All About Boston

All About Boston

Today’s post is all about Boston.

I get so many emails/comments/messages asking me what to do when people visit Boston, so today, I’m sharing some of my favorite things.  BUT…a disclaimer right off the bat.  I’ve always been hesitant to write this post because…I’m not from Boston, so even though I can throw out a handful of ideas, I am not any authority on the city.  That being said, after last week’s post (and the gazillion questions I received via blog comments, FB messages and emails), I thought that today, I’d toss out some ideas, but then I’m hoping you Boston peeps will really chime in and tell everyone what they must see/must do/where they must go in this great city.  Please!!

Now, if you want to read a post about my neck of the woods, check out these…

McKinney, TX


All About Dallas


As for Boston, I’ve been going there for over 20 years now.  I love this city for so many reasons (history, food and baseball being in the top 3!), but I also love to go because the people are so darn nice too!  When we go, these are some of the things we like to do.  We are creatures of habit, so we do many of them on repeat, but as for me and my tourist heart when I hit Boston, these are my faves…

I am so glad this picture won’t get any bigger…I’m very pregnant and wearing braces.  Ha!  Nevertheless, it was the only one I could find of me standing in front of The Old North Church.  We love to walk the Freedom Trail.  You can take an actual guided tour or download the map and do it on your own.  If the weather is nice, you should totally do it.  It’s lovely (and educational!).

We love to check out Faneuil Hall and eat something from Quincy Market.  Hello, lobster roll!  We hit this spot just about every trip…

…there is shopping here, yummy food and tons of atmosphere!  I love the fun, upbeat energy here plus the shops (including my favorite fan shop for Sox gear, Lucy’s League).

I, of course, don’t think a trip to Boston is complete without seeing the Red Sox play, but if you aren’t down for that (or they’re not home playing), you should take a Fenway Park Tour instead…

Even if you’re not a Sox fan, I think you’ll find this tour super interesting.  Fenway Park is so rich in history that it’s hard not to be impressed.  You get a massive tour of the stadium along with a trip up to the Green Monster (pictured here).

Side note, do you know what day it was when this picture was taken???  June 9, 2012.  Little did I know when I was standing there on that wall that over in China, my daughter was being born.  How cool is that?!

We love to stroll through Boston Common (massive park in the middle of Boston).  It’s lovely every day…but it’s extra lovely on Memorial Day weekend.

One of our favorite places to visit when we’re in Boston is Harvard University.  The campus is BEAUTIFUL!  You can walk around and then pop in and out of the cute little university shops and coffee places.  We always love to eat at John Harvard’s Brewery when we visit.

As for shopping, we love the cute little stores on Charles Street.  These are not chain stores, they’re cute little antique shops, chocolate shops and other quirky and fun stores.

I find Boston to be a very walkable city!  That being said…

…their subway system is easy to use too!

Here are some other things we’ve done in Boston over the years:
1. Visit the JFK Presidential Library and Museum
2. Boston Duck Tour
3. Shop and eat up and down Newbury Street
4. Walk up and down the Beacon Hill area to see the beautiful homes (it’s so charming!)
5. Eat at Union Oyster House (We even sat in the President Kennedy booth one time!)
6. Visit the Cheers Bar

And growing up, a big thing for us to do was fly into Boston and then head here…

…beautiful Nantucket (read my post on when Andrew and I went HERE).  Other cute towns along the way to visit are Hyannis and Sandwich.  They are always favorites of ours too!

So, those are a few of my favorite things to do/see/eat in Boston.  Boston peeps, what are yours?????  Please comment and share!!  If you haven’t been to Boston, I cannot recommend it more!  It is truly one of my favorite places on Earth. xo

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  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog April 23, 2018 at 4:44 am

    Boston looks like such a vibrant place, I’d love to visit one day! The only thing I knew about Boston before reading this post was the Boston Red Sox, haha!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Emily R. April 23, 2018 at 4:50 am

    Aw thanks for saying we’re nice up here! I feel like we don’t get that compliment very often being from the northeast. I keep hoping to run into you one of these days on the streets of Boston. (I’m actually out in the ‘burbs.)

  • Dana April 23, 2018 at 5:01 am

    Cute! We got to do a whirlwind visit to Boston last December and LOVED the oysters and lobster bisque at Legal seafoods. We heard it was a bit of a tourist trap, but the oysters were so fresh and delicious and the view over the water was so pretty! And almost everyone I know who travels says Boston is a very walkable city and probably their favorite city in the US, just don’t go in the winter. 😉 Also, your capris in the metro with your mom are so cute! Do you know where you got them? It’s hard to find a good pair of capris!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 23, 2018 at 5:25 am

      Those are from Old Navy from several years ago 🙂 .

      • Jamez April 23, 2018 at 10:19 am

        Other fun things in Boston:
        New England Aquarium
        Boston Harbor Boat Tour
        Spend the day on one of the Boston Harbor islands
        Visit USS Constitution “Old Ironsidrs”

  • Erika Slaughter April 23, 2018 at 5:04 am

    You hooked us up with a must do list when we went to Boston. The lobster rolls and Beacon Hill area were my favorites!! Such a fun city!

  • Emily Wallin April 23, 2018 at 5:06 am

    I am from NH an hour away, and also love Mike’s Pastries and the museums— the children’s museum, science museum, aquarium, and MFA are all fantastic!

  • Narci Dreffs April 23, 2018 at 5:11 am

    Boston is such a fun place to visit! You are making me want to book a trip there right this minute!!

  • Lauren D April 23, 2018 at 5:14 am

    Boston Chipyard in Fanieul Hall – best chocolate chip cookies EVER!

