Our New England Travel Diary
As you may have saw by following along on my Instagram stories, Rob and I took a spontaneous trip to Boston, Massachusetts this weekend. When we moved from Texas to Georgia, Rob’s vacation days were all usually spent on us traveling back to see both of our families. Now that my parents live just a (shorter) drive away in North Carolina, we decided to start making it a point to plan trips for just ourselves. Growing up, I’ve lived all over – from the Southeast to the Midwest to the heart of the South (and now back in the Southeast!) In fact, Georgia is the 8th state I’ve lived in over my 24 years of life.
However, one place I’ve never lived in is New England. I have vague memories of exploring Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh on trips as a small child with my parents, but we have never gone back. I’ve always been low-key fascinated with Massachusetts – I even had dreams of going to Harvard my entire life! So when Rob decided to book a spontaneous weekend trip for us to explore somewhere new, he picked Boston. (Can we talk about how amazing he is?)
Part 1: Boston, Massachusetts
Today on the blog, I can’t wait to share with you part 1 of our New England travel diary. If you plan on taking a trip to Boston in the future, here’s a little of where we ate as well as what we did – and even what we wish we would have done!
There’s a huge joke with Rob’s office that he’s bad luck to fly with, but he really is. Every time I travel with Rob somewhere, our flight is delayed somehow. This time was no different. All was well when our plane departed on time. But what was suppose to be a 2.5 hour flight from Atlanta to Boston turned into 7 hours… over some fog?
We had originally booked dinner reservations and tickets to Craig Robinson‘s comedy show for that night right after we landed. However, when we reached Boston our plane’s landing was put on hold over some fog around the airport. We hovered over the airport for a little over an hour before being diverted to Albany, New York in order to refuel. After refueling, we waited for orders before we made our way back to Boston to hover over the city again. Finally, after completely missing our reservations and starving on the plane, we finally made it to Boston. Although it was a rocky start to our weekend trip, we hoped that our time in Boston would be better than the travel.
Where We Stayed
We actually stayed right by the airport at the Hilton Garden Inn by using our Hilton points. It was actually really nice and quiet, and the staff was super nice as well. Because it wasn’t in the Downtown city portion of Boston, we did have to drive. Spoiler Alert: the drivers are somehow even crazier than they are in Atlanta! Not to mention, the roads and maps were really confusing to follow. Driving in Boston is extremely stressful when you have no idea where you’re going. Next time we make the trip back, I would definitely opt to stay in a hotel in the middle of everything downtown so you could just walk everywhere.
Where We Ate
Bostonia Public House
When we finally made it to Boston, we decided to have a super late dinner at Bostonia Public House in downtown. Starving from not eating since breakfast that morning, we got a charcuterie board and tater tot poutine as an appetizer. For our meals, Rob ordered the Hudson Valley Duck Confit pasta, and I decided to splurge on my diet and order their Lobster Mac and Cheese. I love Lobster mac and cheese, and after eating it at Capital Grille I have yet to really find anything that compares – until now. It was seriously the best Mac and Cheese I’ve ever had! My only wish is thatI didn’t get full so fast to finish it. It was so rich, creamy, and full of Lobster that I couldn’t eat more than half of it.
Common Ground Coffee Roasters
For our first morning in Boston, we stopped at Common Ground Coffee Roasters for a quick breakfast and cup of coffee on our way to downtown to explore. As a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, I’ve had a lot of cups of coffee in my lifetime. (Heck, I’ve probably already had three or four just today!) But, this cup of coffee was among one of the BEST cups of coffee I’ve had in a long time. Paired with a fried egg, ham, and cheese bagel sandwich (minus the bagel for Keto), it was such a great start to our first day.
Until a squirrel in the Boston Common tipped my coffee over on me because I wouldn’t feed him…
After we took the guided freedom trail tour from Boston Common to Faneuil Hall, we strolled through Quincy Market to find some lunch. Quincy Market is a massive market building filled with little shop vendors and food stalls. There was always something going on outside of Quincy Market, too, whether it be street vendors or performers. For lunch, we grabbed some Boston Clam Chowder from one of the stalls inside. Having never had Boston Clam Chowder before, what better place to have your first bite than sitting in downtown Boston itself. It was incredibly delicious and the perfect pair to a cold day exploring the city.
The Union Oyster House
One thing about the guided freedom trail tour is that it only takes you to the first 11 of the 16 spots on the trail. After eating and exploring the little area around Quincy Market, we decided to continue on the freedom trail to see what else we would find. As America’s oldest restaurant that dates back to pre-revolution days, we couldn’t help but stop by The Union Oyster House next for some Oysters and, in Rob’s case, Boston Baked beans. While we weren’t able to sit in the Kennedy booth, we at least got to sit next to it! Just like everything else, the oysters were some of the best I’ve had. (I’m starting to see a trend here in Boston…)
The Omni Parker House
After (almost) completing the freedom trail, we decided to stop by The Omni Parker House on the way back to the car before we went and freshened up before dinner. As foodies and religious watchers of the Travel channel and Food Network, this was on Rob’s must-visit list when we were planning our trip to Boston. I only had a few bites (because Keto), but that was something I definitely wished I just had for myself. It’s safe to rule now that it really tasted as amazing as they say!
