Beyond the Port Area
Begin your Boston cruise port day from Boston Common, the oldest public park in the U.S. and the starting point for the Freedom Trail. The red-brick path with information plaques takes you past major settings from the Revolutionary War and American history. The best sights include Old South Meeting House, where Samuel Adams whipped listeners into a frenzy in the prelude to the Boston Tea Party, and Fanueil Hall, another protest meeting site. The trail follows Paul Revere’s pivotal midnight ride from the Paul Revere House, his childhood home and downtown’s oldest extant house, to the steeple-topped Old North Church, where he received the signal that the British were coming by boat. The last stop of the Freedom Trail is the USS Constitution, known as Old Ironsides, an unbeatable battleship initially built more than 200 years ago. Hop aboard with a sailor as your guide and see the decks from top to bottom.
Ride a Swan Boat in the lagoon at the Public Garden, where the colorful landscape bursts with seasonal blooms and Bostonians come out to play. View the Monets, Sargents, and thousands of other art works at the unparalleled Museum of Fine Arts on your Boston cruise. A more eclectic collection can be found at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where the peaceful courtyard makes for a leafy sanctuary.
Across the Charles River is Cambridge and Harvard University, the oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S. Get a feel for academic life on a walk around Harvard Square, with its folk-singers, shops, and carnival-esque fun, and the Yard, surrounded by red-brick Georgian architecture.
A bit further afield of your Boston Cruise is the town of Salem. This town place is infamous for its witch hunts in 1692, and today the Salem Witch Museum recounts this dark era of Massachusetts history. Atmospheric Derby Wharf and the Peabody Essex Museum, with its mix of fine art, folk art, and maritime history, balance out the experience.
Dining in Boston
Boston, Massachusetts, is a seafood lover’s delight. Start a meal with a creamy bowl of clam chowder before digging into fresh oysters, lobster, and haddock. Legendary spots include Ye Olde Union Square Oyster House and the original Legal Seafoods. The city’s cosmopolitan culinary scene ranges from dim sum in bustling Chinatown to the celebrity chef restaurants in the South End. A trip to the North End’s Little Italy is a must, for a casual pasta meal at a neighborhood spot, followed by a tiramisu and cappuccino at Caffè Vittoria.
Shopping in Boston
Immerse yourself in the cacophony of Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which holds a mix of chain stores, local vendors, and pushcarts in a series of buildings attached to the historic meeting hall. High-end boutiques line up on fashionable Newbury Street, in Back Bay. Close by, but on the other end of the shopping spectrum, are real bargains at Filene’s Basement department store.