72 Hours in Boston

My sister just started graduate school and moved a couple states away from our family, so to celebrate her big move and as one last sister-trip, we decided to go to Boston over the July 4th weekend! She had been briefly before and I had always wanted to visit, so this was the perfect opportunity! We found inexpensive, roundtrip nonstop flights directly into Boston Logan airport and got there Friday night to start the weekend early.

We were departing the following Tuesday morning, which meant we had a solid 72+ hours to enjoy the city to its fullest. How can two broke sisters avoid going bankrupt in Boston?

A place to rest our heads.

First, we stayed at Hostelling International Boston for about $50/per/bed. While it could a been a little closer to the main sites in my opinion, it was perfect for our price and was decent walking-distance to just about everywhere we needed to go. We stayed in an 8-bed female dorm and the hostel included free continental breakfast of toast, waffles, coffee, and fruit. For a safe bed to sleep in, it was fine, although I do have to say that it was hard to climb up a bunk bed since I’ve grown up and upgraded a bit from my hostelling weekends in Europe! Ah well 🙂

Lobtah and chowdah for days!

We’re both seafood lovers and knew going into Boston that they are known for their awesome seafood – and the city didn’t disappoint! From trying fresh oysters to crab cakes and everything in between, Boston fed us well. I do have to shout out to the mega-touristy-but-so-worth-it $30 combination of lobster roll and clam chowder – as $$$ as it was (we split it), it was so worth it and was the most memorable meal of trip. Hot, buttered lobster on a fresh roll with a cup of chowder on the side… omg.

Shout out to Dino’s – some of the best seafood risotto I’ve ever had. Find them up in Little Italy!
Another must-eat is Mike’s Pastry! They’re the place in Little Italy with the line going around the corner 🙂 You can find any flavor of cannoli you can imagine!

Okay, so we may have splurged on food, but activities were cheap!

We soon realized that unless we really wanted to, there wasn’t much reason to spend money on actually doing things – a lot of sites were free or inexpensive! The first full day we went up to Harvard and walked around the campus, where our grandpa had actually gone to school. The spirit of the campus was amazing and made me wish we had more time there! I’d love to attend a college fair just to walk around and pretend I was going there 🙂

We did visit the Harvard Museum of Natural History, which was pretty kick-ass and I highly recommend! It has the best gemstone/mineral/rock collection that I’ve ever seen (my secret obsession – I wanted to be a geologist for the longest time). I felt like a kid in a candy store! Rocks are so cool.

Another trip highlight was visiting Ward Maps, an antique map store just north of Harvard. Everywhere I go I look out for map stores, and here I found an old 1901 original map of Boston, but the extra cool part about this map is that it’s turned 90 degrees to the right – so north is pointing east! I don’t have the space right now, but I envision having a wall of antique maps someday and I can put up all these awesome pieces I’ve been collecting 🙂 I also found an amazing small map of old town Santiago de Compostela, as well as the cathedral, which is where I studied abroad! I could have spent all day in that store!

So the majority, if not all, of the first day was spent on the Harvard campus and getting our bearings of the city (okay, and shopping at Primark, because obviously). The next two days were spent exploring the sites on the Freedom Trail, including Boston Common, Quincy Market, and lovely Little Italy. We did take a Freedom Trail tour starting on the outskirts of the Boston Common, but honestly I didn’t feel it was worth the money – we could have just walked around and learned about sites without having to try and keep up with a guide, which is what we ended up doing anyway. I like moseying along on my own or having a podcast guide right in my ear 🙂

Anyway, if you didn’t know, the Freedom Trail a brick trail all throughout Boston that highlights the historic sites in the city. It’s easy to walk along and follow, stopping at various buildings and spots to learn more about what happened there. Pretty cool! We even took a ghost tour on our last night and walked through oh so many cemeteries (and learned that the entire city is basically one big burial ground!

Site of the Boston Massacre!
King’s Chapel. I was fascinated by the pew boxes, which families could purchase and reserve for themselves. There was even a governer’s box where Washington had once graced!

