We woke this morning ready to take on this historic city – Boston. We’ve visited before, to see our friend Rachel, who at the time was attending Boston College, but it has been many years and we were eager to see it again.
First, we had to tackle the rail schedule into the city. Kimmer had identified the train station and determined the times, but we weren’t exactly sure how to pay – do we pay on the train or somewhere else? So we arrived early to figure it out, and luckily, like other train systems, we paid the conductor the $31 for roundtrip tickets for two.
Our first stop, just outside the South Station train depot was Chinatown. Boston’s Chinatown is the third largest in the nation behind New York and San Francisco and in recent years has had a major renewal. You see, this area was once considered a war zone, with every type of dirty deed practiced in its streets. But today, this area is safe and relatively clean. We strolled uninterrupted around the narrow sidewalks browsing shops and eating a Chinese cookie on our way to Boston Common and the Public Garden.
Of course, every tourist has to get a picture in front of Cheers and have a beer at the Bull and Finch location on Beacon Street – the bar upon which Sam Malone’s Tavern was based. Last time we were in town we had a beer at the Faneuil Hall location, so we just had to stop at the original locale this time around. After ordering a beer and garlic bread, we popped outside for a quick photo, which, with a line of blue-haired gawkers ahead of us who barely knew which way to point their cameras, took a tad longer than expected. And after viewing that bit of tourism tediousness, neither of us had energy to pose in the shot.
We then made our way to Boston Common and the start of the Freedom Trail. The Freedom Trail is a 3 ½ mile self-guided walking tour takes you through most of Boston’s downtown communities and gets you in front of the city’s most historically significant buildings. The reuse of many of these buildings as Chipotles, shopping malls and offices creates a strange disunion between reclamation and commerce which is actually kinda cool.
The trail starts at the Boston Common and continues to Charlestown, Some of the highlights on our journey include King’s Chapel, Old Corner Bookstore (that is now a Chipotle), Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, Paul Revere’s house, the USS Constitution and finally the Bunker Hill Memorial.
Once to the 221 foot monument, our weary legs refused to allow us to hike all the way to the top (no elevator!).
Boston’s visitor’s bureau is smart as the Freedom Trail is not just about history. It also walks you through the city’s most interesting downtown communities – Charlestown, downtown and the North End. We’ve added many photos below for you to enjoy and we highly recommend any Bostonian virgin to spend their first day, in comfortable shoes, clomping along on the Freedom Trail.
For more information, visit here.
After the long walk back, we worked up quite an appetite, and had a nice sit-down authentic Chinese meal at the New Shanghai restaurant in Chinatown. After filling our bellies, we realized there was the next train was in only twenty minutes, and we were tuckered out. Within an hour and a half we both fell, exhausted, into bed.