    The North End has GREAT Italian restaurants, pastry shops, etc.

    Museum of Science, New England Aquarium and The Children’s Museum (which ever so often has an “Adult Only” night).

    • Mix and Match Mama April 23, 2018 at 5:25 am

      And those cookies are HUGE too!!!!

  • Elspeth Mizner April 23, 2018 at 5:31 am

    How fun!!! Thanks for all the ideas, i love heading to new cities!

    • Cindy April 23, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      How much fun…

  • Sara April 23, 2018 at 5:41 am

    Hey Shay!
    Next time you’re in fenway check out the top of the hub. It’s at the very top of the prudential center. It’s a bar/restaurant, but just grab something small and enjoy the 360 view of Boston

    • Sara April 23, 2018 at 5:44 am

      by fenway i mean boston

  • Kate April 23, 2018 at 5:46 am

    Giaccamos for awesome Italian food, Boston harbor tour (get out on the water for a few hours when it’s warm), cute shops in the South End and SOWA market, walk/bike along the Esplanade, rent a kayak and paddle the Charles River!

    • Andrea April 23, 2018 at 6:21 am

      Yes! Giacomos is my favorite

  • MCD April 23, 2018 at 5:49 am

    Yay! It’s rare us Bostonians get any credit for bring nice. Next time you’re here, you HAVE to hit up Mike’s Pastry in the North End for cannoli followed by a little espresso at Cafe Vittoria. Just across the way from Fanueil and a perfect way to end the day. Charles Street is iconic, a favorite of mine, too! 75 Chestnut is a must for dinner there.

  • Mia April 23, 2018 at 5:57 am

    Boston resident here. Agree with previous comments to add North End and Mike’s Pastry (although we love the Lobster Claws at Modern Pastry….giant puff pastry with yummy creme filling). Another destination I love is Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge (Julia Child is buried here). Gorgeous grounds and landscaping and if you climb the tower in the center of the cemetery your reward is an incredible view of downtown Boston. And finally, I’d add South End (Tremont Street). Growing number of restaurants and shops if you want to avoid the touristy destinations.

  • Lisa D April 23, 2018 at 6:05 am

    I’ve been to Boston three times and walked the Freedom Trail each time. The history is very interesting. The subway system is a great way to get around. Just an observation…. Boston is very hot and crowded in the summer.

  • Melissa April 23, 2018 at 6:15 am

    You can always drive a little south and visit Rhode Island! We are the smallest state with the longest name and have the best beaches! 😊

    • Kim April 23, 2018 at 7:13 pm

      I’m in RI too and totally agree! Boston is great though but just an hour south and you have a great city and some gorgeous beaches!

  • jamiepottle April 23, 2018 at 6:15 am

    Just outside Boston there is a lot of great history too! Minuteman National Park is a favorite with the Battle Road extending from the North Bridge (“shot heard around the world” into Boston. It is awesome to be where the war started. Great museum at the National Park and wonderful informational guides along the road…

  • Cynthia Binari April 23, 2018 at 6:16 am

    Glad you love Boston! I would agree it’s a great city and great place to grow up 🙂 I wanted to add- dinner and walking around the north end! So many good restaurants and as many already said- grab a pastry at mike’s pastry or Modern pastry. As you’re walking from fanuiel over to the north end also stop by the carousel. For kids- the aquarium, Children’s museum or museum of science are all great! On a nice day You can also check out some of the waterfront spots like Tia’s for an appetizer and drink. Lawn on D in Southie is also a great outdoor bar with swings and lawn games. And someone else mentioned top of the hub. Great view! Oh and swan boats in public garden or taking a duck boat is a great fun way to see the city!

  • Angie Pelaggi April 23, 2018 at 6:17 am

    I live in NH an hour from Boston on the Seacoast but my husband is from Boston and we visit often. My favorite spot this time of year is the Boston Public Gardens. Have you been on the swan boats? It’s a must do! My kids love to feed the ducks and we always have a picnic. It’s such a beautiful place with all the flowers, trees in bloom, fountains and make way for ducklings statue. I also love to stroll the streets of Beacon Hill near by. We also love going to the North End to get coffee/pastries and some yummy Italian food. And the museums and aquarium are a must too especially with kids. We love our city so much and glad you do too! Come to Portsmouth, Nh the next time you visit. You won’t be disappointed. I’d be happy to give you some tips on what to do. It’s like a mini Boston with lovely beaches.

    • Marlys April 23, 2018 at 8:32 pm

      I live about 30 minutes away from Portsmouth, NH & I couldn’t agree more! Once I found myself drive down there just for gelato😂

  • jamie April 23, 2018 at 6:22 am

    super fun! we’ve ever been to boston! and a town named {sandwich}??!?

    • Mix and Match Mama April 23, 2018 at 6:59 am

      Isn’t that a cute name for a town?!

