Few cities in America are more entrenched in the nation’s history than Boston, Massachusetts. This storied city is not only rich in history and culture, but it’s also rich in beauty and excitement, which is why its residents are so proud to call themselves Bostonians. Since I’m from a West Coast town that was founded hundreds of years after settlers arrived in Boston, I’ll never know quite what it feels like to be so steadfastly proud of and connected to one’s hometown, which is why I decided to take a last minute trip to Boston. I wanted to experience this beloved East Coast city the way a true local would, and I thought that just maybe this trip would give me a glimpse of what being a Bostonian is really like.
This spur-of-the-moment trip was the result of a family reunion in Cape Cod. I have been to Massachusetts many times over the years to visit family, but I have never made it to Boston. This time, I ensured that I would finally make time to explore this rich, diverse city. I was able to make last minute adjustments to my travel schedule thanks to HotelTonight, which offers great deals on last minute hotels. Once I had booked my Beacon Hill hotel room through HotelTonight, I was ready to make my way to Boston to explore this timeless town.
I checked into my Beacon Hill hotel room and set out to wander the streets of this famous neighborhood. As one of the oldest and most picturesque neighborhoods in Boston, Beacon Hill is a treat for any weary traveler. Simply strolling through the cobblestone streets, lined with beautiful old brick homes, will make you feel as if you’ve traveled back in time. This neighborhood, which was once home to revolutionaries, is now home to Boston’s elite, and I found elegance and beauty around every corner in this historic district.
My stroll through Beacon Hill led me to Back Bay, another beautiful, postcard-worthy neighborhood. Back Bay boasts traditional Victorian brownstones on every street, as well as great dining and shopping. Back Bay is home to Newbury Street, one of the city’s best known avenues and a shopping hotspot for both locals and tourists. I didn’t feel like spending my precious hours in Boston shopping, but I did need to eat, so I stopped at a loud pub for some fuel. Locals were talking loudly about that evening’s home game, and that gave me a bit of inspiration for my next stop.
The Fenway/Kenmore area is home to the world-famous Fenway Park, which should ring a bell for any baseball fan. As home to the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park is basically Boston’s church, and baseball is Boston’s religion. As I realized how lucky I was to be in Boston during a home game, I made a spontaneous decision to purchase tickets so that I could experience Boston like any local would – by going to the game. Since I had a bit of time before the game started, I explored the Kenmore area, which has a heavy concentration of colleges and conservatories. Then, I joined the throngs of eager Red Sox fans and headed into Fenway Park.
After an exciting game (the Sox won!), I realized I had a craving for some good pizza. Some locals I had befriended at the game pointed me toward the North End, which is also known as Little Italy. I took the subway to this historic, charming district and immediately noticed the scent of garlic and fresh bread wafting through the air. I followed my nose to a family-run Italian eatery, where I indulged in some delicious pizza and chicken parm. I also learned a fun fact about this area – it has more restaurants than any other neighborhood in Boston. So if you’re looking for some good eats, particularly Italian food, you’ll definitely want to check out North End during your stay in Boston.
The next morning, I was able to squeeze in one last mini adventure before heading to the airport, so I crossed the Charles River to Cambridge, home to a little school called Harvard. I wandered through Harvard Square as well as Kendall Square and tried to blend in with all of the brilliant young students in the area. There was so much youth, energy and diversity in Cambridge, and I was sad that I didn’t get to see as much of the area as I would have liked. Unfortunately, I had a plane to catch, so I hailed a cab and headed to the airport.
Even though I feel like I barely scratched the surface of Boston, I still got a great feel for the energy and culture of the city, and I definitely understand why locals are so proud to call themselves Bostonians. I also have some advice for anybody who doesn’t think short trips are worth their time – don’t underestimate the amount of a city you can see in a day or two. While you won’t be able to see every part of a large city like Boston, you will be able to explore some of the city’s best neighborhoods. Plus, HotelTonight makes it easy to find great last minute deals on hotels, so you don’t even have to worry about finding good accommodations when you decide to take an impromptu trip.