My husband and I recently traveled to Boston for a long weekend to explore the area and visit friends and family – which of course, is always a good time. As part of my gift to the hubs for our 1-year wedding anniversary, we spent a night of our trip in the uniquely wonderful Liberty Hotel in downtown Boston — more on that later.
If you haven’t been to Boston, it’s one of the the most interesting and historic must-visit cities in the US. It’s smaller than Chicago and New York but has a lot to offer as far as shopping, restaurants, varying neighborhoods and a plethora of nearby suburbs – each with something different to experience.
We started our trip by exploring Salem and Marblehead – both a short drive from downtown Boston. They’re exactly what you’d expect from a small New England town. I enjoyed learning more about the history of the Salem Witch Trials and how they’ve impacted today’s legal system.
The next evening we met up with a friend of mine from college (Andrea) and her husband. We went for dinner at one of her favorite spots, Bricco, in the North End (a very Italian, restaurant-packed area of Boston) not far from the harbor and Faneuil Hall / Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Bricco served classic Italian fare with a modern twist. I had the gnocchetti sorrentina and let me tell you, it was amazeballs — almost as good as the gnocchi we had in Italy. Deeelish. The martinis were equally amazing, and not to mention, award-winning!
Later that night we went to a bar called Alibi, which not by coincidence, was one of the bars at The Liberty Hotel where we had reservations to stay that night. The hotel is located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood which is just along the Charles River and a short walk to a number of independently owned boutiques. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by Alibi. I also must admit I kept singing “U-G-L-Y, you ain’t got no alibi” – clearly, in no way martini-induced from dinner! I assumed Andrea was taking us there out of convenience knowing we were staying the night there but as it turns out, it was a fun, upbeat bar with tasty drinks and a great crowd — in other words, there wasn’t beer stuck to the floor and there was a DJ playing fun music. They even played a request for me (What’s luv by Fat Joe…you had to be there) which automatically puts them on my A list!
After a cocktail or two, we headed for our room to turn in for the night. We had an amazing corner suite with a lovely view of the Charles River. Knowing we were celebrating an anniversary, the hotel staff sent us a bottle of champagne with strawberries and a hand-written note — a very nice, appreciated surprise to say the least. Not only was I impressed by the champagne and view, but the service, decor, amenities — the list goes on. When it come to hotels, I tend to rate them based on their mini bar, pillows, beds and bathroom counter space – and The Liberty knocked it out of the park for me on all fronts. What makes The Liberty even more interesting? It used to be the Suffolk County Charles Street Prison. I don’t know why, but that just made me like it 10x more. And man was I sucker for all the prison-themed touches…for example, “Solitary” instead of “Do no disturb” signs – love it!
The next couple of days were spent walking through Boston Common (the oldest public park in the country), checking out Fenway (sadly there wasn’t a game that week), walking down Newberry Street (leave your wallets at home, ladies), and last but not least, the Duck Tour. If you haven’t heard of or experienced a Duck Tour, it’s a tour on an amphibious, WW II style vehicle — meaning it works on land and water. Yes, it is touristy and yes, it is cheesy…but sometimes you have to let go and embrace your inner cheese. It really is an enjoyable and efficient way to explore the city and learn a lot about Boston and its rich historical culture — not to mention, you get to quack at pedestrians. When else is that socially acceptable?!
Our last day in the area was spent checking out Ogunquit located on the southern coast of Maine. We took a bout tour along the coast to the Nubble Lighthouse. Matt, my husband, was able to try his very first lobstah roll at Barnacle Billy’s. That’s right L-O-B-S-T-A-H…I just want to make sure everyone’s pronouncing it in the proper Bostonian manner.
All in all, a great trip trying new food, seeing new sights and spending time with wonderful people.
xo – Kate