• Skyler Neal

The Hidden Gems of Beantown (Boston)

I went to Boston to get out of the small town vibes that often surround my home. I'd been working my butt off for the last few months and I was feeling worn out and uninspired. I knew I needed to do disrupt my tailored schedule and do something spontaneous. Boston was the most convenient choice seeing as how it's only two hours away. I've been to Boston maybe twenty times but this time I wanted to make a point of finding something I've never explored before. The city of Boston is full of so much history and culture that it's impossible to go just once. So without further or do here areThe Hidden Gems of Beantown (Boston).

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum





The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is certainly a one of a kind place. If you're a fan of 15th-century Venetian architecture then this place is definitely for you. If you have no idea what that is, me too buddy. I will tell you whatever that is, it's very beautiful and very Italian. The first and second picture is of the courtyard garden in the middle of the house. What surrounds the garden are rooms full of unique art collections and renaissance interior design. Shady fact: in 1990, thirteen of the museum's works were stolen. The case is still open.


The museum opened in 1903 by Isabella Stewart Gardner. Isabella, a high-society bohemian of sorts, collected art from around the world and decided to make her collection public. Lucky us that the museum is still open today, in 2017. It's also in close proximity to the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston. Two museums in 24hrs, I'd call that a day.


Ticket prices range from $15.00 to $5.00. Student and senior discounts are available. To buy tickets ahead of your trip head to https://www.gardnermuseum.org/visit.


Custom House Observation Deck




The Custom House Observation Deck is Boston's version of the Top of The Rock. It's relatively unknown to the public but with a little research using the Foursquare app, I was able to find this hidden gem. Take in views of the city and Boston Harbor while sipping your drink of choice made by the second-floor bar at the Marriott Custom House Hotel. Because it's relatively unknown, the nice thing about it is that you won't be accidentally bumping into people while you're trying to take in the views. You don't have to have a Boston penthouse to take in a view of the city. Tickets range from $10.00-$17.00 depending on whether or not you get alcohol. Pretty inexpensive for a gorgeous view of the city of Boston. Tickets can be purchased on site.


Chinatown




I honestly had no idea Boston had a China town which I was why I was surprised to learn that my hotel was right on the edge of it. The first day I got to Boston I arrived pretty late and since I can't drink there really wasn't any reason for me to go out...WRONG. China-town has little bakeries and cafes open until around 10:00 pm. I decided to pop into a cute little bakery pictured above. I pointed to the green things in the top middle of the picture and suddenly one of the workers said something in Chinese as if to warn me of what I picked out. Looking back I probably should have listened to her. When I first bit into it my reaction was mmmm but as I got closer to the middle it became odder. I tasted something familiar but I couldn't quite put my finger on it...fish? No way. The only thing I knew was that it was an odd choice to put in in a pastry. However, it was really cool to get a little taste of Chinese culture in of all places: Boston. I think that's part of what I love about America, it's culturally so diverse you don't have to travel very far to get a taste of the unfamiliar.


Caffè Nero



If you want some bomb-ass coffee go to Caffè Nero, a family-owned Italian coffee chain in the city of Boston. They have great options to grab a quick breakfast or lunch and a beautiful seating area. It may have helped that it was all decked out in holiday decor but it's honestly a quality cafe with quality service. If you're tired of Dunkin' or Starbucks I would highly recommend supporting this family-owned business.


Overall, my trip to Boston was great. I discovered new cultures in a city I was already pretty familiar with. I had previously thought of Boston as having a preppy snob sub-culture (one of many sub-cultures) that I was already so familiar with back home, which is one of the reasons I chose not to go to university here. However, on this trip, I saw another side of Boston, one full of intrigue. I would never have thought that I would be curious in a place I've been to over twenty times. I guess Boston and I have at least one thing in common; we like surprising people.


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