After Jan helped me situate my new home in Philadelphia, I took the Bolt Bus and traveled up to Boston, Massachusetts to help him into his new home. After a day at my desk job, I scurried as fast as I could to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia where the Bolt Bus was departing. Because Bolt Bus tickets are a bit strange, I was forced to purchase a ticket to New York and create my own connection from New York to Boston. A bit stressful, but the bus company did a good job at arriving punctually every time I used the bus (not every time Jan used it though).
After about 6 months of backpacking to Boston every other weekend, I got a really good understanding of their history, the Bostonian culture, and what makes Boston a pretty cool city (that says a lot coming from a Philadelphian). Here’s a few of my favorite travel destinations Jan and I would frequented on our magical weekends together. I’ve also included some of my travel photography!
The Boston Commons
Founded in 1634, the Boston Commons is America’s oldest public park. It’s 50 acres of college “dude-bros” playing frisbee, old people walking, kids playing soccer, and fat squirrels begging for roasted nuts. Any moment Jan and I had a sunny afternoon, we spent it sitting by the lake at the Boston Commons, enjoying panhandling guitarists on the bridge and the view of tourists on swan paddle boats. Landscapers keep the park looking pristine by keeping the grass lush and planting unique flowers and trees. Due to it’s beauty, the Boston Commons is a very popular place to get wedding photos done. The only reason I know this is that at any given time there were at least 5 bridal parties swarming the park.
The Quincy Market in downtown Boston offers locals and tourists authentic New England cuisine. Everything from lobster rolls to clam chowder served in bread bowls are sold here. It reminds me a lot of the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, only clean with less yelling and more civil order. This market was a really neat place because it promotes community. I say that it promotes community mainly because it gets so crowded, you’re standing shoulder to shoulder with strangers, and the seating/standing arrangements make it hard to avoid sitting next to people you might not know. The Quincy Market is in the middle of the North and South Markets, which are primarily retail shopping.
Harvard’s Campus and Bookstore
Also known as The COOP, the Harvard Campus Bookstore is a cooperative for Harvard and MIT students and has been serving the community since 1882. As a lover of bookstores, one of my favorite Boston moments was exploring three floors of awesome books and literature. On a budget? Another place Jan and I would frequent was the Raven Used Bookstore also located on Harvard’s campus. Because why would I pay $20 for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classics when I can buy the same book in good condition for $10!
This was one of the coolest concepts, and I wish more cities adopted this idea. The Freedom Trail is Boston’s self guided tour through Boston’s incredible history. Rather than tourists getting lost and having to read complicated maps, the city has painted a red line through the city that tourists can follow. Along the red line tourists pass great monuments such as Bunker Hill, the USS Constitution, the Paul Revere House, and the infamous Old North Church (one if by land, two if by sea)!
View from the Customs Tower
Hands down, a great view of historical Boston is from the Customs Tower. After donating a few dollars at the front desk and navigating old, rickety elevators, you can look down on Boston and all of her harbor glory!