One of the biggest cities in New England and perched on a stretch of beautiful North American coastline, Boston is popular with locals, tourists and students alike—and it’s easy to see why. Even if you can’t start packing your bags just yet, here are ten great reasons to pencil in a trip to this charming city.
1. There’s so much American history
Following the Freedom Trail is the perfect way to get to know Boston. Follow the red brick markers around the city, stopping at 16 landmarks which represent different key points in both Boston’s history, and the early history of the United States. From Boston Common to the Bunker Hill Monument, you’ll travel through the site of the Boston Massacre, climb aboard the USS Constitution and learn about the American Revolution – all in just 4 kilometres.
2. It’s just so pretty
Everywhere you look, beautiful historic architecture rubs shoulders with 21st-century buildings. Roam cobbled streets and tree-lined avenues in the same day as exploring the thriving modern harbor. Boston’s premier landmark, the Old State House, is the oldest surviving public building in the city and the Declaration of Independence was read out from its balcony in 1776. Its postcard-perfect red brick Georgian design is more than worthy of a slot on your Instagram feed.
3. It’s an education hot-spot
A major city in the world’s largest English-speaking country, Boston is a fantastic place to learn English. The whole city has a thirst for knowledge. Central Boston is home to more than 250,000 college students, and just across the Charles River in Cambridge you’ll find Harvard University – the oldest institute of higher education in North America, and one of the best universities in the world.
4. You can live that city life…
Boston is a bustling, metropolitan city home to over 4.7 million people. The streets are filled with energy and there’s endless different neighborhoods with their own charms to explore on your weekends. With music and food festivals to art exhibitions and sporting games (go Red Sox!), there’s always something going on.
5. …and get those small-town feels
But Bostonites also enjoy the friendliness of a small town. Nowhere near as hectic as its East Coast neighbor, New York, laid-back Boston has earned the nickname ‘America’s walking city’ as over 15% of people walk to work – a US record. Why take a subway when you could stroll through leafy boulevards?
6. It’s home to iconic offshore wildlife
Perched on the north east coast of the States, Boston is blessed with sweeping ocean views and boasts some seriously spectacular whale watching opportunities. Humpback, fin and minke whales feed in their hundreds in the cool waters of New England during the summer, often just a few miles off the coast. Between May and October, whale watching catamaran trips are almost guaranteed to get you up close to these gentle giants.
7. The seafood is incredible
Just as the whales are drawn in by the super-productive underwater ecosystems, so too are the fishermen. Boston has long been known as the place to dine like a king if you know your king crab from your king prawn. You don’t have to head to fancy restaurants to sample the best of Boston’s seafood, though. Two words: lobster rolls. These world-famous, incredible fresh rolls filled with lobster caught just a few miles away are so good, they’re enough to make anyone move to Boston on their own. Check out our guide to Boston eats here.
8. Oh, and so are the hot drinks
When talking about Boston I couldn’t not mention tea. (And that’s not just because I’m English.) The Boston Tea Party event – where pro-independence Bostonians revolted against the newly-imposed tea tax and threw a shipment of tea straight into the harbor – is best known as one of the triggers for the American War of Independence. But some coffee-aficionados also claim that as the patriots swore never to drink tea again, it also founded America’s love affair with coffee. Dive straight into the café culture and head downtown for some of Boston’s most hipster coffee shops.
9. The St Paddy’s Day celebrations
Boston has a huge Irish scene, with over over 20% of the population of Irish Descent. Thousands of Irish settled in Boston in the 19th century, helping build the city into what it is today. Wherever you look, the proud Irish heritage is clear, with lively Irish pubs hosting live music nights on every corner, making it a fantastic place to celebrate St Patrick’s Day! It’s even reflected in its basketball team name: the Boston Celtics.
10. It’s so well-connected
Boasting a well-serviced international airport, the rest of the States (and further afield) are within easy reach; perhaps spend a weekend in Reykjavik or catch some sun in Miami. You can also reach New York in under four hours by train. For an epic road-trip, Montreal is less than a five-hour drive away and the whole of New England is famed for its stunning countryside and natural scenery.