  • Carolyn April 23, 2018 at 6:23 am

    Hi Shay! I ran into you a on Newbury street (probably two years ago now!!) but we lived in the South End and it’s my favorite part of Boston! There are great little shops on Tremont and Shawmut street and great restaurants too! Also if you’re ever driving out towards the Cape/to the ferry to Nantucket I would stop in chatham! It’s a great little town with a great Main Street and stop for chowder or lunch at The Squire! Xo

  • Alicia April 23, 2018 at 6:24 am

    Love how much you love Boston! Shay, if you love Charles Street, you have to eat at Toscano in Beacon Hill. It is me and my husband’s favorite restaurant in Boston hands down. Another gem is walking near the Aquarium (perfect for kids) and taking the ferry ($3) over to Charlestown to see the USS Constitution ship and Bunker Hill Monument (part of Freedom trail) in Charlestown- mix between Nantucket and Beacon Hill! Don’t forget to grab some ice cream at Emack and Bolios:)

  • Andrea April 23, 2018 at 6:25 am

    Alright here are our must do’s. We go all the time because we live twenty five minutes away:

    Cookie monstah food truck- best cookies ever. They are usually in Boston commons and by the carousel on the rose Kennedy greenway
    Esplanade playground right next to the Charles river
    Giacomos in the north end
    Kane’s donuts in the financial district. Delicious!
    Freedom trail
    Definitely Fenway Park
    The swings at rose Kennedy parkway.
    Pizza at Regina’s
    16” meatball subs at Dino’s for only $10.
    I think that’s our pretty comprehensive list of all the things we do on a regular basis.

  • Victoria April 23, 2018 at 6:30 am

    For the best clam chowder in town go to Sail Loft next to Joe’s on the waterfront. They also have Oreos at the bar 🙂 really casual place right on the water but my out of town guests always request to go back for the chowder! I don’t even like clam chowder and I will eat it there.

    Mike’s Pastry’s is great but Modern Pastry across the street I think is better!

    The seaport and south end are two areas to visit. The Seaport has Joe’s Crab Shack and other good places to eat. It also has Lawn on D which is a fun park outside with adult swings, see-saw and outdoor activities. The South End has such good food!! Lots of little places to shop and beautiful brownstones.

    • Jamie April 23, 2018 at 7:53 am

      Agree that Sail Loft has the best Chowder! My mom and I visited Boston a few years ago and tried a different place everyday for chowder at lunch and Sail Loft was hands down the best!

  • Kaitlyn April 23, 2018 at 6:35 am

    Castle Island! You must visit Castle Island during the warmer months.

  • Lindsey April 23, 2018 at 6:38 am

    I live in Boston! The Harbor cruises are so fun and very educational, as well as the trolley tours! Primark is one of our favorite stores here! The kids section is adorable! Like mentioned above, the North End/Little Italy has so many great restaurants! Regina’s Pizzeria is delicious! In the summer the Greenway has splash pads and the Common has the Frog pond that my kids love! Castle Island and the Harborwalk are great places to walk for water and city views!

  • Erin Port April 23, 2018 at 6:39 am

    I have never been to Boston but it’s on the list 🙂 xoxo ERIN

  • Courtney April 23, 2018 at 6:39 am

    Neptunes oyster has a wonderful lobster roll in the city. The best though is woodmans in Essex. Totally different New England experience. We love all the museaums, definitely check out the science museaum next time. Codzilla would also be fun if you were in town during a nice warm day!

  • Carly April 23, 2018 at 6:41 am

    I love Boston and all of New England! Shay, I’m so sorry if you’ve already mentioned this…how did your dad become a Soxs fan? Your family seems like such a Texas bunch! So interesting where likes come from!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 23, 2018 at 6:58 am

      He didn’t grow up with parents who loved the Rangers…and so, the tradition has continued 🙂 .

      • Meredith April 23, 2018 at 8:38 am

        I can understand why he didn’t grow up watching the Rangers, seeing as how they weren’t in Texas until 1971.

        • Mix and Match Mama April 23, 2018 at 11:48 am

          He was in middle school/high school then…and his parents have despised them. My grandma is a huge Yankee fan. What?

  • Beth Jensen April 23, 2018 at 6:55 am

    We are huge Sox fans, so always do games. Best lobster roll we had was at No Name on the water. It’s kid friendly and wow was the food awesome! Heading back in July!

  • Jan Hughes April 23, 2018 at 7:08 am

    Love the Louis Vuitton what is the style name? I’m looking for small cross body Thanks

  • Elizabeth Hadley April 23, 2018 at 7:09 am

    Being from Boston and living here my whole life, I am glad to know others like it! I agree the atmosphere is unlike any other place in the world and the people here are very awesome!! My favorite thing/ place is the esplanade! It is a gorgeous water park that has trails and also one of the best views of the city there is! It is right near the public garden and if you don’t go there when you’re in Boston, that’s just wrong! It’s amazing! I hope you come back and see more things! Best city!

  • Sandy April 23, 2018 at 7:10 am

    Do you always stay in home the same hotel? We are planning a trip to Boston for a Red Sox game with the kids and want to stay as close to the park as possible. Do you stay close and have a recommendation?

    • Kate April 23, 2018 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Sandy!
      I’d recommend staying in the Back Bay at the Hilton, Sheraton, Colonnade, Marriott Copley, etc. They’re about a 10-15 min walk to Fenway and then great walking distance to other great attractions too! Also near great shopping and tons of dining!
      If you want to stay really close to Fenway, I’d suggest the Residence Inn Fenway. Hope you have a great trip! -Kate

      • Sandy May 9, 2018 at 6:46 am

        Thank you!!!

  • Haley S @ Cupcakes and Sunshine April 23, 2018 at 7:15 am

    Ahhh, now I want to go! Lobster rolls are calling my name! Boston is definitely on my bucketlist.

  • Brooke Richardson April 23, 2018 at 7:17 am

    We had only a day in Boston when it went and it was smoldering hot so I would love love love to go back and try some of these suggestions.

  • Rachel April 23, 2018 at 7:25 am

    THANK YOU for the recommendations!! I’m going to Boston in the fall and can’t wait! How long does it take to get to Nantucket and how do you get there?

