Boston in a Day – 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

How to enjoy Boston in a day…when you only have 24 hours to spare!

I had a wonderful week in the state of Massachusetts as I embarked on a road trip across the state. From Hampshire County in Western MA to Johnny Appleseed Country in North Central MA, I savoured the sights, sounds, and tastes of the region. My road trip ended in the great city of Boston. While I only had a little over 24 hours there, I made the most of my time by wandering around the city.

Here are some ideas on how to do Boston in a day. With just 24 hours in Boston, you can cover a lot of ground. While it would be ideal to have more time than a day in Boston, I still managed to visit quite a few places. At the end, I was still left wanting more.

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

HOTEL IN DOWNTOWN BOSTON

My travel buddy, Lindsay and I managed to arrive in Boston during Friday afternoon rush hour traffic. I don’t recommend this. I am used to driving in Toronto city traffic, which can be terrible at the best of times. However, Boston was on a whole other level. By the time we reached the hotel, I was feeling beyond stressed out.

Thankfully, the staff at the Lenox Hotel immediately eased my tension. They helped us with our luggage and the valet whisked my car away. I was happy to bid farewell to my car for the duration of my time in Boston. Between Uber and walking everywhere, there was no reason to deal with traffic jams and finding parking spaces.

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

The Lenox Hotel is the complete package: it’s romantic, luxurious, and has a prime location. Lindsay and I had an enormous room had two beds, a sitting area, a desk, and even a fireplace. From one window, I looked beyond our brick hotel over the rooftops. From another window, we watched the most gorgeous sunset.

Summer sunsets in Boston are incredible, and it was such a treat to view it so perfectly from our hotel room.

One of my favourite things about the Lenox was how easy it was to walk everywhere. It served as the best home base as it was right in the middle of town. I loved being able to leave the car behind and not worry. You can easily explore Boston on foot, too.

We stayed for two nights at the Lenox Hotel, although I could have easily stayed for longer. It’s the best accommodation, even if you are only discovering Boston in a day.

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

The Lenox Hotel

Book here or read more reviews.

DINNER AT BY CHLOE

While we had a pretty busy day in Johnny Appleseed Country earlier that day, we didn’t plan too much for our first evening in Boston. After watching the sun go down from The Lenox Hotel, it was time to go out for dinner. We walked down towards Fenway Park to By Chloe.

By Chloe has two locations in Boston. The restaurant is 100% vegan and plant-based. The menu items contain no meat, dairy, eggs, animal products, and they’re free of artificial flavours, preservatives, cholesterol, and animal saturated fats.

However, that doesn’t mean that the dishes are tasteless or lacking flavour.

There are a wide variety of menu options, including burgers, sandwiches, pasta, sides, baked goods, ice cream, and more! You order at the front counter and the food is made fresh and fast.

I ordered the Mac N Cheese – shell pasta with a sweet potato cashew cheese sauce, topped with shiitake bacon.

Lindsay got a vegan hotdog with all the fixins’.

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

by CHLOE.

See website for hours and other locations


THE NEXT MORNING

Waking up feeling completely refreshed at The Lenox Hotel, we headed out for breakfast. Unfortunately, I had an epic blogger blunder and brought my camera…without its battery. The battery was still charging in the hotel room! Thank goodness our breakfast place was a five minute walk from the hotel. I jogged back and grabbed the battery and made it back for breakfast shortly after it was prepared.

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

BREAKFAST AT THE JUICE PRESS

Start the day off right! The Juice Press has two locations in Boston, and over 70 shops across the country. They’re vegetarian, but mostly vegan with the exception of honey in a few menu items.

I ordered the Acai Blueberry Bowl, which was nutritious and delicious. Made with banana, acai berry, blueberry, coconut nectar, maple, granola and maple toasted coconut flakes, it was satisfying and healthy.

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Juice Press

BOSTON HARBOR CRUISES

To start the day off, Lindsay and I boarded a boat to see Boston by sea. With Boston Harbor Cruises, you’ll view an entirely different side of Boston from the water. Cruise around for 90 minutes to view the city’s skyline and surrounding islands. We heard some interesting historical tales about Boston that you’ll just have to hear for yourself on the trip.

The cruises depart at set times throughout the day, so be sure to take a peek at their schedule before you head out. I recommend arriving early to make sure you ensure a spot on the boat, and also to get one of the best seats in the house.

All of the chairs face the same direction and for good reason – so you’re looking at the best view! Snag some seats in the front row like we did for the best viewing (and photo) opportunities.

