Boston is synonymous with braniacs in my book. After all, it is the town that Harvard, MIT, Boston College, and dozens more universities call home. Bostonians are wicked smart, and they know it. I like to think I procured some of this wicked smartness purely by osmosis. We did stay in Cambridge between Harvard and MIT. Knowledge by proximity? At the very least, I can now say I went to Harvard. Followed by the softly whispered words, “to tour the campus”.
Why Boston? East Coast cities make for ideal meet-up destinations for two people coming from Seattle and London. With Boston as our makeshift home we decided to immerse ourselves in the local culture (with the exception of attending classes).
Saturday we rented city bikes and meandered down to Boston Commons to explore the Freedom Trail. This 90 minute tour stops at several historic spots linked to John Hancock, Paul Revere, the American Revolution, and of course the infamous Tea Party. Our tour guide was the most knowledgeable tour guide I’ve ever had. He teaches history by weekday and gives tours by weekend (ahem, wicked smart).
In hopes of heightened IQ by proximity we walked through the central branch of the Boston Public Library to see its majestic Reading Room, Bates Hall. Just look at all those folks with their noses in books on a sunny Saturday. We fled immediately.
We capped off the day with an epic Italian meal in the North End, Boston’s Italian neighborhood. For dessert, I was intrigued by the crowds lining up at Mike’s Pastry and had to see what the hype was about. Two words – HOLY CANNOLI.
Sunday was an all-American day at the SoWa outdoor market and a Red Sox baseball game. They won! And we had Fenway Franks. We won! If you go to Boston and can’t catch a game, I’ve heard the Fenway Park Tour is a must-do. It’s the oldest park in the MLB and has over 100 years of hosting baseball games under it’s belt.
Monday I had to work. Long-distance means the vacation tank is running on empty, but we escaped for a lunch break to stroll through Harvard Yard and grab a burger at the much-loved Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage near campus.
On Tuesday we took the T (metro) to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. I have a slight obsession with JFK and Camelot. I find the Kennedy family fascinating. The library is one of 13 presidential libraries in our country and was well worth a visit. I learned so much about JFK’s life before his presidency and more about all of his achievements during his short time in office. His sailboat adorns the lawn in front of the library.
Our decision to visit Boston in Spring was a wicked smart one.
Know Before You Go:
- We really enjoyed being based in the neighborhood of Cambridge close to Harvard and MIT, which meant lots of cafes, restaurants, coffee shops, and quaint old homes. We were able to stock up on essentials from Whole Foods, bike downtown in ~20 minutes, and take the T anywhere we needed to go.
- If you want to go to a Red Sox game, book tickets well in advance for the reasonably-priced seats.
- We used the city bike share to get around town. $6 per bike for 24 hours and no extra charge if all your rides are 30 minutes or less. My best advice for navigating by bike is to download the CityMapper app. So handy!
- I took a cab from Boston Logan International Airport to Cambridge for ~$35. On the way out of town, I felt more comfortable with public transportation so it cost less than $3 to take the T (metro) back to the airport.
Ideas to Dine & Drink:
- Café Luna – best brunch of my life.
- Café Bom – great Brazilian café breakfast or lunch spot.
- Brick & Mortar – great cocktails, they also have food on the menu that looks tasty.
- Bisq – tapas style dinner.
- Bergamot – more upscale dinner spot, recommended by our AirBnB host.
- Cuchi Cuchi – tapas style food and cool bar vibe.
- City Girl Café – weekend brunch or weekday dinner
- Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage – a Boston institution; Johnny Cash and Shaq are just some of the famous people who have eaten burgers here.
Near North End