In light of the patriots winning the Super bowl this year I thought it would be a great time to write about this amazing city and the surrounding areas.
Being Australian and having lived in Europe in England, Spain and Germany for five years I can safely say I have finally found my balance with America-The West Coast reminds me of my home in Australia and the East Coast reminds me of where I use to live in Europe!
The first thing that struck me when I landed in Boston last year for Thanksgiving is how incredibly friendly everyone is- I have always been warned that “people on the East Coast are different, more brash to the point of rude” but this was definitely not the case! Here is a list of the highlights that stood out to me:
Harvard University is definitely worth a visit, famous for its Law and Medical school faculties, the numerous movies shot around campus, or what my Generation would call its most famous claim to fame- the beginning of FACEBOOK!
The architecture is very New England and the grounds are stunning, its easy to access and walk around –Highlights definitely worth a peek- Harvard Hall, Widener Library, Memorial Church and the impressive Harvard Art Museum which houses famous works by Paul Cèzanne, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and my favorite Vincent Van Gogh.
There are even walking tours you can sign up for which highlight all the famous movies that were made here including Legally Blonde, The Social Network, With Honors, Good Will Hunting and Love Story. Security can be a bit snobby especially if you are not a student here and some areas are restricted (the library for one!) and personally I would eat lunch off campus, as the cafes tend to be rather pricey if you don’t have your Harvard Student discount.
Quincy market and Faneuil Hall Marketplace are a local favorite and always have something going on. Be warned though- on the weekends this place is crawling with tourists! Located in downtown Boston near the financial district and waterfront this is a culinary experience not to miss!
The marketplace is over 250 years old and is literally bursting with over 50 shops, 14 restaurants, 40 food courts and one of Boston’s most famous Comedy Clubs. Its also part of Boston’s “Freedom Trail”. Worth trying here is the New England Clam Chowder from Ned Devine’s Irish Pub http://www.neddevinesboston.com/ and any pizza from Pizzeria Regina (voted Boston’s number 1 pizza) in Faneuil Hall http://www.pizzeriaregina.com/.
If you want a bit of sightseeing and History on Boston and walking is not your thing (Freedom Trail is definitely worth doing but I am not going to cover that because EVERYONE does!) then I highly recommend doing the Boston Duck Tours http://www.bostonducktours.com (Please note this is closed during the Winter but open during the rest of the year –and take your jackets-the sun is deceiving in Boston!).
Your Boston Duck Tour is a WW2 style amphibious landing vehicle-your probably thinking-what the ?? It’s an open style bus that also turns into a boat so you get to be on the land and sea (well the river but you get my drift!).
The tour guides (or ConDUCKtors as they like to be called) are half the fun; vivacious, enthusiastic locals who love nothing more than dressing up in Kilts (well my tour guide did) and giving you a low down on the good, the bad and the Boston of all things.
The tours cover important historical areas that made Boston the birthplace of Freedom. Highlights include State House, Bunker Hill, Boston Common, Copley Square, Quincy Market, Prudential Tower, Trinity Church and a cruise along the Charles River. This is also useful so you can get an idea of the city and how to best orientate yourself.
For those of us who were born in the 80s we all remember our parents tuning into “Cheers” the TV show (it was very popular in Australia so I´m sure it was here) so curiosity got the better of me and I decided to check out the bar that inspired the hit TV show.
There are two locations one at Quincy Hall which is the Replica (and worth stopping by for a beer or five) and the original one located at 84 Beacon St Boston http://www.cheersboston.com.
This is a great trip down memory lane (more so for my parents who were so excited that I visited the original “Cheers” bar) and has all the nostalgia plastered on the walls in every nook and cranny of this tiny bar. It really does have a nice homely feel to it, almost like a hole in the wall bar, the staff are very friendly and the prices are surprisingly cheap. There is also a gift shop in the back in which you can buy all things “Cheers”.
I stayed for a few days with my friends in the lovely town of Cohasset, which is located on the corner of the South Shore, where greater Boston ends and Massachusetts Bay begins. (Remember the movie “The Witches of Eastwick”? well it was filmed in Cohasset) This town to me is New England at its best.
The architecture and houses in the surrounding area are gobsmackingly (is that even a word? It’s the only way I could describe these houses!) beautiful and very New England.
I spent a day just walking around taking photos of houses like an Australian Stalker and then ended up at the local pub Mr. Dooley’s http://cohasset.mrdooleys.com which had one of the best fish and chips meals I have ever eaten. Friendly staff, the lady that served me was originally from Ireland (how appropriate) and we spent a good hour or so (as it was quiet) talking about the migration of the Irish to these areas. What fascinated me was their countdown clock on the wall, which was counting down the days until St Patrick’s Day, which she later informed me, is probably the biggest day of the year in Cohasset as more than half the town is Irish and they all come out to play!
Speaking of food (yes my trip turned into a food fest I now realize upon writing this, and I had the extra pounds when I came back to LA to prove it) on the way back to the airport I stopped at Wahlburgers restaurant http://cohasset.mrdooleys.com/ which had the BEST (I swear) Portobello mushroom burger I have EVER eaten!!! Owned by the Wahlburg Family (think Mark Wahlburg the Actor, Donnie Walhburg and that crazy TV Reality show which is based on their other restaurant Alma Nove literally opposite Wahlburgers and very pricey) it’s located at 19 Shipyard Drive, Hingham (just outside of Boston). This place is definitely worth a visit if you are a die-hard Burger fan.
It has all the classic burgers, but they are made exceptionally well! Make sure you also get a side order of fries and the special sauce.
Boston to me is a great place to visit and its surrounding areas (Cohasset in particular)are just as beautiful, my only advice would be to avoid winter (unless you like the freezing cold and the winds that go with it) and make sure you pack some warm clothes because you never know what the New England weather may bring!