All in a Day: Visiting Boston

There’s history and culture around every bend in Beantown.

Enjoy a fresh lobster lunch when visiting Boston

Enjoy a fresh lobster lunch when visiting Boston

Photo Credit: iStock

Walk Along the Water

Start visiting Boston with a walk along the magnificent, miles-long Harborwalk at Independence Wharf near South Station. Climb to the observation deck for beautiful bird’s-eye views of the harbor and beyond, then cross Fort Point Channel to catch some eye-opening exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Be sure to take in views from the cantilevered glass expanse that hovers over Boston Harbor. Follow a tour of the Harpoon Brewery with a fresh lobster lunch at the Seaport standby Yankee Lobster, or grab seafood and local beer at Fort Point’s sleek Row 34 and top off with a tailor-made tipples at the innovative bar Drink. Or when visiting Boston just chill out at The Lawn on D, an interactive outdoor space behind the hulking Massachusetts Convention Center.

Enjoy a day at the Public Garden when visiting boston

Public Garden

Photo Credit: iStock

Back, Back, Back to the Back Bay

The 50-acre Boston Common and the adjacent Public Garden are the jewels of Boston’s Emerald Necklace, a system of connected parks that winds through many of Boston’s neighborhoods. Bask in their verdant greenery—or, if it’s winter when you’re visiting Boston, go for a skate on the Common’s Frog Pond—then continue your center-city nature walk on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, a Parisian boulevard-like parkway on the Back Bay’s main drag. Circle back up Newbury Street for some window-shopping; the stores get swankier as you get closer to the Public Garden. Keep an eye out for the boundary-pushing Barbara Krakow Gallery. Dine on authentic rustic Italian fare at Tremont Street’s trendy Teatro before taking in a show in the Theater District, or get sublime 360-degree views of Boston during dinner at The Top of the Hub.

Catch a game at Fenway Park when visiting Boston

Catch a game at Fenway Park when visiting Boston

Photo Credit: iStock

Baseball and Botticelli

An abundance of quirky institutions give the Fenway/Kenmore area its character. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is a massive complex with a comprehensive art collection, but for a more intimate and immersive experience, drop by the nearby Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum when visiting Boston. Once the home of a high-living Brahmin socialite, the quirky museum contains a trove of masterworks. Stroll through The Fens, a stunning urban wild, on your way to Fenway Park for a guided behind-the-scenes tour of Major League Baseball’s oldest ballpark. Top off your visit with a pint at the Bleacher Bar under Fenway’s center field bleachers. Inside the Mary Baker Eddy Library is the incredible Mapparium, a three-story stained-glass globe that offers a three-dimensional perspective of the world.

view the Charles River when visiting Boston

The Charles River in Boston

Photo Credit: iStock

Cool Cambridge

Cross the Charles River via the Harvard Bridge into bohemian Cambridge. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a temple to the sciences, but if you stroll around its campus while visiting Boston, you’ll see a wealth of dazzling public artworks. The rooftop garden of the Marriott in Kendall Square offers a nice respite from the surrounding pharmaceutical labs and tech offices. Grab some excellent lobster sandwiches at Alive and Kicking Lobsters—or spoil your appetite with some rich house-made ice cream at Toscanini’s. A walk around Harvard Yard gives a glimpse of the university’s gorgeous campus. At night, Cambridge’s music scene bustles—catch some cutting-edge rock at The Sinclair or The Middle East, or folk music at the legendary Club Passim.

Streetcar Suburbs

Boston’s commuter suburbs buzz with activity. Brookline is flush with quaint parks, friendly eateries (check out the cemitas at Dorado) and chic shops. Jamaica Plain is a hip, young neighborhood; wander through the neighborhood’s quirky stores and stroll along the shore of Jamaica Pond. Take the Blue Line to its eastern terminus, step out of the platform on the Wonderland T stop, and the salt air of Revere Beach instantly fills your nose. Take a walk down the boardwalk for a delectable roast beef sandwich or lobster roll at Kelly’s Roast Beef.

For another East Coast adventure, head north to Canada and spend a day visiting Montreal.

AAA Travel can help you plan a trip to Boston. Call 877-396-7159 to speak to a AAA Travel Counselor.

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Rose Stadt, AAA Travel Counselor, Vallejo, Calif.

More and more people want to customize their escorted trips with longer stays in certain cities or visits to specific sites. I make sure the independent pieces fit seamlessly with the tour.

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