Terra: Boston Bound, Part One

View from the Train leaving NYC this morning

Today I am blogging from the Acela train from New York’s Penn Station to Boston’s South Street Station. It’s a pretty quick journey, about 3 hours and 40 minutes; the Acela express train shaves about 45 minutes off the regular Amtrak route. Since I am always super impatient to get where I am going and also want to be able to connect to Wi-Fi en route (so I can blog!), Acela is the best option, though more expensive than the regular regional train. It’s  mostly a beautiful ride, with many scenic vistas along the Connecticut coastline that are camera-worthy.

Boston is a fantastic city, and well worth a visit if you are coming to the East Coast. I lived there for several years before moving to New York City and return several times a year. Though much smaller than NYC, Boston offers many attractions for every kind of travller. Here are some of my favorite things to see and do in beautiful Boston.

The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail

Boston’s Freedom Trail is a winding 2.5 mile walk from through Boston’s most historic neighborhoods which brings Boston’s fascinating history to life.  The red-brick line marking the journey takes you to museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, a ship, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond. Trying to do the walk in one day and stopping at each marker is possible, but requires a fair amount of stamina. I suggest breaking it in to two days so you don’t feel rushed (or hurt your feet).  Here’s a tip for you: stop at Mike’s Pastry on Hanover Street during the North End portion of the trail. You won’t regret having a few cannolis to keep up energy levels going, Mike’s cannolis are the best you can find outside of Italy.

Faneuil Hall

 Faneuil Hall

Faneuil Hall is a pedestrial friendly area that’s great for shopping and dining. There’s truly something for everyone at the expansive food court, plus a number of bars and restaurants that get very lively on weekends. Nearby you can also find the Old State House, from which the original Declaration of Independence was first proclaimed in 1776. Every year on July 4th that declaration is renewed on the balcony where the historic document is read just as it was in 1776. It’s actually really a special experience that is highly recommended.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

I have been lucky to travel to some of the world’s most impressive art museums: the Uffizi in Florence, the Louvre in Paris and even the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. But I have to say, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum remains one of my favorite art museums of the world. The collection features artists such as John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler and Henry James. This was Garder’s personal collection that this dynamic and fascinating woman aquired through her life and travels. Her estate prohibits that any significant changes to the permanent collection therefore when you visit you will notice 13 spots where art should hang but was stollen in 1990. The museum will not replace the missing paintings as they consider that against the will of Gardner’s estate so they wait patiently for the recovery of the pieces instead. I love this museum because it seems so personal. You can feel that she really loved what she collected.

Old Photograph of the Union Oyster House

Union Oyster House

I love love love oysters. And I love history. This place has them both! Not only is this the oldest restaurant in Boston, it is actually the oldest restaurant in continuous service in the United States. The Union Oyster House has been serving up grub since 1826. Another historical tid bit for you, this was also the first place a toothpick was ever used in the US!  The Union Oyster House was a favorite establishment of John F. Kennedy and today a booth remains dedicated to his memory. I love sitting at the circular bar and enjoying some of the best oysters the sea has to offer.

Boston's Museum of Science

 Museum of Science

My sister has twin toddlers, which is what brings me back up to Boston so frequently. They are so cute! Recently she took them to the Museum of Science and my nephew Aidan was almost apopletic with excitment. He just looked around with wonder and yelling, “WOW! WOW! WOW!” at the top of his lungs, thankfully to the amusement of the other patrons visiting. And his enthusiasm isn’t unfounded–it really is a cool place for kids of all ages! With a variety of rotating exhibitions and an IMAX theatre, there’s always sometihng interesting going on there. I am hoping to check out the Butterfly Garden this weekend.

Me and my sister at a Fenway Park game in 2006

 Fenway Park

I admit it. This isn’t easy for my colleagues at New York Guest to accept, but I am a big Red Sox fan. I just love baseball and find the wait between the World Series and spring training a true exercise of my patience. Seeing a game at Fenway Park is a magical experience, whether you are a fan of the Sox or not. Fenway has served as the home ballpark of the Boston Red Sox baseball club since it opened in 1912 making it the oldest Major League Baseball stadium currently in use. Every game since May 2003 has been sold out, which is a MLB record. You can also take tours of this cathedral of sports on days when there are no games scheduled.

I could go on…but this post is getting pretty long. I would be delighted to assist you with your own Boston travel plans. I know the city inside and out and can advise you on where to stay and dine as well as help you build an itinerary based on your interests. Better yet, combine your next trip to Boston with a visit to New York City! There are many ways to get from one city to the other, excellent bus service, the train, 30 flight or 4 hour drive. Contact me for travel planning assistance at tmrkulic@newyorkguest.com 

–Terra

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