One of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston offers the perfect mix of new and old - where The Freedom Trail landmarks stand beside cutting edge restaurants. Given its age, Boston’s streets aren’t arranged in a grid or anything remotely resembling an organizational structure. Given that each Boston neighborhood tells its own story - it's the perfect place to get lost. Just be careful when walking on cobblestone!
(1) Sweet start to your day at Flour Bakery
(2) Enjoy much more than classes at MIT & Harvard
(3) Enjoy the most picturesque spread for lunch at Bar Mezzana
(4) Take in the beauty of the Boston Public Garden
(5) Do some damage to your wallet on Newbury St. / Boylston St / Copley Place
(6) Delicious end to the weekend at Coppa Enoteca
Sweet start to your day at Flour Bakery
Have you ever thought about quitting your job and starting a bakery? And then you immediately get worried that you wouldn't be successful? Well... Chef Joanne Chang went and did that. The Harvard graduate left management consulting to become a pastry chef, working at some of the best restaurants before opening Flour, which now has seven locations around Boston.
Joanne Chang’s breakfast-and-lunch bakery chain is always bustling and has earned a cult following - particularly for her word-famous sticky buns which will wrap you in a smattering of caramel (see picture below)! But in case you need more than that... this fast-casual cafe and bakery with windows lined with beautiful baked goods and an extensive seasonal menu of sandwiches and saladsalso has savory eats—from “thoughtfully prepared” sandwich to a full lunch menu bursting healthy but never generic salads
In case my words didn't do any of it justice... I'm sure the pictures will!
[Photo credit: Flour Bakery]
Enjoy much more than classes at MIT & Harvard
Aside from college tours, you've probably not spent much time touring college campuses. In most cases, you're probably not missing much... until you're in Boston. Boston has some of the oldest and most beautiful college campuses in the world. There's much more than classes here!
Take in the chapel, pocket gardens and art at MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute has an urban campus that extends more than a mile alongside the Charles River.
[Photo credit: MIT]
If you're into art - there's the galleries and exhibits at the MIT Museum, where art, science, and technology intersect. The MIT List Visual Arts Center is located on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the heart of Kendall Square. As the contemporary art museum at MIT, visitors encounter a dynamic, changing program of temporary exhibitions located in our galleries, as well as renowned permanent and public art collections located across the Institute. You can also explore public art on campus, including works by Picasso, Calder, and other major artists, or view students’ creative work at the Wiesner Student Art Gallery.
Relax and revive in one of MIT's 21 pocket garden spaces tucked around campus. Most of these pocket gardens are open to anyone walking through campus to enjoy—and to learn about the plantings. Some gardens are courtyards inside buildings, such as the Lipchitz Courtyard inside Building 14, adjacent to Hayden Library. The Stata Swale is in a prominent location behind the famously wonky shape of the Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information, and Intelligence Sciences completed in 2004. The swale, a particularly hard-working garden, is one of the building’s sustainable design elements. Half the site is drained to the biofiltration swale, which was designed to capture and biologically degrade pollutants carried by stormwater runoff, and it serves several nearby buildings. True garden lovers can see the photo-by-photo documentation of the 2006 transplantation of two mighty oaks from the Dibner Building, which was being demolished, to the E32 site. The MIT Grounds Services maintain the gardens and offer periodic garden tours.
Stop by Killian Court, the leafy oasis, and gaze up at the Great Dome. (At 8,800 square feet, it’s larger than the domes of St. Paul’s in London and the U.S. Capital Building.
The MIT Chapel is a breath-taking must-visit. This small masterpiece was designed by famed architect Eero Saarinen. The cylindrical building was intended to meet the needs of all faiths and continues to serve as a place of worship for a diverse MIT community. Saarinen explained that the chapel’s windowless cylinder “implied the self-contained, inward-feeling which was desirable” for a place of worship. He noted that its undulating interior walls promoted good acoustics as well as an “enclosed feeling.” A stained glass entryway leads to the Chapel, the centerpiece of which is a solid marble altar placed in the center of a circular marble platform. A metal sculpture by Harry Bertoia reflects light from the only window in the Chapel, a beautiful domed skylight. The Chapel also features a 1300-pound bell cast at MIT in the Metals Processing Laboratory and a 768-pipe organ designed by Walter Holtkamp.
