As a kid, my parents were determined to take my brother and me on an out-of-state adventure nearly every summer. These early memories of travel sparked my passion to explore the world, and that eagerness to wander has only grown as I’ve aged. We experienced cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and so many others including Boston… but I was young. I only got a taste of what these cities truly had to offer. It’s, for this reason, why I decided to take a weekend trip to Boston and encounter what the city truly has to offer.
It was a quick visit filled with succulent lobster, some of the best beer in the Northeast, a concert that brought memories of Thailand, and Chinese food that did its best street food stall imitation. I wanted to experience ventures that I didn’t get a chance to as a child and I believe I knocked off quite a few in “The Cradle of Liberty”. It wasn’t until my plane touched back down in Raleigh that I realized just how much I accomplished in this short adventure.
Wake Up and Smell the Freedom
I am absolutely infatuated with history, and more specifically combative history. Boston is the home of the American Revolution and there is no better way to see the historical highlights than on the Freedom Trail. With such highlights as the Old State House, Granary Burial Ground, and Park Street Church lining the path you are bound to get a sense of the importance the city had in the path to American independence. Be sure to start your trek in the morning as the path fills with other sightseers as the day goes on. Best of all, it’s free!
Even if you aren’t one for tourist traps the Freedom Trail will still give you a great sense of the city itself. Use the Boston Common as your starting point and you’ll see numerous early risers out for a run and taking in the city’s greenery. Along the path, stop in CloverDTX for some local breakfast and a fresh cup of coffee to fuel your day. You can end your walk at Faneuil Hall which is followed by a swath of shops and restaurants for you to wind down in. This portion of the path won’t completely fill your day and will still give you a sense of Boston’s history.
Some “Chowduh” and “Lobstuh”
If you decided to pass on the temptations at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace I suggest heading down to the Boston Seaport to snag some fresh seafood from Yankee Lobster. This place has it all from piping hot cod cakes to creamy lobster bisque and the signature lobster roll.
I decided to start off with the clam chowder which warmed me up nicely on the cool spring day and wash it down with a beer from the local Mighty Squirrel Brewing Co., a brewery known for their high-protein beers. The appetizer was then followed up by the crown jewel, lobster mac & cheese, and boy did it deliver! Don’t worry, you’ll get plenty of crustacean in this artery clogger. The best thing going for Yankee was that it’s some of the best-priced seafood in the area. So if you are traveling on a budget but still craving something from the sea then there’s no better place to hit up than Yankee Lobster.
Sampling the Local Libations
Just a stone’s throw away from Yankee Lobster is one of the most prominent breweries in the northeast, Harpoon Brewery. The brewery is a fairly large facility and houses a beer hall, merch store, and growler station. You can also take a tour and learn how the suds are made for just $5 with tours running every 20 minutes on Saturdays and every 30 minutes on Sundays. The tour even has a ~15-minute tasting session so you’ll get to try out which brew you want a full pint of in the beer hall.
Chillin’ in the Garden
Often referred to as “Titletown” because of the dominance its sports teams have had throughout history, Boston has a lot to boast about. The sense of excellence is all too apparent in the TD Garden arena with the Celtics and Bruins championship banners adorning the ceiling. A quick ride on the T train will plant you right next to the stadium. This was actually the catalyst for my trip up north as I had the pleasure of seeing Kygo perform some of his best tropical vibes. His music is so closely tied to my previous travels that it brought about a true sense of nostalgia. Whether you are planning to see the Celtics put on a clinic, the Bruins pass around the puck, or your favorite musician pump out a hell of a show, you are sure to be entertained at the Garden.
Late Night Snack in Chinatown
Ah, Chinatown… you dirty, yet all too familiar place. What a pleasure it was to stay in the heart of this culinary paradise. A good deal of restaurants stay open late which makes for the perfect opportunity to satisfy those late night cravings after a concert or Celtics game.
If you’re looking for some authentic Chinese food your best bet is Wai Wai. Located under the owner’s home is this small restaurant that imitates a street food vendor in China. The cook has roast duck, pork, and chicken hanging in the window for you to choose from. For just $8 you can get a bountiful plate of rice, your choice of meat, and an exquisite sauce to top it off.
Wanting something a bit more unique? Double Chin will definitely push your understanding of typical Asian food. This late night shop offers up a variety of dishes with an Asian twist. Items like Mapo Tofu Nachos, Spam & Taro Fried, and Nori Fish n’ Chips all offer up an exceptional taste like you’ve never experienced before. I decided to go for the “Poutine” Your Mouth which was a stellar reimagining of the Canadian classic with waffle fries topped with kimcheese (that’s right kimchi-fused cheese), furikake, and a fried egg hit all the right spots. If you’re into something sweet then you have to indulge in the cube toast, a hollowed out piece of toast topped with honey, ice cream, and a multitude of other sweets. This was one of my favorite desserts when I lived in Thailand.
Boston has so many options when it comes to sights, food, and activities. It really is a difficult task to fit it all in with so little time, but you can definitely make the trip worth it if planned correctly. Take in a ball game, explore a piece of American history, and indulge in some of the best seafood this side of the planet. You can’t go wrong with a trip to Boston.
Weekend trips can be hard to pull off when you are working the 9-5, but when you do it does just enough to scratch that travel bug until you can venture off again. Where is your favorite weekend getaway? Did you fit everything in or were you left with more to see? Let me know in the comments below.
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