  • Jessica April 23, 2018 at 7:29 am

    I think you hit all the major places and you were super polite about our subway system. I hope to run into you sometime on a trip to Boston 🙂

  • Julie Kitchens April 23, 2018 at 7:49 am

    Love you and your family! Dying to know what you and Andrew do with all those eggs on Instagram!!! I need healthy egg inspiration please!!!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 23, 2018 at 11:49 am

      They’re typically scrambled. Boring, right?!

  • Sheaffer Sims April 23, 2018 at 7:54 am

    I hesitate to tell you this…but I don’t recall if I’ve ever had a lobster roll. You should probably take me to Boston and fix that.

    • Linda Zettler April 23, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      Oh Sheaffer, this must change. Do come visit!

  • Jamie April 23, 2018 at 7:58 am

    My mom and I visited Boston a few years ago and our favorite 2 things were 1: walking around the city exploring, including the Freedom Trail. And 2: A bike tour of the city! Boston is very bike friendly, we booked a tour through Urban Aadventours and it was amazing! We did it day 1 which was great because we got a great overview of the city and were able to take note of the places we wanted to come back to. The tour we did was about 12 miles but you stop often for the guides to point out sights and have mini history lessons!

  • Bethany April 23, 2018 at 7:59 am

    I love your posts about Boston! My sister has lived there for the past three years while doing her medical residency and she just loves it. We went to visit her in 2016 and had an amazing time! We even went to a Sox game 😉 I love visiting places that are so rich in American history. It’s such a cool town and so full of things to do!

  • Francesca April 23, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Hi Shay! This is totally random and not related to today’s post…but did you know that Elvis Duran is originally from McKinney?! I’m from New Jersey and was listening to Z100 the other day and he mentioned he’s originally from McKinney! So crazy! He’s like a huge big time radio host! You and him are the only two people I “know” from there. Hahahah. Have a great day!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 23, 2018 at 11:48 am

      Are you sure??? I listen to him a lot on XM radio. I had no idea!!!

      • Francesca April 23, 2018 at 7:34 pm

        Yup! He said it on the air the other day and it’s on his Wikipedia page!

        • Mix and Match Mama April 24, 2018 at 5:38 am

          I’m going to have to research that now!!

  • Stephanie April 23, 2018 at 8:03 am

    From the ‘burbs’ but work in the Back Bay. My favorite restaurant in Boston is Atlantic Fish Company on Boylston street. Make a reservation because it is hard to get in but the BEST Seafood! As for quick spots to grab something to eat while out walking Boylston and Newbury Street, GreCo on newbury has awesome Greek food! During the week it does get packed at lunchtime but it is so worth it! Also, Parrish Cafe its different chefs creations. For the North End La Familia Girgio’s it’s authentic old school italian food. ANd then go yo cafe paradiso for after dinner drinks and dessert. If you are around in a Sunday the best brunch is West End Johnnies reggae brunch near north station. As for things to do, duck tour for sure. Walking around Boylston and Newbury and then the boston commons. If you have never been walking to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument is pretty cool in Charlestown. If you head to Faneuil Hall Quincy market area also stop at the Boston’s public Market it’s awesome! So many local vendors my favorite is Union Square Donut (they have a shop in Somerville and I think Brighton too). If you are near the Seaport (South Station) or Back bay station and want to get to Fenway look for commuter rails on the Worcester line and take it to yawkey. It will take you directly behind Boston Beer Works and you can avoid the crowded green line! That’s my local secret for you that a lot of people don’t know. As for the summer time if you can go to Cape Cod and go you chatham! Cutest city in the Cape in my opinion. Great shops and restaurants all on the Main Street. Also go to Orleans. Nauset beach is so so pretty and they also have great little restaurants too. Better shopping is in Chatham though. The cape Cod baseball league is awesome because a lot of big league players starts there! Hope this is helpful. Hope yo run in to you sometime in Boston!

    Would love to run into you some day in Boston!

  • Elizabeth April 23, 2018 at 8:06 am

    If traveling with younger kids, the children’s museum and aquarium are both amazing and we have spent entire days at both!

  • Julie April 23, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Hi Shay-
    (Almost) life long Boston resident here. I love the list you came up with! I noticed others mentioned the North End, which is definitely worth visiting. Especially, Mike’s Pastry. Also, the Public Market is just across the street from Faneuil Hall. It’s awesome! Kind of like an indoor farmer’s market with all kinds of amazing food, treats, and homemade ice cream. A short visit to Chinatown might be fun too. It’s mostly restaurants but has some pretty architecture. Also, perhaps a tour of the state house? That can be fun too, especially as your crew likes history. So glad you enjoy visiting our city!

  • colleen April 23, 2018 at 8:14 am

    hi shay! i live right off charles street in beacon hill and hope i run into you on one of your trips to boston! i’m from the boston area and have lived in the city for 6 years and these are a few of my favorite things to do:

    1. walk the esplanade (you can enter right in beacon hill) and you walk along the charles river and see cambridge on the other side. there are docks to sit on, play grounds, and paths to walk and bike.
    2. walk castle island in south boson along boston harbor and eat at sullivan’s at the end of the walk. it is a little seafood restaurant where you order and eat at tables outside. there is also a play ground next to sullivans!
    3. visit the science museum or the children’s museum
    4. a few great restaurants great for adults are: toro, lolita fort point, barcelona, buttermilk and bourbon
    5. restaurants that are family friendly: city tap, joe’s on the water, monument, lulu’s, cafeteria, stephanie’s on newbury

    hope you come back to visit soon!

