Boston is one of the oldest and most historic cities in America. You’ve probably heard about all the famous tourist attractions – Fenway Park, Freedom Trail, Quincy Market – but what if you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path? As a long-time local and self-proclaimed expert on all things non-touristy, I’m here to share the best-kept secrets of Boston. So buckle up and get ready for a unique adventure through this charming city.
Discover Hidden Gems
The beauty of traveling is discovering new places that are not yet well-known. And Boston has plenty of hidden gems waiting to be uncovered. Stroll through The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University for a peaceful escape from the bustling city. This 281-acre botanical garden is home to over 15,000 plants and trees from all over the world. It’s nature’s playground and a favorite spot for locals to relax and rejuvenate.
Another hidden gem you must visit is Castle Island in South Boston. This charming peninsula is home to the historic Fort Independence, with stunning harbor and city skyline views. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic, a walk along the beach, or even a swim if you’re feeling adventurous.
Art and Culture Beyond Museums
Boston is known for its rich history and vibrant art scene, but there’s much more to explore beyond the traditional museums. One such place is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, a stunning Venetian-style palace filled with art and artifacts worldwide. The courtyard garden alone is worth the visit.
If you’re feeling adventurous, head to Fort Point for street art hunting. This up-and-coming neighborhood is home to some of Boston’s most talented graffiti artists, and the ever-changing murals are a sight to behold.
When in Boston, you must indulge in some of the iconic dishes like clam chowder and lobster rolls. But for a more authentic experience, venture out to local hotspots that tourists do not overrun. Start your day at Flour Bakery + Café for their famous sticky buns and decadent pastries. Then, head to Chinatown, where you can find some of the best dumplings and bubble tea.
For dinner, skip the fancy restaurants and join the locals at one of the many food trucks scattered around the city. From tacos to lobster mac and cheese, there’s something for every palate on wheels.
Take a Hike
No, not the literal kind. I’m talking about hiking through Boston’s many hidden trails and parks. The Emerald Necklace is a network of seven parks that span over 1,000 acres throughout the city. It’s the perfect spot for a scenic walk or bike ride away from the hustle and bustle.
If you’re up for a challenge, take on the Skyline Trail in Blue Hills Reservation. This 9-mile loop trail will reward you with breathtaking views of the Boston skyline and the surrounding nature.
Skip the big-name stores and head to Cambridge for some unique shopping experiences. The Garment District is a treasure trove for thrift shoppers, with racks upon racks of secondhand clothing waiting to be discovered. And while in the area, don’t miss out on Harvard Square. This bustling hub is home to independent bookstores, quirky gift shops, and plenty of street performers.
One of the best ways to experience a city like a local is attending events not advertised to tourists. Luckily, Boston has plenty of those. Check out SoWa Open Market, a weekly arts and crafts market featuring local artists and designers. Or head to Lawn on D for outdoor concerts, movie screenings, and food truck festivals.
Boston may be known as a tourist destination, but it has much more to offer beyond the famous landmarks. From hidden gems to unconventional experiences, this city is full of surprises waiting to be discovered. So next time you plan a trip to Boston, think beyond the guidebooks and experience the city like a true local.