I was recently on a 2 day layover in Boston and, as a history enthusiast, I wanted to see ALL THE THINGS! However, before I even arrived, the hotel prices knocked me down. Determined to get in as much as possible, I discovered the real hidden treasure – all the free things!
Before I start, I will say that the best thing I purchased was a 24 hour train pass for the “T”. It’s $12 but one way ticket is $3 so if you stick to my guide, it will be well worth it. Of the 2 days I spent there, 1 day was on foot and the other was on train. Everything I did was free so, you have options on a budget!
In the middle of a historic yet modern, bustling city is a beautiful patch of green equality for all called Boston Common. It’s 50 acres of scenery like none other due to being surrounded by buildings. Cafes, a souvenir shop, and plenty of walking space is just a sample of what you’ll find. Oh, there’s also an inaccessible cemetery you can stand at the gate of and stare into.
You can meet a finely dressed actor in front of the tourist shop at the commons and pay to get a very in depth story of the trail. Or you can be me, pay $2 for a map in said shop and follow along yourself. Because you can follow the trail and not get lost, you don’t necessarily even need a handheld map. Either way you go about it, the trail is the best way to see the city! It’s a red line that you follow that takes you across several historic sites. From the capitol building to Granary Burying Ground with Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere and more, it’s great exercise and a learning experience. Bonus: there’s a guy named Jimmy Cole handing out free folder guides as you walk into the mentioned cemetery, which is a huge help! You just have to return when you leave.
Boston Tea Party – Americans know this as a defining moment in our history. It happened right here in this beautiful city to protest the taxes levied on tea. The shipment was subsequently dumped into the harbor. This historic event took place here and boy does it give you some nostalgia for a moment you never witnessed but felt like you did. There is a museum here but you’re not allowed to be in there alone. I opted to just stare at it from the harbor walk and have meaningful silence.
Harvard & MIT
Along with having a deep lineage, Boston is also home to elite schools. The Harvard campus is spread out across Cambridge and MIT is a bit more centralized right off the Charles River. Both are beautiful and packed full of things to see and all the backgrounds are Instagram worthy! Want to learn more? Both schools have free tours of campus. I saw several going on at Harvard. Harvard is the oldest university in the country and MIT has got some age on it, too. It was enough for me to walk around and think about the great minds that have been there.
Even if you’re not a baseball fan, Fenway is the oldest ballpark in America! You have to at least stop by, which is what I did. I am a fan but the season was over so I had to make due with walking around and having more of those fits of nostalgia instead. There’s also a Wahlburgers location just around the corner so, win/win.
While Boston can be expensive, if you play your cards right, there’s so much you can take in without having to shell out too many coins. I would not advise going in winter as it can be incredibly cold and icy but any other time of year is a smooth walk around town.
To see more photos from Boston and other travels, check me out on Instagram @QuEeNMeRaNdA! Got any questions? Something to add? Leave it in the comments!