This New Year’s Eve, Jamie traveled to Boston to visit family and enjoy the city’s New Year celebrations. Today, she brings you a recap on her weekend activities, as well as a few highlights for those of you who might plan a trip to Boston in the future.
Boston is a great city for students, families and everyone in between! It is fairly easy to navigate and has lots of tourist activities available, being a central part of our nation’s history. Here’s a quick Boston history lesson for those of you who didn’t pay too much attention during class: Boston was founded in 1630 by the Puritans who came over from England. In 1765, the American Revolution broke out, when the colonists’ wanted to break away from the political control of Great Britain. Today, you can walk along the Freedom Trail, stopping at historic sites like Paul Revere’s home, Massachusetts State House, and Faneuil Hall.
Boston is well known for its early politics and continued preservation of our nation’s history. From catching a game at the iconic Fenway Park, to ice skating in the Boston Common or, Jamie’s favorite, spending the day leisurely shopping on Newbury Street- a weekend trip to Boston is a must!
Jamie’s NYE Weekend
The Hotel: The Omni Parker House, Boston: This is the only Boston hotel that my family and I have stayed in for over 20 years! Half of my relatives live throughout the state of Massachusetts, making Boston a frequent trip for holidays and time off. Founded in 1885, this hotel is known for its historic heritage and has even seen writers like Emerson and Thoreau spend time there from time to time. The hotel is an idyllic representation of Boston’s history and the epitome of friendly service. As soon as we landed at Boston Logan, we ubered over to the hotel and dropped off our luggage before lunch.
Lunch at Faneuil Hall: Immediately after checking into the hotel, we walked over to Ned Divine’s at Faneuil Hall to grab lunch (~10 minute walk from the Omni). Ned Divine’s Pub is the epitome of classic New England comfort food. And, for our health conscious readers, they have healthy options too- like the Kale Caesar Salad with a side of Market Vegetables (if you know me, you know that I was overjoyed!). The portions are huge, food is fresh and service is great! If you want a taste of a typical Boston pub, look no further.
Celtics Basketball Game at TD Garden: There’s nothing like catching a professional basketball game in one of the nation’s most spirited cities. The TD Garden is the home of both the Boston Celtics basketball team and the Bruins hockey team. Interestingly enough, the Garden can transform the basketball stadium into a hockey rink, bringing in all of that ice, overnight between games. We watched an exciting game versus the Miami Heat and saw the Celtics win by a just a few points!
My family decided to dress up for the game and were all gifted with ugly Christmas sweaters! It actually helped having on an extra layer in the below 30 degree weather walk to the Garden, not to mention the sweaters helped us get our 15 minutes of fame on the jumbotron!
The Early Bird Special: One thing to be aware of before venturing to Boston is that it is not a city known for its late-night eats. After catching an evening Celtics basketball game, I searched desperately for a late night dinner spot. Being only 11:30p.m., I was shocked to find only 1 restaurant willing to serve us (despite lots of restaurant websites stating that they were still serving dinner…). We ended up eating at Barracuda Tavern, a fun little dive bar with pretty good food, just steps away from the Omni.
The BEST BRUNCH EVER at The Paramount: This is the ultimate brunch spot in Boston- and possibly ever! As soon as I saw the 30 person deep line to order, I knew that it would be worth it to wait for what looked and smelled like a great place to brunch. The Paramount has their line down to a system- you enter the line, order your meal while watching the chefs cook, and order drinks and pay at the end of the line. Then, there are two waitresses dedicated to finding you a table and carrying your food. The food looked so good that, between my boyfriend and I, we ordered four meals to try! Plus, their Beacon Hill location is right along a street of adorable shops, Charles Street. Yummy food, great coffee, and awesome service. Could you ask for more!?
