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How to do Boston like a local

Published June 13th, 2014

Filled with historic charm, sporting heritage and cultural vibrancy, Boston is a lively city that offers a little something for all tastes and sensibilities. Also home to the renowned Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the large student population lends the city an energetic and youthful atmosphere. To get a true feel for Boston, bypass the tourist traps and follow our tips on how to enjoy this New England gem like a donut-loving, frappe-fancying local.  Just don't call it Beantown.

 

 

Eat at the SoWa Open Market

Running from May through to October, SoWa Open Market in Boston’s SoWa district (South of Washington) is a bustling, daytime affair that features an assortment of local crafts, flowers, specialty foods and produce. The market is designed to celebrate and showcase Boston’s finest handmade and homegrown offerings. Make sure you take the time for a leisurely stroll around and soak up the spectacle before fuelling your appetite at the food truck court. Here, you’ll find over 35 trucks serving up an appetising variety of crepes, burgers, pizza, tacos, cookies, ice-cream and more. Don't miss the grinders (sub sandwiches). And while you're in the 'hood, check out the triple deckers (historic three-level apartment buildings) on Washington Street.

460 Harrison Avenue, Boston

 

Visit Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Though not as big or popular as Boston’s famous Museum of Fine Arts, this endearing institution is one of the city’s most relevant cultural hubs. It was established in 1903 by Isabella Stewart Gardner; who, at the time, was one of Boston’s most prominent arts patrons. The museum was set up to house an art collection that was growing far beyond her personal means. Today, the museum features pieces of great importance including examples of ancient, medieval and Renaissance art from across Europe, Asia and America. But many visitors also come to the museum just to view the building’s spectacular Venetian-style architecture and stunning manicured landscaped gardens, specifically chosen by Isabella herself.

280 Fenway, Boston

 

 

Adventure around the Boston Harbor Islands

The Boston Harbor Islands is a national recreational area reachable via ferry from Long Wharf-North in Boston. Containing protected national parklands, these sprawling and picturesque islands are perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, fishing, camping and picnicking. The area’s beaches are also favoured by locals for a quick out-of-town getaway.

Boston Harbor Islands National Recreational Area, Boston

 

Take the Samuel Adams Brewery Tour

Perhaps Boston’s most recognisable beer, Sam Adams is a local fave that is served everywhere and enjoyed by everyone around town. Take the interactive tour and learn about the brand’s history and brewing process, while sampling each of the available drops along the way. The cover charge is a small donation with tours running every 45 minutes. Just remember: you have to be 21 years old or over to visit and take part in the tour. Or you could just pick up a sixer from the packie (liquor store).

30 Germania Street, Boston

 

 

 

Take in the culture of Harvard Square

Located in the suburb of Cambridge just northwest of downtown Boston and adjacent to Harvard University, Harvard Square is perhaps Boston’s most distinguished cultural hub. Here, you’ll find some of the city’s best cafes, restaurants and bars along with a collection of varied shops and historic destinations. Stop for a long lazy lunch followed by a few drinks at one of the local bars. It’s a great neighbourhood to people watch and mix with some locals and students.

JFK Street, Cambridge, Boston

 

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