I love making travel guides for places I visit. Especially if it helps my readers who are like me and enjoy taking weekend trips while staying on a budget. Before my trip, I reached out to Rachel, from Hello Her blog because I had been a reader of hers for awhile now and knew she was from the Boston area. Rachel seriously sent me so so so so many suggestions on what to do and see. She recommended spots that were not touristy, which were great because I try to like where the locals go when I travel. Side note, this is what I love about blogging! I can reach out to other bloggers for more than just blog advice. Rachel literally gave me a travel itinerary and it made planning what to do 100% easier.
How to get there:
My friend and I booked our flights a couple months ago and found a pretty good deal. We flew a red eye flight on Jet Blue from Denver to Boston Thursday night and used Southwest points for our flights on the way home. The red eye seemed like a great idea at first.. but when we landed early at 4:20am we were regretting not getting there the night before and just paying for the Airbnb an extra night. We definitely were contemplating finding a hotel room for the morning so we weren’t dead, but we had not luck so we found a spot in the airport and tried to sleep for a couple of hours. We ended up being glad we did not make an impulse decision to book a room just for the morning! We were tired all day until we got to nap at our Airbnb, but we would have missed out on so much exploring.
How to get around:
We used Lyft to get around town. Because we were staying downtown and most of what we did was in that area, we didn’t rent a car. The most expensive trips are to and from the airport but you can definitely take the train to save money. We were just so tired already that getting a Lyft instead of figuring out the train system seemed like a better option. Once we left the airport Friday morning, we dropped our bags off at the property management office that hosted our Airbnb since we couldn’t check in for a couple of hours. After we dropped our bags off, we walked to Copely Square and grabbed some breakfast at Au Bon Pain. The stores didn’t open for an hour so we just hung out half asleep. We did some shopping at Nieman Marcus and then went to Newbury Street until about 11:30 when we found a spot at the Marriott restaurant back at Copely Sqaure. At 12pm we called the property management office and they said we can come pick our bags up at 12:50pm because our studio was going to be ready early… so they said.
Where to stay:
After comparing prices for hotels and Airbnb, we chose an Airbnb studio in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. We ended up getting a $75 voucher because the original place we rented was cancelled due to the host needing the space. With the voucher, we payed $198 each for our stay. Fun fact, just to give you an idea of the cost of living in Boston, we looked up our studio on Zillow and it is estimated at $900,000…Anyway, Beacon Hill is such a fun area. Rachel told me about the Brownstones prior to my trip and how they are great for taking pictures. She wasn’t kidding! The architecture is darling and my friend and I definitely had our fair share of photo shoots.
When we got to the property management office they told us they made a mistake and housekeeping hadn’t even been to our place yet. They said they would still let us check in and we could drop off our bags at our studio while the housekeeper cleaned. We tried to kill more time thinking we would get there while the housekeeper was cleaning, but when we got there at 1:30 she hadn’t even been there. Shortly after our arrival she showed up and started cleaning. All we wanted as a nap at this point but we decided to walk around the neighborhood while she cleaned. When we got back 30 minutes later she was still cleaning, but had changed over the bed so we got in it and laid there while she finished up. It was a little awkward but we were soooo tired. After a power nap, we finally changed out of our airplane clothes we had been wearing since the night before and showered and got ready for the night.
How cute is this house!?
What to do:
There is so much to see and do in Boston and we definitely did not even make a dent in our list during our trip. I wish we would have seen more of the sights Friday before we checked in to our Airbnb, but we were honestly so exhausted from only getting 1-2 hours of sleep we ended up just sitting at different spots in the city. Regardless, we did see and do quite a bit so below is my little recap:
Boston Common: The Boston Common was only a couple blocks from our Airbnb so we were able to explore it on Friday. The park is huge and there is always so much going on at it. We would have loved to explore it more Saturday, but it was rainy and gloomy so we didn’t do much outdoors.
Museum of Science: This was another one of Rachel’s suggestions and is perfect for rainy days. It is $25 to get in and you can easily spend a good part of the day exploring.
Newbury Street: Located in the Back Bay neighborhood, we explored Newbury Street on Friday while we waited to get into our Airbnb. A lot of the stores are high end, so we did a lot of window shopping. It is definitely a fun spot to explore, eat and shop!
North End: My friend’s #1 thing she wanted to do was go to Mike’s Pastry. Our Lyft driver over to the North End actually suggested we go to Modern Pastry instead as he said the cannolis are better and it is less touristy. We got to the North End to do some exploring and immediately found out that ALL OF THE cannolis places only take cash, which we did not have. We both only had our credit cards so we went to a restaurant called Locale to brainstorm what to do in the meantime. My friend ended up asking the waitress if she could tip her more and have her give her $5 in cash to go buy a cannoli. The waitress thought that was hilarious and said it was not a problem. My friend got her cannoli from Modern Pastry and we had a successful trip to the North End neighborhood.
Harvard: After we explored the North End, we decided why not get a Lyft and go check out Harvard. It was a spur of the moment decision before we planned on going to go back to the Airbnb and rest. It was on and off raining while we explored Harvard, but it is such a beautiful campus it was fun being able to see everything.
UMass Club: We went to grab a drink at the UMass Club on Friday night and the views were spectacular! If you are on the hunt for a birds eye view of the city, this is the spot for some great photo ops!
The State House
What to eat:
Eating food in new cities is easily a hobby of mine. However, my friend and I both decided before we went to Boston that we didn’t want to spend too much money eating out every meal so we planned it carefully. Although eating at new restaurants is fun while in new cities, it definitely can add up quickly. Especially in Boston where the cost of living is already expensive.
Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro: We had brunch down the street from our place at Beacon Hill Hotel and Bistro on Saturday morning with my friend’s friend from college. It was kind of expensive so I was glad we didn’t eat like this the entire trip or I would have spent a ton of money. I had a $14 mimosa and a $17 breakfast sandwich, so it was safe to say that was our splurge meal for the weekend.
Locale: We went to Locale Pizza in the North End spontaneously while we decided how we were going to get a cannoli with no cash on hand. This place is also very afforable! We shared a pizza for $10 and each had a glass of wine so in total I spent less than $20 on this meal. It also wasn’t busy at all and the waitress was so nice and funny!
DeLuca’s Market: We decided that we were going to cook at our Airbnb for some of our meals so we went to DeLuca’s Market a handful of times to pick up pizzas, sandwiches, snacks, and sparkling water. The market is in the middle of Beacon Hill so food is more expensive than going to a grocery store outside of the city… but still cheaper than a $20 dinner at the restaurants in the area. I highly recommend taking advantage of the kitchen if you get an Airbnb and want to save money. That way you can splurge on some meals out, but save money by cooking a couple on your own.
I think that wraps up my what to do in Boston blog post! A special thanks to Rachel for all of her recommendations on what to do! I need to plan a second trip so I can continue to check out everything there is to do!