Enjoy the most picturesque spread for lunch at Bar Mezzana
[Photo credit: Boston Magazine]
When you think of Boston, you may just think about classic Italian food in big portions, but there's plenty of exciting new Italian food as well. Bar Mezzana is one of them (Boston magazine named this place the 2018 Best Restaurant, General Excellence). You come here to eat Italian food, but almost tapas style. There's the not-to-be-missed chef’s tasting of 11 rotating crudos, from beautiful razor clams with chili and mint to striped jack with a horseradish-caviar-chive topping. As well as more traditional hand-pulled mozzarella and aged prosciutto or grilled octopus with potato and olives. And, of course, there's plenty of great pasta: bucatini carbonara, lumache with brown butter-sautéed mushrooms and house-cured bacon, and paccheri with lobster, scallions, and tomato. Beverage pairings are available for $30, a great value to try the unique bar program with equal parts spritzes and tiki cocktails. And if ALL that still doesn't satisfy your fancy - they have one of best burgers in Boston.
Take in the beauty of the Boston Public Garden
The Public Garden was the first public botanical garden in America, decorative and flowery with beautiful pathways for strolling. Revolving displays of flowers and bulbs in formal Victorian-style planting beds created gorgeous masses of blooms during every season except winter. Admire the rich and unusual plants, the Lagoon, the monuments and fountains, and the Swan Boats.
Here are some areas not to be missed:
The "Make Way for Ducklings" statues, near Charles and Beacon Streets, is the most popular and whimsical attraction. Inspired by Robert McCluskey's book about Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and their adventures, the sculpture depicts Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings.
Go for a ride on the popular Swan Boats around the Lagoon (looping around Mallard Island). The lagoon (actually an artificial lake) covers about 4 acres, and is only 3-4 feet deep. Due to Boston's cold winter climate, most of the water is drained every fall and refilled in the spring.
A pair of swans call the Lagoon "home" during warm months.
There are numerous statues around the garden. The most famous is the Ether Monument, near Arlington Street and Beacon Street. The statue, which depicts a Good Samaritan comforting a child, commemorates the first successful usage of ether as an anesthetic at nearby Massachusetts General Hospital in 1846.
Near the Garden's Arlington Street entrance is the statue of George Washington on horseback. Sculpted from bronze by Thomas Ball in 1869, the George Washington statue is considered one of the best equestrian statues in the United States.
Each May, the garden's is a must-visit for tulip lovers (or really just lovers of flowers). Gardeners plant 26,000 tulips and the colorful blooms extend for a period of a month or more. Other flowers bloom throughout the summer, and you'll see gorgeous roses blooming up to the first hard frosts in mid-fall.
Do some damage to your wallet on Newbury St. / Boylston St / Copley Place
[Photo credit: Austria Forum]
If shopping is your preferred exercise method, this area is the perfect place for you.
The famed Newbury Street shopping district is located in Boston's swanky Back Bay neighborhood. All the shops can be found along 8 blocks sandwiched between the Public Garden and Massachusetts Avenue. Aside from shopping, it's also a beautiful area for strolling with grand Victorian mansions line both sides of the street. Generally speaking, the most famous (and most expensive) brands are on the eastern end of Newbury Street close to the Public Garden. You'll find high-end home furnishing stores, antique stores, bookstores, jewelry boutiques, and a large number of Newbury Street art galleries.
Only one block away is Boylston Street, which runs parallel to Newbury. Boylston Street houses additional retail and dining spots.
Copley Place, Boston’s most distinctive shopping destination with 75 fabulous stores, offers additional international designer boutiques, unique local shops, mid-range and big-box retailers, department stores, discounters - basically, everything. For even more shopping, walk through the skywalk from Prudential Center to Copley Place, yet another luxury Boston shopping mall.
Delicious end to the weekend at Coppa Enoteca
[Photo credit: Coppa, wheretraveler]
You really can't come to Boston and not have Italian food... so you might as well just over indulge in it - both the traditional classics as well as its more innovation offspring. Coppa is an intimate Italian enoteca tucked away on a quiet side street in Boston's South End by Chefs Ken Oringer & Jamie Bissonnette. “We always said that we were a neighborhood enoteca,” says Bissonnette, “and we wanted to provide affordable Italian, enoteca-style food, focus on charcuterie and handmade pasta, use a wood-burning pizza oven.”
Like most modern Italian restaurants, its James Beard award-winning chefs created a menu full of small plates focused on highlighting local and regional flavors. Even their beverage menu changes continuously as well to feature as many small producer, natural, and minimal intervention wine producers as possible, while serving seasonal beer and cocktails as well. The must-haves here are endless, including: Bissonnette’s amazing and fearless house-cured salumi, the uni carbonara, the meatballs, and the parma and salsiccia pizzas.