  • Kelly April 23, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Thank you for this post, Shay! We are planning a trip to Boston, hopefully at the end of August. I am loving all the suggestions from your readers! One thing you didn’t mention, a good family friendly hotel?

  • Caroline April 23, 2018 at 8:16 am

    It warms my heart so to hear how much you love the city I get to call home! You’ve done a lovely job rounding up some great must-see spots! I’m always hopeful that I’ll run into you on one of your trips, maybe one day 🙂

  • Amy St.Hilaire April 23, 2018 at 8:17 am

    Shay, these are great! I’ve lived in MA my whole life (about 40 min north of Boston!). We love the city, but don’t get in nearly enough! The Esplanade is a great place for a walk or bike ride along the Charles River! There’s a concert series during the summer and the Boston Pops play there for the 4th of July. The North End is great for Italian food, and the treats at Mike’s or Modern Pastries are delish. The Seaport District is a great place to have something to eat with a view of the harbor, too. And the Boston Common also has a carousel for kiddos and during the winter the frog pond becomes a skating rink 🙂

  • Nicole W April 23, 2018 at 8:19 am

    Neptune Oyster is amazing — oysters, lobster roll, the lobster spaghetti…I could go on. I always stop in when I’m in town!

  • Ginger April 23, 2018 at 8:22 am

    If you haven’t been to a Cape League game, that’s a must! It’s the top wood bat collegiate summer league so you’re seeing some of the top prospects in the country in the most pure and beautiful setting for baseball. Plus it’s very family friendly and admission is free 🙂 in addition to Sandwich and Hyannis, Chatham and Falmouth are two of my very favorite towns on the Cape and both have adorable downtown areas.

  • Susy April 23, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Museum of Fine Arts! Equally great for children as for adults!! And a big Yes to Newbury.

  • Alexis deZayas April 23, 2018 at 8:30 am

    I’ve never been to Boston but you’ve convinced me I need to check it out!!

  • Sally April 23, 2018 at 8:37 am

    We loved Ostra restaurant and wished we had eaten there every night!!! We did have dinner there 3 nights though. Beautiful presentation ever and the food is absolutely awesome.

  • Julie Gould April 23, 2018 at 8:38 am

    LOVE THIS POST! Headed to Boston and Cape Cod for 8 days at the end of next week and I just added a few more places to eat on our list based on all the great comments!!

  • Lauren Bledsoe April 23, 2018 at 8:39 am

    I have been to Boston twice and did the Boston aquarium both times and absolutely loved it! Very clean and a great overall experience!

  • Caroline April 23, 2018 at 8:43 am

    I live in Beacon Hill and LOVE walking through the neighborhood, especially Charles Street. Definitely the North End (I’m team Mike’s for bakeries!)… the best Italian food and another really cute neighborhood with some fun shops.

  • Cierra April 23, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Museum of science, aquarium, the odyssey lunch and dinner cruises, dicks last resort restaurant, and ride the swan boats in the commons!

  • Eryn April 23, 2018 at 8:56 am

    We went a few years ago and did the Freedom Trail, trolley tour, Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market. There was a fantastic authentic Italian restaurant we ate at just can’t remember the name!!
    We also took a day trip to Nantucket, which was hands down the best part, and also spent some time in Hyannis. Our last day, we took a train to Salem and checked out that town. Super cute and interesting. I absolutely loved the area!!

  • Allison godbout April 23, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Hi there! I am a Boston transplant living in Allen, TX for 7 years now. We go back to visit NE every summer. We always spend a few days in Boston and drive up the coast to Maine and spend a few days there at the beach. Of course, we always make a stop in Portsmouth for some lunch and boutique shopping. If you haven’t done the drive up Rt.1 from the city to Maine you really are missing out! Your list is great and we do a lot of the same things when we visit. What others have added is also spot on. I would add a trip to the Rose Kennedy Greenway, it’s beautiful. A day trip over to Martha’s Vineyard is always a must do too! We’ll definitely be hitting up the north end for some good Italian. Since moving to north Dallas that is one thing that I think is majorly lacking here. Even with the millions of restaurants we have here it’s rare to find a good Italian spot!

  • Ana April 23, 2018 at 9:04 am

    I have to agree with the Mike’s Pastry suggestion!

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick April 23, 2018 at 9:10 am

    I want to go to Boston! Is it weird that I’ve never in my life had a lobster roll??? That Inspired Chick

  • Laci April 23, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Makes me want to plan a trip to Boston!

  • Lisa Dunham April 23, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Yay for Boston! I’m a Rhode Islander and visit there often. The North End is the best for dining! I like to walk over any of the bridges going over the Charles. The MIT museum is really cool and fun for kids. Plus it only takes about an hour to go through. Go Sox!

  • Alisa Zimmerman April 23, 2018 at 9:22 am

    I’m taking my third trip to Boston next month to see my Oakland A’s play the Red Sox. This post has made me even more excited! I also want to add my recommendation of the Boston Tea Party Museum. It is very interactive and great for kids.

  • Kara April 23, 2018 at 9:25 am

    I’m not from Boston, but a couple of things I enjoyed doing that weren’t on your list are:

    (1) Try to also hit up the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate (located next to JFK museum). It is very interactive and has a replica of the United States Senate chambers.

    (2) Take a short trip to the Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, MA. The Historical Park headquarters (which is like an office building) will take you via bus to all 3 residences of John Adams/John Quincy Adams (plus you will get to see the birth place of 2 Presidents). Just down the street from the Historical Park headquarters is the church where John Adams, Abigail Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Louisa Adams are interred. It is a great way to spend a couple of hours.

