Now that the weather is warming up and summer is almost here it is the perfect time to visit the east coast, and that is exactly what I did!
Although I had never been to Boston, nor had I even thought that soon I would be off for a week of much needed relaxing on the other side of the U.S. I was utterly surprised just how much this coastal California girl would end up liking the cute little towns and cities of New England.
I had never been up to the upper east coast, only places like DC and Virginia, so we went up in the New Hampshire area. Portsmouth, which was our first visit is such a darling little town that looks like it is right out of Europe! I enjoyed walking around and exploring all the small cutely painted shops, yes, I am a sucker for that. That night we had a fantastic dinner at an Irish pub called RÍ Ra that used to be an old bank, all the old vaults were still in place, and that gave it a super fun old fashioned feel. The food was mostly traditional Irish/Scottish food but was awfully good, and I would love to go back even though it is on the other side of the country just for the curry chicken poutine! Ok well, maybe I could find that in California but it was still amazing!
Over the next few days, there was more exploring the lower part of New Hampshire. The lakeside town of Wolfeboro which is more inland would be one of those fantastic summer destinations, take the boat out on the water with a nice glass of something and just relax.. the dream! It is so cool to see how these little old towns are still hopping and even though they may seem like they are in the middle of nowhere, I am sure they are packed full during the summer months.
Of course, a San Francisco girl has to find the beach! And we did. My first time to the Atlantic and well it was pretty nice, the water seemed to be just as cold as the Pacific ocean but other than that it was lovely, chilling at the beach was much needed and even though it was cloudy and cold it was still totally worth it! Good thing I always pack a heavy jacket!
The last few days of the trip was spent in the actual city of Boston and wow, what a cool city! There is so much history throughout the city but also a perfect combination of modern and new. It felt a lot like San Francisco, pretty much surrounded by water in some way. It is a lovely city just to pick a direction and walk, which is exactly what ended up happening! Exploring the north end was super fun, although it is a pretty small area it is filled with the smell of amazing food coming from the windows of numerous restaurants, Italian pubs, and bakeries. Of course, a trip to the north end is not complete without a good dinner. We found some an amazing pasta dishes at Dolce Vita Ristorante which had a lovely home-like Italian feel to it, live music and all completed a wonderful dinner that night.
And if a day of walking was not enough ( which it was not ) we put the shoes back on for day two of exploring the city, We went through Beacon Hill which people had told me is known for having cute old houses and cobblestone streets, and it totally lived up to all the expectations! It feels much like parts of SF in the sense that there is a main street filled with hangout spots and cafes and then just a few blocks away are these lovely houses and then if you walk only five minutes farther beautiful parks and more shops.
As I love parks, of course, there was going to end up being a stop to the Boston Public Gardens, which is a lovely spot to just chill for a little while. Filled with flowers and trees I can imagine it is yet again a popular spot during the hot summer months.
This city has some fantastic cafes, and foodie places, finding them may be the tricky part but it is worth the search, one morning we got up and walked to a local place called Cafe Madeleine for breakfast, it was so cute, and darling, not to mention they had amazing freshly baked croissants and macarons!
If you like shops and of course more food, then Newbury Street is the place for you. We stumbled upon this street and found a ton of high-end shops like Anthropologie and Ralph Lauren. We stopped at Cafeteria Boston for a quick lunch and finally took a break from walking in the sun, it was so nice to enjoy the breeze outside and watch the street life go by and see how the city functions. It is always so interesting to see how each city or town is different in their own yet they share so many things in common.
I don’t think anyone can go to Boston without talking a walk or a sit down by the Charles River, it is truly a lovely place and a relatively long stretch of paths and waterside spots, so perfect for a morning or evening run! I loved seeing the views from the water and sitting on the dock relaxing and taking in the fresh cool air on a hot spring day.
From the heart of a San Francisco girl, I have to say Boston is another easy to love city and a perfect destination for a vacation and the explorer in you. Just make sure to pack a smart pair of shoes for the adventure! I look forward to going back hopefully sooner rather than later and exploring the city all over again, I like to think of it as the San Francisco of the East Coast, although I have yet to explore New York…