After staying the night in Vermont, it was time to head to New Hampshire. The drive through both states was beautiful! Small states. Beautiful scenery.
We have some traveling friends who have a home base in Amherst, NH. They had room for us to pull up beside their RV and spend the week, so that’s where we headed.
We gained a child the first few days we were there. And we also gained some fudge. I have to say, they DID entice us to New Hampshire by sharing pictures of their fudge all the time. Check them out on their Instagram page: Sweet Adventures.
It was rainy most of the time we were there, so we didn’t do much. Plus Brent works during the week, so there wasn’t much time to explore.
I did make it over to a friend’s house for lunch one day. We actually almost missed each other. I had no idea she lived so close to where we were staying and she had no idea I was in New Hampshire at the time. I lead homeopathy study groups virtually and she just happened to be in one of the classes on Thursday morning when she heard me say I was in New Hampshire. She contacted me after class and invited me over for lunch on Friday. I was so happy to get to meet her in person. It was great spending the afternoon with her. And of course, we forgot to get a picture together.
Since we were so close to Boston, MA, we decided that we wanted to go into the city on Saturday. One day just isn’t enough to do all there is to do in Boston, but we did do a few things.
Boston has so many colleges around town. And while we didn’t plan on stopping to walk around any of the campuses, we did want to drive by and see them. We started our day driving through Harvard University and Boston University.
We also drove to Fenway Park and found ourselves in the midst of tons of construction.
Because we have a child who loves history, we decided to cater our day based on what we knew she’d enjoy…walking the Freedom Trail. So we drove downtown and parked in the parking garage under Boston Common so we could check out the pricing of the guided tour.
The last tour of the day was starting as we got there, and we decided to purchase a self-guided audio tour online and just walk the Freedom Trail without a tour guide. The Freedom Trail is tons of walking. How people do it with a tour guide in two hours is beyond me. (Actually, I don’t think they do the ENTIRE Freedom Trail.) It took us from 1:30pm to about 6:30pm to go from Boston Common all the way to the Bunker Hill Monument.
Pro tip: I highly recommend purchasing the audio tour from Free Tours By Foot. The audio guide was interesting and we were able to take it at our own pace and stop for food or drink whenever we needed. Bring a bluetooth speaker so everyone in your party can hear the audio. Or send the link to each family member’s phone so they can listen to it while you’re walking and visiting each stop on the map.
The Freedom Trail starts in Boston Common. The “trail” you follow is actually a double brick path connecting historic points throughout the city. We began our tour at the kiosk where the guided tours start. I’ll share some photos from our walk and give you an interesting tidbit we learned about each place.
Stop #1: Boston Common
Interesting fact: It’s a park now, but it used to be a grazing place for cattle and a site for public hangings.
Stop #2: Massachusetts State House
Interesting fact: The dome on top was originally made of wood, then covered in copper by Paul Revere, then gilded in gold on the 100th anniversary of our nation, then painted black for fear of coming under attack during WWII, then re-gilded in 23k gold in the late 90s.
Stop #3: Robert Gould Shaw and 54th Regiment Memorial
Interesting fact: The 54th Regiment was the first all-volunteer black unit in the US Army in the Civil War.
Stop #4: The Park St. Church
Interesting fact: Maybe not a fact, but a legend…a baker actually modeled the first tiered wedding cake after the spire at this church where it’s wide on the bottom and narrow at the top.
Stop #5: Granary Burial Ground
Interesting fact: This is the burial place of Paul Revere, Mary Goose (who they think is possibly Mother Goose), Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin’s entire family, and John Hancock.
Pro tip: There may be someone outside the gates of this burial ground handing you a folder and telling you you can use the guide as you walk around the grounds but to just give it back to him when you leave. It’s free to use, but he’s asking for donations for using it. There is lots of information in the guide, so just decided if you want to take it as you walk in or not. We had no problem with giving him a couple of dollars as we left.
Stop #6: King’s Chapel
Interesting fact: The bell in the bell tower was the last bell Paul Revere cast himself.
Stop #7: Old City Hall
Interesting fact: There’s a sculpture of a donkey (representing the Democrat party) here that you can sit on to take a picture. And there are bronze footprints in front of the donkey (representing the Republican party) to stand in opposition to the Democrat party.
