New York City truly is one of the most amazing cities; you can find A N Y T H I N G and everything in this city. For some it’s a bit much; I personally don’t think I could live in NYC, but for others it’s a dream come true.
Visiting New York City during the summer is actually not the best idea, but we went for it anyways. For starters, if you hit a heat wave in the city, you’re basically doomed. The concrete jungle literally sucks in the days heat and beams it out day after day. There’s no letting up even in the evenings. Another thing about NYC in the summer is the amount of tourists – I mean, there are hundreds of tourists in the city no matter what season it is, but it just seems like summer is the most popular. If you’re not into crowds though, don’t let that stop you from visiting. There any MANY places you can visit that aren’t your typical crowded Times Square.
So, there are dozens of NYC city guides out there so I won’t bore you with a what to do, where to go, what to see guide. I’d say, anywhere you go, you’re guaranteed a New York experience. Pick a direction and just start walking! Especially if you’re staying in the downtown core; manhattan anywhere, you’re guaranteed an interesting and entertaining experience!
Although travelling is one of our favourite things to do, I think this was one of our last “longer” trips for a little bit now. With everything else going on, between settling into our new home and our baby on the way, the focus is now elsewhere. But hey, once a traveller always a traveller, so I know we will go back to it as soon as the time is right!
Boston Massachusetts has been on our travel list for some time now. We have heard only good things about the city, and have always had an interest in visiting great universities (Boston, housing two major ones – MIT and Harvard). Last year we finally decided it was time to take this trip to Boston and see for ourselves what it had to offer; and so the planning began.
We decided we would spend 3 nights in the city, and managed to find a super cute American heritage AirBnB to stay at during our visit. AirBnBs really are the way these days; especially when traveling in larger groups. The convenience of having a kitchen and living area is so important – especially for me now when all I think about is food, and have to watch what I eat a bit more. Being able to make our own meals whenever we needed was very convenient and definitely healthier as we were able to cut out the fast food option (mostly).
Whenever we travel, we like to sightsee on our own. We always plan ahead, by making a list of places we need to see, and tips and tricks to follow while visiting that specific location. So far so good, because we’ve only had luck in our travels and always managed to find local gems. So, here is my quick overview guide to our Boston adventure
Where to EAT
If you’re like my husband and love seafood then I would definitely recommend the clam chowder at Quincy Market. I’m sure there are a few other places which have “Boston-famous clam chowder” but he found this one and thought it tasted great!
While you’re at Quincy Market, I recommend Wagamama. This is a place we always visit when in England, so it was super exciting to see it in Boston. I always go for a classic chicken broth with udon noodles and toppings on the side. It’s light and you don’t feel bloated or heavy afterwards, like you might after a burger and fries.
Another tradition for us while in England is tea from Pret-A-Manger, and surprise surprise I found one (I’m sure there’s more than one) in Boston! After a fulfilling shopping trip to Primark we picked up a nice hot English Breakfast tea at Pret-A-Manger to go, and continued our stroll through Boston.
Where to SHOP
One of my must see stops on this trip was Primark! I’ve only ever shopped at Primark in England so this was super exciting. Stepping into four floors of European tradition was absolutely amazing! I’ll be honest, I started in the children department because I was so excited to see what they had in store for our baby girl! I then moved down to the mens floor and then women’s to pick up some pajamas and basics – my go-to items from Primark always.
While you’re at Quincy Market grabbing a bite, I recommend browsing the shops as well. There you’ll find lots of local gems as well as high street stores such as Victoria Secret and Coach.
Where to SIGHTSEE
The downtown core and markets were a must see for us while in Boston, as were the two main Universities; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. The downtown core is created for walking and sightseeing. By following the Freedom Trail (which is essentially a red brick path built into the sidewalk which you follow through the city), you walk through all of the important spots in the core and sightsee all of the other surroundings at the same time.
MIT and Harvard are two of the worlds most highly sought after universities and are generally known for their technology advancements (MIT) and legal departments (Harvard). We couldn’t find parking at MIT, so we just took turns jumping out of the car and running through the campus to take photos and glimpse at the buildings and property. At Harvard we had a bit more time to really take in the campus. Ive always viewed Harvard as the main hub for legal education, but this day I was constantly reminded that Harvard has so much more to offer a student than just Legal education – thanks Legally Blonde. One of my favorite places at Harvard was the Coop – the bookstore and gift shop. Of course, I LOVE books so naturally this place spoke to me! I definitely picked up a few good titles to read next!
The Boston harbor front is another local gem in the heart of the city; which we actually only reached by the end of the trip. Nestled in between Boston Marriott Long Wharf and the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park you’ll find a beautiful marina, large play area for kids, waterfront walkways, cozy restaurants, and plenty of perfectly thought out seating areas. I do have a weakness for waterfront views, and I’ll admit that this one was one of the best I’ve seen. Although we only walked a few steps into the waterfront walkway, I’m certain that the entire strip is just as magnificent as the beginning. After a day spent inside the city, this is the place to be to unwind with a cold beverage, and take in the soothing sound of waves splashing against the harbor and birds chirping above.
Overall, this trip was truly amazing and we fell in love with Boston right away. I’d say, if you enjoy the big city life, but can’t stand the crowds and traffic, then Boston is the place to be. In the middle of summer I not once had to push through a crowd or wait in a long line. The city is perfect for walking/strolling through and sightseeing because everything (major in the downtown core) is within walking distance; and that’s a pleasant walk from one to another. The Freedom Trail will take you to all the important sites, and you’ll enjoy the journey on the way.