“Massachusetts has been the wheel within New England, and Boston the wheel within Massachusetts. Boston, therefore, is often called ‘the hub of the world’, since it has been the source and fountain of the ideas that have reared and made America.” ~ Rev. FB Zinckle, Last Winter in the United States (1868)
When was your last trip to “The Hub”? If you’re still deciding on where to spend a weekend this summer and fall, the answer is a lot closer than you think. In a recent article by US News & World Report, Boston was listed as the #1 summer vacation spot in the United States – and #3 in the entire world behind only Paris, France and Florence, Italy. The rankings factored in activities and entertainment options, lodging, dining venues, and weather. During the summer and fall months, Boston is buzzing with activity. But how would you spend your time? Below is our suggestion for the perfect weekend in Boston…
Saturday – The Journey, The Freedom Trail and a View from Above!
The key to enjoying Boston to the fullest is to let someone else do the driving! Board the Amtrak Downeaster in a town near you and head right into North Station – directly underneath the TD Garden, home of the Bruins and Celtics. Depending on where you board, there are either two or three southbound trains into Boston every day. Check the current schedule before planning your trip!
Upon arrival into Boston, drop your bags at your hotel (you may not be able to checkin until 4:00pm) and get your walking shoes ready! Any visit to Boston must include a “walk into history” along The Freedom Trail. Starting on the Boston Common, or anywhere along the trail, you’ll wind past 16 official sites at your own pace – and private guided tours are also available. Visit the Granary Burying Ground to see the final resting place of Paul Revere and Samuel Adams. Pop into the Old State House and visit the balcony where the very first Boston reading of the Declaration of Independence occurred on July 18, 1776. Take a break for lunch and a little shopping at Faneuil Hall, the most visited site in Boston. Continue your journey along the Freedom Trail to admire the 191-foot steeple of Boston’s oldest church, the Old North Church. Admire the bravery of the Colonial Militia at the Bunker Hill Monument, site of the first major battle of the Revolutionary War. End your historical tour of Boston with a visit to the oldest commissioned warship in the US Navy, the USS Constitution. “Old Ironsides” was built in 1797 and gained its nickname from stories outlining cannonballs bouncing off the hull during the War of 1812.
After taking on over 400 years of United States history during the day, why not enjoy a journey to Italy for dinner? Eataly, located inside the Prudential Center on Boylston Street, is a great suggestion for dinner and offers up some of Italy’s finest dining, shopping, and educational opportunities all under one roof. After dinner, hop into a nearby elevator and rise 50 stories up to take in Boston and surrounding area with a visit to the Prudential Center Skywalk Observatory. The Observatory is open until 10:00pm until November 4 and is included as part of the Boston CityPASS.
Sunday – One if by Land, Two if by Sea (and the wonder of Science)!
After yesterday’s adventures, sleeping in and a late breakfast sounds great, doesn’t it? But what fun would that be? Today, you’ll explore more of Beantown by land and sea!
The best way to see the city in a day is a guided Hop-on, Hop-off tour with Old Town Trolley. With over 100 different points of interest included along the 20-stop route, the tour is fully narrated by a local historian who shares amusing anecdotes and interesting facts about Boston. Visit the stately, historic homes of Beacon Hill. Hear about the history of America’s most beloved baseball team at Fenway Park. Play the part of disgruntled colonist as you toss tea into the harbor at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. You can enjoy each stop for as long as you want!
After a quick overview of the city by trolley, stop into the world-famous New England Aquarium for a visit with the penguins, fish, and sharks. Attending a fur seal training session is a MUST here, and is great fun for visitors of all ages. Just outside of the Aquarium is the departure point for a fantastic Boston Harbor cruise. On this fully narrated 90-minute tour, you’ll hear of hero tales of the Revolutionary War, and how the harbor was transformed into one of the cleanest in the country. You’ll view the nation’s oldest continuously manned lighthouse, the Harbor Islands National Park Area and much more. Finish your educational journey of Boston with a visit to the Museum of Science – just three blocks from North Station. During your visit, be sure not to miss the sights, sounds, and even the smells on board the International Space Station in the interactive new temporary exhibit Space: An Out-of-Gravity Experience! Admission to the New England Aquarium, Boston Harbor Cruise, and Museum of Science are all included with the Boston CityPASS.
If you’re looking for ideas for your next Boston visit, why not consider one of the following popular Downeaster Travel Packages:
- Ultimate Boston Overnight (includes rail, hotel, Boston CityPASS, Old Town Trolley, and more)
- Freedom in Boston Overnight (includes rail, hotel, Freedom Trail Guided Tour, New England Aquarium, and more)
- Boston for the Foodie Overnight (includes rail, hotel, Pizza tour, Dining Certificate, and more)
- Boston From Sea to Sky Overnight (includes rail, hotel, Old Town Trolley/Duck Tour, Skywalk, Mapparium, and more)
- Best of Boston Overnight (includes rail, hotel, Old Town Trolley, New England Aquarium, and more)
The above special travel packages – and MANY more are available to book now. Experience for yourself why Boston is ranked the #1 city in the United States to visit and let us handle the details as part of a Downeaster Travel Package!