Millions of travelers flock to Boston each year to explore the historic city. While it would be easy to spend several days in Beantown, you can see many of the highlights in a weekend or even a day. If you’re short on time, here’s what you should do in 24 Hours in Boston Massachusetts
24 Hours in Boston Massachusetts Day 1
Boston’s legendary lobster rolls are not to be missed. Grab lunch at Neptune Oyster on Salem Street in the North End. Be prepared to wait as long as an hour for a seat, but your patience will be rewarded. You can order your lobster roll hot with butter or cold with mayo.
Walk over a block to Hanover Street and walk along the Freedom Trail to the Old North Church and Paul Revere’s house. Be sure to grab a sweet treat a Mike’s Pastry. Don’t be distracted by the gelato or cupcakes: cannolis and Boston Cream Pies are the specialty here. They don’t accept cards, so be sure to bring cash. Walk over to the New England Aquarium and catch a Duck Tour. The tour is on land and water and takes about 80 minutes. It’s a great way to get see the city. If you have a little bit of time to kill waiting for your tour to start, spend some time along the waterfront at nearby Christopher Columbus Park or the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a mile-long park along Atlantic Avenue.
Backtrack along the Freedom Trail to Boston Commons. Stroll through the park before dinner. Then, walk along Newbury Street and through Back Bay. Wander through the streets and admire the brownstones. Have dinner at Stephanie’s on Newbury, voted Boston’s “Best Place for People Watching 2012” by the Improper Bostonian. Or, if baseball is more your style, catch a game at Fenway Park. Even for casual baseball fans, it’s a classic Bostonian experience. If you don’t get tickets for a game, you can still have a tour of the stadium. Get a beer at Bleacher Bar or Cask ‘n Flagon.
Cross the Charles River into Cambridge and stroll around the Harvard campus. For brunch, head back to Boston and go to the legendary Henrietta’s Table. The Sunday brunch here has been awarded the “Best Brunch in Boston” by the Improper Bostonian every year for the past 11 years. It doesn’t come cheap though; the brunch buffet runs $45 per person.
If you have a little more time, rent a kayak and go out on the Charles River (after your brunch settles, of course). You’ll have some of the best views of both Boston and Cambridge.
The subway system in Boston is known as the “T”. A map and schedule are available on the MBTA website. You can catch a cab to the city from Logan International Airport or take public transportation. The silver line bus operates at every terminal and provides a free shuttle to the Blue Line on the T. From here, you can get to Boston, Cambridge or the commuter rail to areas outside of the city. As one of the oldest cities in America, Boston has something to offer every traveler — from great food and culture to iconic sports teams. You can cover a lot of ground in 24 hours and you’ll find that Boston is a great city to explore.
Here are some things you can do to make your hotel stay greener.
Eco-Friendly Hotel ~ Finding an LEED Hotel or Green Hotel
How to Find Green Accommodations and Green Hotels
What is a Green Hotel
Fairmont Copley Plaza: Boston, MA Hotel Review
On our recent trip to Boston, Elizabeth and I were able to get an excellent rate at a gorgeous historic hotel, the Fairmont Copley Plaza. I don’t stay in hotels often, but when I do, I pay close attention to what hotels are doing to go green. Overall, I loved staying at the Copley Plaza. Here’s why, from an eco-friendly point of view.
Recycling bins in rooms
The only other hotels where I’ve seen abundant recycling options are Kimptons, so I was glad to see that the hotel recycling bin is catching on. The Copley Plaza’s recycling bin was right next to the trash can.
Elegant staircase makes you want to skip the elevator
Many hotels, especially modern ones, hide the closed-off staircase in a a dark, concrete stairwell. I’ve often stumbled upon dirty dishes and trash stashed in hotel stairwells by housekeeping staff for pick up later. Not so at the Copley Plaza. The grand, open staircase is made of beautiful stone and the bannister is ornate.
Staff don’t wash towels daily unless you request it
Almost all hotels these days have a “save the planet by reusing your towel” sign, but, as Elizabeth pointed out, many hotels don’t adhere to it. The Fairmont Copley Plaza did, which was much appreciated.
