How to see Boston in one day – that’s a really TALL order! It’s absolutely impossible to do it all in a day, but you can definitely hit some of the must-sees.
This would also be helpful if you have a longer layover in Boston and don’t want to spend all your time at the airport. Because no freakin way. Who does that anymore?
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Written by: Stephanie
So, let’s do this! Or as our very own Minneapolis bachelorette, Becca, would say – let’s do the damn thing!
Boston’s airport is located in what is known as “East Boston” which is across the harbor from anything that you’re going to want to do. Once leaving the airport I suggest taking a taxi/uber/lyft/donkey cart/whatever you want across the inner harbor to the Boston Public Gardens. The route is only like 5 miles and takes you around the hospital and along the Charles River. However, like any big city that 5 miles can take an eternity depending on the time of day. I landed at the airport early afternoon and it took me about 15-20 minutes to get there. Definitely been in worse – I’m looking at you DFW.
Boston Public Garden
4 Charles Street / 7 am – 9 pm
I didn’t do a lot of planning for this trip since I really wasn’t going to have the opportunity to explore a lot, but I knew of a few cool things. The gardens shockingly weren’t one of them! When we were driving over I saw part of the garden and made a comment about how pretty it was. I just assumed that it was the Boston Common, but my driver told me that it was, in fact, the gardens and he highly recommended I take a walk through them. I saw fields of newly bloomed tulips and thought to myself, uhhhh well duh- do it for the ‘gram! Just kiddingggg – sort of 😉
I mean how ridiculously jaw-droppingly gorgeous are those tulips? Just imagine rows upon rows upon rows of these guys. I can’t handle it. I would absolutely lose my sh** over the tulips in Holland. Unapologetically basic.
The Boston Public Garden is a yuuuuuge park adjacent to the Boston Common and was actually the first public botanical garden in the country. In it, you’ll find walking paths that are mobbed with tourists taking tulip photos (YASSSS!), a little lagoon that has swans (!!), statues, swan boat rides, plants and other flowers galore.
There are also SO. MANY. SQUIRRELS! It was very much like Utah was with the chipmunks.
Related: A road trip through Florida
For a place I didn’t even know existed – color me impressed!
After walking through the public garden I was excited to see Boston Common as I have heard so much about it, but I wasn’t all that impressed, tbh. Coming out of the super extra Public Garden to the super basic Boston Common was deflating. It’s also yuuuuge, but there’s not really much to it. Mainly just a place to lay out on your blanket and make animals from the clouds.
But the Boston Common is right across Charles Street and is an easy walk from the garden. And if you’re in the garden you might as well go see the Common.
You’ll have a pretty sweet view of the Boston skyline –
This is the Soldiers and Sailors Monument that was erected in 1877 in memory of the soldiers that died during the American Civil War.
Surrounding the monument is this hip record floor. Every few feet there is a new saying in the center which is pretty clever. Some of the ones I walked across were gravity, good morning, food is freedom (yasss), eight generations, diversity is beautiful (YASS!) so on and so forth.
Related: Spending 4 days in Playa del Carmen
Spend as long or as little time in the Boston Common and then just wander around the area. Boston is a beautiful city with cool architecture and super yummy food. Some good places to eat around the Common are:
559 Washington St
Twelve Hours is an Asian fusion noodle joint that serves Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese etc. It is a self-service open cafeteria concept, but the food is really good. The menu includes Asian meatballs, dumplings, satay, pad Thai and the most epic food ever – RAMEN! They’re open Monday – Saturday from 11:30 am – 10:15 pm (closed on Tuesday) and Sunday 12 pm – 9:30 pm.
571 Washington St
Teresa’s Market serves Mexican and Latin American dishes that are to die for. They don’t have a website – BOO! But that’s how you know it’s good. It’s sort of a secret place that you can hide away from others and no one will ever find you. On the menu are nachos, tacos, quesadillas, carne asada plates, empanadas etc. *foaming at the mouth * Get in my belly. They’re open 8 am to 10 pm Monday – Saturday and 8 am – 8 pm on Sunday.
344 Washington St
You’ll find delicious Greek food at Esperia. Falafels? Yasss. Kabobs? Oh yeah, you betcha. Gyros? Move on innnnn! I have a problem, you guys. I LOVE Greek food! We have a place here in Minneapolis that has tzatziki sauce so good I just want someone to shovel it into my mouth. Sorry, not sorry. Esperia is open weekdays from 11:30 am – 10 pm, Saturday from 12 pm – 10 pm and they are closed on Sunday.
Things to do in Boston:
If you have some more time other top-rated activities include:
- Freedom Trail
- Faneuil Hall
- Newbury Street
- Copley Square
- Fenway Park
- Museum of Science
Or just do what I usually do and wander around and stop and stare at the sights. And pick a rowhouse to move your unsuspecting husband to *cue evil laugh*.
If you have any questions or have things I should add to the list, let me know!
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Founder of Packing for Plenty in July 2017. Along with her husband, Pete, she is on a mission to visit most countries. And wants to take y’all along as well! On PFP Steff provides travel itineraries ranging from a weekend trip nearby to 2 weeks living abroad like a local…detailed destination specific travel tips that aren’t readily available elsewhere…and unique and interesting bucket list worthy experiences.