Our summer trip to Boston and Rhode Island

Boston skyline. (All photos courtesy of Lina Shah)

This past summer was the perfect timing for my family and I to visit and explore the historical City of Boston – the capital of Massachusetts and the Newport Mansions of Rhode Island.

Www.bostonusa.com was what we used to plan our trip and find things to do in, as well as around, Boston.

The family was very excited to explore Boston’s vibrant culture, abundance of colonial historic sites, luxurious mentions, unique cuisine of restaurants, stylist shops and galleries.

To thoroughly enjoy the downtown of Boston, we looked for hotels near the waterfront, Back Bay and Seaport areas of Boston, ending up staying in the South Boston area.

A great option was the CityPass, which we all bought, to cover major attractions at discounted rates, i.e., New England Aquarium, Museum of Science, Boston Harbor City Cruise and Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Boston Duck Tour, narrated by ConDuctTour.

Taking the original and world-famous 80-minute Boston “Duck” Tour, on a World War II style landing vehicle, we explored the city from land and water, learning Boston was the birthplace of freedom.

Driving the duck was fun, learning about the little-known facts and heritages of the city.

There was, too, a wonderful vegan lunch at Pressed Café.

That day, we also explored the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned ship of United States Navy, and its Museum.

Glorious stories of the 200-year-old vessel were very eye-opening into how the US won the many battles they did.

Going on the oldest ship still afloat in the world and explore how the soldiers lived on it was amazing.

Constitution’s museum has a variety of artifacts and rich history of the “Old Ironsides”.

Boston Harbor.

On a wonderful sunny day, we took the Boston Harbor Cruise of cityexperiences.com.

During this fully narrated one-hour tour through Boston’s world-famous harbor, we learned about local legends and heroic tales, the Bunker Hill monument, cleanest waterways, Spectacle Island, etc., at the same time, enjoying beautiful views of the Harbor, city skyline, and historic sites.

In the afternoon, we visited Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall, where we had a great time enjoying variety of food and the street performers engaging in juggling, magic shows and dance.

Delicious vegan dishes.

The same day, we went to see the Museum of Science which was very interactive with plenty of videos and collection of artifacts. We enjoyed the famous lightning show there. We had a delicious dinner at Veggie Crust, the best fully vegetarian restaurant. We used the Old Town Trolley Tour for a hop-on hop-off experience to various attractions.

Freedom Trail.

A tour of Freedom Trail, basically a 2.5-mile-long red brick line snake path from Boston Commons in downtown to the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown, was what we took for the next day.

Freedom Trail hits 16 major historical sites exploring the history of freedom and it was interesting to learn about how the Donkey and Elephant became the symbols of today’s political parties.

Boston Tea Party Museum.

We then visited the Boston Tea Party Ship Museum, which probably had the best hands-on experience at the Harbor.

It was nice to learn that when 92,000 pounds of tea chests of British East India Company tea were smashed and dumped at Griffin’s Wharf, the events impact was enormous and led to sparkling the American Revolution in 1775.

Harvard Campus Library.

That day we also visited the world famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), along with the oldest institute of learning in the United States and most prestigious in the world: Harvard University Campus.

Spectacle Island.

Spectacle Island and Castle Island are both are worth visiting for a quick hike and time for relaxation.

Romantic dinner at The Inn at Hastings, Lexington.

Our children really enjoyed the Charles River Canoe & Kayak tour, and then later, we had a lovely romantic dinner at the Inn at Hastings Park, Lexington.

Mayflower Pilgrim Ship replica at Plymouth.

Next day, we took a day trip to Plymouth Rock, where the pilgrims first arrived in the Mayflower in 1620 and founded Plymouth colony.

Pilgrim Memorial State Park, the whole waterfront, Mayflower Museum and the fantastic view of Plymouth Harbor was worth visiting.

There’s also a very captivating real life reenactment museum at Plimoth Patuxet, replicating the original settlement of the 17th century Plymouth colony.

Guilded Age mansions.

On our last day, we visited Newport Mansions of Rhode Islands, conserving heritage properties in a Romanesque Revival Manor.

Newport is 90-minute drive from Boston and you could stop by Plymouth on the way.

Built by some of the country’s most wealthy industrialists, The Breakers, Marble House, The Elms, Isaac Bell House and Hunter House are the treasure of Newport’s Gilded Age.

You will really appreciate the richness of the Vanderbilt family, the craftsmanship of the classic Italian palazzo design, the view of the sea, and the luxuries and entertainment of that era.

Boston was very memorable, inspiring, entertaining and educational.

I hope you all can get a chance to enjoy this beautiful and awe-inspiring city and the major developments surrounding it as well!

Lina Shah is a Freelance Writer, Editor, Teacher, Social Worker and Financial Professional. Inspired by her father, she is a multi-talented suburban Chicagoland wife and a mother of two, who also enjoys cooking, social gathering and event planning.



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