Tip: We booked our cruise with the Boston CityPASS. This card saves you up to 45% on top Boston attractions, including a trip with Boston Harbor Cruises. Present your CityPASS voucher at the ticket booth to board the cruise.

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

BOSTON PUBLIC MARKET

By now, you might be feeling a little bit hungry again. Head on over to the Boston Public Market, home to over 35 vendor stalls and open 7 days a week. In this land of seafood, there are a few vegan options.

I opted for a falafel pita at Inna’s Kitchen, which serves traditional Jewish cuisine from around the world. Super flavourful falafels, stuffed inside a pita with veggies and topped with tahini – you can’t go wrong with this one.

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Wander across the market to Jennifer Lee’s allergy free bakery to indulge in some vegan desserts. From cookies to donuts, Jennifer has got your cravings covered. There are also sandwiches and paninis, too, although these sell out as the day goes on. Get your favourite while it lasts!

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston Public Market

REFUEL WITH A COFFEE BREAK

The Boston Public Market was very busy around lunchtime and there weren’t many places to sit. We actually stood at the only free table to eat our lunch. In need of somewhere to rest our legs (and, as always, the desire to sip a cup of coffee), we walked across the way to the Thinking Cup coffee shop.

This cute and charming cafe was the perfect place to pause on a day of adventures. The coffee was strong and there were even some vegan and gluten-free options for food. Even though I was really full from lunch, I’d consider going back for more dessert here if I had more time in Boston.

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Thinking Cup

A STROLL THROUGH AN URBAN PARK

On a hot day, don’t you wish you could run through a sprinkler like when you were a kid? Well, fear not. North End Park is a grassy patch in the middle of the city where the young and young at heart can go for a roam through the fountains.

Well, maybe it wasn’t designed for two grown-up travel blogging ladies to go prancing through…but, why not?

I also adored the urban garden bursting with greenery and flowers in the middle of the park. It’s a great picnic spot, or even just an area to cool down from the summer heat.

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

BEACON HILL

Who wouldn’t love wandering around an enchanting, historic neighbourhood? As you stroll around the streets of Beacon Hill, you’ll notice colonial row houses, brick sidewalks, cobblestone streets, antiquated iron fences, and painted front doors.

On Beacon Street itself, walk past the captivating Massachusetts State House with its majestic pillars and impressive golden dome.

Then, take a detour towards Acorn Street, one of the most photographed streets in the United States.

You can’t help but immediately fall for this neighbourhood.

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

TAKE A STROLL AT THE PUBLIC GARDEN

The Public Garden quickly became one of my favourite finds in Boston. When visiting Boston in a day, you must add the Public Garden to your travel plans. Established in 1837, it was the first public botanical garden in the USA. Free for everyone to roam about, the garden showcases over 80 species of plants and flowers initially cultivated in local greenhouses.

From paddling around in a Swan Boat to admiring the fountains and statues, a jaunt around Boston’s Public Garden is something you simply must do.

While you’re there, say hello to the adorable “Make Way For Ducklings” statues and greet the real ducks that grace the lagoon. Relax beneath a weeping willow tree on a warm, summer day, and you might never want to leave this oasis in the city.

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

THE FREEDOM TRAIL

Although we didn’t spend a lot of time exploring the Freedom Trail, I’d start here upon my return to Boston. Start at Boston Common, America’s oldest public park, founded in 1634. Prepare to be fascinated by 16 historically significant sites, from churches to burying grounds.

For more information, including a detailed map, please check out the Freedom Trail’s official website.

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

DINNER AT ARTBAR

After a day of wandering, we were pretty starving. Enter ArtBar Cambridge. The chef prepared a special vegan meal for the both of us, and it was incredibly delicious. On the menu, everything that’s vegetarian is marked with a “V”. Be sure to inquire in advance if you follow a vegan diet, as I’m sure you can savour an equally magical dining experience to the one that I did!

This meal matched the summer patio weather so well, starting with a chilled peach and watermelon soup. From there, we were served a flavourful pesto vegetable flatbread, topped with artichokes and arugula.

The main course was falafel served over couscous. At the end of the meal, we devoured a tart fruit sorbet with ripe berries. To drink, what could be better than a watermelon sling?

The view was almost as good as the food, as we admired scenery of the sun setting over the harbour as we dined.

