Earlier this year I was given the opportunity to attend INBOUND 2018 in Boston for work. INBOUND is the annual conference hosted by HubSpot, which I use daily at work. Since I had never been to Boston before, I decided to extend my trip into the weekend to explore the city. I asked a few friends and family members if they’d like to meet me, but the timing unfortunately didn’t work for anyone. Despite this, I decided to keep my flight and hotel and explore the city on my own. I’ve traveled alone in the past, but it’s been awhile!
I arrived in Boston on Tuesday, and after grabbing lunch at Legal Seafood and getting organized for the conference, I decided to grab a taxi into the city and explore. During the conference I stayed at Seaport Boston Hotel, which was within walking distance of the conference. Once in the city I stopped at Follain in Beacon Hill, walked to Acorn Street, through Boston Common, and to my other hotel, the Kimpton Nine Zero. I then grabbed a taxi back to my other hotel and attended the opening of INBOUND. Deepak Chopra spoke, and it was a great way to start the conference! I’m planning to do a separate recap of INBOUND, so stay tuned for that!
Once INBOUND ended around 3pm on Friday I picked up my luggage and transferred hotels. For the conference I stayed nearby at the Seaport Boston Hotel. This was ideal since it was so close to the conference and had a number of amenities to enjoy. I was also able to explore the seaport area and had meals at Legal Seafood, Sportello, Luke’s Lobster, and Tatte Bakery (I’d highly recommend all of them!).
Through the weekend I stayed at the Kimpton Nine Zero, due in part to its location. After reading reviews and figuring out what I wanted to do with my time, I felt the Kimpton was a great choice. Overall I really enjoyed the Kimpton Nine Zero. It was comfortable, clean, and the staff was very attentive.
Friday evening I headed out to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. I had no idea it was so extensive! I should have researched the collection more, because I did feel a bit overwhelmed. Upon arrival I had a quick snack in their cafe, and then I set out to explore. Some of my favorite pieces were in the Impressionist galleries and the contemporary galleries.
After MFA Boston I went back to my hotel and grabbed a salad from Sweetgreen, which had a location nearby. At this point in my trip I was feeling like I needed something on the healthier side, but ultimately I was disappointed. Down South we have Chopt, which I love, and I had heard of Sweetgreen before so I thought I’d give it a try. I might give it another try, but on this particular visit I wasn’t impressed.
Saturday morning I started with an early breakfast at Tatte Bakery near the MFA Boston and the Northeastern campus. Y’all, my love affair with Tatte Bakery is real. Their interiors are incredibly appealing, and their food and coffee are top notch. I’m not-so-secretly hoping they’ll expand to Charlotte (I can dream, right?). After my breakfast I decided to go back to the MFA Boston. Not only did I have an hour to kill before the Isabella Gardner Museum opened, but I felt like I didn’t see everything the night before, and with admission you get one free reentry within 10 days. Even after a second visit, I still didn’t see the entire collection! I did revisit the Monet’s and a few other Impressionists, but there were other galleries I didn’t make it to. If you’re planning to go to the MFA Boston, take a look at the collection and decide ahead of time what you’d like to prioritize!
Next up I walked to the Isabella Gardner Museum, which opens at 11am on Saturday. I previously read The Gardner Heist, a recount of the 1990 heist of the museum, which remains unsolved today. A number of priceless pieces (including a Vermeer and Rembrandt) were stolen in the middle of the night, and have never been traced. The collection itself is intriguing, given that Isabella Gardner herself is responsible for its existence as well as the building of the mansion the collection is stored in, but the heist adds an interesting element to any visit. A number of empty frames remain in their original spot as a reminder of what’s been lost. I truly loved my visit, and plan to go back again! I had a small lunch in Cafe G., which sustained me for continued exploration.
I headed to Copley Square, and from there to Newbury Street for a little shopping. Newbury Street dead ends into the Boston Public Garden, so I took a walk through the park on my way back to Beacon Hill. I loved the gardens, as they reminded me of the parks in London. I then headed back to the hotel for a bit of rest and to watch the UGA game before walking to Quincy Market/Faneuil Hall for dinner.
On my last morning I scheduled a walking tour of the Freedom Trail. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed. The tour only covered a small portion of the Freedom Trail, so I missed things like Paul Revere’s house. You can grab a map of the Freedom Trail at Faneuil Hall and do the trail yourself, which is probably what I would do next time
After grabbing lunch at Pret a Manger (they remind me of my time in London, so I eat at one whenever I can!), I packed up my bags and headed to the airport.
I’m so glad I stayed in Boston after the conference to explore the city. Overall, Boston is extremely clean, walkable, and generally a great place to visit. With cooler temperatures, it was a great weekend of exploring and enjoying a new city. I’ll definitely be back!