  • Tish Ferry April 23, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Boston is on my bucket list! I’m hoping we make it there this summer/Fall! Simply Tish

  • Ryane April 23, 2018 at 10:04 am

    I’m from NH and go to Boston frequently (especially when the Yankees are in town… like you, was raised to love a non-hometown team. Though loving the Yankees in New England is especially futile LOL).

    For dining, I LOVE the south end… there are some cute shops up and down Tremont too. Though my favorite restaurant is LOLITA (mexican – back bay). Maybe not so much for families – the music is pretty loud but it’s quite the experience and makes for a great night out.
    The Seaport has blown up with great eats and is a beautiful spot to walk around in the summer. My favorite music venue is the Blue Hills Pavillion and will always make a trip or two for a show there. Harpoon opened a large beer hall at their brewery down the street. Fun for tours and to hang out, eating large pretzels and sampling beer on a lazy afternoon.
    Boston does it up BIG for 4th of July too – many days of activities. Like somebody mentioned, the city gets pretty busy in the summer and it does during this holiday especially. But SO worth it. Bring blankets and chairs and camp out for the day on the Esplanade to get a good view for fireworks. My dad brings his bike with him and we switch it up every year either ordering take out from the north end, chinatown – something a little more extravagant than the onsite vendors – and he brings it back to our “picnic” 🙂 for dinner. My husband may take this job over as my dad’s getting up there in age haha but it is definitely a fine art maneuvering boston on bicycle….so we’ll see!
    Similar idea – packing up delicious eats from Faneuil Hall and jumping on the ferry to Castle Island for the day!
    Davis Square in Somerville is a cute spot as well for walking around, hanging out/shopping and of course….eating. Less touristy there too.

    • Kelli April 23, 2018 at 6:15 pm

      Hi, enjoy are from the west coast and will be in Boston over July 4th with our 15 and 10 year old. Can you recommend and activities on the 4th and the best place to watch the fireworks…we honestly don’t want to camp out all day waiting for them. We are staying the Back Bay Area….thanks!

  • Nikki April 23, 2018 at 10:13 am

    My daughter lives just outside Boston and I flew up there from Dallas last month for her gender reveal. We went to Quincy Market (Feneiul Hall was under construction) and ate at the Cheers bar there. Cute story: she insisted on taking me to Zuma Tex Mex at Feneiul Marketplace because they have a Texas flag and serve good margaritas! I told her I don’t go to Boston for Tex Mex … I want lobster rolls and clam chowdah! 🙂 We drove past Fenway and Beacon Hill and the financial district (where she works) and I can’t wait to go back to explore some more!

  • Louise April 23, 2018 at 10:26 am

    So nice to see so much love for my city! If you head this way, you must take a ride on the swan boats in the Boston Public Gardens (across the street from Boston Common). As so many others have said, the South End is perfect for small shops and restaurants and Mike’s in the North end is also a must. If you’re looking for history, a tour of the State House, the freedom trail, the USS Constitution and the Kennedy Library are wonderful options.

  • Laci April 23, 2018 at 10:45 am

    I visited Boston for the first time last fall with my husband on our East Coast honeymoon trip. He has frequented Boston, our trip was great. We agreee in these comments about Mike’s Pastry.. the cannolis were amazing!

  • Chelsea April 23, 2018 at 11:02 am

    I’ve lived in Boston for 3 years now and absolutely love having all the history and sports right in my backyard!!! A few other fun things to do are a Harbor cruise or a whale watch tour (when the weather is nice)… love going out to some of the breweries here as well… Harpoon, Sam Adams and Downeast Cider are some of my favorites!! The Seaport area is great, so many new restaurants there and it’s nice to just walk around!!! Highly recommend a Bruins or Celtics game at TD Garden and definitely a dinner in the North End if you’re a fan of Italian food!! Mike’s Pastry has the best cannolis too!!! Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown is great too (on the Freedom Trail)!!! You can get your exercise in for the day as well by walking up the 294 stairs to the top, excellent views as well!!! Also in Charlestown, a great restuarant called Pier 6… Awesome view of the city, great cocktails and food, and when it’s nice, they have a great outdoor deck to have drinks on!!!

  • Emily Clarke April 23, 2018 at 11:41 am

    I grew up in Dallas but moved to Boston 3 years ago. Love this city! These are the recommendations I always suggest for visitors:

    1) Fanueil hall/Quincy market (Union Oyster House, Bell in Hand, Freedom trail) – which you’ve suggested!

    2) North End (“little Italy”): Al Dente, Pomodoro (call for reservation- cash only) and Limoncello (call for reservation) are my favorites, you can visit Paul Revere’s house or the Old North church. Sail loft- fun bar with good clam chowder (dill flavor) on the water. Mikes Pastry and Modern Pastry are popular but Bova’s is my #1 bakery and it’s open 24/7! BEST lobster roll is @ Neptune Oyster (can get it hot with butter!) – always a long wait but if you get in line at 11am, it opens at 11:30, you should get in.

    3) Back Bay- Newbury &Boylston street- a bunch of shops and restaurants, you can see the finish line for the marathon on Boylston. In the Prudential Center there’s a restaurant “Top of the Hub” 52nd floor- great views of the city/ fun to grab a drink and app there!

    4) Fenway- Bleacher Bar is connected to the field so that’s pretty fun! Loretta’s is a cute country bar with live music. Cask & flagon is another good bar nearby if you wanted to stop in before or after a game (great buffalo chicken dip) but gets crowded.