Find all the lobstah and chowdah you want at Quincy Chapel!

We even found time to explore the Museum of Fine Arts, which contained waaay more than we could see in just a short afternoon! We ended up splitting up halfway through due to me wanting to rest my tired feet. It was pretty cool to see the Passage of the Delaware, though!

Our last great meal in Boston was at Bell in Hand Tavern, a must-visit in my opinion. Right in the heart of the Freedom Trail and old-fashioned American food with local lagers. I had a lobster BLT (pictured above), which was amazing! Last bit of lobster for the trip 🙁

Ultimately, Boston is not a city if you have foot (or wallet) problems! We were totally worn out each evening and the mornings got harder and harder to go out as we didn’t feel fully recovered from how much walking we did the day before!


How to See the Ball Drop Without Standing in Times Square

Hey there! It’s been a while since I’ve actually posted but I can’t wait to talk about my weekend in New York to watch the ball drop! My sister and I came into Manhattan from New Jersey on December 30th and we had a room at the Riu Plaza Times Square. If you’re looking for a hotel near Times Square, this one is a great choice. Literally a block away, next to an outdoor shopping market, and across the street from Pret A Manger.

Anyway, as this was my sister’s birthday/Christmas present from me, we went out for a nice dinner to celebrate and checked out Times Square on the way to The View restaurant, at the top of the New York Marriott Marquis. It was pretty interesting to see how Times Square was already set up – the stages were there and the fencing blocking out the space for the following night. Read more

Honolulu: More Than A Visit to Pearl Harbor

I recently visited Honolulu for the first time and had a blast! I didn’t have too much time to really research all the must-sees/eats/dos of the city before it was ultimately time to board the plane, but on the other hand sometimes I like to just show up and wing it, enjoying what’s available and not worrying about a schedule.

So here are some of my top suggestions for those visiting Honolulu! Of course the number one obvious activity is visiting Pearl Harbor, but I realized there’s so much more to Honolulu than that.  Read more

Exploring Maui’s Downtown Lahaina and the Haleakala Sunrise

I recently came back from a short trip to Honolulu and Maui – my first time in Hawaii! Personally I liked Honolulu better for all its activity and felt like Maui could get a bit boring after a while (I’m not much of a beach person tbh) but I think I need to go back and give it more of a chance in a few years.

We only had two nights in Maui and on our first we woke up very early to take a tour to the Haleakala Summit for the famous sunrise – AKA House of the Sun. Our tour was with Polynesian Adventure Tours, including a pickup directly from our hotel Napili Kai Beach Resort at 2AM (yep, that was fun). After we picked up about 20 other passengers at other various hotels we were on our way up to the summit, with our delightful guide keeping us awake by giving us little details and history on the summit and some fun stories. Read more

Salt Lake City Hotels for Any Budget

Image via Trover.com by TravelTess

Salt Lake City, UT, is a popular getaway spot and a perfect destination for those who don’t want to rent a car, as it’s very easy to get around on foot or use public transportation. There’s just enough to do in the city and surrounding area to enjoy a weekend getaway, but it’s important to do research on accommodations to find the perfect hotel fit. Read more

Perfect Hotel Options for Everyone in Bellevue, WA

Photo via Trover.com by Stina M

Thousands of tourists visit Seattle every year, which means busy crowds and potential for very high hotel rates if staying right in the heart of the city. Why not stay just a short drive outside the city and enjoy the peace and quiet in Bellevue, WA? The charming town would be a smart option for accommodations when planning a trip to nearby Seattle. Read more

Florida’s Best Beach Towns

There’s always something for everyone at America’s favorite spring break state. Florida draws in tourists from all over the world for its famous sites, including blossoming sunsets, iconic theme parks, the Everglades, and of course the beautiful, white-sand beaches. Florida’s exciting beach towns are also destinations in themselves and only add to the draw of a beach getaway.  Read more

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