Dear Boston (Boston Guide 101)
Dear Boston, I am going to miss you so so so much. You will always be my second home. You will always have a place in my heart. I love everything about you - the never-ending, biting winter, the hearty clam chowder and the wonderful people here.
Feeling wistful as we enter the last week here. We have been on a roll trying to finish up everything we've ever planned to do in Boston. We hardly spent summer here so this is our last chance alr 😭
Anyws, because of that, I thought this would be a fab time to do a round-up on my guide to Boston. I've answered a gazillion emails on them and since we are leaving, I thought it'd be a perfect time to do this post. My final lookback at this beautiful city and for those of u thinking of visiting here! I'll try to cover places to visit, shopping areas, food and places slightly outside of Boston!
Visit the many, many schools.
Boston is a huge college town - Harvard, MIT, Berklee, BU and so on. I would definitely recommend taking a walk around Harvard campus and visiting the huge bookstore (it's super pretty) and maybe buying a couple of school shirts cause why not HAHA
The campus is super old and if u watched the Social Network, you would find it really familiar.
If you're into music, Berklee is Music-Mecca! U will find random students on the streets just lugging instruments - from cello to flutes, and vocalists just humming and singing to anything in the world. It's very unique to the area (I feelz) and I love sitting by the Starbucks and watching the students go by.
Walk across the Common.
I like to think of Boston Common as a mini NYC Central Park but way more chill. It's BEAUTIFUL anytime of the year - bright and cheery in spring/summer, autumn leaves in the fall and snowy in the winter.
There's plenty of fat ducks and their ducklings & swan rides in the spring/summer. People are always bringing their dogs there and it's just chill and lovely. Also, perfect photo op area. It's just pretty everywhere.
We packed a picnic there once and just ate on the grass! The weather isn't as humid in SG, even in the summer so u don't feel so hot and icky eating outdoors. I mean, there's no way I would do this voluntarily in SG Botanic Gardens. Sure kena mosquito bites and gonna be damn sweaty.
Spring 🌷- these are always there without fail in the spring. The flowers they plant changes when summer comes round!
Aforementioned fat ducks
Autumn 🍂 The trees changing colors in October/November are gorgeous and u can see little kids jumping into piles of (dead) leaves. It's just not a sight common in SG at all.
And Winter ❄️
Sadly, I can't find any in my camera roll but when snow falls and the entire park is covered in white, it's just a sight to behold. Very cold but also v pretty to look at 😂
LOOKIE AT CUTE DOGS 😍😍😍
There's always plenty of doggies all around but the park would be the best place to catch sights of them. Owners are pretty friendly when it comes to people petting and playing with the dogs too! There are also a lot of dog-walkers in Boston (like the above) haha
Rent a bicycle and cycle down the Charles River
If you're into outdoor activities, u can grab a bicycle using the hub stations located all over Boston. It's $8 for 24 hours and u can dock the bike at any hub and re-rent it (at any hub) when you wanna use it again (within the 24 hours lah).
Boston is rather bicycle-friendly so can cycle down Newbury and all if u want but if I were to choose one area to do it, it'd definitely be riding the bicycle along the Charles (separates Boston and Cambridge). Look at that amazing view! You can also ride it to....
Do some kayaking! It's ~$20 for a 2-seater kayak and u can just row it out to the Charles. I would recommend doing this in the summer cause last year, we went in the Spring but the wind was still too strong and they weren't allowing any boats out. So summer is the best time!
But pls bring and slather on sunscreen cause the sun here will burn you! Look at how red my husband is and he already applied SPF70 multiple times.
I basically took plenty of photos whilst the husband kayak 😂
The last time I kayaked was when I was 12 and had to do this leadership outdoor course. I capsized the kayak with my friend in it so I should not be trusted at all.
I'm a danger when it comes to any vehicles - land, sea...haven't gotten to air yet but I'm sure I suck too HAHA #realistic
Be artsy-fartsy & visit the Museum of Fine Arts
I've never been a museum-person but even I felt like this was really worth it. We have Monet, Picasso and even mummies inside and a lot of super fascinating stuff really.