    5) Seaport- The restaurants on the water are so fun- Legal Harborside roofdeck is best. Harpoon brewery (great pretzels!) Lobster roll/oysters at Row 34 are great! Yankee lobster is supposed to be good too, but I’ve never been. Envoy hotel roofdeck has great views of the city but sometimes a 3 hour wait:( Committee- great brunch and Greek food!!

  • Laura April 23, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Shay- you’ve got to go to Marblehead next time you’re in Boston. It is the cutest, quaintest, most charming New England town! Just 20-30 mins North of Boston!

  • Amanda Wilson April 23, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    You must have Cannoli while in Boston!
    We loved checking out and going on the TD Gardens tour. We are Canadian though and love hockey!!

  • Mary Jane McNeill April 23, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    I hope you read “Make Way for Ducklings” to your kiddos before they went to the Public Garden!

  • Holly Breton @ Pink Lady April 23, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    The places you have frequented up here are definitely some of the best-great choices! For future trips, you may also enjoying eating in the North End of Boston. It is the Italian section. Limoncello’s and Strega are two of our faves and for a dessert shop/bakery that is not as touristy as Mike’s Pastry, you can try Bova’s! My favorite part of Boston, however, is the waterfront near the North End and close to the Marriott Long Wharf and Boston Harbor Hotel- there is a cute bar outside the Marriott called Tia’s- fun for apps and cocktails and wonderful to sit outside in the nice weather. This area is also walking distance to Fanuel Hall/Quincy Market 🙂

  • Brianna Wiggins April 23, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    My dream has always been to visit Cheers 😂. (I’m a big dreamer, ha!) Thanks for all the other ideas. Hope to visit Boston someday!

  • Kelly April 23, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Not from Boston (I live in DC), but my husband introduced me to the best pizza place while we were visiting once called Pizzeria Regina in the North End. Get there when they open because it is small and fills up fast. Top three best pizza I’ve ever had (and I grew up in NY!).

  • Catherine Mitchell April 23, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Shay!! I love you and the fact that you love the JFK library and the Sox of course !! Next time you come to Boston, you should go to Castle island and head over to Sully’s. Also, I think you would like Yvonne’s and the north shore. Hope we run into each other someday ❤️ Thanks for writing such nice things about Beatown, much appreciated.

  • Stephanie April 23, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    What you need to do next time….have a meet and greet with your Boston readers (including me!!)

    • Emily R. April 28, 2018 at 5:34 am

      Oh my gosh, yes! I would totally do that!

  • Lindsay Dunagan April 23, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Love Boston! Limoncello is my favorite restaurant in the North End – I visit Boston just to order the rosette limoncello!!

    Favorite place to stay is the Omni Parker House. The hotel is right on the Freedom Trail. Love the history at the hotel…Ho Chi Minh, Malcolm X both worked there. They created the Boston cream pie and the parker house roll. JFK announced his candidacy for congress and also proposed to Jackie at the restaurant in the hotel. Most of all I love its location.

  • Kathleen April 23, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    As a Boston gal I agree with most everyone else’s recommendations. I have a few other favorites as well that I really love:
    The Seaport area (favorite restaurant is Tamezcal) and the Lawn on D.
    The Greenway is really nice in Spring, Summer, Fall, kids can play in lots of fountains.
    For parks I love the Public Garden it is gorgeous, I love Christopher Columbus Park (North End area) and walking around Rowes Warf. Another favorite green area is Post Office Sq, its a beautiful small space and where part the Anna Faris movie What’s Your Number was filmed. And Boston Common is fun Winter (Ice Skating on the Frog Pond) or Summer (Kids can play in the Frog Pond).
    I also love stopping into the Four Seasons restaurant (The Bristol Lounge) for a burger and fires or a hot chocolate in the winter.

  • Elise April 23, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    It is so nice to hear that we are nice 🙂 I saw a few people already mentioned this gem, but one more can’t hurt! Regina’s is the best pizza around, but you have to go to the one in the North End – be prepared to stand outside to wait for a table but know it is totally worth it. Then, you can grab a wonderful cannoli at Modern. Yes, my family is Modern instead of Mike’s 🙂

  • Linda Zettler April 23, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Love all of the previous suggestions. I am a big fan of the North End, the Boston MFA and for an excursion add Martha’s Vineyard to your vacation list. (Accessible by Ferry). Lexington, Concord and Salem are also steeped in history and not too far from Boston. Kensington might love to see the home of Louisa May Alcott – author of Little Women. The list goes on…. Visit often. 🙂

  • Sarah N April 23, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    I married a Bostonian so we visit often to see family.

    Some things we love- the Boston Science Museum, going to the Prudential Building and going to the Top of the Hub to eat lunch, the Boston Tea Museum, the Boston Children’s Museum.

    We love driving up into New Hampshire and Maine and seeing the quaint towns and beach communities. The drive isn’t bad at all (well minus some nasty traffic you can get into) and it’s easy to get around. Portsmouth, NH, Rye Beach, NH. North Conway and Lake Winnipesaukee NH are amazing spots to visit and vacation.

    I love your Boston posts! Go Sox!

  • Angela Ellingson April 23, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    These are some of my favorite posts! Can’t wait to refer back to some of these (like Nantucket and Disney World, to name a few) *someday.* Love you Shay!

  • Kate @ Boston on Budget April 23, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Great list! Boston is definitely a walking city with so many attractions so close together!
    The Freedom Trail, North End, and Fenway Park are my favorites! I also like watching airplanes at Castle Island with my littles ones and eating hot dogs at Sullivan’s.
    Taking the ferry to the Boston Harbor Islands in the warm summer months is so much fun too! It feels like a little vaca from the city while still in Boston! There’s a little something fo everyone! 🙂

  • Dianne April 23, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    where are some of the places you like to stay when in boston?