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

ArtBar

COCKTAILS AT CAFE ARTSCIENCE

Not ready to go home yet? We met a blogger friend of ours, Brianne, at a cocktail bar around the corner called Cafe ArtScience. Located on the MIT campus, Cafe ArtScience serves experimental beverages in a creative environment. You know when a vapour machine called “Le Whaf” is used to create “sensory clouds” in your drink, you’ve found a bar that’s truly one of a kind!

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Cafe ArtScience

STAY FOR BREAKFAST

Before heading out the next morning, Lindsay and I went for breakfast at a nearby restaurant with the best name ever, The Friendly Toast. It’s a pretty popular place and often difficult to get a table right away. Fear not: the restaurant puts you on a list, and they’ll text you when your table is ready. Pretty cool, eh?

The Friendly Toast has a wild, eclectic design. There are lots of kitschy knickknacks on the bar, shelves, and hanging from the ceiling. Even our table had a little ceramic owl on it.

The menu has a few vegan breakfast items, including a breakfast burrito and a tofu scramble. I ordered the vegan pancakes with a side of home fries. It ended up being way too much food, although I don’t regret the decision as both the pancakes and potatoes were very yummy.

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

The Friendly Toast

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary

Check out even more of my Boston travel photos! You can view my photography and even buy prints, housewares, and more made from any of my pictures.

 

Boston in a Day | 24 Hours in Boston Travel Itinerary - Boston, MA, USA

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Thank you so much to Boston Tourism for hosting my stay. My opinions, as always, are entirely my own. I’d love to return to Boston to explore even more!

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Have you been to Boston? What else should I see when I return?

35 Responses

  1. Jill
    | Reply

    My daughter lived in Boston for 3 years so I’ve done a few of the items on your list – the Cafe ArtScience looks so cool it might warrant a trip back on it’s own. Boston is a fun city to visit – though I think all my visits have to be in summer – their winters are brutal!

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      Cafe ArtScience was a lot of fun. There were some really neat art exhibits there, too. I really haven’t been to a bar quite like it!

      And yeah, can hardly blame you on the winter thing! :)

  2. Keeley
    | Reply

    Thanks for this. We hope to visit Boston soon, it’s on our long list of destinations. Some great tips which I’ve pinned for later.

    http://Www.vibeslifeus.com

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      My list of destinations keeps growing, too! Hope you can make it out to Boston or anywhere in Massachusetts soon. It’s a great state!

  3. Hannah
    | Reply

    Pinned! This is great, as we will be in Boston for 3 days next summer and it’s always great to have a head start on short itineraries! The Boston Harbour Cruise looks like a fabulous way to see the waterfront. And all that beautiful food you ate – The Friendly Toast looks like it could be my new favourite, I love kitsch decor. You definitely packed a lot in to 24 hours, but being able to relax in lovely public spaces like the Public Gardens, probably made it nice and relaxing!

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      3 days would be even better! You’ll have lots of time to explore this and beyond. I loved the Friendly Toast – super yummy and a really cool decor. Great vibes in there.

  4. Esther
    | Reply

    Oh my, be still my hungry heart. Al that food looks amazing and the hotel seems very comfortable. Putting Boston on my list for my next USA visit!
    #WeekendWanderlust

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      I try to eat at the best spots when I travel! I wish I could have more of this food right now :)

  5. Lisa
    | Reply

    Love your post! So many great suggestions and your pictures are absoulutely beautiful! Hope I’ll be able to visit Boston soon. Definitely saving your post for later reference. :-) #WeekendWanderlust

  6. Nicole Rugless
    | Reply

    We went to Boston in February, we started with the Freedom trail and so glad we did. There was a massive snowstorm the next day and we spent most of our day indoors. You couldn’t see the Freedom trail under the snow either. The cafes you went to looked great. Such a different experience in Summer. #WeekendWanderlust

  7. Samantha Sparrow
    | Reply

    I had really considered that you could see so much in Boston in a day, but considered me convinced! I have barely seen much of the USA but Boston is firmly now on my list. I love the look of the cocktails at Cafe ArtScience, and I really love how much of a great foodie experience you had!

  8. Loredana
    | Reply

    I usually try to spend a few days in a new place I visit, but it looks like you can do and see a lot of Boston in one day! Great recommendations in this guide! I’d definitely go to the Public Garden!

  9. Carol Colborn
    | Reply

    All we did in Boston was the Freedom Trail! Plus the Cheers Pub of the TV fame!

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      The Freedom Trail is something I need to see more of!

