Welcome to my 14-day series on our East Coast Road Trip where I share our adventures along the way, how we’re doing this on a budget, honest reviews of attractions & restaurants we visit, and money-saving tips and ideas. If you missed it, read Day 1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here, Day 5 here, Day 6 here, Day 7 here, and Day 8 here.
Okay. It’s official. I have fallen madly in love with Boston.
As in, I think I want to move to Boston. Or at least rent an apartment in the North End and visit for a week every month. (Hey, a girl can dream, right?? ;))
The coffee shops. The open air restaurants. The quaint streets. The scenery. The smells. I almost felt like I was back in Rome!
On Day 9 of our trip, we slept in and the drove to downtown Boston where we got all-day parking a block from Boston Common for just $15.
A few notes about parking and traffic:
- Since we were visiting on Sunday, a local hotel offered all-day valet parking for just $15! From what I could tell — and what I heard — visiting on the weekends means that parking is much less expensive than it is on weekdays.
- You can read more about parking in Boston here. (Locals: is that list accurate? I wasn’t sure.)
- We also found that the roads were easy to drive and navigate (however, keep in mind that we are used to Nashville traffic!), traffic wasn’t really heavy like we expected, and was nothing like NYC. So it was no problem for us to drive into the city instead of taking the subway into the city. However, we were there on a Sunday, so I think that made traffic a lot lighter.
After visiting the Boston Common, we headed out to walk the Freedom Trail. We LOVED how there was such an eclectic mix of modern and historical.
We were pleasantly surprised to notice how much cheaper the prices were in Boston compared to the prices we’d been seeing in NYC and DC! (For instance, tourist-y t-shirts were $10 and water bottles were $1.)
We went to the Rose Kennedy Greenway halfway through our day and then came back to it near the end of the day because our kids loved it so much!
One of the things my followers on Facebook had told me that we had to do was to check out Mike’s Pastry’s and Modern Pastry. It seems like there might be a sort of friendly disagreement between locals as to which shop is the best.
Some locals said we HAD to go to Mike’s and others said we HAD to go to Modern. And most of the locals had a strong opinion as to which one we should go to! So we decided to go to both. 😉
We went to Modern first. The line was out the door and they had quite a huge selection of options but they line moved so fast that we had barely made our decisions of what we wanted to get by the time we got up to purchase. Note: They only accept cash.
Mike’s was PACKED. As in, there were 6 (?) long lines out the door, you couldn’t really see what they offered (though it was clear there was a LOT of cannoli options!) because there were so many people in front of the display cases.
While Jesse waited in line, the kids ate what some of we bought at Modern Pastry… which was probably completely against the “rules”, but they were hungry and the wait was long! 🙂
We got a cannoli and a scone at Mike’s and they were both so yummy!
We also walked to see Old North Church and Park Street Church.
And then we walked over the bridge to the USS Constitution. We LOVED getting to go on board this ship and couldn’t believe how they let people just walk around and touch almost everything!
A few things I wish had known ahead of time:
- It’s a long walk to get to the USS Constitution from Boston Common — especially if you do it at the end of walking the Freedom Trail. Silas was pretty worn out, but he loved the ship.
- It’s free to go on the ship. The museum (which we didn’t go to) is a suggested donation of $5-$10 for adults, $3-$5 for children, or $20-$25 for families.
- The ship is not open all the time. Sometimes it is closed for repairs. You’ll want to check before going to it. (I’d hate for you to make that long trek for nothing!)
- You have to show your ID to get on the ship and your bags are searched.
- They allow you to bring sealed food and water bottles on the ship. (Or at least they let ours through without mentioning that it would be a problem!)
We walked back to Boston Common from the USS Constitution and saw Paul Revere’s house on the way.
We stopped by a SweetGreen to grab some salads to split for dinner and then had a picnic at Boston Public Garden where we fed the ducks and marveled at how perfect the weather was and how beautiful the evening was. This park is very worth visiting!
We hadn’t expected to stay in Boston until after dinner time, so my phone died for the last hour of the day so I wasn’t able to get all the pictures I would have liked to of the park, but we would highly recommend it.
We then headed back to our car around 7:30 p.m. and drove to New Hampshire (our first time there!) to be able to say that we’d visited the state and then headed to Albany, NY for the night and then it’s onto to PA!
To be continued…
Have you been to Boston before? Any suggestions for the best free or inexpensive places to visit there?