Beantown: A City GuideLocation: Boston, MA • 18 Jan
A few months ago, my mom and I embarked on a journey to one of the oldest cities in America, Boston aka “Beantown.” I absolutely fell in love with this city that’s filled with charming architecture, phenomenal restaurants, and so many amazing attractions. Come discover how to have a wicked good time in Boston by uncovering what to do, where to eat, and where to stay.
What to do:
Museum of Fine Arts:
Ever since I fell in love with Monet paintings when I was little, I wanted to see the Monet room at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. It was definitely a dream come true walking through the Monet room and seeing all of his beautiful works of art. We also saw lots of other gorgeous impressionist pieces and the Rothko room as well. We actually ended up getting lost in one of the wings (the museum is huge) and seeing a lot of furniture from various periods as well.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum:
It was cool to see the Palace, and the beautiful garden at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. If you love antiques, this is a must-go!
The Freedom Trail Walking Tour:
The Freedom Trail Walking Tour was a great way to see Boston on foot and take in all of the must-see historical landmarks from events leading up to the American Revolution. I really liked how the guides dressed up and each played a role as a historic character and citizen of Boston, who was “at the forefront in the revolt against Britain.” The tour is 2.5 miles long and stops at several historical sites. Our tour started at **Faneuil Hall and we stopped at the Old State House, Boston Massacre Site, Old Corner Bookstore, Old South Meeting House, King’s Chapel Burying Ground, First Public School Site, Granary Burying Ground, and State House. We ended our tour at the Boston Common. There were two Freedom Tours that you could do, but we selected the tour that you could see 11 out of the 16 stops.
My mom and I visited Old North Church and Paul Revere’s House on our own while we were in the North End at Ristorante Lucia.
Our tour guide was a character and told us a lot of fabulous stories about Boston and historical sites along the way. Also, I had no idea until this tour how many colleges and universities there are in Boston—I thought there were only 4 (Boston University, Boston College, Harvard, and MIT). There are actually 35 colleges and Universities in Boston! This tour really gave us a good lay of the land. I highly recommend doing this tour—we learned a lot about Boston historical sites and the Freedom Trail.
**All of the places in Bold are must-see places in Boston, if you don’t do the Freedom Trail Walking Tour.
Harvard & The Hahvahd Tour:
The campus was absolutely stunning with gorgeous architecture and trees adorned with beautiful Fall foliage. Our tour guide told us some great stories of celebrities, former US Presidents, and famous startup entrepreneurs who attended Harvard.
We learned about the 3 unspoken traditions that students have to do before they graduate Harvard…
- Deface the Statue of John Harvard: At night students pee on the statue of “John Harvard” (which is actually of a 19th century Harvard student) that tourists are constantly touching during the day.
- Sex in the Stacks: Where a student hookups with another student in the library.
- The Primal Scream: Where students run around naked screaming when the clock strikes midnight on the first day of the reading period before final exams.
I have to say I was a little surprised hearing about these Harvard traditions.
Side note: I really saw a lot of similarities between Harvard Yard and the University of Georgia’s North Campus in terms of the architecture and quads. Harvard is the oldest university in America founded in 1636, but you may not know that the University of Georgia is the oldest public university in America founded in 1785. However, the University of Georgia’s mascot (the Bulldogs) and North Campus were technically inspired and modeled off of Yale’s.
Boston Common is the central park in downtown Boston. It is the oldest park in the United States and consists of over 50 acres.
My absolute favorite area of Boston was Beacon Hill which was filled with historical brick homes, cute shops, and tiny alleyways. I couldn’t help but wonder what it was like to walk these streets and alleyways during colonial times. Many houses and stoops were decorated with beautiful flowers and pumpkins for Fall. I wish we had another day to wander around Beacon Hill, since we only got to spend a few hours here.
We even stumbled upon the alleyway from my favorite Pinterest pin!
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):
I couldn’t go to Boston without visiting my Uncle’s alma mater, MIT. Sadly, it was raining when we arrived, so we only walked around for a little bit. I definitely want to do a tour of MIT next time I’m in town.
Quincy Market is a food hall that’s filled with so many food stalls of various cuisines from around the world. I was definitely overwhelmed by how many choices there. I’d love to come back and eat my way through Quincy Market one day.
