Although our list of places to visit in Boston is ever-growing and we’ll probably never be able to keep up, we knocked off a few key spots during this past summer’s trip to Boston with Orvis. Time got away from us right after we returned in July, but a recap of a visit to one of our favorite East Coast cities is better late than never, right?
Our quick weekend in Boston began with a trip to the Middlesex Fells Reservation, so that Orvis could stretch his legs after the drive down from Maine. We met our friends Alex and Emma (Alex’s beautiful pup) at the Fells, like we’ve done once before, and were so pleased to see Orvis run around with his pal. If we lived in the area, we can imagine we’d visit the Fells as often as Alex does with Emma – there’s so much wide open space for the dogs to explore, and it’s just a quick drive from the center of the city.
Alex recommended that we grab lunch at this delicious pizza spot in Cambridge’s Kendall Square for two reasons – the pizzas are both giant and tasty, and the outdoor patio is great for dogs. Although we devoured the delicious pizza in near record time, the even more memorable part of lunch was the ability to eat outside with Orvis without any issues. We’ve pretty much lost the luxury of dining outside with Orvis in Portland because of new city guidelines, so to enjoy some good food with friends, outside with our dog on a beautiful day, set the tone for our kind of perfect getaway.
Gracie’s Ice Cream
After lunch we drove over to Somerville to check out Alex’s new home, and she gave us the grand tour of her adorable neighborhood – Union Square. Knowing us all to well, Alex decided that we should end our walk around Somerville with a stop at Gracie’s for a scoop of their amazing homemade ice cream.
Housed in the former Charles Street Jail, The Liberty Hotel is easily one of the more unique settings in which we’ve ever spent the night. The stylish open main space, in the old jail’s central octagonal building, retains many of its original 19th century architectural details, including the cells inside Clink, the catwalk walkways, and the wrought-ironwork on the windows. Click here to see more from our stay at this wonderfully dog-friendly hotel.
We’ve been to Coppa once before, but sitting outside on a warm summer evening with Orvis and our friend, Konstantin, was such a treat. If you’re up for it, we recommend ordering the sampler of five salumi, which should, of course, be followed by a big plate of their tasty pasta.
I was so happy to see that the Beacon Hill Follain was just a few blocks away from our hotel. While Michael and Konstantin prepped for their conference, I set out for a walk through the neighborhood and headed straight to this natural beauty store I’ve been wanting to visit for awhile now. The interior of the Beacon Hill location is just as beautiful and well-designed as I’d gleaned from the photos I’d seen online. The word “follain” is Gaelic for healthy, wholesome, and sound, which perfectly describes the shop’s aesthetic, not to mention the lovely array of natural beauty products for sale.
Good was a shop that caught my eye as I strolled back and forth along Charles Street. I read that the shop’s design has been described as “New England Modern,” which seems perfectly fitting to me, even more so when you take into account how much Farmhouse Pottery is on display – the two brands align quite well. Good is not an overstuffed shop with beautiful items on display everywhere you look – there is certainly on emphasis on quality over quantity, which resonated with me while shopping. The jewelry on display is exquisite, as are the shop’s home goods.
Charles River Esplanade & Commonwealth Ave
Boston is an extremely walkable city. The first night in town, we walked from our hotel in Beacon Hill to dinner in the South End, and back without any issue. On this trip, we particularly enjoyed running along the Esplanade and over the Charles River into Cambridge. A walk along Comm Ave in Back Bay is also a must if you enjoy architecture. We were lucky to be joined by our friend and wedding photographer, Sarah, and her pup, Stout.
Alex once told us “if you didn’t ‘gram your meal at Tatte, it didn’t happen.” It’s easy to see why this cafe has appeared in our feed dozens of times – the spaces themselves are filled with photo-worthy vignettes and the baked goods are just waiting to be photographed. Sadly, we made it in and out of the Charles Street location without snapping a single photo, but we’ll blame it on the crowd and our hungry bellies. Photo or not, our breakfast sandwiches were hearty and delicious, and we’d gladly stand in that line again any day.
We grabbed a chai banana smoothie and an AB&J tartine to go from Pressed so that we could have a picnic down by the Esplanade. Having a lighter, healthy option for lunch was a welcome reprieve from the heavy meals we’d enjoyed thus far on our trip. I can imagine that Pressed would be a regular stop if we lived in Boston. At the very least, I hope we have a chance to go a few more times – there are a slew of items I’d like to try, especially the Moroccan Chickpea Smash Toast!
Union Square Donuts
On our way out of town the morning we left to return to Maine, we took a detour to Somerville to pick up a box of donuts at Union Square Donuts. The sugar crash we later experienced from our donuts – Brown Butter Hazelnut Crunch, Sea Salted Bourbon Caramel, and lots more – was more than worth it.
A few stops on our always-growing list of places for our next trip to Boston: Eastern Standard Kitchen, Neptune Oyster, Oleana, Townsman, and Sarma. For even more Boston recommendations, this travel guide by Anna always comes to mind, as does this food-centric article from Bon Appetit. What other spots should we add to our list? I’d love to know!
Photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu, except the iPhone snaps taken of us eating ice cream by our friend, Alex.
3 thoughts on “Boston, MA”
Meredith, Ben and I are so close to Highland Kitchen (and have been dying to try Sarma)! I hope you’ll keep us posted on your next trip!! xo
Nice guide which reminded me a lot of my year spend on the north shore, (Peabody). I used to catch the train from there and head to Boston. Either alone with friends that could join. The walk along Charles river, Esplanade and Beacon Hill were always a must – along with Boston Common Gardens..!