Boston Common: After that huge brunch, we decided to take a stroll through the Boston Common to walk off some of that meal. The Boston Common is the huge park in the center of Boston. During the winter time, the Common has Christmas lights set up all around the park and an ice skating rink set up to replace the duck boats that you can enjoy during the summer. There are always a lot of families and couples enjoying the day strolling through the park. The highlight of the Common was definitely the fat, spunky, adorable squirrels running all around!
Newbury Street: Newbury Street is the perfect place to be for shopaholics like S&J! This long street of shops and restaurants has to be one of my top ten favorite places in the world. Here’s a quick list of my favorite shops & restaurants on Newbury:
Women’s Fashion Stores
- American Apparel
- Brandy Melville
- Cole Haan
- Kit and Ace
- Urban Outfitters
- Warby Parker
- Georgetown Cupcakes
- MET Bistro
- Shake Shack
- Stephanie’s on Newbury
- Wired Puppy Coffee Shop
Fireworks in the Park: After a day spent wandering around the Boston Common and Newbury Street, we warmed up in the hotel for a bit and then made our way back to the Common for the 7:00p.m. fireworks show. This is a solid 20 minute, beautiful fireworks show that is a family friendly event. Later in the night, at Copley Square, there is a midnight, more intense fireworks show. My family found a great viewing spot over the pond pictured below. The fireworks were absolutely beautiful glimmering over the water and the skyscraper windows.
Maggiano’s Family Style Dinner: Finally, we made our way to our favorite Italian restaurant for a family style meal. I’m not lying when I say that we eat at this restaurant every. single. New Year’s Eve. And for a good reason! This restaurant is very accommodating for large parties and has a family style menu available.
NYE Celebrations at Silvertone: After a late dinner, my brother, cousin, boyfriend & I made our way over to Silvertone Bar & Grill. This was the perfect, little dive bar to watch the ball drop with friends & family.
North End: On our last morning in Boston, we walked over to the North End, Boston’s “Little Italy” (~20 minute walk from the Omni). The North End is an adorable part of Boston, especially during Christmas time with the Christmas decorations and lights galore. There is an endless amount of Italian restaurants, bakeries and cafes.
Boston Logan International Airport Highlights: We finally had to make our way back to the airport for our Sunday evening flight. But, if you have to kill time in an airport, Boston Logan is definitely the place to be! This airport has it all- from fantastic restaurants like Wahlburgers (yes, Mark Wahlburg’s new burger joint), Legal Seafood (if you didn’t get your fish & chips fix in the city), and even Pinkberry! This airport also features shops like Kiehl’s, Sunglass Hut, and, a New England Classic, Vineyard Vines.
*Extra Boston Highlights*
Fenway Park: If you’re in Boston during a Red Sox game, whether you’re a fan or not, you must go! There is nothing like the fan spirit for the Red Sox at Fenway. Fenway Stadium itself has hundreds of years of history and even features a tour to learn more about its history.
The Prudential Center: The Prudential Center is another great spot for shopaholics like us! This building is easily spotted all around town, which makes it an amazing building to get a view of the city from the top at the Skywalk Observatory!
Historic Tours: If you’re a history buff, there are endless amounts of historic museums and tours that you can find throughout Boston. You can tour Paul Revere’s home, drink a Sam Adams while looking at Sam Adams’ gravestone, or hop on a Duck Tour to get a fun tour of the city!
Harvard Square: Harvard Square is yet another adorable shopping and dining destination in Boston. Located next to Harvard College, you can get a real taste of the student atmosphere in Boston. There are also fine arts studios and theaters to explore around this area.
Isabella Gardner Museum: This museum is truly a hidden gem of Boston! Isabella Gardner was born in 1840 in New York City. She was a patron of the arts and traveled the world to acquire a massive collection of decorative arts. After she passed, she left specific instructions for her collection to remain as is, which you can still see today. The Museum also features gardens representing Isabella Gardner’s love for plants, sculptures and architecture.
We hope that our Boston recap made you want to plan a trip to this beautiful city! Feel free to comment below any comments or future suggestions for our posts.