of Boston. Once it finished, a warm, cozy lunch spot was high on my agenda. The Back Bay neighborhood was only a block away from the parade route, so I headed to Cafeteria, a two-story restaurant overlooking Newbury Street. The shrimp and apple salad and side of fries I had were delicious, and the couple next to me tucking in to individual portions of oven-baked macaroni cheese also looked pretty happy with life. A great lunch spot if you’re exploring the shops and boutiques of Back Bay.
Boston Public Library ceiling
Look up in Boston Library
As previously mentioned, I had to work a little on this trip. If that’s you, or you love architecture,  I encourage you to spend time exploring the many wonderful rooms of Boston’s Public Library. The building dates back to 1895 and while it does have a modern, new wing, it’s the reading rooms and fresco-lined ceilings of the McKim Building that provide the Hogwarts vibes with Renaissance twist.
MFA Boston
Wander the galleries of MFA Boston
A highlight of my visit to Boston was spending an afternoon at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It was much bigger than I was expecting (one could easily spend a whole day here) and I very much enjoyed going from Japanese woodcuts in one gallery to photographs by Imogen Cunningham in the next, and salon-style galleries after that.

It wasn’t baseball season while I was there, otherwise a trip to Fenway Park would undoubtedly have made it onto this list. Have you been to Boston before? Let me know what I should see next time!

 

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