Boston: A City for Everyone

George Washington on horseback statue, Boston Public Gardens.

[Maynard’s View]

We had big plans for Boston, and were excited to hit the ground running. We had planned our time to a “T” and then a hurricane decided to crash the party. Needless to say our time on the ground in Boston was drastically cut short. We managed to get a taste of this great city, which only left us wanting more.

Boston is chalk full of history, good food and friendly people. Some big cities can seem intimidating, but Boston finds away to be a city for every man. It is a pretty easy city to navigate on foot or by subway. With the little time we had left we hit the streets in search of all that Boston had to offer.

Trinity Church, Copley Square, Boston.

Trinity Church, Copley Square, Boston.

Copley Square Fountain, Boston.

Copley Square Fountain, Boston.

First Baptist Church of Boston.

First Baptist Church of Boston.

Points of Interest:

Boston Public Garden: We managed to visit this wonderful park twice, once in the evening and once in the morning. The garden opened around 1837 and is centered around a pond, with swan style boats that are available to rent. If you think the park looks familiar, you might recognize it from the movie “Good Will Hunting” among others that have been filmed there. It is a peaceful place to spend time when you are in the city and there are benches sprinkled throughout to provide you a chance to soak up the atmosphere. The parks features a prominent statue of George Washington on horseback and a bridge that spans the center of the pond for you to stroll across. On top of that the city skyline provides a dramatic backdrop when gazing east.

Swan Boats, Boston Public Garden.

Swan Boats, Boston Public Garden.

Make Way for Ducklings, Boston Public Garden.

Make Way for Ducklings, Boston Public Garden.

One of the many beautiful shade trees thought the park.

One of the many beautiful shade trees thought the park.

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Boston Public Library: This was an outstanding find, overflowing with interesting art and history. Marvel at the the classic marble entryway and grand staircase. Investigate John Adam’s personal library on the 3rd floor. Stand in the Bates Hall Reading Room on the 2nd floor. Relax by Frederick MacMonnies’ fountain in the courtyard or grab a sandwich in the cafe. Checkout our post dedicated to this hidden gem here.

Bates Hall Reading Room, Boston Public Library.

Bates Hall Reading Room, Boston Public Library.

Grand Staircase, Boston Public Library.

Grand Staircase, Boston Public Library.

The Freedom Trail: This is a two and a half mile trail that winds through the heart of the city, and highlights sixteen historic sites. We had hoped to travel the whole path but only manged to truly explore the segment in Boston’s historic North End.

Welcome to Boston's North End

Welcome to Boston’s North End

The Freedom Trail.

The Freedom Trail.

-Old North Church was built in 1723 and is the oldest standing church in the city of Boston. It’s claim to fame stems from the famous “One if by land, and two if by sea” signal that sent Paul Revere on his famed midnight ride in 1775 preceding the American Revolution. The church is in great shape and houses much more history then from its role in the events with Paul Revere. You can find out more about it on their website. If you wander out behind the church into the courtyard area you can find a statue commemorating Revere’s famous ride.

Old North Church, Boston.

Old North Church, Boston.

Inside the Old North Church looking towards the Altar.

Inside the Old North Church looking towards the Altar.

Inside the Old North Church looking towards the door and organ.

Inside the Old North Church looking towards the door and organ.

-Paul Revere’s House is the oldest house in downtown Boston and was built in 1680. It now operates as a small nonprofit museum. Upon entering the house you definitely get a sense for how a family lived in the late 1600’s. The differences in the layout and functions of the rooms are stark in comparison to homes of today. You won’t believe how many people lived in this dwelling at one time. This and other facts can be picked up from the docents scattered throughout the house; there to answer any question and drop historical information to the wandering crowds. Find out more about the museum here.

Hot on the trail to Paul Revere.

Hot on the trail to Paul Revere.

Paul Revere's House, North End, Boston.

Paul Revere’s House, North End, Boston.

These are two of the major sites located in the North End along the Freedom Trail, but it has so much more to offer. I could easily see how exploring the trail in its entirety would take a whole day. Loads of information can be found about the trail, including from their official website here. When we return to the city we hope to pickup where we left off.

Food:

Mike & Patty’s:  This is the epitome of a sandwich place. They are efficient, very friendly and in high demand. Don’t expect to pop over on a whim and get a sandwich, you can easily spend 10 minutes in line and another 30 waiting for your food. They don’t shy away from customizations and allow phone orders to help with the wait. All that being said Glinda and I only liked our breakfast sandwiches, I would not say loved. As a testament to their customer service once they read Glinda’s review on tripadvisor they offered for us to comeback and for replacement sandwiches. If you want to give them a try order early via phone and don’t expect to dine in, there is only one table and it is forever occupied. 12 Church St, Boston, MA 02116. Website.

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Back Deck: This place was so popular that even the hurricane couldn’t keep customers away. We found some spots at the bar and were treated like kings. The bartender treated Glinda to some classic Boston phrases and was spot on with suggestions for the menu. Look for the Sam Adams that is only available in the state of MA. Everything was delicious and the Back Deck proved to be a perfect choice for dinner. 2 West St, Boston, MA 02111. Website.

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Lodging:

40 Berkeley:  If you missed out on the dorm experience in college, this is your chance to see what it was like. The floors and rooms are laid out exactly like dorms; very simply rooms with a bed and desk and large group bathrooms scattered about. If you happen through on a hot summer day, keep in mind that there is no a/c. Not my favorite hostel, but it was in a descent location for the reasonable prices. 40 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116. Website.

Recommendable: You Know It! Boston has something for everyone. Every road or alley seems to lead to new adventures and activities.

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