As an adult, I’ve lived in some pretty cool cities – Boulder, DC and now, Boston – vacation destinations for many. As such, my friends and family have always assumed that I’ve spent all of my free time skiing in Colorado, exploring museums in DC and wandering the Freedom Trail here in Boston. Not quite. I like to say that no matter where you live, you still need to do your laundry and get your oil changed.
That’s why it’s so refreshing when you have an excuse to explore your hometown like a tourist. It shakes up your regular routine and makes you remember why you call a place “home.” It can even stave off wanderlust until you are able to take a “real” trip. Having spent most of the fall and winter overseas, I jumped at the opportunity to lead a local tour for the Women in Travel Summit, which kicks off tomorrow at the Revere Hotel. Yesterday morning, I got to accompany three lovely traveling/writing/blogging ladies on a little stroll around the historically Italian neighborhood, the North End, one of my favorites in Boston. And, of course, we did some eating too! Here are the stops we made…
Stop 1: Cafe Paradisio – I love this little gem of a neighborhood cafe, which instantly transports me to Europe when I walk through the door, with dozens of football scarves hanging from the ceilings and old Italian men huddled over their espressos. (I had the chai latte.)
Stop 2: Paul Revere House – Built in 1680, this is the oldest house in downtown Boston.
Stop 3: Paul Revere Mall – A brick courtyard spanning between the chaotic Hanover St. and the rear of Old North Church, the Mall’s focal point is the Paul Revere Monument, by sculptor Cyrus Dallin. (Photo by Lollie Davis Weeks)
Stop 4: Old North Church – An operational Episcopal church today, Old North Church was built in 1723, making it Boston’s oldest church building. The “one if by land, two if by sea” signal is thought to have been made from its steeple the night of Paul Revere’s midnight ride in 1775.
Stop 5: Copp’s Hill Burying Ground – This is the second oldest cemetery in Boston, containing thousands of graves and 272 tombs.
Stop 7: Mike’s Pastry – Some Bostonians would say Mike’s Pastry has the best cannoli in Boston. Others would say it’s its rival across the street, Modern Pastry. Our group was pro-Mike’s. (Photo by Kyle Slattery)