If you have just a day to spend in Boston ………..
With summer soon approaching, many people are making holiday plans. North America, particularly the US is a popular destination for Indian tourists. More so, with many of our students studying in US Colleges.
If you are in Boston checking out colleges or attending Graduation as I did, you may not have much time to take in the sights.
But fear not!
In just a day, you can see a lot especially if you like to follow the footsteps of those who made history.
The Freedom Trail is just ONE of the many things you can do if you have just a day to see Boston. And the good thing about it is that you can do it all for FREE.
I’m recalling here, the memory of a delightful day spent in Boston.
One Day In Boston
In 2010, a hitherto unknown volcano in Iceland almost nixed our travel plans to attend our daughter’s graduation in Boston. Eyjafjallajökull’s eruption disrupted more than the air traffic over European air space. It made us drastically cut short the days we had planned to spend in Boston.
Finally, four days was all that we could manage. That left us with just the day to take in the sights.
But it turned out to be good enough, to get a feel of this historic city.
Especially on a nice and sunny day like we were blessed with.
A good place to start from is Boston Common, the oldest public park in the US. Always busy and bustling, you immediately get the vibe of a vibrant, historic city.
We spent 5 glorious hours walking down The Freedom Trail. Literally, following the red brick line marked along the neighbouring streets. It is actually only 4 kms long with 19 spots to visit.
Even if you want to do a self-guided tour ( as we did), it’s always a good idea to start from the Information Centre. There are several options to choose from with different tours offered by guides dressed in “Revolutionary” costume. But we didn’t want to get restricted by a fixed route and opted to do it our way, relying on the information booklet we picked up at the Centre.
Starting out from the bottom of the stairs of the majestic Gold-domed State House, we were awestruck by the thought we were walking where history was made! We then walked down to the Park Street Church where the first call for Abolition of slavery was made. Across the street, we discovered a quaint antique shop. We were so distracted by its wares that we almost abandoned the trail!
But we got on track and discovered Boston Latin School, the first Public School in North America. This school is still functioning as a school and its distinguished alumni include 5 signatories to the Declaration of American Independence!
To coffee or not
By this time, the sun was pretty high and we desperately wanted to quench our thirst. So we grabbed a chilled coffee at Starbucks to take us through the rest of the trek. Believe it or not, but this was my first ever and choosing a coffee with the multiple options – fat free, sugar free, caffeine free and of course the additional flavourings……….was mind boggling . But luckily, my choice was just right.
We continued walking down the sun-drenched street towards the Old South Meeting House.Did you know that this was the place where the Boston Tea Party began in 1773! Click To Tweet
As we entered the most important colonial landmark, we actually heard the whispers of those revolutionaries who changed American history forever. We then went to the Old Court House before going on to the famed old city market Faneuil Hall. Completely restored, this is the hub of tourist activity. It is buzzing with activity with its quaint stalls selling memorabilia and the food court with New England culinary fare. Like a small child, I was simply fascinated by the candy store and couldn’t help being attracted by the bright coloured sweets of every conceivable shape and size.
Like other tourists hanging about the place, we listened to the strains of music played by a street orchestra and watched other people watching other people soaking in the Boston sun.
Back to the present
No trip to Boston is complete without a visit to the swank boutiques on Newbury Street. And because we had only the day to spend in Boston, we abandoned the Freedom Trail at Faneuil Hall and trooped down to this fancy street.
At one end of this street we discovered Mumbai Chopstix, which has since closed. But at that time, it was a popular joint for those nostalgic and desperate for a bit of Indian Chinese.
We returned to our hotel filled with lovely memories but I can assure you that you can spend days discovering this delightful city.
This post first appeared on this blog in May 2010.
p.s. If you are a parent making a road trip round the US, checking out colleges to send your kids to, here’s a useful resource for you to follow.
Check it out here.