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- Posted:Tuesday, May 25, 2010
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One of my favourite things about Boston is that you can walk everywhere! All of the major sights and popular attractions are in close walking distance of each other. But if you don't want to walk then just hop on the T. This is Boston's city rail and is a great way of getting around the city. Just purchase a Charlie Card depending on how long you are staying and you can hop on and off all over the city.
So seeing as I had a good distance to travel to get to my first destination on the morning of day two in Boston, I hopped onto the T and was on my way across Boston City in no time! My first stop that morning also plays a big part in the Freedom Trail. The USS Constitution is the pride of Boston as well as the navy and is also one of the city's top tourist attractions. I paid a visit to the USS Constitution Museum first where I met with its President, Anne Grimes Rand. Anne had kindly agreed to meet me for a podcast interview all about the USS Constitution and the museum. The podcast will be up on Hostels.com soon so watch this space! The museum is a great accompaniment to the ship and is also an interactive experience which is ideal for children to learn all about life on the ship. However, I did see a few adults looking to climb the mast and hop into one of the replica hammocks too!
The USS Constitution lies just across the shipyard and there are free guided tours available also. The tours are given by navy staff in the full old sailor ensemble and tell you a lot about each area of the ship. Next on the list was a visit to the Bunker Hill Monument. This monument can be seen for miles in the Boston skyline and can be found in a very peaceful neighbourhood and park area.
After a morning full of history I decided it was time to experience the commercial side of Boston so I made my way to Faneuil Hall Marketplace (also known as Quincy Market). This is Boston's popular shopping and dining area. It's also a great place to walk around and take in the atmosphere. You'll find lots of brand name/ chain stores and restaurants around the area as well as some unique to Boston. There's also the replica Cheers Bar and Restaurant - the original can be found in Beacon Hill. I had lunch here and thought it was nice and not too pricey. It's your typical restaurant fast food and sandwiches and the staff are also very friendly and there's loads of memorabilia on the walls to take a look at.
I headed towards the Wharf and Boston's North End to walk off lunch. That area is a lovely part of Boston and worth taking a walk around. You can also find some great Italian restaurants around the North End too. I spent the evening on another night out organised by HI Boston. This time we went to King's bowling alley and had a lot of fun bowling with the hostel guests and staff. I ended up on a very entertaining team of two Australians and a fellow Irish native! There was some competitiveness but lots of fun as we all attempted to bowl! It's a great way to spend an evening and it's also free when you are staying in the hostel or if you have a student card on a Tuesday night. After all of our strikes (or lack of them more like!) at the bowling alley we finished up our evening with a few drinks in TC's Lounge, a popular haunt for local students.
My last full day in Boston was unfortunately a rainy one but it did let up a bit in the afternoon. I made my way to Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox as there was an afternoon game going on. I'd been to baseball games before so I didn't go on this occasion, but I have been told that a Red Sox game in Fenway Park is a great experience. The crowds were just pouring out of Fenway Park as I arrived and they really do give some great support to their team. I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Newbury Street which is Boston's popular shopping street. There are shops and restaurants of all kinds on this street and even if you are not shopping, a walk down here is a must. It's probably one of the nicest shopping streets I've ever been on and everything can be found here.
My few days in Boston had come to an end, as too did my trip. I was pleasantly surprised by Boston as my previous experience in the city had been quite different. But after all the sightseeing and walking around I did on this visit I've realised there is a lot more to this New England city than meets the eye. It's got a really relaxed and calm atmosphere that you really don't find in many other cities of its size. I also had a great stay in HI Boston and would highly recommend it to anyone staying in the area, especially if you are travelling alone. Sign up to all the nightly events at the front desk and you'll be guaranteed a good night out. As for my trip as a whole, getting in both Boston and New York was a great way to spend ten days and if you are looking to get in two cities on an East Coast visit then I can safely say that this is a good combination. They can be expensive like any city, but if you put your mind to it, then it really can be done cheaply. New York was amazing and I'll definitely be back. Boston was calm and refreshing after the madness of the Big Apple. There's so much to do and see in both cities and I'll definitely be back for another visit!