Travel // New England Part Three, Boston

November 02, 2017

After our stay in Princeton and day in Marblehead we drove into Boston to drop the car off {cars and the city don't really mix} for three nights in the capital of New England. I didn't really know what to expect with Boston, everybody who had been told me that I'd love it even more than New York. It's famed for being really walkable, having lots of history and surrounded by water. After visiting myself, I realised that you can't compare the two {Boston and NYC}. And in fact I read this which rings very true;
' Don't compare Boston to New York City, at least not unfavourably. Bostonians spend considerable energy trying to prove their city is not inferior to Manhattan whether in national influence, cultural offerings or American League baseball franchises. The truth is that Boston is not at all like New York and that's a good thing. The largest city in New England is compact, clean and easily navigable. Boston is best appreciated as a small city with a hyper-eduated populace, an astonishing number of Dunkin' Donuts and an artistic and historical importance far surpassing its relative size'.
We definitely saw a million Dunkin Donut shops! If you go there expecting it to be like New York or better than New York then I don't think it will be. New York is just so unique, but if you visit and enjoy the wide Charles river with all the sailing boats, Harvard university, the Back Bay area, seafood and smaller scale shops then you will indeed love it. It's more relaxed too, not as crazy as the city that never sleeps. We had one full weekend and here's how we spent it;
{Driving into the city from Marblehead}

We based ourselves in Cambridge which is just across the river from the main city and on the Harvard side. We'd hired an Airbnb {this one. Ps you can use this code to sign up for £25 towards your first trip} which was a perfect base although in hindsight a little far to walk to most things {we walked over 34,000 steps one day! Insane!}

After dropping the car and our bags off in Cambridge, it was Friday evening and the sun was shining so we decided to walk across the river to the Back Bay area for dinner.

Walking past the MIT campus and all the fancy buildings en route. Crossing the Charles River we could really see the appeal of this city with all the boats out on the water and a walking trail right next to the water. It almost felt like we were in England.

Such a beautiful afternoon with the blue skies and leaves on the ground. 

I really loved the Newbury Street area and all the rows of houses that lead up to it on the Back Bay. Street after street of tree-lined avenues with impressive architecture.

Even the shops and restaurants were in this style. Our first stop was Shake Shack!

With the halloween decorations and the sun setting it was even more magical than I'd imagined.

I love how they go all out. Hay bales, pumpkins, wreaths, the lot!

Matching doors, yes please.

We walked further along the river and then back across to Cambridge over a different bridge this time, planning our weekend and how we'd make the most of our short visit. 

On Saturday we woke up and headed for Harvard. This was the street that we were staying on, pretty cool 70s vibe going on. 

Even the petrol stations had giant corn and hay bales! I'd have loved to have been there for actual halloween, this was a whole two weeks before!

The Harvard campus was impressive and looked beautiful even on a grey sky day. It certainly beat my LSE campus! 

Across the street was Tatte bakery, somewhere that was on my must visit list and it didn't disappoint.

With a french industrial kind of feel it's the place for brunch or coffee & cake. There are a few over the city but I think the Harvard location is the best. 

Ben had booked tickets for a college football game at Harvard so we hung around the area until the game started, meaning I could walk around these streets looking out for Halloween decorated mansions!

The college football game, though I wasn't really looking forward to it, turned out to be a lot of fun and ten times better than the real NFL game we'd been to a week earlier in New York with a lot more atmosphere. The Harvard band were amazing {and just like something you'd picture out of the Social Network movie} as were the cheerleaders! Plus my husband is so amazing often doing a lot of what I want to do when we're away so going to a couple of football games was the least I could do.

We finished Saturday off with a stop at Wholefoods Market for dinner on our way back to the airbnb and then a late night shop at an amazing mall just down the street from us. I love it when my husband is happy to shop with me! 

On Sunday morning we realised that we hadn't really seen the real Boston yet, mainly Cambridge and the Back Bay area. So we started our day with the freedom trail, starting at the end of it at the harbour and following along the historic path right into the city centre.

Obligatory lobster roll lunch. We went to James Hook lobster Co but there are a few that are highly recommended {Legal seafood, Luke's etc}. 

There's so much to discover just wandering around this city. All of it just at a much slower pace than NYC. We ended up in the shopping district and then around the main parks in Boston, the central common area which was all leafy and beautiful. 

Walking across the common and into the Boston public gardens you'll find charming little bridges and large ponds, the perfect spot for a Sunday afternoon. We then discovered my very favourite part of the city, Beacon Hill 😍

An area of cobble stone streets and gas filled lanterns, we loved exploring this charming part of the city. The famed Acorn street is here, one of the most photographed streets in the whole of America! 

It's sandwiched between the river and the commons with prestigious brownstones lining the streets amongst a cute row of independent cafes and boutiques. They take halloween very seriously around here and on the 31st some streets are shut to traffic for the trick or treaters! 

I was in heaven walking around here with these crazy Halloween displays.

American stationery shops! Swoon.

Another Tatte bakery branch.

Strong spider game.

A Bostonian Riley!

If I was going to live in Boston, I'd live here.

It turned into a beautiful afternoon so we walked along the river in search of dinner.

We followed our cravings and couldn't resist another shrimp burrito bowl that had been so amazing the day before {from Qboda}. 

I want to beam myself back to Boston just for these streets!

Completely walked out we took ourselves back across the river to Cambridge to get packed ready for our train to New York the next morning. Saying goodbye to the sparkly skyline.

We'd never used Amtrak before but it was a really great way to get between the two cities. Although next time we'll drive and stop off at Nantucket/Conneticut etc in between. We bought our tickets in advance {to secure the best fare} and then because we had a fair amount of luggage with us, tipped a 'Redcap' at the station to be able to get onto the train half an hour early to choose the best seats and get our bags loaded {it can be a crazy rush later on}. We also got our train from the South station which departed first so it was empty when getting on. Sit on the left hand side for views of the coast going down to NYC. 

And make sure you buy the CVS chocolate pretzels, caramel M&Ms and peanut butter cups, best snack combo ever.

NYC city guide coming up next!

R <3 xx 

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  1. You say you don't think Boston's as good as new York but I guess it's down to everyone personally because I think it is much better. I guess I enjoy the slower pace much more and I think it's way prettier! but again personal preference.


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