Today I’m publishing the final guide in a limited-run series all about great weekend getaway destinations around the country that I personally love. The project is done in partnership with Marriott International, continuing a relationship that I’ve had for a long time and deeply value. Even before I started my blog I was an enthusiastic guest of Marriott International properties, so it just makes sense. For the next couple of months I will be highlighting a number of different cities around the U.S. that I think are ideal places for a long weekend escape. Whether you live regionally and can drive there or simply hop on a plane for an easy flight, they all have one thing in common – they’re fun cities to explore. Today I’m excited to share why I decided to add Boston to that list.
There are a number of factors with my determination on what cities to visit in my quest to share great weekend getaway destinations, including how easy they are to reach. Given its size and importance, Boston is thankfully well served by most of the major airlines, which means just about anyone can easily and affordably get to the city. And while the winter months can be dicey, the other seasons are lovely, especially the spring months as I discovered. Finally, I personally think that Boston is an oddly underrated city that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, which is ultimately why I wanted to highlight it as one of the four cities in this series.
Experiences in and near the city
The Freedom Trail – The most popular tourist experience in the city, it was also how I spent much of my time getting reacquainted with Boston. Sixteen different locations dot the Freedom Trail, all of which are integral to the history of the United States. Organized in the 1950s, the Trail is a very easy to follow and manage pedestrian trail that not only shares the history of the country, but offers a look into modern Boston as well. My hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Boston, couldn’t have been better situated to take advantage of the Freedom Trail. Located next to Boston Common, as soon as I walked out the front door I had already and unwittingly began my exploration of the Trail. If you take advantage of the many museums and other spots of interest along the way, tackling the entirety of the Freedom Trail should ideally take the full day, giving visitors the opportunity to not be hurried and to appreciate the stories at each stop.
Sports and new hotspots around Boston – Boston is synonymous with passionate fans and even if you only have a couple of days in the city, try to take in a game. Whether it’s experiencing the excitement at Fenway Park when locals cheer on the Sox or at Gillette Stadium where the food – can we say lobster and steak – is as legendary as the team, it’s hard to go wrong in Boston. The city though has also changed a lot in recent years thanks to an influx of new people from around the world. As a result, old neighborhoods have been brought back to life and you can spend a Saturday wandering through food halls, strolling along tree-lined streets or just people watching at a local coffee shop.
Fun daytrips – Boston is very well located to offer a whole host of easy day trips for the curious visitor. One of the most popular, depending on the time of year, is a whale watching tour. Leaving from the city’s Central Wharf, the tours visit the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary, a rich feeding ground for whales but also dolphins, sea birds and other marine creatures. It’s a fun way to leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city and to enjoy the natural side of the region. Also nearby is the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the official library and museum of the 35th President of the United States. About a 15-minute drive from the center of Boston, it’s also accessible by public transportation and given everything there is to see and do there, deserves a fair amount of time. The Museum utilizes high definition, large-screen projections, interactive displays, re-mastered films and original artifacts from the life and times of JFK to bring to life President Kennedy’s 1000 days in office. For many, Boston is the gateway to the heart of New England, and a much longer trip could easily be spent exploring some of the cities and sights that are all an easy drive from the city.
Where to Stay in Boston
There are plenty of incredible hotels to use as your home base while exploring Boston, including these not to miss properties.
Staying at any Ritz-Carlton property around the world is always a special treat for me, but something about The Ritz-Carlton, Boston clicked with me right away. An intimate hotel located next to Boston Common, it’s the ideal spot from which to see the city. Add to that the incredible service and hospitality for which The Ritz-Carlton is so well known and you have an unbeatable hotel experience.
Located in Boston’s Back Bay, this is an excellent spot from which to see a different side to Boston. Located near such notable attractions as Copley Square, Fenway Park and the Prudential Center, the sophisticated and thoughtful accommodations are sure to appeal to just about any type of traveler.
Another Back Bay favorite, the Sheraton offers relaxed sophistication and friendly service and is directly connected to the Prudential Center and the Hynes Convention Center. Explore Newbury Street and Fenway Park before relaxing in their famously comfortable Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience.
What to eat
Thanks in part to its long history, there’s no shortage of great food options around Boston. With a significant history of Italian immigration, the many restaurants and trattoria around the city are amongst the best in the country. The North End is Boston’s Little Italy, and since the Freedom Trail also runs through it you can easily add some culinary experiences to your day. The best, and one of the most enjoyable, ways to learn about the culinary heritage in this colorful part of the city is to join a food tour. Several North End food tours are offered, but almost all share not only the cultural underpinnings of the food offerings in the North End, but some history as well. Other than Italian food, you’ll discover fresh seafood, chowders and other New England staples almost everywhere, as well as a whole host of newer restaurants led by creative chefs bringing a more modern element to the culinary landscape.
No matter how you choose to spend your time in Boston, a fun trip is almost certainly a guarantee.