Stop #8: Old South Meeting House
Interesting fact: This is where the Sons of Liberty left a meeting to go dump tea into Boston Harbor.
Stop #9: The former Old Corner Bookstore
Interesting fact: This is the oldest brick building in Boston and was frequented by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Louisa May Alcott and other famous authors.
Stop #10: Old State House
Interesting fact: The Declaration of Independence was read publicly for the first time from this balcony.
Stop #11: Boston Massacre Site
Interesting fact: This massacre actually only killed 5 people and wounded 6.
Stop #12: Faneuil Hall
Interesting fact: The grasshopper on the top of the building here is named Gus and he has been there for 175 years.
Just behind Fanueil Hall is Quincy Market. It’s full of all sorts of places to eat. Want Lobster, they have it. Want Philly cheesesteak, they have it. Want fancy mac and cheese, they have it. Want a burger, they have it. There’s something for everyone.
Downstairs are tall tables where you can stand up and eat. Upstairs are the regular tables and chairs. Here’s a view from the table Brent and Peyton found while us girls were figuring out what we wanted to eat.
Stop #13: New England Holocaust Memorial
Interesting fact: Not really an interesting fact. We actually missed this memorial because we went into Quincy Market to eat lunch and came out the backside. It then led us to a cute little “maze” park and then we proceeded to the next stop rather than backtrack to the Memorial. We definitely want to go back and check it out another time though.
Pro Tip: Start your walking tour earlier in the day, and plan to stop for lunch in the Little Italy neighborhood. This area is between stop #13 and #14. The smell alone will draw you in. Plus it’s not as busy as Quincy Market and probably not nearly as expensive (or at least it’s likely to be worth the expense). You’ll be able to find a table where you can sit and take your time to eat, whereas in Quincy Market you may have to eat standing at a tall table while everyone else crowds around you. And I’m sure the restaurants don’t charge you $3 for water.
Stop #14: Paul Revere’s House
Interesting fact: This is the oldest structure in Boston.
Stop #15: Paul Revere Statue
Interesting fact: If you visit the statue when one of Boston’s sports teams is playing in a championship, he will be wearing the team’s jersey.
Stop #16: Old North Church
Interesting fact: This was the launching place for Paul Revere’s Ride.
Stop #17: Copp’s Hill Burial Ground
Interesting fact: This is where Increase and Cotton Mather are buried. They are known for their roles in the Salem Witch Trials. The gates were locked so we weren’t able to go in.
Stop #18: Boston’s Skinny House
Interesting fact: This house is 10′ 2″ at it’s widest and 6′ 2″ at it’s narrowest.
Before we got to stop #19 which was quite a walk from stop #18, it started raining. So we ducked into an ice cream shop that just happened to be on the way. God loves us and provides in a time of need! Ha! Ha! Emack & Bolio’s to the rescue!
Stop #19: USS Constitution
Interesting fact: Even though its nickname is “Old Ironsides”, it’s actually made of wood.
Stop #20: Bunker Hill Monument
Interesting fact: There are 294 steps you can climb to get to the top of this monument.
By the time we reached Bunker Hill, we had sore feet, we were tired, and it was raining again. We huddled under the entrance to the building just beside the monument while we decided how we were going to get back to the Jeep we parked back at Boston Common. The Uber and Lyft websites both stated that you have to wear masks while riding in the vehicle (and we didn’t have masks with us). Public transportation in Boston required masks during rides. The all-day hop-on hop-off bus was $45+ per person and we weren’t going to pay that just to go back to the Jeep. And there was no way we were walking the entire trail back to where we parked.
We booked an Uber anyway, and Brent messaged the driver to let him know we didn’t have masks and asked if that would be a problem. He said it was no problem and we were picked up at Bunker Hill and dropped off at Boston Common.
Pro tip: Prepare your day ahead of time or have backup plans. If you enjoy long walks, start your day early so that you can walk all the way back when you’re done. If you want to check out other things in the city, buy your hop-on hop-off bus pass before your trip or early in the day so you can get use out of it. If you plan to use public transportation, know where you’re going to end your tour and how far away the nearest bus or subway/train station is.
We got back to the Jeep and then headed to check out the campus of Boston College before heading home. By far, this was the prettiest of all the campuses we saw that day.
I have to say it was a pretty fun day in Boston. We definitely want to go back and check out more things in the area, because one day just wasn’t enough time to explore.