I’ve lived in Boston for 10 years this fall, and where did the time go?! In that time I’ve had amazing jobs, opened my own PR business, fell in love with my fiance, met the best friends, and have experienced so much the city has to offer. I think the Boston/Cambridge area is full of life, fun people, and great restaurants, and I want to share some of my top local spots with you so you can see a lot of Boston in one day.
Keep in mind these are just a few of my favorite places. There’s so much more to do and see that it can’t be covered in just one day. But I hope these places will give you a good taste of the city and leave you wanting to visit again soon.
Here are my top tips for seeing Boston in one day:
9:00 am: Head to the Thinking Cup on Boston Common for a great cup of coffee and a pastry or breakfast sandwich. Pro tip: try their hazelnut latte. They press the hazelnut syrup in house and it tastes great hot or iced!
9:30am: Meander across the Boston Common and say hi to the friendly squirrels. I’ve even seen black and white squirrels in this park, and they make me so happy! Continue across the street into the Boston Public Garden and spend some time admiring the Swan Boats, beautiful flowers, and statues. Stop and take some photos here.
10:30am: From the Public Garden, cross over Arlington Street onto the famed Newbury Street. Spend some time window shopping (or actual shopping). On Newbury Street you can find everything from H&M to Burberry, so there will surely be a wide range of price points for all shoppers.
11:30am: After you’ve walked a few blocks down Newbury Street, turn left on Fairfield Street and walk towards the Prudential Center. Take the entrance next to the Gucci store and take the escalator up one floor to the huge Eataly complex. Eataly is over 45,000 square feet of just Italian food. Yummmmmm. You can find everything from pasta and pizza to fresh fish and tiramisu. Spend some time here browsing and indulging in the various things this amazing complex has to offer.
1pm: When you’ve finished lunch, take the MBTA Green Line (E) towards Heath Street. You can enter the MBTA station underneath the Prudential Center. You’ll get off at the Museum of Fine Arts where you can spend some time browsing their permanent and visiting collections like Ancient Greek art, their stunning Monet gallery, art of the Africas, musical instruments, jewelry, contemporary works, and more.
3pm: Hop back on the Green Line MBTA (E) train towards Lechmere. Get off at the Haymarket stop and make your way to the Boston Public Market. The market has over 35 different food and drink vendors, and is a great spot for quenching your thirst after walking around the museum! Grab a fresh juice from Mother Juice, coffee from George Howell, or a beer from Hopsters Alley. There are a number of great bakeries and food options at the Boston Public Market, so you may want to indulge in a special treat during your visit!
3:45pm: Meander down to Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall to take in some of the historical aspects of Boston. Faneuil Hall has been used as a meeting place since 1743 and has been the site of numerous historical and political happenings since then. Take note of the old cobblestones and explore this square with vibrant shops. Stop by the ArtsBoston BosTix booth to see if there are any half-price shows playing that you might want to see later in the evening. You can also view their deals online.
5pm: Find somewhere to eat dinner! I can’t recommend just one place, but my tops would be: haley.henry wine bar, Legal Seafood for some classic clam chowder and delicious rolls, Pho Pasteur for some mouthwatering Vietnamese cuisine, or Yvonne’s for a classic supper club vibe. But really the city has innumerable gems, and maybe you’ve passed something that looked great during the day!
7pm: Perhaps you found some theater tickets or you can check out some artsy performances at the Huntington Theatre, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Celebrity Series of Boston or the Boston Ballet. Performances will depend on the time of year you visit.
10 or 11pm: Collapse into an exhausted but happy pile back at your hotel or Airbnb.