Historic building, Efficient Rooms and Excellent Location
There’s something that just feels right about staying in a building constructed in 1912 in one of the oldest cities in the country. The rooms at the Fairmont Copley Plaza are by no means austere; in fact, they are quite opulent — ours had a chandelier. But because hotels built in the early 20th century weren’t typically sprawling, most of the rooms are more compact than modern hotel rooms. Smaller rooms require fewer resource, which is greener. But don’t worry. The tall ceilings and historic details make the rooms feel quite spacious. Our hotel sat across the street from a Copley Square, a lovely green space that is home to Trinity Church. Right across the street is the famous Boston Public Library. Two blocks away is the Boston Common and the start of the Freedom Trail. We walked from the hotel to the Freedom Trail and toured the North End without ever hopping on the T. For further away destinations, there are two T stations less than two blocks from the Fairmont Copley Plaza; Copley Station on the Green Line and Back Bay Station on the Orange Line.
Nearby local restaurants
While Newbury Street and the surrounding area is best known for being a high-end shopping destination, there is no shortage of local eateries mixed in. We found excellent Vietnamese and Indian restaurants and an ice cream parlor. Venture to the North End and you’ll find an abundance of excellent Italian.
Eating Our Way Through the Best Restaurants in Boston
Boston is an excellent destination for the green traveler, as we discovered on our recent trip. There’s fantastic public transportation provided by the T, Boston’s subway system; there’s a rich history; there’s cultural diversity.
But above all, there’s food: from Italian to Indian and ice cream to brunch, Boston provides an abundance of delicious local dining options. Here’s our food journey through the best restaurants in Boston, Massachusetts.
We started out our Boston eating extravaganza with a celebratory dinner at Radius, one of Boston’s high-end restaurants. I ordered their prix-fixe menu and Elizabeth ordered from their main menu. My seared halibut appetizer was delectable and my poached chicken main course was very good. The parsnip-apple puree went very well with the chicken. Elizabeth’s scallops were delicious and cooked perfectly.
We split two desserts. The dark chocolate and macadamia nut candy bar was divine, and the banana ice cream complemented it perfectly. The second dessert, called Grapes and Cheese, was a delicious combination of subtle yet rich flavors — cream cheese sorbet with tangerines and a port reduction. Overall, a home-run meal.
India Quality Restaurant
Our extreme disappointment at Uburger (below) led us to wander into India Quality Restaurant right across the street. We had just eaten, yes, but it was a decidedly unsatisfying hamburger experience. India Quality Restaurant made everything okay.
We started off with three appetizers. The dahi papri was interesting and tasty, and the vegetable samosa was amazing. The vegetable pakora was okay, but definitely the weakest of the three appetizers.
We also ordered three types of delicious stuffed bread — keema nan (stuffed with minced lamb and spices), paneer nan (stuffed with fresh home made cheese, coriander and spices), and garlic nan (stuffed with fresh garlic and spices). The garlic was the best, followed by the keema. All of the food at the other tables looked amazing, too. I would definitely recommend India Quality Restaurant.
There’s a reason JP Licks is a Massachusetts favorite for homemade ice cream. Get the chocolate chip cookie and peanut butter swirl frozen yogurt. Hands-down, the best frozen yogurt I have ever tasted. The ice cream looks fantastic, too.
Maria’s Pastry Shop
Don’t be overwhelmed by the extensive menu at this famous pastry shop, which is located in the North End’s Little Italy. Pretty much anything you get will be good. I highly recommend the ricotta filled cannoli. Amazing.
There’s not much to say about Uburger, except that it is decidedly not one of Boston’s best restaurants. I ordered a burger with mushrooms and cheese, with fries on the side. It was okay. A couple of steps above McDonald’s, but far below a really amazing burger. The bun especially left something to be desired. Don’t waste a Boston meal at Uburger — there are so many better places to dine.
We went to the pajama brunch on Sunday. The restaurant has a nice atmosphere and fast service. The cheese grits were pretty good for the East Coast (being from Texas, I’m picky about grits). The biscuits and gravy were excellent, though the gravy could have used more pepper. The frittata was fine, but unremarkable. Overall, a very satisfying meal. Next time, I want to try the brioche french toast.