My highlight was definitely seeing Monet's pieces irl cause it was just mind-blowing.
The galleries are stunning and they have little rooms that show u how they preserve and repair the art pieces.
Isn't this so grand 😍
Take the Freedom Trail
If you're interested in the history of Boston, then take the Freedom Trail and u can see parts of Boston like the North End whilst learning about the past. It's very free & easy and the trail goes by....
Faneuil Hall so can stop for a break if u want! Quincy Market is here so go in and grab a lobster roll and some clam chowder cause clam chowder in Boston is a must. We are super near water so everything is pretty fresh.
There's also plenty of street performers when the weather is nice. There's coffee places outside so u can enjoy the sights and little shopping places if you're bored haha
They always light the big Christmas 🎄 here during winter and it's really quite festive and everyone's all happy and bundled up during the cold. I love it here. It's one of my fave place in Boston.
Stroll to the harbor.
Faneuil Hall is really close to the harbor so can walk down and see the ships and water. During late-spring/summer, there's cruises out to the ocean to catch sights of whales. That was one of the coolest experience ever cause I actually saw a mama whale and her calf. It was AMAZING.
But do bring a windbreaker or smth cause it is freezing out there!
Shopping - Newbury St. & Downtown Boston!
For all my shopaholics - Boston does not have a tax on clothes below $175. So if u r visiting several cities in a row like NYC, don't shop for clothes there cause the tax there is like, 8%, I think??? Crazy high.
Boston has everything - F21, H&M, Zara etc. so shop here!!! More worth it imo.
Newbury St is like the shopping street here so F21, UO, Uniglo, Muji, H&M, Zara, Crate&Barrel, Victoria Secret, Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls (and I can go on forever) can all be found around there.
Opposite Newbury St. is Prudential Mall (Sephora is in there) so more shopping!! It's really just one big shopping area with plenty of nice restaurants and cafes.
Not only are there brand-shops, there's also plenty of quaint stores like this Harry Potter one.
Downtown Boston is also another shopping area with 4-storey Primark, Macy's, BBW and so on. Ever since Primark opened up, I haven't been into F21 alr 😂 They have everything from home to kids at damn ridiculous pricing so definitely must-go. I've never walked out of there empty-handed before 🙊🙊🙊
Catch a game
Boston takes a lot of pride in sports cause our teams are almost all famous - Red Sox ⚾️, Patriots 🏈 (won the Super Bowl this year!!!) & Bruins 🏑 FTW. Our basketball (Celtics) kinda suck so.....hahahaha
I would highly recommend catching a Red Sox game at Fenway Park cause that stadium has been in many many movies. It's super grand irl.
The atmosphere is nothing I've experienced before! Abit of homework needs to be done for buying seats but if you are up for queuing, they do release same-day bleacher tix at a certain booth for you to buy.
The husband went on several sites that also had people re-selling their tix and sometimes, people are just looking to get rid of the tix cause they can't make it and it's cheaper than bleacher tickets plus better seats!
I'm not a big foodie at all but imma try to provide some recommendations still.
1. Capital Grille - Steak house!! The Porcini steak is to-die-for but tbh, my husband does AMAZING steaks so I would rather eat his than any of these places. Still, this one does decent steaks.
2. Five Guys - The burgers. The hand-peeled and cut fries. The shakes. 'Nuff said.
3. Regina Pizza - Go to the North End and queue for the authentic one. I promise you will not regret it. Everything is delicious hahaha
4. North Street Grille - Best brunch ever. The Nutella French Toast there will give you diabetes but so worth it 🤤
5. Neptune Oyster - If you're fan of oyster, pls visit this and eat here. The tuna tartare here (if I rmbr correctly) is also damn amazing.
