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Explore Boston in 24 Hours

Exploring any city around the world in less than a day is no mean feat so trying to explore one of America’s leading cities is certainly an unenviable task. Explore Boston in 24 hours? Yeah, right! However, our experience there on the final day of our New England road trip is worthy of sharing as it gives an insight into what can be achieved in such a short timeframe.

After leaving Providence, Rhode Island around 11:00AM, we made our way north to the JFK Presidential Library and Museum where we spent a couple of hours before heading to downtown Boston. We parked in the Boston Common underground parking garage which at $12 for all day parking on a Sunday is a pretty good deal for a downtown metropolis.

Lunch at Cheers

It wouldn’t be a trip to Boston without sampling the cuisine at Cheers, the restaurant famous for the TV sitcom shown around the world. Located on Beacon Hill, this famous location is just a few minutes from the Boston Common and the parking garage is actually the recommended parking spot if you are visiting just to experience Cheers.

bostin in 24 hours

Of course you are probably familiar with the exterior of the building if you have seen the TV show, but the interior was surprisingly small and compact, really a perfect location for the Cheers cast to enhance the theme “Where Everybody Knows Your Name.”

A short 10 minute wait gave us time to browse the gift shop before being seated in the back of the restaurant. Between us we sampled the Cheers Cheeseburger and Sam’s Turkey Sandwich which are both great options! Another great incentive when visiting Cheers is to pay for either a beer or a soft drink and then for an additional $6 you can take away your very own Cheers mug.

The Freedom Trail

Leaving the Cheers restaurant, we were handed a brochure highlighting the famous Cheers Trail that takes you from the original Beacon Hill location, to the newer Cheers restaurant that has been built in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Along the route, you can take in part of the ‘Freedom Trail’ which gives visitors to Boston the opportunity to see many of the leading historic sites that makes the city so attractive for tourists.

One of the best aspects of this walking tour is that it is FREE, unless you decide to visit some of the attractions along the way (e.g. museums etc.). Here are some of the leading attractions along the route that we experienced:

Boston Common

boston in 24 hours

We really felt that the Boston Common was the heart of the city. This is a location that locals and tourists alike congregate and relax among natural beauty with lakes, greenery and other natural attractions making this an eco-friendly spot to spend an afternoon. Why not grab an ice-cream or a drink from a local vendor and take a seat in front of Washington’s Memorial or the Boston Common Lake!

Park Street Church

boston in 24 hours

Park Street Church is a historic Congregational church on the Trail. Adjacent to the church is the Granary Burial Ground which is home to resting place of Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Paul Revere. You can even see Adams’ grave from the sidewalk as you pass by the church.

boston in 24 hours

Boston Massacre Site & Old State House

boston in 24 hours

Probably the most famous site throughout the Freedom Trail is the Old State House which is home to the Boston Massacre in 1770. The cobbled streets surrounding this location played host to violence between colonists and British soldiers.Today, in front of the Old State House, a circle of cobblestones commemorates the Boston Massacre event!

Quincy Market

boston in 24 hours

Quincy Market, also known as the Faneuil Hall Marketplace is located at the end of the ‘Cheers Trail’ as it provides the location for the modern version of the Cheers Boston chain. The area surrounding Quincy Market and South Market is a haven for restaurants, shopping, local street entertainment and other attractions that make this a popular spot for people to wander around.

Fenway Park

When you think about the most famous stadiums in Major League Baseball, aside from the original Yankee Stadium, there are probably none more popular than Fenway Park. If you are visiting downtown Boston, why not hop on the T-Subway to take advantage of the great Boston public transportation system to visit the home of the Boston Red Sox. Alternatively, it is a short drive from downtown Boston to get to the park.

boston in 24 hours

Just being in close proximity to such an iconic ballpark was enough to make you want to return to see the Red Sox in action.

Summary

We really made the most of our time in Boston but even in just a few hours we were able to catch a glimpse of what this beautiful city has to offer. I have read many reviews about Boston, both positive and negative but everything from our experience there was a definite thumbs up! The food, the history, the architecture among many other things are all positive aspects that will likely encourage you to pay a return visit.

Stereotypically known as ‘America’s Walking City’, Boston is designed in such a way that once you have parked your car or taken public transportation to get downtown, the remainder of your time can be spent wandering around the historic streets of this city.

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Dave Cole

Thursday 26th of June 2014

You guys saw quite a bit of Boston in 24 hours. About as much as I covered in yearly field trips to the city in grade school (although Cheers was not allowed at that age). Not a lot of US cities have such a rich historical background and you captured it nicely. I really like your shot of the Samuel Adams grave site. The chain in the foreground conveys a colonial feel.

Chris

Thursday 26th of June 2014

Cheers Dave! We appreciate your comments and yes, I really think we did a great job at capturing a lot of Boston's history in such a short space of time! Of course in hindsight it would have been better if we could have spent more time there but sometimes you just have to make the most of your opportunities and I am really happy with what we accomplished in less than 24 hours.

Alouise

Tuesday 17th of June 2014

I came really close to driving to Boston when I was in Manchester, NH a few years back, but I'm kind of glad I didn't go. Boston looks like an amazing city, and we would have only had time to spend a couple hours there. Seems like I would need at least 24 hours there.

Chris

Friday 20th of June 2014

If you have the opportunity to spend more time in Boston Alouise, I would highly recommend it! For us, we didn't have any other choice but to spend only 24 hours there simply because there was so many other spots we wanted to explore on the hectic road trip. It truly is an amazing city and one that we look forward to heading back to in the near future hopefully.

However, I will say that the beauty of most cities is that if you organize your day effectively, you can see an awful lot in just 24 hours and Boston is no different, primarily because it is so "walker-friendly"!

Sammi Wanderlustin'

Monday 16th of June 2014

Oh wow! I didn't realise that the Cheer's pub was real! Amazing :)

Kate

Saturday 14th of June 2014

Brilliant post! This makes me want to go to Boston. So many things to see and of course Cheers :) I'd also love to take part in WeekendWanderlust which I think is a great idea and very much part of my kind of travelling. Thanks for sharing