Boston is officially my first solo trip. I have been so nervous to do this, but yet excited. I picked Boston because I love American history and I know people who live here. I had an ex and an old roommate who lives in Boston. I knew that could be my safety net if I needed anything. I also picked Boston because Southwest Airlines had a great last-minute deal on the flight. I booked the flight while I was in NYC and it only cost me $165! How could I say no to a deal like that!
Where I Stayed
I loved the hostel in NYC so much, I decided to stay at HI Boston. I stayed in an 8-bed female dorm. The bed was amazing for a hostel. The blanket was a down comforter and was given 2 pillows. The location was great. The hostel is located in Chinatown, a block away from Boston Commons where the green and red line have stopped. Having the T (what they call the train) near the hostel was great. But I honestly walked everywhere unless it was on the other side of the river.
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile route that leads you to 16 historically sites. You can walk this yourself if you want. There is a red brick-lined route throughout the city that guides the way. Or you can do what I did which was pay $12 and go on a guided tour through the visitor center at Boston Commons. The guide is dressed in 18th-century costume and is very informative. To find information about this tour, click here. I suggest buying your ticket in person since they only take printed tickets. Here are some highlights of my tour:
On the guided tour I suggested, you will not see all the sites. The visitor office does sell mp3 audio guides to help you have an understanding of all the sites.
I decided to pretend that I cared about baseball on my last day. I don’t really understand baseball and never grew up watching it. I’m more of a football girl. But I had heard that Fenway was a must see. Fenway Park is the oldest running baseball field in the country. It is over 100 years old. I’m sure if I was a baseball fan I would have been more blown away, but I did enjoy it. It was interesting to seat on the green monster and also see the great views of the city. The tour is $20 and runs every day at the top of the hour. For more information, click here.
In Boston you need to have:
- Lobster Roll
- New England Clam Chowder
Here are some of the restaurants are checked out:
When I told people I was going to Boston, everyone told me I had to go to Neptunes. I am so happy I listen to them! It was probably the best meal I had while in town. The building is very small. I went around 3 pm and was lucky, I got a seat at the bar easily. I got a half dozen of the local oysters. I love oysters, so I thought they were great. I also got a lobster roll as my main dish. The lobster roll comes 2 ways, hot with butter or cold with mayo. Pick the hot with butter, so delicious! It comes with an order of fries, but I subbed it for a salad.
Union Oyster House
The Union Oyster House is the oldest restaurant in Boston and the oldest restaurant in continuous service in the U.S. The doors have always been open to diners since 1826. Before going, I was told that this place was kinda touristy. I didn’t feel this way stepping in. It had an old time feel to it. I sat at the oyster bar, which is a C shaped. The employees were very friendly and entertaining. I ordered a half dozen oysters, a lobster roll (served cold with a mayo base and a side of fries), a cup of clam chowder.
- hated the lobster roll and it was hard to finish
- oysters are always good
- had better clam chowder at the Boston Public Market.
If you can only afford to go to one go to…… Neptunes!
If you are looking for a local, cheap meal go to…. Boston Public Market
This is a year-round farmers market located in downtown Boston. There is a mix of different food choices at a good price. I had some clam chowder from a fish market in the food court area. It was so good! I think this is a great for a quick bite and for the budget traveler still looking for local food.
For more information, click here.
Night Life- Pub Crawl
One of the great things about HI hostels is that they host pub crawls during the week. As a solo traveler, I would I not felt comfortable going to bars out on my own. The pub crawl made it safe and easy to experience. I’m going to highlight on some of my favorites.
Beantown Pub– “The only pub in the world where you can drink a cold Sam Adam’s while viewing a cold Sam Adams” This bar is located on the Freedom Trail facing a cemetery. What I liked about this bar is
- they serve a full menu till 1am
- its a large bar, so you don’t have to fight for a drink
- pool tables
- good serve
Green Dragon Tavern- I went to this bar due to the history of this site. This bar was the secret meeting place of the Sons of Liberty. Some would say it was the headquarters of the revolution. As an American history buff, I had to have a beer here.
I went on for a beer on Super Bowl Sunday. It was not crowded, so the bartender took the time to tell me a little bit about the history. While on the hostel pub crawl the night before we had tried to get in, but the place was packed. The bar is on the Freedom Trail and a nice place to grab a beer and take in history.
Scholars– If you are looking to dance but not a nightclub this is the place. I had an amazing time. Its walking distance from Beantown Pub if you are looking to do a pub crawl.
I booked this trip without realizing the Super Bowl was that weekend. The game was the Philly Eagles vs the New England Patriots. I hate the Patriots. They kicked the Jaguars out of playing in the super bowl. I also don’t like when the same time wins over and over again. It doesn’t make for good football. Anyway, I wasn’t going to let the fact that I was in Boston sway who I’d be cheering for. The hostel was throwing a Super Bowl party, so I decided to watch the game there. In hindsight, this probably wasn’t the best idea. There were a lot of people at the party, but only myself and 2 others that seemed to be into the game. The hostel did make dinner. It was a cheaper way to watch the game and I still had a good time. After I went to a local bar with a New Yorker at the hostel and had some drinks with locals.
Paul Revere’s House
Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere
Paul Revere’s Ride, written in 1860, 42 years after Revere’s death, made him famous. Paul Revere was a silversmith turned Patriot. Visit his house located in the North End to see how he and others from that time period lived. For $5, cash only, it is inserting but not a must. For more information, click here
Unofficially Harvard Tour
HI Boston is one of the only companies that does tours that are not done through Harvard. It interesting but it you don’t have a lot of time in Boston and Harvard is not a must on your list, skip it.