6. Trattoria Il Panino - This place is located in the North End and they do amazeballs calamari. I always order the mushroom risotto (not on the menu but they will do it for u!) and the husband loves the pasta there. Just try anything. HAHA
7. Tasty Burger - I love the mushroom burger there but the onion rings are legit the best I've ever had. The husband agrees so it is good, I assure you HAHA
8. MET Back Bay - Amazing brunch (weekends only if I'm not wrong) and wonderful view of Newbury St.
9. Mike's Pastry - Located in the North End, this place does kickass cannoli and other pastry. There's always tons of people but the queue moves pretty quickly.
Boston has never-ending winter - once the cold wind hits, it doesn't leave ever. We have almost 7-8 months of winter, 1 month of barely-Spring, 2-3 months of Summer/Autumn.
If you're coming between Spring - Autumn, always always always bring a jacket. Don't let the weather app bluff u cause it's never accurate. It still gets chilly at night despite being warm-ish in the day so just bring a jacket. You can thank me later HAHAHA
When we went to the Red Sox game, it was almost 31°C in the day. I saw so many tourists just wearing shorts and tee shirt and I felt so bad for them. Weather app lied to them lol
By nightfall, we were all bundled up and so many people left cause it got kinda chilly. Don't be deceived by those people behind in just tee-shirts. It really gets cold, I kid u not. Just bring a jacket when you're out cause we are really close to the coast and the wind gets pretty strong. But if you're the kind who really enjoy the cold, then maybe it will be perfect for you.
If you're traveling here during the winter, go get a proper good down to wear. Not one of those useless uniglo one k. Like, a proper down that can keep u warm below -10°C. Gloves, knit socks, scarves and snow boots would be pretty useful if the weather states that it is snowing. The wind here is NOT funny.
Places like Marshalls, TJMaxxx and Macy's do carry decent downs for good prices so u can come here and get one too!
Primark brings out this damn useful fleece-lined leggings that are the best ones I've ever owned and they cost like, less than $10. It's AMAZING. Puts all the uniglo heat-tech shit to shame lol.
The T here uses the Charlie card. No matter the number of stops/station, it's $2 per entry. If you have more than 1 person, I would suggest uber/lyft pooling cause it's more worth it. Boston is pretty small so getting from one point to another won't take very long and it's often more worth it to use uber/lyft since the train takes forever and do break down 😂
If the hubs and I travel to Newbury, it's like $4.30 if we uber pool so it's just more convenient and time-saving.
Outside of Boston!
If you spend more than...4 days here, u could possibly take some time out to travel alil out of Boston. Not too far lah - 45mins to 1.5hrs out max., depending on traffic, to Rockport/Cape Cod/Plymouth.
(Me thinkz this is in Rockport lol)
Anyws, these places are just really quaint little towns that are adorable and right by the sea. So u can go and sightsee and eat fresh seafood there too.
Aren't all the buildings super cute??? It's like a quiet lil town for retired people hahaha v slow-paced and all about taking it easy there.
Btw this was taken mid-May and look how many layers we still have on. I'm pretty sure I have on a heat-tech tank, white top and the knit jacket, plus two leggings. The further out the city, the colder it gets hahaha I'm damn lousy one okay. Idk how I survived the cold here at all
I legit wanna cry now as I end this post 😭😭😭
Boston has been nothing but amazing to us. The comfort and familiarity when we land in Logan airport to the tiny apartments we've called home over the past few years. The husband and I have laughed, loved and fought fiercely in this little city and I'll always, always love this place.
I am so happy we got to do our wedding shoot here and I can't wait to share our stories with our kids next time.
All our late-night adventures, finding secret spots to overlook the city and sharing about the place we once called home together.
Anyws, I do hope this is a useful post. I think I pretty much covered all the main points a tourist would do in Boston! I'm not an expert in areas like food and all but I think my shopping tips are pretty spot-on 😂
I can't believe it's our 2nd last night here??? Wtf this is so surreal; I don't think it has completely set in yet. Feels like we are gonna return but as the apartment empties out, I know I have to accept reality 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭
My heart feels so heavy, yet at the same time, I'm so looking forward to home. Such a conflicting feeling.