Telling a friend about my quick trip to Boston, I commented, “If you haven’t been, you should go!” And she said, “Why?”
At first I was floored.
I mean, WHY NOT? Boston is really cool.
Then I told her why I thought it was worth a visit.
Now I’m telling you.
5 Best Things about Boston
5. Boston is a clean and friendly place.
At one point, as my friend and I sat in Gypsy Place Coffee and Juice, idly chatting over breakfast, she noticed the view through the windows. Out on the street, a couple of guys in hard hats and vests set a cement mold, a young mother pushed a stroller, an elderly man carried a sack of groceries from Whole foods, a pick-up truck drove by with a dog lolling out the window…
“It looks like a movie set,” she said.
Aside from the aggressive (bus) drivers who use only the accelerator and horn, most everyone we encountered was kind and helpful. It’s my opinion that the couple of unfriendlies that scattered our path were not locals.
4. The Neighborhoods
There are 23 neighborhoods that comprise Boston, we visited at least half. From the North End to Dorchester, and Fenway Kenmore to South Boston, we rode, walked, caught a Red Sox game (with a grand slam!), ate and drank our way through.
We met a variety of people–bus drivers, commuters, students, baristas and bartenders. Diversity is as natural in Boston as the seafood. With so many schools and universities in the area, people are colorful, young, and wicked smaht.
3. FOOD & DRINK
Because we did so much walking (27 miles in 3 days!), we stopped frequently for quick breaks. Where better than a bakery or pub? The two of us would share a plate and sometimes even a beverage. Coffee, beer, cider, Kombucha…croissant, burrata, empanada, lobster roll. We sampled it all.
We stumbled across many places to dine, including Luke’s Lobster, Mass Ave Diner, and El Barrio Mexican Grill. But our favorite stop, our ‘neighborhood bar’, if you will, was Lord Hobo. Conveniently located between the train and our VRBO, we were walking past it anyway, we might as well go in! Nobody really knew our name, but they seemed glad we came. The waitstaff took good care of us–sharing recommendations and local lore.
2. The Beach
If you know me well, you are probably wondering why this isn’t #1. I get it. Trust me, number one is THAT GOOD.
When I booked this trip to Boston, it was for ‘research’ for my next novel. I wanted to get a feel for the local vibe. The architecture, the cultures, the communities. I didn’t want the historical tour of Boston. So we stayed in a residential neighborhood and we walked a lot. The idea of a beach never entered my mind. Imagine my delight when we took the Blue Line all the way to the end, disembarked at the Wonderland stop, crossed the road and found the shoreline! We were able to walk the beach all the way to the previous stop and hop on for a return trip inland. Almost like the crashing waves and setting sun were a dream.
(drum roll please . . . . . . . )
and the NUMBER ONE REASON to visit BOSTON is…
1. Public Transportation
Of all the places I have traveled, Boston has by far the best public transportation system. First, when we left the airport, we hopped on the Gray Line for free and rode to the Red Line where we transferred. For free. We kept looking for ticket stands, ticket-takers, and other places to give/take our money. There is no fee when leaving the airport. How cool is that?! Of course, the next time you enter a station, there’s the familiar gate or turn-style. But, a seven day unlimited bus/train ticket cost less than 22 bucks. Our four full days of getting around were covered for the price of one taxi/Uber/Lyft ride. We definitely got our money’s worth.
(Full disclosure, we did take a water taxi to the North End.)
The “T” as it is locally referenced, allowed us to experience numbers five through two. And so much more! Cars were sometimes empty, sometimes standing room only, never more than a seven minute wait. And the stations were clean and urine free.
If you go to Boston, and you should, make sure to grab a “T” ticket.
The greater Boston area, all 23 neighborhoods, will be easily accessible.
I loved Boston.
If you haven’t been, you should go.