  • Peyton April 23, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    I love that you called us nice! Ha, we never get that 😂

    A few things I would add are:
    -If it’s April-October and you are here on the weekend you HAVE to try Sowa Open Market (think local artists, music and food!)

    -Skywalk Observatory/ Top of the Hub (Best views of the city)

    -Kayak the Charles (Nothing. Better.)

    Other than that, great recommendations from a true Bostonian! 😊

  • Laura April 23, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    I love Boston. I went with my 2 sisters and we walked everywhere. One of the easiest big cities to walk. We did the swan boats, a duck tour, the Freedom Trail, walked across the bridge to see the ships, the aquarium and Mikes for a cannoli. We stayed right across the street from Fenway Park and could see into the park from our room. I’d love to go back and do so much more.

  • Hannah April 23, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Hey Shay! Random question, Did you ever get an instapot? Your recipes are my favorite and was wondering if you had any good instapot ones to share!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 24, 2018 at 5:37 am

      I did not. After my last post on here about whether or not I should get one, you girls pretty much convinced me it wasn’t for me. Hahahaha!

  • Dania April 23, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    I am so glad to have this list!! I am going in June and definitely have made some notes from this. I’ve been several times, but always like new experiences/restaurants. A couple of my favorite things I didn’t see on this list: the views from the top of the Custom House Tower and the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum-it is in a gorgeous mansion and I enjoyed seeing that as much as the art. One of my most favorite museums in the world. Also loved going to the Parker House where Boston Creme pie and Parker House rolls originated. We went late after dinner to just share a piece of the pie and they were so nice and brought us out some rolls to try too 🙂

  • Heather April 24, 2018 at 5:43 am

    Hi Shay! I used to live in Boston and live in suburbs now. Your commenters have covered most of the highlights. Here are a couple more on and off the beaten path:

    Liberty Hotel in Beacon Hill was a former prison/national landmark turned into a luxury hotel. Worth a visit just to see the lobby which was the former prison block. They have preserved a lot of the original architecture and history. Very cool. Right near The Esplanade in Beacon Hill

    Great seafood and craft cocktails near Fenway

    Hidden Gem- Aithentic Chilean Sandwiches in Downtown Crossing. So delicious and worth the trip!

    20 mins outside Boston is Lexington and Concord. Lots of historical sights where American Revolution began. In Concord is also the house where Little Women author Louisa May Alcott lived and wrote her book. Open to public.

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams April 24, 2018 at 7:55 am

    It’s my favorite city in this great country and after reading all these comments I realized I haven’t done enough sight seeing! Fenway is a special place but I can’t go without mentioning Gillette Stadium! #PatsFan Thanks for this post Shay!!

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Margie April 24, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Hi Shay, loyal reader for the past 4 years 😄❤️. Since you mentioned Kennedy a few times, I highly recommend a book called Mrs Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill. It’s written by her secret service agent that protected her their entire presidency. It’s FASCINATING and very easy, quick read. Obviously there’s tons of rumors about them but he doesn’t write in a salacious gossipy way….leaves that for other books.

  • Will April 24, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Boston looks like a blast, we’ve not been to a baseball game but perhaps this is a sign!

  • Cami April 24, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    I used to live in Boston and your post made me miss it so much! Aside from echoing many previous suggestions, definitely, definitely visit the Isabella
    Stewart Gardner Museum. It is one of the prettiest museums I’ve ever been to and I always regretted visiting for the first time just before I moved away. Also check out Flour Bakery. They have multiple location… amazing breakfast pastries!

  • Meg April 25, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Lifelong Boston resident and used to work in Back Bay.

    My suggestions:
    -ditto to someone above to try Tremont Street & Shawut for some up & coming restaurants and less touristy traps
    -The Precint I’m Back Bay (restaurant that used to be police station). Great for casual food/drink and they have outdoor seating
    -Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
    -Science Museum
    -Take a walk on th Rose Kennedy Greenway, grab a cannoli in the North End, check out SoWA market, enjoy the parks/fountains along the greenway, take a ride on the carrousel, visit the seals outside the Aquarium (for free!)
    -Drink (bar without menu – they ask what you like and bartender will make something unique for you)
    -Lawn on D – outdoor yard games & close to Harpoon Brewery, Legal’s etc
    -ICA for some cool art exhibits
    -anything in the North End. St Leonard’s Church is gorgeous to see. You may think you’re in Italy

  • KC Dimmig April 25, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Love that you highlighted that Boston is a great walking city – I always tell people that! Next time you visit the North End (Old North Church) go to Bova’s for cannoli and Lo Conte’s for the best Italian! Also, in the Commons ride the Swan Boats – always a fave! Plus Harvard Square is the BEST!!! Thanks again for posting about our great city!

  • Diana April 25, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Boston is definitely on my travel bucket list, I’ve always wanted to go! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Katie April 26, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Saving this because I’m headed there for a conference in November! =)

  • Chelsie April 27, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    Headed to Boston & the rest of New England at the end of June!

  • Maureen April 28, 2018 at 6:15 am

    Go a little North of Boston and visit Salem. So much history. Salem Witch Museum and House of Seven Gables. If go around Halloween it is exciting to see costumes. Go s little south and head to Plymouth. Plymouth Plantation and great waterfront and beaches.

  • Keryn May 6, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    My very favorite museum is the Isabella Stuart Gardner. Such a neat oasis in the city.