Tourist in Your Hometown: Lauren and Rachel

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| |

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hi! I'm Lauren, and I blog over at Boston Sweet Tea Party.  I typically share recipes and style inspiration but also have a deep love for travel.  One of my favorite things to do is to explore my own town of Boston since I've only lived here for about three years and there is still so much to see!  I thought I'd play a little game I made up called "Trap or Treasure" to discuss a couple of places in town that are popular with the tourists.  

Trap or Treasure: The Freedom Trail

What is it? It's kind of Boston's version of the yellow brick road, except it's red and leads you to a bunch of historic landmarks instead of the Emerald City.  So really it's nothing like the yellow brick road.
I am biased here because I live just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the trail itself so I walk it all the time.  But getting out and walking has got to be the best way to explore any town--especially your own.  Forget your normal routine of the train, car, bus, (or in Boston some people even take the boat to work) and walk!  You'll see things you didn't even know were there!

Trap or Treasure: Duck Tour

What is it? An amphibious vehicle drives you around town then drives right into the Charles River and gives you a beautiful view of the city.

My husband and I have taken about five of these tours and it has been excellent everytime.  It's a great way for out of towners to see the sights, but the drivers are also extremely knowledgable and funny.  Trust me if these weren't so good, we'd send our guests to do it by themselves instead of going with them every time. Couldn't recommend enough.

Trap or Treasure: Cheers

What is it? Where everybody knows your name....

Verdict: TRAP
Dear goodness, if you don't have long to spend in Boston, do not put this place on your to-do list.  It's the very definition of trap.  The food is bad and the atmosphere is nothing special either.  If you're a sucker for cheesy gift shops like me then stop in, but otherwise skip it.

Trap or Treasure: Mike's Pastry
What is it? The most popular spot in Boston for cannoli and other pastries.  The line always goes out the door and around the corner.
{The Mike's Pastry sign is highlighted yellow in the photo above}

If you want an authentic cannoli, Mike's has the best selection around.  Some of my faves are the amaretto and cookies and cream.  Plus the line moves quickly!  But if you want a traditional dessert without fighting a crowd, head down the street to Modern Pastry.  It's one of the go-to spots for locals.  They variety isn't as good, but the taste is just as sinfully delicious!

For more of my thoughts on living in Boston, check out my Travel page!  See you there!
You can find Lauren here: Blog | Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram

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Hi, Stamp in My Passport readers! I'm Rachel and I have a lifestyle and travel blog called Postcards from Rachel. I'm a former expat, a wife, dog mom, blogger, and new photographer -- and since we've been moving around the States every six months for my husband's career, I'm an excellent packer, too.
Postcards form Rachel
We've been living in Boston since September of last year and next month we're off to Northern Virginia. I was very excited when Jess asked me to guest post on her blog because I've fallen in love with this city and I enjoy sharing my favorite areas! If you plan on visiting or making the move to Boston, here's a short sightseeing list for you: Fenway Park If you're traveling to Boston, you have to schedule a Fenway Park tour, even if you despise the Red Sox. I've been on quite a few ballpark tours before and this was hands-down the most informative and enjoyable one. The ballpark has tons of history and there's a great view of the city skyline. Plus, strolling around on the Green Monster was a pretty cool experience. We were able to attend one baseball game last year and the atmosphere was insane.
Fenway Park Fenway
Sam Adams Brewery This brewery tour is free! FREE... did you hear that? Just be sure to bring enough cash for a donation because all funds go to local charities. Since the brewery is so small, the tour is short and sweet and includes time in the tasting room where you'll receive a complimentary Sam Adams tasting glass. After you make a stop in the souvenir shop, there's a "party" trolley that will take you to Doyle’s Cafe — the first bar to put Sam Adams beer on tap. There you can get a $5 beer and complimentary Samuel Adams glass. It’s totally worth it!
Sam Adams brewery tour Sam Adams Sam Adams Tour
Freedom Trail We've tried to do the entire Freedom Trail multiple times, but we always get distracted by the cafes and pubs that line the streets. Food and beer always win, but in the next couple of weeks, I promise we'll do the entire thing! Walking the Freedom Trail is a great way to see the entire city of Boston, and now that there are smartphone apps you can download to get all of the history, sightseeing is super simple and convenient. Pick a beautiful Fall or Spring day and enjoy the Freedom Trail with friends and family.
Massachusetts State House Freedom Trail Freedom Trail
Quincy Market Quincy Market is our favorite place to bring visitors because the area is packed with shops and an ice bar, and if you go inside, you'll find a ton of different food vendors. We love stopping by for a bowl of clam chowder because duh, clam chowder in Boston is delicious. Sigh... I'll miss this area.
Boston Quincy Market
Waterfront We always enjoy walking around the Waterfront area on a nice day while everyone is out and about, plus there are some great seafood restaurants. When my brother and his girlfriend stayed with us last November, we took them to Tia's for chowder and massive lobsters. If you'd rather observe sea things than eat them, the aquarium is also near the Waterfront.
Boston Waterfront Boston Waterfront
Harvard Square And, finally... we love Harvard Square. We went to Harvard Square last night to get pho at one of our favorite Vietnamese Restaurants, Le's (apparently our lives revolve around food) and also walked around the campus until we were too cold to move. There are plenty of bookstores, shops, restaurants, and museums in the area, plus we always stumble across a unique bar with live music and hot cider, my favorite.
Harvard Square Harvard Square
As you can see, there's a lot to do in Boston! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
You can find Rachel here: Blog | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter


Kayli Schattner said...

What beautiful places! Looks like I need to invest in a plane ticket ;)

Z K said...

Aghhhh I'm so grumpy life got in the way and I couldnt' add to this! Granted, these two lovelies covered most of Boston. :]]] Freedom Trail and the Waterfront are two of my favorite places as well!!!

Jess Elyse said...

My parents and I were *THIS* close to going to Boston last year for our family vacation. Sadly, it didn't happen. Boston has ALWAYS been one of my top 5 places to visit and I've always said that if I lived up North somewhere, it would be Boston. A lot of these places were on my list to visit and hopefully (someday soon) I'll be able to cross them all off!

Jess Boyd said...

you and me both! some reason i haven't made it there. it's definitely one of those places where you need several days to make a dent in a list of places to see.

Jess Boyd said...

well if you think of any more places to add to the list, feel free to!