Boston Travel Guide
Hands down Boston is one of the cleanest cities, ever. Like Philly, can you take after Boston in that regard??? Anywayyyy, Beantown, USA is such a unique gem filled with history, amazing food, lots to do, and friendly people. I hadn't been in Boston since May 2016, and honestly not much seemed to change. Maybe a tad more traffic, and even more vegan, GF, healthy food options! No complaints here :)
There were certainly things I did two years ago that I wanted to relive, but this time around I added a few more must-see's and do's and I'm quite happy I did!
OH and one of the coolest parts about this July trip was partnering with Kimpton Hotels. Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, MA hosted Daniel and I for an IG takeover and every minute there was such bliss. The hotel was oozing with character and the rooms were divine.
The marketing team I worked with was unbelievably helpful and gave me great suggestions in addition to mine that I've mapped out for you below. Enjoy the guide!
When to Go:
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the winter months in Boston are frigid, and probably engulfed in snow. But maybe you didn't know the month of May is also pretty cold. In Philly the average temp in May is 75. In Boston the high reaches only about 67. I remember being really cold in May 2016 and I had to actually go to a local H&M and buy clothes, since what I packed wasn't cutting it. The months of June, July, and August are hot with an average of 82 degrees and I'm all about that.
Where I Stayed:
Like you may have saw on my Insta and as I mentioned above, I stayed at the Kimpton Marlowe as one of their influencers. It was a glorious experience. I need to stay there for my future trips to Boston/Cambridge!!! I don't know if you agree, but in my opinion staff can make or break your stay. And the staff at the Marlowe were out-of-this-world. The location was prime. So close (like walking distance) to sooo many awesome attractions in Cambridge like MIT, Harvard, and Museum of Science), but also only a 10-min Uber ride to the cutesy parts of Boston like Newbury Street.
Where I Ate:
Ned Devine's – Major yum! Known for their liveliness and location this place rocks. My boyfriend and I seemed to order almost everything on the menu :p and we were soo happy we did. Our favorites were the French onion soup (the cheese pulls were unreal), the hummus plate, and the blackened chicken salad, minus the chicken, add grilled salmon! To be honest, besides the awesome outdoor seating and the tasty food one of the best parts about Ned's was the service. Our waiter was so amazing and really took his time explaining different dishes to us, and giving us his recommendations -- especially when it came to the cocktail list. Daniel indulged in a Bloody Mary (which I tasted and it was 10/10) and I had a peach mule, minus the Titos, substitute some tequilaaaa. Because why not! How to end the perfect lunch: dessert. Ned Devine's certainly didn't disappoint in this area. Warm brownie with vanilla ice cream and caramel drizzle filled our hearts (and tummies) with joy! I loved my time at Ned's and next time I'm in Boston, I'm there!
Umai Sushi - Sooo as you know I'm a huge fan of sushi, and I certainly don't discriminate based on location, price, or reputation. However, Daniel nor I really liked Umai. The sushi was "decent," but not worth the money. The location (on Newbury street) can't be beat and the inside of the restaurant has two cute tables IN the window, which I thought was so quaint and a nice addition. But for the money spent I would have rather eaten elsewhere.
Amorino - Who could ever veto a dessert, especially when it's authentic Italian gelato?! Amorino is a darling gelato cafe on Newbury Street. Unlike your typical gelato spot, this place lets you choose as many flavors as you want in your cone or cup -- whatever fits! So for let's say $7 you could have 6 different flavors. Pretty cool, huh? I personally got just two flavors because I'm a tad picky :) but both were delish. And FYI it melts QUICKLY, especially in the hot summer months.
Cafeteria Boston - Prides themselves on a cafeteria-themed menu which is a modern interpretation of classic soul-satisfying American dishes prepared with organic grass-fed beef and lamb, free-range chicken, the freshest seafood and organic, and local produce. Daniel and I ate here in 2016 and loved our brunch experience so we went again this year for lunch and it was just as good. They have both awesome indoor AND outdoor seating right on Newbury Street! I got the arugula beet salad and added grilled salmon for some added protein. It was reallllly good. And Daniel got fish tacos on corn tortilla (haaaay GF lovers) which he loved.
Pressed Juicery - Is the holy grail of feeling good on the go. Located in five other states Pressed is clean AF and so fresh! They have juices out the wazoo, lots of cleanses, and best of all is their kosher, vegan, and gluten-free freeeeeeze. Yum! I tried their newest flavor and was totally obsessed. I added fresh fruit for some texture and additional sweetness.
Lolita -Kiiinda let us down this time around. Don't get me wrong, the food was just as good as we remembered in 2016, but the service was poor and the portions were MUCH smaller. Not that small portions are a huge problem, but it irked us both because the prices stayed the same if not higher for much less food. I get that it's a tapas place now, but adjust the cost so it's fair! I also realized AFTER we already ate they opened a brand new location that's on the water that is supposed to be much better than the original Dartmouth Street location. Oh well. :/ We got the nachos, fresco guac, tuna chilindrinas, blackened mahi mahi tacos, and the signature cotton candy tower that comes complimentary with the check. Tako 'bout a sugar rush!
Mike's Pastry - Is heaven on earth. Sorry that was a bit extra, but if you like (read: love) cannolis then this crowded, loud, and old-school Italian bakery is for you. Located in Boston's historical North End this is just a taaaad off the freedom trail. Perfect excuse for a little sugary-pick-me-up. My favorite flavors are the chocolate chip cannolis and chocolate dipped cannolis. Mmmm so good!
