On a work trip earlier this month I spent 24 hours in Boston. After a few local recommendations and some internet surfing, here's the recap of my visit...
The Liberty Hotel, located in the Beacon Hill Neighborhood, is fantastic! A co-worker local to Boston recommended this place or Hotel Commonwealth as his top two choices for visitors. The Liberty, which was once a jail, is a unique mixture of old and new that really plays up it's history with themed rooms, lobby and restaurants.
COFFEE + a quick BREAKFAST
Because it was close to my shoot location, I grabbed coffee and a pastry from Flour Bakery + Cafe in Cambridge (across the river from the hotel) on the MIT campus. The coffee was great and it was an obvious hub for local staff and students to MIT. Another recommendation was Tatte Bakery & Cafe which has locations all over Boston and Cambridge. Tatte looked super cute from the pics but I never made it there.
Saltie Girl was super good and super cute. It's a smaller place with half it's seating at a long bar that spans the length of the restaurant and built in booths on the opposite side. They offer smaller plates of seafood (raw and otherwise) along with some pretty fancy cocktails. I was surprised at the amount of kiddos (perhaps because I was there during lunchtime on a Sunday, on Fathers Day) but the majority of the customers seemed to be couples or girlfriends catching up over a mimosa. A second lunch option that was recommended to me was Holly Crab. I never went but it had great reviews.
Of all the blogs I read and local recommendations I received, hands down the resounding place to eat dinner while in town is Neptune Oyster. Another small atmosphere made for a super long wait (nearly two hours!) so be prepared to stop by and put your name/number in well before your stomach grumbles. Our food was fantastic! We, a co-worker who was also in town for the project, ordered the hot lobster roll (without the bun) and some oysters for an appetizer. Feeling fancy we also split a bottle of white wine. Our service was great and the overall experience was well worth the wait. A great place to hang out and have a drink while you wait is Bell in Hand located just around the corner. We had a couple drinks and listed to live music with open air widows with a view of the busy streets just outside. And if you're into experiencing history, another place lots of folks mentioned was the Union Oyster House, the oldest restaurant in Boston. A local recommended the muscles.
Oh my soul, Mike's Pastry on the North End of Boston is certainly worth the crowds! You'll know you're there when you see the lines out the door. Home of the Bostonian Cannoli, there you'll find all sorts of mouth watering treats and tourists carting away those cute little white and blue paper to-go boxes full of bikini killers! And if you're into cupcakes, check out Georgetown Cupcake for the cutest treats you ever did see!
DRINKS with a VIEW
Outlook Kitchen & Bar is located inside the Envoy Hotel and is a bit of a hike, but that's because you're just outside of the city where you'll find a great rooftop view of the city. Be warned, this is not a place the locals frequent. Instead you'll find visitors in from out of town looking to snap a few pics of the city skyline and enjoy a cocktail or two. Another great place (also located inside a hotel) is the Alibi patio at The Liberty Hotel (where I stayed). Sticking with the 'jail' theme, the Alibi has walls covered in famous people's mug shots (i.e. Justin Bieber and Mel Gibson). My co-worker and I had a nightcap here and enjoyed the warm summer air and conversation before calling it a night.
THINGS TO SEE & DO
In no particular order, here are some great things to see and do while in town:
- Walk the Freedom Trail - All over the city and you might find yourself on it without even trying!
- See the Red Sox play at Fenway Park - Had the Red Sox been in town while I was there I likely would have tried to find a ticket. My husband is a HUGE fan of the Red Sox and for that reason only, I would have gone for some peanuts and a beer.
- Check out Lawn on the D - A great local hangout complete with a full community schedule of events, concerts and more. Word has it that there's light up swing (adult size!) at night time.
- Tour the Paul Revere House - We had missed the last tour group time by 9 mins! Next time we're in town it's at the top of my list. Consider touring while you wait for your table at Neptune Oyster just around the corner!
- SoWa Open Market & Vintage Market - A pretty awesome local shopping spot located off the beaten path. They've got a fresh market (produce, etc.) as well as multiple rows of tents with things like art, jewelry, clothing, crafts and more for sale.
- Walk through Boston Common and Public Garden - What feels like the center of the city you'll find a beautiful green space with a pond, paved sidewalks, musicians and folks walking their dogs.