Boston: The Perfect Winter Break Day-Trip


 With winter break just around the corner, many SWHS students are looking for quick and fun ways to fill up their week and a half of precious free time. Living in Connecticut, we have the perfect opportunity to drive to many vacation destinations within a few hours. From quick ski trips to day trips in New York City, many are deciding what they want to do this year. Although ski trips are always fun, and NYC is beautiful around the holidays, Boston is the perfect day trip. It’s a relatively inexpensive alternative to NYC, and has many different choices of things to see and do; you can make it fit your interests and hobbies.

Last Saturday, I took a day-trip with my mom and my cousin to Boston. We originally planned to to go NYC for the day, but decided that between the cost of the train ride, and the packed streets, it wouldn’t be anything new. Instead, we drove the roughly two hours to Boston. Parking is very inexpensive and easy at the Boston Common Garage. You simply drive in, grab a ticket, and park. On the weekends, it’s only $18 for parking for the day. This convenient parking allows you to enter through 4 of the little hubs in the Boston Common, which is near many tourist spots. It’s within walking distance of many attractions, and makes it easy to simply stop by in the middle of the day to drop off your purchases, and then continue on.

Once you’re parked, you exit out of one of the mini hubs, and enter the gorgeous Boston Common. The Common is a park with a sprawling lawn that’s lined with trees. The pretty park has a few things to do, if they peak your interest. There’s an ice skating rink where you can get some exercise and warm up with your friends while admiring the park. It’s also a great place to enjoy the outdoors, and look at the different species of plants that line the walkways. One of the most famous parts of the Common is the Frog Pond. The Frog Pond is well-known because of a scene in the movie with Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting. The famous bench from the movie overlooks the calm pond. Aside from the pond, many of the trees surrounding it have small plaques that tell you the name of the plant, as well as who donated it. Whether you like to observe nature or be active in it, the Boston Common is a place for you.

Just a short, possibly ten minute walk away, is the famous Faneuil Hall Marketplace. This adorable tourist site has lots of little shops. They have everything from Irish apparel to Boston knick knacks. If you’re getting chilly, like we were, this is a great place to purchase the stereotypical New England hat, with a pom pom on top. You won’t look like a real Boston local if you don’t have a hat! After warming up, doing some quick shopping, and possibly stopping to listen to the fascinating Edes and Gill Printing Office mini museum, the next stop is Quincy Market.

There’s no better place for tourists to eat in Boston than inside Quincy Market. With quick, easy, and inexpensive options, it can get quite busy. Despite the crowds, the two levels of cute cafeteria style seating provide plenty of space. There are lavish decorations that hang in the middle of the staircases that connect the levels; the beautiful ceiling and decorations combined make it a gorgeous place to eat your meal. Quincy Market is very famous, and for those that don’t know, is essentially a long hallway of food places. The cute little store fronts sell meals/entrees, as well as snacks and desserts. When you walk in, you immediately see a New York style bakery called Magnolia Bakery. As you continue down the hallway, there’s every type of food imaginable. Despite the variety, there’s a big emphasis on seafood, especially chowder. Personally, I chose to get chinese food while my mom and cousin shared chowder and a sandwich. Everything was delicious, and later we came back to grab some oreo gelato to share. The prices are very reasonable, and it’s such an easy way to grab lunch during a jam packed day-trip. Since there aren’t many large shops nearby, it’s easiest to walk back through Boston Common and the Public Garden to head towards Newbury Street.

As you make your way back through the Boston Public Garden, there are many sights that must be seen. The large lagoon in the middle is well-known for it’s swan boats in the summer, but is just as interesting to visit in the winter. There’s a bridge you can cross and many monuments nearby to look at. One in particular, the George Washington statue, is very popular. Though it’s much smaller than the Washington statue, the Make Way for Ducklings statue is just as worthwhile. Made in reference to Robert McCloskey’s children’s book, the statues are of a mother duck leading her many ducklings. One particularly caring citizen even made white and pink fluffy hats for the statues to wear. Before you exit the garden, there’s a regal looking gate that makes for a perfect instagrammable picture. As you look past the gate, you will be looking straight down Commonwealth Avenue (known by the locals as Comm Ave.)

One street over from Comm Ave. is Newbury Street. Newbury Street has many high-end stores such as Chanel or Burberry. As you make your way down the street, there are some more mainstream stores such as H&M and Pink. Window shopping as well as regular shopping make this destination the perfect place to either finalize your holiday shopping or grab yourself a treat. If you want to continue shopping, a perfect place to do so is the Prudential Center. It’s a large mall that’s just a few streets down from Newbury Street. A particularly interesting store inside is called Eataly; it’s a play on the words “eat” and “Italy”. The store has different food products inside that almost makes it mimic an Italian marketplace. For those that don’t enjoy shopping or browsing for Italian food, the Boston Public Library is a short walk away.

As you enter the Boston Public Library, it feels like you’re entering Hogwarts. From the extravagant architecture to the breathtaking paintings that cover the walls, it feels more like a museum than a library. As you will see many others doing, it’s a perfect place for those that love photography. With an outdoor courtyard and luxurious rooms inside, you could spend decades taking pictures. There’s also a quiet study room where many college kids as well as locals can be found studying and working. It’s a very peaceful place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

As the sun starts to set, and dinnertime is nearing, the beautiful holiday lights will start to come on. The trees are adorned with lights and the city looks gorgeous. With restaurants abundant in the city, a place to have dinner is not difficult to find. With so many different things to do around Boston, it’s impossible to be bored. Instead of going on the yearly trip to NYC during the holiday break, try something new, and go to Boston. If you plan your day around your interests, Boston can be the perfect day-trip for your friends and family.