Travel is often seen as exclusive to the wealthy. But f*ck that noise. There are offers. There are hostels. Your adventures are never as expensive as they seem at first glance. If they are really that expensive, stay closer to home and browse your state. Travel by car. Hit a national park.
Washington, DC-based travel blogger Marissa Strang knows that anybody can create a life full of travel and exploration and she has dedicated her career to educating people on how to make travel more accessible while working a nine-to-five job.
“I’m on a mission to empower others to make their travel dreams come true,” she says. “It doesn’t matter what you look like. Regardless of your socio-economic status. It doesn’t matter how old you are. I firmly believe that anyone – yes, absolutely anyone – can and should revel in the joys of seeing the world.
To that end, Strang shares insightful information travel tips and resources with his followers, from one-of-a-kind city guides and destination inspiration to budget travel hacks for budding travelers. And her favorite destination in the United States is one of the oldest cities in the country, Boston, a hub of history, delicious cuisine and tourism.
If you’re planning a trip to the Northeast, Boston should be on your itinerary. So we asked Strang to share his expert guide on where to eat, stay, drink and play while you’re in Beantown.
One of the coolest things about Boston is that it’s steeped in history! America’s City of Firsts tells the story of our nation’s beginnings – with America’s oldest restaurant, first public market, first public park, first public school, first subway system, and more. Besides being steeped in history, I love the layout of the town and their seafood scene is crazy!
What’s one thing every first-time visitor should see or do in Boston?
Be sure to visit Little Italy! Stepping into the North End feels like stepping straight into a movie set. The area is full of authentic Italian restaurants, pizzerias and bakeries. One of the most popular places in the neighborhood is Mike’s bakery, nicknamed the “House of the Cannoli”. Turns out I don’t really like cannolis, but people who do rave about their quality. Keep in mind they are cash only!
For the best pizza in the North End, head to Regina’s Pizzeria on Thatcher Street. They make greasy, cheesy, flavorful dishes that any pizza lover would regret missing out on.
The best way to soak up the history of the city?
The best way to learn about Boston’s fundamental history is to take a walk down memory lane. The iconic freedom trail is a 2.5 mile walk, winding through 16 major sites related to the founding of the city and the Revolutionary War. You know that little part of your brain from middle school history class that kicks in when you hear “Boston Tea Party” and “Paul Revere”? These stories, and many more, come to life on Freedom Trail tours.
You’ll stop at America’s first public park, the site of the Boston Massacre, the Massachusetts State House, and more. I recommend taking a free tour with Free walking tours (be sure to tip your guide!). Alternatively, you can hike the trail on your own with the online brochure as a guide.
Where to find the best lobster roll and clam chowder?
If there’s one restaurant that I would call a “must-eat” in Boston, it’s Union Oyster House. Opened in 1826, the restaurant has been serving traditional New England seafood for over 160 years. It is officially the oldest operating restaurant in America and a National Historic Landmark. Perched on cobbled streets, the authenticity of the building is preserved with its classic brick facade and antique interior. You can sip oysters at the famous semi-circle bar, sit at John F. Kennedy’s favorite booth, and wander the two floors of artifacts and oddities that dot the walls.
Don’t forget to try the creamy clam chowder (with a hint of Tabasco, of course) and the lobster rolls!
Three must-see spots for a Boston pub crawl?
The coolest hotel or place to stay in Boston?
Nestled in the Seaport District is the Aloft Boston Seaport Neighborhood Hotel. Known for its modern design, bright colors and state-of-the-art amenities, the hotel exudes a lively and colorful vibe. Upon entering the hotel, you are greeted by high ceilings, murals, a grand industrial staircase, and polished concrete in an open-plan lobby.
It was a really great stay with great customer service and a central location too!
A must-see museum in Boston?
Don’t forget to visit the site of the world’s greatest art heist – seriously, there’s a Netflix documentary about it and all! Each room of the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum is a work of art, meticulously curated to delight the senses. More than a dozen rooms, passages and galleries are simply spectacular. Without forgetting the heart and soul of the museum: a spectacular courtyard with ancient Roman sculptures and lush vegetation.
Whether you are an art lover or simply a lover of pretty things, the Gardener’s Museum is a must!
Best time of year to visit?
Between June and October! If you want to avoid the biggest crowds, go just after summer around August and September when the kids go back to school.