This week we’re adding another 48 hour city guide to our growing USA collection. Boston is a city a lot of my friends here in London rave about, and when local Kayla Mundy came to me offering up a guide I was stoked to publish it. She’s come through with a great guide to spending 48 hours in the capital of Massachusetts. – JM
Growing up in the Northeastern US, Boston has always been a city that I hear about quite regularly. Only 3.5 hours by car, it is a city that we visited when we were younger for school trips, as we got older to visit friends in college, and most recently for myself, as an adult ready to truly experience all the city has to offer. I was lucky to spend 48 hours in Boston this past summer, running (at times literally) from place to amazing place.
Things to See and Do
Samuel Adams Brewery Tour
The Sam Adams Brewery tour is fantastic. To take the tour is free, and it includes a small tasting glass and three 7 oz. tastings. There is a small $1-$2 donation requested per person, but it is not required. At the beginning of the tour you spend a bit of time learning about the brewing process, and tasting the various components in beer.
After this you get to sit in their small “bar” with the rest of your group and try some of their different beers. The bar feels as if you’re sitting in an old pub, with dark wood and mirrors aplenty.
Fenway Park is an amazing stadium, to which very few ballparks can compare. The history, and the spirit that abounds during each and every game has a tendency to pull you in, and make you a fan as well. Since the stadium is relatively small, almost all of the seats are “good seats”.
Prices are good as well, as long as you order them well enough in advance to avoid premiums on scalping sites. If you go, make sure to check out the plethora of bars in the area, which only add to the charismatic charm of Fenway.
Boston Public Garden
During your time in Boston, be sure to check out the Boston Public Gardens. Although not as well-known as the larger Boston Commons, during our trip the Gardens were relatively empty, thus providing a nice retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. With a large duck pond, beautiful landscaping, and interesting statues, this is a must see.
Food and Drink
Centrally located in the Northeast, it is no surprise that Boston is well known for it’s plentiful seafood, and “olde” American charm. Anything that you are looking for is easy to access; everything from Italian, to Greek, to Seafood, to classical American fare.
Cheers is historic in Boston, formerly known as the Bull and Finch Pub, is a great way to experience a media lovers view of Boston. Although the interior of the pub was never used on the show, they offer plenty of memorabilia.
The ambiance is fantastic, and as a plus they offer Sam Adams Brick Red, which is only distributed in Boston and a fantastic beer.
Doyle’s was the first bar to stock Sam Adams, and as such they have a neat set up with the brewery if you choose to do the tour. Every 10-15 minutes there is a party tram that goes back and forth between the bar and the brewery.
As long as you have the stamp on your hand, you can get a glass of Sam Adams, and keep the special Sam Adams cup, for $5.50. At the Sam Adams gift shop, the glass alone retails for $8, so this is a great deal! They also offer a wide selection of American fare, which is quickly served.
How to get there
One of the greatest benefits of the Northeast is how centrally located all of the major cities are-which makes Boston a great road trip from places like New York, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and so many others.
If you’re flying, you can land at Boston’s Logan Airport. From the airport, you can easily take the “T” to almost anywhere in Boston for a reasonable fee.
A bit of orientation
Boston is approximately 3.5 hours northeast of New York City, and resides on the eastern shore of Massachusetts. Comprised of multiple neighborhoods, the majority of visitors tend to stay in the Back Bay, Downtown or Quincy Market areas, which also hold the majority of local attractions.
Here’s a handy map laying out all the sights mentioned above to give you an idea of where things are in Boston. Click on the markers to see the sight listed and zoom and pan around to see more of the map.
View 48 hours in Boston in a larger map
Get around in Boston
Luckily, getting around Boston is wicked easy. The “T” runs often, and stations are conveniently located, with cheap and reasonable ticket prices. You can purchase and refill Charlie cards at any of the stations throughout the city, which allows for ease. Boston is, quite possibly, one of the best cities in the US to navigate by subway.
Where to stay
If you’re looking for a centrally located base in Boston, look no further than Boston’s Back Bay. With a plethora of lodging options, the area is accessible to the “T”, with the added bonus of being within walking distance of many of the city’s main sights.
The Sheraton Back Bay is a great value within the area. Although it is part of a large chain, the rooms are all decorated with modern aesthetics, and being attached to the Prudential Center gives visitors built in shopping and dining options.
As with other large cities, I find websites like Priceline and Hotels.com to be great resources; by plugging in your budget, how fancy you want the hotel to be, and what area you want it in you can end up with a fantastic place to stay for a fraction of the normal cost.
Unfortunately, Boston can be one of the more expensive cities in the US, but there are ways to cut costs. Avoid bringing a car, as parking can be quite pricey. Instead, rely on walking or the inexpensive “T”. For hotels, use sites like hotels.com; when we were there this past summer, we were able to score our hotel for $120/night, which was over half off the current published price.
Take advantage of free sights within Boston – the public gardens, the commons, the college campuses – all beautiful things to experience that cost nothing. Food can also be done on the cheap by attending happy hours, and by staying outside of the “large” tourist restaurants.
Boston is a great city within the US, a cultural and historical gem that is able to more than hold its own within the Northeast. Easily accessible, Boston is home to fantastic accents, a rich portion of American history, fantastic sports teams, and a thriving bar and restaurant scene.
Whether you are interested in visiting museums, doing a walking tour, drinking your way around the city, or relaxing in a park, Boston really does have it all.