My top 5 things to do in Boston

If you know me, you know that one of my favorite cities in the world – that's right: in the world – is none other than Boston, Massachusetts. I'm not from there, nor do I have family living there. I do happen to have many good friends who went to college there, so I thought it would be fun to go visit them during one of my own college breaks. At first, I didn't really know what to expect other than that I was going to a major U.S. city. But when I arrived, I instantly fell in love. I mean, how could you not?

Photo By:  Alex Hemmer

Photo By: Alex Hemmer

I suppose being half Dutch and half Indonesian, I was instantly drawn to the mix of vibes the city has to offer. From the preppy fashion to the historical New England landscape to the busy east coast vibes, the Boston accents you only hear on TV and, of course, to the perfect, coastally-fresh seafood, I had many reasons to feel like I had found heaven.

Today, I'm almost too proud to say that I've visited Boston at least four times, and that I have a list of things I like to do when I'm there. So if you're looking to pin Boston on your travel map and you happen to dig my site, you may want to take note of the following sight-seeing suggestions next time you're in the country's higher ed. capital:

  1. Eat seafood! In case I haven't said it enough, the seafood in Boston is worth it. Having grown up by the ocean myself, I am obsessed with fresh fish and seafood, and I know how hard it is to find in the US. I can't help but look for shrimps and clams when I'm on the east coast.

  2. Walk along the Boston Harbor As you can see in the photo above, the Boston Harbor is absolutely gorgeous. There's nothing quite like standing by the dock and facing the beginning of an endless sea, watching boats in the (near and far) distance. Let the breeze blow through your hair and against your face as you take in the freedom that comes with the view. This can be especially de-stressing if you're used to landlocked living. (i.e. me taking a break from Minnesota).

  3. Visit Faneuil Hall Marketplace It's almost impossible to be a tourist in Boston without stopping by Faneuil Hall Marketplace. It instantly brings you close to multiple attractions in the city. Experience a walk through Quincy Market to scan the delicious treats and various cute shopping opportunities. When you're done, visiting the North End is worth the walk. Here, you'll find the historical neighborhood that was home to early Italian immigrants in the United States. I'm always personally intrigued by the stories that are still visible - of how many early Italian immigrants lived in poverty and struggled to feel a sense of belonging in their new country. You'll have to explore to see what I mean.

  4. Keep an eye (ear) out for live music Done shopping and eating in Faneuil Hall Marketplace? Make sure you don't overlook the street musicians nearby. There's always been a guy playing bucket drums right outside Quincy Market, every single time I've been to Boston. Whether or not it's the same guy (I want to find out who he is/they are), they're worth the watch.

  5. Aquarium Ok, so this is a cheat suggestion because I've never been to the Boston Aquarium myself (I KNOW). But everyone I know who's been to Boston always mentions the Aquarium and how amazing it is, and it only makes me want to go more and more. Once again, you just can't miss out on an opportunity to explore sea life when you're on the coast.

I could talk about this historical, vibrant city for hours. It represents everything from the end of Native American freedom to the birth of the United States. It tells the story of how each European nationality was “the new kid at school” at one point, immigrating one after the other. There’s so much to learn and challenge yourself on, on top of sightseeing and eating delicious food.

It’s not New York. It’s not LA.

It’s Boston.

TravelAlex HemmerTravel, Food, Boston