For our morning walk we headed down the road towards Charles Street. We had driven along this charming English-Village style street yesterday whilst on our bus tour and were pleased by the proximity of this to our apartment. It was definitely somewhere we wanted to return to for a longer visit and so we did a reconnaissance on our morning walk.
We decided whilst on this walk that this is where we wanted to return to for dinner. The street is absolutely beautiful, lined with lots of boutiques, cafes and restaurants and, as such, very appealing. Many of the shops retain the heritage signage for their shop fronts with symbols denoting the line of business in a nod back to the period of first settlement.
Our day was to be spent on two walking tours; one at 10 am on ‘The Freedom Trail Tour’ and the other at 4.30 pm on the ‘Beacon Hill Crime Tour’.
Our 90 minute ‘Lessons on Liberty’ morning tour was fantastic. Our guide, Chris, was a retired school teacher and effectively managed our rather large group whilst giving a great overview of the history of Boston from the period of European settlement up to the Declaration of Independence.
We moved through the city navigating parts of what they refer to as the Freedom Trail. The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long path through Boston that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States. This is a must do activity if you ever visit Boston.
The tour finished down near the North End area, where we’d already spent a bit of time, and so we wandered back to Fanueil Hall to try and find a café where we could sit down, have a bit of a rest and a cup of coffee.
Boston has many great attributes but, unlike Sydney’s CBD and town Centre, it doesn’t have a cafe culture. So, we had to make do with Starbucks.
We had a couple of hours to fill in before the next walking tour and so we decided to walk down and find Macy’s because we’d been told we might able to locate Mark’s particular Red Sox hat. The plan after that was to head to Chinatown to have Yum Cha for lunch. Chinatown in Boston is relatively small; forming up essentially along one street for about 8 blocks. Mark found a Yum Cha place recommended on Yelp but this didn’t look too good so we ended up at a much busier venue across the road, Bubor Cha Cha.
We drifted home after lunch so as to rest up a bit before our 4.30 pm Beacon Hill Crime Tour. This tour was another entertaining walking tour where we learned more about the 1630 Puritans settlement of this New England area due to concern with the Church of England becoming ‘too Catholic’. There were lots of interesting stories on the day with one, less salubrious one, being of a General Hooker improving army morale by using women to ‘entertain the troops’, hence, the modern day term of ‘Hooker’! We also had an opportunity to explore more of the magnificent Beacon Hill area and viewed the only detached home in the entire suburb, modestly valued at over $12 million USD!
There was also a beautiful private mews area where the terraces are each valued at over $10 million, this being the most expensive area of Beacon Hill, and where the US politician John Kerry resides.
At the end of the Tour I asked Chris about the crime rate in Boston. We’d walked all over the city for the last two days and the place has such a genteel vibe that I had assumed this would have to be low. Chris confirmed that the crime rate is in fact lower than the national average and, as such, we were not surprised.
We’ve absolutely loved Boston. It is such a beautiful city and steeped in so much rich and fascinating history. We’re so lucky to have found an apartment in such a great location and I would recommend Beacon Hill as the ideal locale for a hotel or apartment stay whilst visiting the city. If you haven’t been here….put it on your list. Pronto! Don’t wait!
After our Crime tour we headed to the ‘Sevens’ for a drink and then on to ‘Figs’ on Charles Street for dinner; a great night out and a must visit place if ever in Boston.