Newbury Street is Boston’s premier shopping street that’s filled with stores and boutiques such as Tiffany & Co., Chanel, Burberry, Intermix, Barbour, H&M, Nike, Anthropologie, and so many more. Almost ALL of the stores CLOSE AT 5 or 6 PM! Sadly, we made the mistake of coming here at 5 PM when all of the stores were practically closed. There are also a lot of great restaurants on this street as well that are worth checking out. See map here for details on all of the stores and restaurants on this street.
Where to Eat:
If you’re looking for the best Italian food you’ve ever had in America, look no further than Ristorante Lucia, which has been serving up delicious Italian dishes for 40 years in the Boston’s North End (aka Boston’s Italian Neighborhood). Each dish we tried kept getting better and better. Our thoughts as we scraped each plate clean: Pasta la vista baby! Pictured: Pollo Sagitario, Lobster Ravioli, Veal Carrozzella, & Fusilli Pasta with Broccoli Rabe, Shrimp, & Sausage.
Artisan Bistro at the Ritz-Carlton, Boston:
Still dreaming about how good brunch was at Artisan Bistro at the Ritz-Carlton, Boston with Eggs Benedict with Lobster, the Sunrise Sandwich, Seasonal Fruit, and Vermont Yogurt.—talk about drool-worthy. If you ever find yourself in Boston, be sure to stop by Artisan Bistro for a dreamy brunch!
Fuel up for the weekend with a mexcellent chicken quesadilla and a margarita with freshly squeezed lime juice at Border Cafe in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Hand’s down the best clam chowder and lobster roll I’ve ever eaten. Neptune Oyster is a real gem in Boston’s North End. Two of my friends told me to eat here because I would be in seafood heaven. It was totally worth the wait. We had to wait 2 hours for a table. I highly recommend getting there at 4 PM and putting your name in and doing some shopping or sight-seeing while you wait. Unfortunately, they don’t take reservations. Definitely, order the lobster roll hot with butter—literally out of this world good!
Cambridge & Formaggio Kitchen (Cambridge Location):
One of my favorite stops on our entire trip was Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge. We walked from Harvard to Formaggio Kitchen (about a 20-minute walk or so) since it was a beautiful day outside. We even came across a lot of beautiful homes on our walk.
My friend Robert, who is a big foodie told me to visit Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge for an impressive cheese selection and cheese cave. We were literally blown away by the 200 cheeses they had in-house. It was so cool to see how they stored the cheese in the cheese cave in the basement of the shop. We found out when we were talking to the manager that Julia Child used to frequent Formaggio Kitchen for all of her cheeses and some of her grocery items back in the day.
I was so excited when I found out from my best friend, Nate, who lives in Boston, that there was an Eataly in Beantown. I wanted to go to the Eataly in New York City but I didn’t have enough time on my last trip. Let me just say… I wish I could live inside Eataly and eat my way through each room and item. From prepared foods to a wide selection of charcuterie, to fresh meats and fish, and to a bakery, Eataly did not disappoint.
Flour Bakery + Cafe:
And that’s the way the cookie crumbles at Flour Bakery + Cafe (MIT location). The ginger molasses and oatmeal raisin cookies were wicked good and were soft, chewy, and full of deliciousness.
Where to Stay:
We cannot say enough good things about our stay at the W Boston. We loved that our hotel was within walking distance to so many Boston hotspots!
I love that the decor of every W Hotel is extremely different from one city to another. The W Boston hotel was in a beautiful modern glass building filled with sleek modern decor. The lounge in the lobby transforms into a happening place at night with a DJ, dance area, and fun purple, blue, and pink lights.
Our room was plenty big for two people and even had a love seat couch and desk. I loved how the pop of bright blue colors in the painting near the bedroom added some cheerfulness to the room.
We didn’t get a chance to use the gym during our stay. However, I did have a drink with my best friend, Nate, at the W Lounge during my stay. It was a great spot and they had lots of tasty cocktails.
We had excellent service during our stay at the W Boston. Everyone was so nice and helpful. Since we had a late flight home on Sunday, we asked the W to store our bags along with some precious cheese cargo. The hotel staff really went above and beyond letting me store my cheese and ice pack (for transporting my cheese) for the day before our flight home.
We loved our stay at the W Boston! We had excellent service and we were so close to many of Boston’s hotspots. I highly recommend staying here if you ever find yourself in Boston.
Until next time!
Outfit Details: gray wool cable knit sweater (on sale for $129// pink knit sweater (sold out), similar here that’s $25 // black leggings // Tory Burch boots (old), similar here) // Prada bag // Longchamp weekender bag // Tumi carry-on // Tumi duffel bag