Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Exploring Boston

Although the MAIN focus of our trip to Boston was so I could see one of my BIGGEST goals come to fruition by crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon, neither the hubby nor I had been there before and wanted to explore the city.

Boston Bound!

Since the Boston Marathon wasn't a goal race for me (meaning I wasn't chasing a specific time - but it definitely was the culmination of recent running goals), I wasn't concerned about 'saving my legs' for Marathon Monday. If you didn't read my "Plans for the Boston Marathon", the gist was I wanted to enjoy every step (no matter what the clock said when I crossed the famed finish line on Boylston Street). With that said, if extra mileage isn't something you'd like to do prior to the race, I'd recommend adding an extra day or two to the end of your trip so you can get in the sites and sounds of Boston!


In case some of you have never been to Boston and wanted to know some of the things we saw while we were in town, I figured I'd put together a little list of what we did, what we would recommend you do and what we might suggest you skip.

Running

Uh... DUH! Obviously running in Boston is AMAZING (and the main reason we came to Beantown), but it is also an AWESOME way to see the city! We stayed in Dorchester so got in some miles along the Old Harbor and Castle Island, but also took the train (the public transit in Boston gets two thumbs up from me - we literally used it every time we wanted to go anywhere) and ran along the Charles River. Even though city running can be difficult (especially due to the traffic lights, crowded sidewalks, etc), there are tons of areas around town where you can get in FAN-FREAKIN'-TASTIC miles!

I always heard Boston ran on Dunkin'... but I was disappointed with the donut holes I "refueled" with after one of my runs

The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile, red-lined route that leads you to 16 historically significant sites. Although the Freedom Trail Foundation offers daily walking tours, we decided to do a self-guided tour (this way we could go at our own pace and decide which sites we wanted to spend more time at). And, actually, we split the trail into two days - starting at the Paul Revere House and heading north on the first day and then starting at Faneuil Hall and heading south on the second day.

The hubby was stoked to give Paul Revere a big high five!

I'll be honest, I am not a history buff so I didn't remember the significance for all of the sites prior to checking them out, but it was so cool to see all of that history so accessible. Everything in SoCal is so new (and cookie-cutter) so to see all of the rich history around Boston was incredible. PS The fact that there's a brick trail to follow makes it easy to stay on course!


Some of our favorite stops along the trail were the King's Chapel Burial Ground (which had graves from as early as 1661!), the Old North Church (where the lanterns to alert the Patriots the British were coming were hung), the Bunker Hill Monument (which you can actually climb to the top of) and the USS Constitution (along with the museum steps away from the boat). Had the weather been nicer, we could've spent more time maxin' and relaxin' in the Boston Common (America's oldest public park) and the Public Gardens. We didn't go anywhere you had to pay admission, but that's because I felt like we were getting so much "free" history that we didn't need to (it might also be because I'm what some call "frugal").

The 191 foot steeple is the tallest in Boston, making it the perfect place to signal to the Patriots about the advancing British troops

I may have been STOKED to know that I could get stamps for my National Park Passport in Boston!

It is 294 steps to the top and you are rewarded with some pretty awesome views when you arrive.

Fenway Park

If you have followed me for a while, you know that the Padot crew loves their sports. They have an affinity to Michigan and Detroit teams, but can be swayed to cheer for the hometown team as long as their team isn't involved ;) My mom grabbed us tickets for the Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles game on Friday night. The Red Sox have been on fire, so it was fun to watch them crush on their opponent (and get in on a few of the traditions around the park - like singing "Sweet Caroline" or chanting "Yankees Suck"). Prior to the game there was a ceremony to honor some of the victims from the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Let's just say it was amazing to witness and definitely set the tone for the weekend!

The hubby asked my mom and I what team we would be rooting for. At the same time we both replied, "THE TIGERS!"

Black Heritage Trail

Similar to the Freedom Trail, the Black Heritage Trail is a path in Boston, Massachusetts, winding through the Beacon Hill neighborhood and includes fourteen sites important in American black history. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Boston’s free African American community led the nation in the movement to end slavery and to achieve equal rights. These remarkable patriots established businesses, founded organizations and created schools. Their houses of worship, homes, schools and Underground Railroad sites make up Boston’s Black Heritage Trail. (There is a similar trail in Nantucket which features ten sites.) Having the opportunity to walk amongst such history was truly awe-inspiring.

The streets were amazing to see but I was glad we didn't have to run them during the Boston Marathon

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things you can do and see while in Boston. I feel like we definitely got in our fair share of history and sightseeing but left a few places on the table for the next time we visit (although I only plan on running the Boston Marathon once, that doesn't mean we will never come back to this city). Some of the things on our list that we didn't get to (or opted out of) were: Duck Boat Tours ($42 per person), Boston Tea Party Museum ($30 per person), Samuel Adams Brewery Tour (free but can be very busy so need to arrive early), Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum ($15 per person), JFK Presidential Library ($14 per person) and New England Aquarium ($28 per person).

Have you been to Boston before?

1 comment:

Sandra Bond said...

I love Boston. It's my favorite. It's the first city I visited when I came to the US and I would move there in a heartbeat.