Things To Do In Boston
With the glitz and glamour of New York, Boston is often forgotten and even ignored by travelers, which is really unfortunate as there are so many Things To Do In Boston along to see and do in this city.
Boston also has the advantage of being very easy to navigate, and the people are very friendly – spend a few days in this city and you will be hooked!
Here are a couple of Boston’s highlights…Things To Do In Boston
Boston Public Garden
The public garden is a must for any visitor, as it’s the oldest public park in the whole country.
Enjoy the park by either taking a walk, ride the famous Swan Boats, walk across the world’s shortest suspension bridge or just bring a blanket and sit down on the grass and enjoy the surroundings.
The park is a perfect pic nic spot, so pop into some local supermarket and get yourself some sandwiches, fruits and drinks for a nice lunch or afternoon snack.
This is the street for shopping, dining and people-watching.
With eight blocks of high-end boutiques, art galleries and expensive restaurants, it’s a street to spend a lot of money on, but you can also enjoy it by just sitting down with a simple coffee and look at the people passing by.
This is also the street where some of the city’s most exclusive hotels.
When it comes to hotels in Boston, however, you can find much cheaper hotels in other parts of the city, and you really don’t need to stay on this street to find good quality hotels.
Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market
This privately owned marketplace is buzzing with activity. There you’ll find high quality performers and stalls selling great goods and foods, from pastries and bread to lobster, Chinese food etc.
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Boston’s Symphony Orchestra are very famous, and very popular, during fall, winter and spring, the orchestra performs classical music throughout the week.
Between 29-115 dollars, tickets are expensive, and often hard to come by so booking in advance is recommended.
However, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, concerts have something called “rush tickets” which are last-minute deals. These tickets are sold at 5pm for just 9 dollars, but you can’t choose your seat.
You’ve probably heard of the “Murder Mystery Dinner Theater”, where your dinner is not just about the food, but a show in itself.
It’s a great combination of music, food, fun, audience participation, and of course: mystery.
The Mystery Cafe in Boston is the original restaurant that came up with the concept in 1986, an idea that has now spread to become popular throughout the world.
With a 4km walk (2.5 miles) walking tour of as many as 16 historical sites, the Freedom Trail will give you a great insight into the city’s fascinating history.
You will pass the old State House, the Old North Church, Paul Revere’s House and Faneuil Hall.
The tour begins at Boston Common, and end at the USS Constitution.
The walk actually connects to the Harbor Walk, which is a beautiful part of the city, and the whole trail is marked with a red line of paint or brick in the sidewalk are just some of the many Things To Do In Boston.
Boston is a vibrant and diverse place and there are many things to do there, including visiting outstanding attractions.
We would highly recommend that you buy the New Pass, which gives you free entry to as many as 55 tourist attractions.
Here are three great things to do in Boston on a summer day…
Check Out The Free Events at Hatch Shell
Hatch Shell is famous for holding 4th of July Boston celebrations marked with fireworks and concerts.
It’s an outdoor concert venue located alongside the Charles River, and is accessible by a footbridge from Beacon Hill.
At Hatch Shell, you can watch a family movie between mid June and the last days of August, and throughout the summer months there are free concerts every weekend and on many of the week days, so make sure to check if there is something interesting happening when planning your visit to Boston.
Go Shopping At The Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market
A visit to two of Boston’s oldest market places should definitely be on your itinerary, where you’ll find plenty of shops, cafes, and most importantly some world class performers. As the market place is a private property the performers need to audition, you can be guaranteed to be entertained.
This is not a farmers market, so you will find plenty of snacks and prepared food buy from the stalls.
Visit the Emerald Necklace
In Boston you can also visit the emerald necklace, which is a vast network of nine parks within the city, all connected by bridges.
The chain of parks consists of about 1,100 acres, and includes the oldest public park in America: Boston Public Garden.
This park is a must-visit during the summer, when you can truly enjoy the park with its fountains, shady trees, blossoming flowers and greenery.
Take a romantic walk across the world’s shortest suspension bridge, have a pic nic in the grass and ride the famous Swan Boats.
A good holiday is all about fun. Whether you like going to museums and theaters or enjoy fine dining and shopping, I can guarantee that you will find something that suits you in Boston.