Boston: Revolutionary to Evolutionary


Ye Olde Town Feels New Again on Each Visit
By Charlene Peters


ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Travel writer Charlene Peters talks about her adventures in Boston. Watch here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Spreaker, PodBean, or SoundCloud.

Founded in 1630 by a small group of English colonists, the city of Boston has grown, yet respects its considerable past.

Its paltry Puritan cuisine (“Boston, home of the bean and the cod”) earned its nickname, Beantown, but rest assured, today’s food scene is much more exciting and diverse. Traditional staples such as Boston Cream Pie and Boston Baked Beans endure, but you’re just as likely to find food from Kerala, Taormina, Mallorca, or Taipei tucked into Boston’s walkable neighborhoods.

Where once the city served seafarers and settlers, today it’s a hub for technology, higher education, wine education, and even a burgeoning filmmaking industry. Here’s a brief synopsis of what you can discover around town.

The Seaport
This popular ‘hood is along a broad avenue that hugs the Boston Harbor. You can drive here or arrive via the city’s public transit system – and even by ferry.

New restaurants and clubs – from glitzy name- brand steakhouses to simple taco joints line the streets. One of the oldest and uber casual eateries is a mainstay called The Barking Crab. This is the place for seafood in-the-rough, and it’s a fun way to dig in with a classic New England Clambake. What’s a clambake, you ask? Think of a feast comprised of fresh-caught lobster, mussels, crab, giant clams known as quahogs, and corn-on-the-cob. Now imagine them steamed together on a bed of seaweed and you’ve got yourself a true taste of the Atlantic Ocean on a platter.

The Freedom Trail
Once you’ve satisfied your seafood cravings, take a 2.5-mile walk through Boston on The Freedom Trail. This red-brick road is the best way to take in the city and learn about Boston’s role in the Revolutionary War. Before you take your last step, you’ll be well versed on a handful of British dissidents who created a new nation.

|You’ll pass landmark statues, parks, cemeteries, historic buildings, and churches before arriving at the country’s oldest commissioned naval war ship: The U.S.S. Constitution. Boston Harbor is where the Boston Tea Party occurred on Dec. 16, 1773, when a group of colonists disguised as Mohawk Indians charged aboard three British ships and dumped 300-plus chests of tea into the water in a revolt against Britain’s extortionary tax on imported tea.

In Charlestown, guides conduct free narrated tours on the Siege of Boston by the British in 1776, and the infamous Battle of Bunker Hill. Learn about the bloody, days-long battle between the ragged, outnumbered, and underequipped colonists and the British troops.

A mile or so from the battlefield, walk through Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Quincy Market to the North End, Boston’s Italian enclave. In 1912, three immigrants opened a pasta factory, Prince Macaroni, to fulfill the culinary needs of the neighborhood.


Beacon Hill
When you stroll the length of Charles Street, begin at Boston Public Garden past its charming bridges, ponds, tree-draped pathways, and bronze statuary. A few blocks east is the Massachusetts state capitol building and its distinctive gold-leaf dome. At the far end of Charles Street is the Charles River, where a mile-long pedestrian/bicycle path follows the curve of the river into Cambridge. This is Boston’s adjacent city and home to Harvard University and M.I.T., and where you can sign up for a fun, region-themed public wine tasting at Commonwealth Wine School.

A 2019 addition to Boston’s hotel scene, on a busy corner of Charles Street, is The Whitney, a boutique hotel whose location makes an ideal base for setting out across the city. This five-story building, built in 1909, began as a live-in dormitory for the nurses who worked across the street at the Boston Eye Infirmary (now Mass Eye and Ear). It was then known as the John Jefferies House.

The Whitney’s namesake, Henry Melville Whitney, was a Boston industrialist who formerly owned the site. He founded the West End Street Railway Company which ran streetcars throughout the city in the late 19th century. Today, those rails are part of the city’s sprawling subway network, the MBTA (Mass Bay Transit Authority). Locals simply call it “The T.”

The Theater District
Within the Theater District of Boston is Chinatown, the campus of Emerson College, and The W Hotel, the latter for hardcore rock ‘n’ roll fans who book the spacious WOW Suite. Its interior design pays homage to one of Boston’s most notorious bad-boy bands: Aerosmith. The black and silver bedspread motif is a replica of the band’s “Get Your Wings” album cover design. Needless to say, the suite comes with a killer sound system, but you’ll also love the soaking tub and electronically-controlled drapery and lighting system.

Back Bay
Go west of the Theatre District and you’ll soon land in the Back Bay, the beating heart of Boston. The backbone of this mix of retail, residential, and businesses is Commonwealth Avenue with its seven alphabetical blocks of fabulous historic brownstone homes.

One of two Four Seasons hotels is located at One Dalton Street. Enter the lobby and you’re immediately struck by an arresting wall mural that illustrates Boston landmarks – from the iconic red CITGO sign to a can of Boston Baked Beans, all nestled within swells of dense hues in bronze and brown strokes. This is a clever artistic depiction of The Great Molasses Flood of 1919, a real disaster in Boston history that caused much damage and killed more than 20 people.

Follow the curved staircase from the lobby of this new property to Zuma, a Japanese restaurant with an over-the-top design and ambrosial menu offerings. The bar, made from monkeypod wood sourced from Thailand, is a conversation opener with the bartender. My glass of Dassai 45 saké paired beautifully with a rock shrimp tempura that sent my taste buds to a state of nirvana.

Boston, despite hundreds of years of important history, retains its classic Beantown experiences: a big bowl of steamer clams, a pedal around on a swan boat, and a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park. As the natives often say, you’ll have a “wicked good” time.

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Quenching a thirst for the exotic and delicious, Charlene Peters is a long-time travel journalist who creatively shares her picturesque and palatable journeys and wellness experiences around the globe. She has visited 41 countries and published thousands of featured lifestyle stories and is author of “Travel Makes Me Hungry,” a book that connects the world through food with over 100 travel essays and almost as many recipes. When she isn’t writing about food, Charlene explores wellness and wine destination experiences. Follow Charlene’s adventures at

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About the Author:

Quenching a thirst for the exotic and delicious, Charlene Peters is a long-time travel journalist who creatively shares her picturesque and palatable journeys and wellness experiences around the globe.

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