Inna's Kitchen - Sounded amazing and it allllmost was. We visited the Boston Public Market with the hopes of finding some easy and quick brunchy food. We stumbled upon Inna's Kitchen and thought the Jewish cuisine theme was pretty intriguing. I got the Shakalakah which is the coolest combo of shakshuka and a latke!! It was good, but not great. The latke was a tad soggy, but the tomato sauce, eggs, and avocado were spot on. Daniel got some kebob order and he wasn't a fan overall. He said the meat tasted like warmed up frozen patties. I would try it again, but definitely order other things!
Top of the Tower - Is Boston's version of Philly's R2L, but even more prestigious. Daniel and I went in for a quick drink prior to a sushi dinner elsewhere. We were dressed relatively casual and were glared at head to toe. I think we would have enjoyed it much more if we came dressed properly and weren't sweaty and exhausted from the day of touring/walking. Make sure you save your pennies for this place and definitely make a reservation ahead of time. It's quite pricy and always crowded -- the lounge though is first come first served. The reason this place is in such high demand is because of the #views. Google image or IG stalk this place and you'll see what I mean.
Bambara - Located right inside the Kimpton Marlowe this restaurant was such a delight! Cocktails, appetizers, entrees, and desserts later we left STUFFED. It was one of the best meals we had during our entire time in Boston/Cambridge. The mushroom soup was so amazing, their bread is actually award winning so that's a MUST, and the salmon entree was scrumptious. It was cooked SO perfectly... still thinking 'bout it :)
Other places I wanted to try, but didn’t have the time to: Daily Catch, Snappy Sushi, The Broadway, Sonsie Boston, The Ghost Walks
Where I Explored:
The Lawn on D – Great place for a fun photo-opp before or after an event! Orrr if you happen to be in the neighborhood a good excuse to wander off the beaten path to just chill in one of these fun swings. People all around us were reading their books, eating lunch, or scrolling on their phones. Definitely a popular spot day or night! And no, there is NO cost to take a swing.
North End – Known for the authentic Italian restaurants, residents, and rambunctious tourists who flood the streets each and every day. This whole historic neighborhood is such a gem and a must to walk through! Lots of beautiful buildings with astonishing architecture. PS this is where Mike's Pastry is... don't forget to swing by there!
Freedom Trail - All you tourists visiting Boston for the first, second, and maybe even third time, you have to do this. It's a great, long walk where you literally just follow the brick path. Wizard of Oz much?? I personally have done it twice and have loved it both times! It really gives you a scenic walking tour of soo much of beautiful Boston. But be prepared to walk. A lot. Wear comfy sneaks like allbirds and you'll be set.
Harvard Square - A triangular plaza that is regal and stuffed with some of the most intelligent Bostonians around. An extremely walkable area where there are lots of cutesy stores, ice cream parlors, restaurants, and of course academia buildings. Explore as much as you can and eat at Loyal Nine. Remy Hill was spot on in her recommendation. Thanks again, girl!
Boston Public Garden - Is so serene and beautiful it's a perfect afternoon or early morning walking spot to sort out your thoughts or work off a grueling hangover. It's next to Boston Commons which is another staple sight to see.
Boston Commons - Nerd alert! I learned this is the oldest park in the country dating all the way back to 1634!! This park is 50 acres and kept in pristine condition. It's pretty much the center of Boston and has people around and through it constantly. It's super close to a bunch of fun restaurants and bars since it's only 1 block off Newbury street. Definitely a hot spot to hit!
Newbury Street - A shoppers dream and a wallets nightmare. Be prepared to spend big OR go in with the mindset that you're JUST window-shopping. Ya know the casual browsing and when the overly eager associate practically flings herself at you saying, "is there anything I can help you find today?!" you respond with yeah a million bucks please. Kidding. That was all very aggressive. BUT just know this loooong street has every store you could imagine and it does honestly range from affordable to very high-end. Make sure you make stops along the way for yummy treats to keep you going!
Faneuil Hall - Over 70 retailers of all sorts, but mostly yummy fooderies are packed into this famous historic building. One of the most fun parts of this whole place is the constant liveliness from street performers of all types. Face painters, caricaturists, musicians, breakdancers, and more! A must on your travels to Boston.
Beacon Hill - OOOOZES cuteness and charm. UGH why can't I be a billionaire and purchase one of these gorgeous homes?! One day.... But in all seriousness this neighborhood is darling and filled with so much history and character. Often times the people who live in these gorgeous estates are more than willing to tell you about their home, as each has a very unique story.
Boston Harbor Cruises - Don't roll your eyes or make fun. This was not only one of my main highlights of the trip, but Daniel's, too! We both love learning the history of places and this 90-min cruise did just that. Our guide Sebastian was awesome and really told us unheard stories about everything we cruised by. The tickets are a little steep, but I genuinely think it's worth it! You can choose to sit on the deck of the boat directly in the sun (I got burnt AF and of course Daniel tanned perfectly), the main floor of the boat but it's inside seating (although it's where the bar is so #priorities), and then there are four or fives seats on a bench at the front of the boat (low to the water and away from every other person). This is NOT a fancy cruise, think of it as a classier duck boat! The coolest part of this cruise was being directly under the arriving and departing flights! See below with your own eyes if you don't believe me!
Boston is really a gem and a beautiful place to visit and explore once, twice, three times.... who knows maybe you'll even want to move in! They say once you visit Boston the likelihood you want to move there is VERY high. Can't say I disagree :) As always, please feel free to share this guide to anyone you know traveling to the greater Boston area this year!