As a history buff, Boston in my mind was the historical scene of events leading up to the American Revolution, the original arrival point of the Puritans, home of many of our founding fathers and the location for very passionate sports aficiendos who follow the Patriots and the Red Sox. So arriving in Boston to tour some of the many colleges that reside in its borders with my daughter treated us to some unexpected experiences becoming the dream location for her pending college experience.
We started our Boston college tour just as most do, visiting Cambridge, walking the grounds of Harvard. Then heading out to the Kenmore and the Charles River area for college tours. We like most tourists, grabbed a picture in front of Fenway Park and stopped for lunch at Wahlburgers. But, it was the experiences around the college tours that really showed all Boston has to offer.
We met up with my recently turned 21 year old son for a fun (highly recommended) tour and sampling at the Sam Adams Brewery, before venturing into historic Boston to follow the Freedom Trail. Historic colonial buildings sit amongst modern high rises, Dunkin Donuts on every street corner and pedestrians everywhere. As much as we enjoyed the historical aspects and information that they did not teach us in US History class, the real experience was exploring the frequent haunts of Paul Revere, Sam Adams (the Patriot, not the beer) and the Minute Men. Marshall street (along the Freedom Trail) houses Union Oyster House, the Green Dragon Irish pub and the Bell in Hand which all played key roles in the events leading up to the American Revolution. Knowing that we were toasting under the same roof as our rebel forefathers was an exciting spin on re-visiting American history and we even met some colorful characters along the way. Bostonian stereotype in the movie Ted, I totally get it now…..
Throughout our time visiting, we enjoyed offerings in the Italian North End, which looks like a Disney version of Italy, to enjoy family style dining at La Famiglia Georgio’s (also highly recommended). Walking along the famous (Tea Party) Harbor and Boston Waterfront areas. Chinatown, with its Paifang gate, welcoming visitors to dim sum palaces, bakeries and Asian markets. Boston Commons, akin to Central Park in New York, with its colorful characters, amongst families biking, skating, playing and the nearby theatre district. Oh, I can’t forget to mention shopping along Newbury Street in the Back Bay (teenage girl mecca). Of course with 35 colleges in Boston proper, there were college students everywhere, which was not lost on my college bound daughter.
We explored Boston for almost a week unhampered from the rain and snow that could have altered our plans. A very walkable city and access to the Boston subway, known as the T by local Bostonians, made getting around easy and doable with no part of the Boston area that we could not venture too. We felt safe and welcomed everywhere we went. It was very clear to me as we headed to the airport on the last day, that Boston is a great city to visit for vacation, and we would be back, looking for more amazing Boston experiences and most likely will be there visiting my daughter for 4 years.