BOSTON IN 24 HOURS
As most of you probably know, I've just got back from a week in the US for work. I spent most of my time in Foxborough in Patriots Square (home to the Gillette stadium and the Patriots football team!) working, but before I headed out there, I had a day in Boston.
I only had 24 hours there, which isn't a lot of time, but you can cover a lot of ground in that. It would have been ideal to have longer there as I was a little rushed, but I still managed to see quite a few places and at the end of my day there, I was definitely left wanting to return.
I definitely made the most of my trip by planning ahead, so here are some of my ideas on how to do Boston in a day.
Pick somewhere central to stay and you will be able to optimise your time more. I stayed in the Bostonian and I would definitely recommend it for prime location, nice rooms, and a great breakfast.
It's in a great spot, overlooking Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, which is the perfect place to be able to walk everywhere. It's a great base to explore Boston on foot as it's right in the middle of town . You can also grab a quick bite to eat, and cover the freedom trail from a really central location.
They actually (really kindly!) upgraded me to a suite, so my room was massive with a huge bed, a lounge area (complete with real log burning fire!) and a desk. If you get a room on the right side, you will be looking right out onto Faneuil Hall, which is a great view.
The Freedom Trail
I was awake really early as my body clock was still adjusting to the time difference so I got up at about 6.30 to get ready, repack my case, and head down for breakfast so I could start my day. By the time I'd eaten etc it was about half 7, which is a great time to be exploring the city as everyone else is still in bed! On a downside though, nowhere opens till 9 at the earliest, so if you’re looking to visit and actually go into the sites along the freedom trail you might want to start a little later than I did.
The walk is about 2.5 miles long and is marked by a red brick trail (which is an amazing idea by the way - you literally can't get lost!!) covering 16 historical sites across the city. You will get to learn the history of Boston, see many of the most significant American Revolution sites, and hear about it's role in the founding of the country
Put comfy shoes on - you will be covering a lot of ground. I split my tour up into two parts, covering the North of the trail first before a quick stop at my hotel and then heading on to the South and in all it took me a couple of hours to complete.
Some of the famous sites included on the trail are Boston Common, Paul Revere’s House, Massachusetts State House, Park Street Church, Old State House, Old South Meeting House, the Bunker Hill Monument, Faneuil Hall, Granary Burying Ground, USS Constitution and more. There’s an entrance fee to some of these sites, and it will probably take you a little longer than me to complete all of them if you actually go into any of them and depending on how long you spend at each one (obviosuly I didn't do that as no where was really open!)
Boston Common and Public Garden
I planned my walk to end right at the bottom at Boston Common so I could check out the big public park. I grabbed a take away coffee and wandered around the park for a bit, which by that time was full of locals jogging, walking dogs, playing with their kids etc.
If you walk through the park and head across the road at the bottom you will be in the Boston Public Garden, which is just gorgeous. There is a lake, beautifully tended lawns and flower beds, plus as we are just entering Autumn, some of the trees were starting to turn those beautiful shades of red, orange, gold and yellow.
It's also home to the George Washington Memorial which in itself is impressive, but it's also located in a really nice part of the garden so it's definitely worth a visit.
You absolutely have to visit Beacon Hill, and from the Public Garden, you’re perfectly placed - if you head to the north of the park, you're right there. It's one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Boston, full of cobbled streets, gas streetlights, federal style houses, and beautiful architecture. For ultimate charm, visit Acorn Street (pictured)
Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market
After my really busy morning, I walked back up to the square and had a look through the hall and the marketplace. It’s a really old marketplace and there are over 150 shops and restaurants there, plus loads of street performers - I saw everything from musicians to dancers, comics and magicians!
The downstairs level of Quincy Market is a massive food hall. You can get everything there, you will feel dizzy from all the sights, sounds, smells and choice! They do have some seating inside, but I grabbed a quick snack to refuel and sat on a bench outside the Hall eating it and watching all the street performers and people walking by.
After my snack I popped back to the hotel to check out and store my bags before heading up to the waterfront for the afternoon and a late lunch.
There is a gorgeous harbour which is a short walk from the north end and there are loads of cruises and ferry rides that you can take (I didn't due to time!) As it was a lovely day, I found a spot to sit outside at Joe's, right on the water for lunch and had a couple of glasses of wine with the biggest pile of nachos you've ever seen in your life before grabbing a taxi down to Foxborough.
Foxborough is miles out of the city, about 45 mins away so it was too far to get back while I was there, but I found a great little outlet place nearby which satisfied my need for shopping and American bargains.
I can honestly say it's one of the nicest cities I've ever been to, I wish I could have stayed longer because it's definitely left me wanting to return. Until next time Boston….!