  10. Marcus and Mel
    | Reply

    We visited Boston for the first time at the end of October, this year. We also stayed at the Lenox Hotel and had a great time, the staff were really helpful and gave us some wine and chocolates as it was my birthday. Also did the Freedom Trail and Beacon Hill, we went to Salem too as it was a few days before Halloween which was really good fun.

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      That’s so cool you also stayed at the Lenox Hotel, and what a kind gesture for your birthday! Love it there! I haven’t been to Salem, that sounds like a blast.

  11. Roy A Ackerman, PhD, EA
    | Reply

    First of all, thanks for the information about those great vegan eateries.
    Secondly, thanks for reminding me of my great walks around Boston/Cambridge.
    Finally, nice to meet someone else who visits many a city in just one day.

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      The vegan food was so good in Boston! And yes, sometimes you’ve gotta make the most of your time in a day!

  12. Gabby
    | Reply

    I’ve never visited Boston but it is so high on my list! I have tons of friends living there so would love to see it – but one thing I never knew was that the food is so awesome there. It looks like it is foodie heaven!

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      It is foodie heaven! The fact you have friends there makes it even easier to go – you’ll have locals to show you things! Hope you make it there and have fun!

  13. Suruchi
    | Reply

    This is the best guide on how to spend 24 hours in Boston. Boston is really beautiful and I am taken away by your pictures. Just amazing. Food seems super tempting in all the picture. The Lenox Hotel looks super comfortable. And I must say, you made the full use of 24 hrs there.

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      Thank you for your compliment! I used the full 24 hours – except for the time I was sleeping in my comfy bed at the Lenox Hotel ;)

  14. Kiyoko
    | Reply

    Boston in 24 hours is SO hard to do! I was in Boston for a conference and ended up being done a day early so I found that I had 24 hours to explore the area. I wasn’t expecting the extra time, so I threw my plans together last minute, and I know I definitely missed some great things. I definitely agree with taking a stroll through Boston Common and Public Garden. It’s absolutely beautiful place. I think I actually liked it better than Central Park in New York City. If you’re an architecture / cityscape lover, I recommend checking out the Skywalk observatory for great views of the city!

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      It’s tough to see a city in 24 hours! But you have to know you’re only scraping the surface and there are lots of places to return back to see. You can never see it all! We wanted to do that observatory but ran out of time – something to see next time for sure!

  15. Claire
    | Reply

    I went to Boston years ago for a weekend, i would have loved to spend more time there so definitely need to go back. We ended up taking a whale watching tour which was amazing, although I’d like to take the harbour tour too – and eat some of that delicious veggie food!

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      I would LOVE to do a whale watching tour from Boston! Next time for sure I’ll do that!

  16. Megan Jerrard
    | Reply

    The Lenox Hotel sounds fantastic, and I love that it’s centrally located so that you can walk everywhere. Sunset looks stunning over the rooftops from the hotel! You really did cover a lot of ground in 24 hours – I love the idea of seeing Boston from the water with a harbor cruise – you got great shots of the waterfront! I’m impressed because I really didn’t expect Boston to be so green. But the gardens look wonderful. Will have to plan a trip at some stage :)

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      It surprised me how green Boston was, too! The parks are quite lovely in the middle of the city. Highly recommend a trip here! :)

  17. Punita Malhotra
    | Reply

    I love the harbour cruises and the vibrant gardens and the elegant architecture. But most of all, i love all the food, each one of those divine food pictures. How will I be able to sample all of that in one day :)

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      Yes, bring the stretchy pants! It’s not such a bad thing to overindulge sometimes, right! :) I definitely left with a full belly after my time in Boston.

  18. Mei
    | Reply

    Oh we missed out Boston last year when we did a road trip along the East Coast from NYC down to the Keys! But we’re now thinking to visit NY again and then go up to Boston! And when we do, we would certainly want to do the Boston Harbor cruise to hear about all the tales that the guide would have to tell! As foodies we would also explore the market to taste some yummy stuff! Thank you for this guide!

  19. Lauren
    | Reply

    Boston is a great road trip stop! The harbor cruise was great and yes, the guides tell so much interesting info that I would have never guessed! Definitely hit up the market, too.

  20. Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net)
    | Reply

    Fun day! We have yet to actually spend a day IN Boston. It’s always a transit point to someplace else. We really need to change that! Love the Public Garden, and the Harbor Cruise – great ideas.

  21. Till
    | Reply

    Hey! Love the pictures – just wondering, what camera do you use? Or are you using a smart phone? Lmk!

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