***Disclaimer: In the following paragraph I am not, in any way, alluding to having an excessive number of friends. Not even close. Rather, I am saying that people always want an excuse to go somewhere new, especially if they have a couch to crash on…and I have a couch.***
Just like what seems like 50% of the population of BU students, I was born and raised in California where the tacos are abundant and the sun endlessly shines. To my peers at home, moving to Boston was bold and risky, and most of them chose to continue their studies on the West coast. That means that every winter break, spring break, president’s break or long weekend, someone— a close friend, family member or mere acquaintance— reaches out asking if they can crash on my couch and if I can show them around the city. With the experience I have gained from entertaining a plethora of visitors over the last three years, I have finally perfected a foolproof Boston route and am, in my opinion, the best tour guide.
While every tour I give is personalized to the visitor, mine all start in the same place: on campus. If my guest is interested in seeing BU’s campus (like my mom, a prospective student or my best friend) I like to start in central campus and work my way east, making sure to stop by the esplanade and the COM building. If my guest has little interest in seeing BU up close and personal, I hop on the green line inbound to Copley and point out my favorite buildings on the way.
Copley Square is always my first stop on my tours because of the blend of contemporary and historical architecture that represent the city of Boston so well. I love pointing out Trinity Church and cruising through the Boston Public Library to admire the beautiful building and garden.
From Copley I usually cut over to Newbury Street because it’s always pretty, rain or shine, and has stores and restaurants that can please even the pickiest visitors. Trident Booksellers Cafe and Newbury Comics are two fun, unique stores that I love to show my friends and family.
Next, I walk one street over to stroll down the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, a greenway surrounded by trees, which is particularly picturesque during the fall months. This pathway, which exhibits an array of statues of historical figures, leads all the way to the Boston Public Garden, the next stop.
The Boston Public Garden is beautiful anytime of year, but particularly during the spring and summer when the swan boats float through the lagoon. During warmer months, this is a perfect destination to sit, relax and watch the passersby.
Then, I easily cross from the garden to the Boston Common to take pictures in front of the Massachusetts State House and its iconic golden dome. I then follow the engaging, historical Freedom Trail from the common to Faneuil Hall, where you can pick up a snack in the bustling Quincy Market, do some more shopping or pass through to the next destination.
From Faneuil Hall you’re only steps away from the best Italian food in Boston, located in the North End. An authentic pasta dinner is a perfect way to end a bustling day of tourism, or you can continue to the harbor to look at the serene water. After racking up a good 10,000 steps and enjoying some delicious food, this is usually my last stop before making my way back home (via train or Uber).
These are only just a few of the several landmarks and locations that Boston has to offer; alternative or additional tour destinations include Brookline, Fenway, Cambridge, China Town and the Seaport, which can all be tailored to the weather or the preferences of the guest.