Spending some time in Boston, Mass? Take a look at our 4
My husband, myself and our two kids (teenagers) always take a summer trip together. Over the years we’ve pretty much covered the Eastern side of the United States, except for one very important state… Massachusetts, where I grew up!
I was raised in North Andover, a suburb about 30 miles North of Boston. I went to Nursing school at Northeastern University in Boston. It was about time I took my kids to see my home state!
I spent hours planning the best Boston and Beyond vacation! We decided to spend 8 days exploring the entire state, hitting all the highlights… Boston (a historical and beautiful city), Salem (a town with an interesting history), Gloucester and Rockport (quaint seaside towns), The Berkshires (mountains), and Plymouth (more interesting history). Yeah… it was a lot to cram into 8 days, but we accomplished everything on my list and had a blast! It was fun to be a tourist and experience things I never even did when I lived there.
4 Days in Boston: What To Do and Where To Eat
The first leg of our trip began in Boston! 4 days was plenty to cover all the major sights. As always, I researched and planned out the best places to eat. Turns out Boston is a pretty expensive city, so we mostly stuck to casual, family-friendly, quick-service eateries with a focus on some of the best foods that Boston is known for (seafood, Boston Cream Pie, and pretty much anything in the North End)!
Boston: Day 1
We grabbed a taxi from Logan International Airport to take us to our hotel, Doubletree By Hilton Boston, Downtown. Unfortunately, we hit the 5 p.m. rush hour traffic, so what should have been a 15-minute drive ended up taking over an hour. The traffic in the tunnels is brutal.
The Doubletree By Hilton Boston, Downtown is adjacent to Tufts Medical Center and only a 10
After checking into our hotel and devouring the complimentary, warm Chocolate Chip Cookie, we walked about 25 minutes to Long Wharf to board the 7:00 p.m. Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise. This was a 90-minute narrated tour which gave us a great introduction to the city of Boston and an opportunity for beautiful waterfront skyline photos. (Although the weather was cloudy and drizzly for us.)
After the Cruise we were starving so we stopped into Legal Sea Foods, Long Wharf, 255 State St, for dinner. Legal Sea Foods has several locations throughout the city and is a “must” for enjoying quality, local seafood. We dined on the classics… New England Clam Chowder and Baked Cod.
Although it was late (about 10:30 p.m.), we still had time to head over to Omni Parker Hotel for a “must-try” dessert. Omni Parker’s Bar, 60 School St., is open until 12:00 a.m. and is the best place to go for Boston Cream Pie.
Boston: Day 2
After a healthy breakfast at our hotel, we headed to Boston Gardens for a Swan Boat Ride. A quick 15-minute ride and you don’t even have to pedal! It’s not Disney, but still a fun experience and a great Boston memory!
After our Swan Boat Ride, we crossed the street to Boston Common and started off on The Freedom Trail. Pick up a self-guided map at the Visitors Center (139 Tremont St) or download the Freedom Trail app on your phone. This 2 1/2 mile trail can take up to 4 hours, but we allowed the entire day so we could take our time. We stopped at 16 historical sites and enjoyed some yummy food along the way.
Enjoy lunch at Quincy Market. It is very touristy and often crowded but is a “must-see” stop when visiting Boston.
The Freedom Trail continues into the North End. Stop for some treats at Bova’s Bakery, 134 Salem St., our favorite bakery in the North End for selection, quality and price.
To complete the Freedom Trail you have to cross over the bridge into Charlestown. Finish at Bunker Hill Monument and relax on a bench along the park.
Our plan for dinner was to go to Warren Tavern, 2 Pleasant St, Charlestown. However, surprisingly we weren’t very hungry yet. We headed to the Charlestown Water Ferry at Navy Yard Pier to take us back to Long Wharf, Boston.
As we walked back to our hotel we stopped at Juicy Spot Cafe, 16 Tyler St., in Chinatown. Dessert before dinner!
We ended up eating a late dinner at Blaze Pizza, just 5 minutes from our hotel.
Boston: Day 3
We started the day with an early breakfast at the buffet in our hotel so we could head to our American History Tour which began at 9:00 a.m. This 5 hour guided Bus Tour took us through Cambridge with stops in Lexington and Concord. A great way to rest our feet as we learned all about the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.
After the Bus Tour we headed to the Back Bay for lunch at Max Brenners, 745 Boylston Street. Known for their chocolate treats, we chose lunch from the $12 prix fixe menu which is offered Monday thru Friday from 11 am to 3 pm. It was “okay”, nothing special.
After lunch, we explored Copley Square and the Boston Public Library (definitely go inside). Newbury Street is also nearby if you’re interested in shopping.
We then walked about 25 minutes down Boylston St. to Huntington Ave. After a quick stop at my alma mater, Northeastern University, we visited the Museum of Fine Arts. Although most museums close early, MFA is open until 10 pm Wednesday – Friday.
We spent about 3 1/2 hours exploring every exhibit in the museum before heading to dinner. Since it was late, our options were limited, but luckily Qdoba was still open… a family favorite! After dinner, we hopped on the “T” to head back to our hotel.
Boston: Day 4
Another delicious breakfast at our hotel before heading to the New England Aquarium. We spent a couple of hours exploring and decided to skip the Imax movie. We went back to the North End so we could eat lunch at Regina Pizzeria, 11 1/2 Thacher St.
On the way out of the North End, walk through the New England Holocaust Memorial. An emotional, important stop to reflect on this time in history.
After enjoying our treats back at the hotel, we decided to relax on our final night in the city and see a movie at AMC Boston Common… Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Popcorn for dinner… yay!
A Re-Cap of
Family Approved Places to Eat in Boston:
- Legal Sea Foods
- Omni Parker’s Bar
- Quincy Market
- Bova’s Bakery, North End
- Juicy Spot Cafe, Chinatown
- Blaze Pizza
- Max Brenners
- Regina Pizzeria, North End
- Modern Pastry Shop, North End
- Mike’s Pastry, North End
Interested in renting a car and exploring more of Massachusetts? Take a look at the rest of our itinerary, Days 5-8, in the next post… Beyond Boston: Salem, Gloucester, Rockport, The Berkshires,