To end our first night in Boston, we had a nice dinner at Ostra – a contemporary Mediterranean seafood restaurant inspired by local and european varieties of seafood. However, we didn’t have seafood at all during our visit to Ostra. We started off with Pepper Crusted Prime Sirloin Carpaccio before both getting the Filet Mignon for our main course. (Absolutely delicious!)
For dessert, Rob got the Snow Egg pictured below. With Meringue, Lemon Curd Mousse, Raspberry, and Basil – it was the perfect kind of interesting that our taste buds didn’t expect. If you’re looking to have an upscale date night in Boston, Ostra is the perfect place to make a reservation.
What We Did
The Freedom Trail Guided Tour
Starting in the Boston Common and going across the city to Faneuil Hall, the guided freedom trail tour is a must-do when visiting Boston. Each tour group is lead by an actor/actress playing a historical Boston character while dressed in colonial garments. Our tour guide extremely knowledgeable, funny, and made the tour fun the entire time. Rob and I joked that we definitely learned more on the tour than we did in our high school history class! We are so glad we paid for the tour rather than exploring the trail by ourselves.
Watched Street Performers
Like I mentioned above, there was always something going on around Quincy Market. When we finished the guided portion of the freedom trail tour, we ran into some street performers on our walk over to Quincy Market. It was fun getting to stop and watch with the crowds. From unicyclists like Kilted Colin to dancers and singers, there were a lot of different people to stop and watch as you explored the city.
The Paul Revere House
One thing about the guided freedom trail tour is that it only takes you to the first 11 of the 16 spots on the trail. We decided to continue through the rest of the five stops on our own. One of those was the Paul Revere house where Revere actually lived in Boston. With the home already being almost 100 years old when Revere purchased the home for himself and his family, It’s almost unbelievable that it’s still standing today. I loved getting to take the little tour of the Paul Revere house and learn about his life in Boston during the time of the revolution.
After touring the Paul Revere house, we continued exploring Boston along the freedom trail and taking in all of the beautiful scenery and culture that the city had to offer.
Our Favorite Parts
Rob and I definitely agree that our favorite part of our short time in Boston was definitely the guided freedom tour. I joked with Rob that I definitely learned more on that tour than I did in high school, but it’s true! Our tour guide was an amazing actress who was incredibly knowledgeable about her beloved city. It was a great time!
What We Wish We Would Have Done
A Cannoli from Mike’s Pastry
One of my friends told me that, along with the Boston Cream Pie from The Parker House, this is something that was a must-try when you go to Boston. As we were walking through North End following the rest of the freedom trail, I kept seeing people carrying Mikes Pastry boxes! As someone on Keto who wasn’t trying to completely kill her diet on the trip, we had to make the hardest decision – choose one. But, honestly, I wish I would have just had a bite of both!
Italian Food in Boston’s North End
I am actually Sicilian on my father’s side. With that being said, I LOVE Italian food – like, I’m pretty much like Oprah yelling how much she loves bread when I’m faced with a great Italian dish. However, we decided it was better not to go – I needed to stay in Ketosis rather than fall in a Carb-osis coma.
Boston Tea Party Museum
I actually got this recommendation from Mary Leigh of Live Well Play Together from her Boston Travel Guide. Unfortunately, we just didn’t have enough time to make it happen. But if you’re ever going to Boston for a weekend, you’ll have to also check out her travel diary for even more recommendations.
Well, friends, that (kind-of, not really) quick overview of our time in Boston concludes Part 1 of our New England travel diary. I can definitely see why so many people love this city, and it’s safe to say that this won’t be our last trip to the Northeast. If you ever find yourself traveling to Boston for a quick weekend away like we did, I hope our travel guide helps you plan your trip with intention. Have you been to Boston before? Tell me about your experience in a comment below! Are there any other things we must do the next time we return?
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
So many things to do in such a history rich city!
There are so many things to do!
Amanda Martin says
This sounds like such a great trip (minus the awful plane ride, ohh i feel for you there!). Boston is on my list and I loved reading this guide, I want to go this fall. That mac and cheese and coffee shop…. yes please!
Yes!! Overall it was such an amazing trip. I highly recommend it! 🙂
Mary Leigh says
Oh hey! What a fun trip! There is so much to see and do in Boston! You’ll have to go back (we’re hoping to get back, too – just not when it’s cold because my southern heart can’t bear it!)
We can’t wait to go back – but I have to agree with you there… when it is much warmer! 😉
Jalisa Harris says
I live 20 minutes just outside Boston and love coming to visit the city.
How lucky! It is such a lovely city!
Jordan | Read. Eat. RePeat. says
A New England trip is definitely on my travel bucket list. And i love history, so that guided Freedom Trail toursounds great! Looks like you guys had a fun trip!
It was so much fun! I highly recommend it to anyone traveling to Boston. 🙂
Jersey Girl Cooks says
Boston is such a great city with good food. That pasta looks delicious!
It was even better than it looked – if that’s possible! 🙂
I’ve never been to new england, but this is very enticing! The food looks fab and I love the history.
You should definitely go! It was worth the trip! 🙂