The Siberian American: Quick Trip: 24 Hours in Boston

Monday, November 3, 2014

Quick Trip: 24 Hours in Boston


I am so excited to introduce a new series: Quick Trip: What to do in a city when you only have 24 hours. Even though I prefer longer trips (who doesn’t?), sometimes I have to make the most of 24 hours in a city. I wanted to put together a series that highlights my favorite things to eat, see, and do in a short time. This will be an evolving series so I appreciate your feedback.

It didn’t take me long to fall in love with Boston. For some reason, I have always felt an attachment to the city, and I was so excited to finally visit.  With such high expectations I was prepared to be disappointed, but I loved the food, history, and the culture.
What to do: 
I really love history so we had planned to do a self-guided tour of the Freedom Trail, but when we landed, it was pouring. We still wanted to see the city, but it was too windy to walk around with an umbrella so we opted for a trolley tour. I am so glad we did! Even though we usually prefer to explore on our own, the trolley was perfect for a rainy day.
We couldn’t really take advantage of the hop off option, but the guides were funny and informative, and we were able to see a significant amount of the city in a short time. There are several trolley companies, but we chose the Old Town Trolley Tours. The tour also included a ticket to the Boston Tea Party Museum and a Boston Harbor cruise, but we ran out of time to do the museum, and it was raining too hard to do the Boston Harbor cruise. You can also use the trolley tour as your taxi—there are 20 total stops, and it can take you as far as Cambridge and Beacon Hill. Some of the highlights for me were seeing the Trinity Church, Massachusetts State House, the Old State House, USS Constitution, and Fenway Park.

The weather cleared up in the evening so we got a chance to walk part of the Freedom Trail. We explored Faneuil Hall, saw Paul Revere’s house, got a close-up photo of the Massachusetts State House, and enjoyed the evening at the Public Garden.
Where to eat: 
We were told by many people that Boston is known for seafood, steak, Italian food, and Irish food so we knew we wanted to try those cuisines. We went to Legal Seafood for lunch, and I had an amazing crab cake.
For dinner, Biana told me that we couldn’t go wrong in the North End, and we met one of my friends from high school for a meal at Panza. Here’s the thing: At home I usually don’t go out for Italian food because I think it is much cheaper and tastes just as good to make it at home. Panza proved me wrong. The meal was delicious and unique enough that I didn’t feel like I could easily make it at home. Be prepared to wait at most of the restaurants in the North End, even with a reservation. We had a 6 p.m. reservation and were seated around 7 p.m. Most of the restaurants in the North End are small and don’t have many tables so seating largely depends on when other people leave. We didn’t mind waiting, but it could be difficult for those on a tight schedule.
Where to stay: 
Hotels in Boston are expensive so if you want to save money, you can book a hotel in Quincy or Cambridge and take the T into the city. However, if you only have 24 hours, it would be ideal to stay in Boston if you can find a deal. When we were in Boston, there was a convention with 10,000 people in town, so even though we booked six months in advance, the prices were high.
We got a deal (if you can call it that) on Priceline to stay at the Taj Boston, which was in the perfect location. We could walk anywhere we wanted from the hotel, it was close to the Old Town Trolley stop, and our room had a beautiful view of the Public Garden. My hubby was a bit thrown off because they don’t allow tennis shoes in the lobby, and when we went down to dinner, everyone around us was in ball gowns and tuxedos for a wedding. The room was nice. Was it worth the price tag? For most places, no, but for an ideal location in Boston, probably.
Have more time? 
On the morning before the cruise, we visited the USS Constitution (We liked it so much that I’m going to do a separate post on it) and explored the Boston Harbor area. If we had more time, I would have loved to do a Boston Harbor cruise.
Have you been to Boston? What are the sights you think are must-sees? I would also love your feedback on my new Quick Trip series. I don’t think others will be nearly this long, but I’m sure it’ll change as I keep going. Are there any specific cities that you’d like me to highlight? I am also open to Quick Trip guest posts so if you want to do a Quick Trip on your hometown or a place you visited, I would love to have you!

18 comments:

  1. So glad you started this series with Boston!! Your location was perfect for what you were planning on doing!! I'd add to this and say if you have the chance to do a duck boat tour - do that to start the day and then you can see all the sites and go back to the ones you were really interested in!

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  2. Boston is such a great city. we enjoyed eating in the little Italy district and loved Mike's!

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  3. Boston is definitely on my list of cities to visit! Great quick trip guide to reference for the future.

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  4. Holy cow, I can't imagine visiting a city for just 24 hours! It sounds like you guys managed to fit a lot in. I've never been to Boston, but it seems like a lovely city with lots of personality and a rich history. It's definitely on my "must visit at some point" list.

    Cat
    http://oddlylovely.com

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  5. I love Boston. Went this past summer just for a day because we had tickets to a baseball game (and were staying on the cape). Did some shopping mostly but I went when I was 16 for a week (for a dance competition) and did a ton of sight seeing then. I'd love to go for a few days again. :) I'm looking forward to your next posts about what to do/see in certain city's!

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  6. so cool! I loved looking at the photos and recognising some of the places for once, i was just there a couple months ago! i can't wait to see more of your series, i flirted with the idea of doing something similar (not quick trips, but must sees in cities i have been to) but never got around to it!

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  7. I love Boston! We used to go every year when I was a kid and I could not get enough of the aquarium or Quincy Market!

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    1. Boston is so great! The aquarium sounds like fun! :)

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  8. I love this idea of the new 24 hour series. I have always wanted to go to Boston but haven't been able to cross that off the list yet. You're a way better traveler than I am!

    -Claire
    www.fashionandfeathers.com

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    1. So glad you like the series idea, Claire! It took me forever to finally go to Boston too. I've been wanting to visit since I was a kid but couldn't ever make it over there. So glad our fall foliage cruise started from Boston! :)

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  9. Boston is such an awesome city! I want to go back as an adult. Looks like you all enjoyed your time!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  10. Some day, I'm gonna have to get my butt to Boston. It looks lovely. :)

    Mandie ~ http://badbrewpack.blogspot.com/

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  11. I have a friend who lives in Boston and I'm dying to go and visit. I've heard great things about the Freedom Trail!

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  12. I've never been to Boston, but I would love to one day! Your pictures and recommendations look great!

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  13. I just visited a few friends in Boston this past summer and absolutely loved the city! I could even see myself living here one day! It's so inviting and some places remind me of Europe! Your pictures are beautiful!

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    1. Thanks, Lauren! I know exactly what you mean. I fell in love with Boston too and could totally see myself living there. There are definitely parts that remind me of Europe, and it's definitely walkable like a lot of places in Europe. :)

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  14. What a brilliant series and GORGEOUS pictures :D I look forward to visiting Boston with my hubby someday -- I will have to save this post for some of your great tips and suggestions :) Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Boston is so beautiful! It is the perfect blend of big city and tree lined streets!

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