Earlier this month, Traughber and I went to Boston for a mini runcation. Actually, he was there for business, and I tagged along to explore the city in my running shoes. With our busy schedules and the stress of wedding planning, it was a much needed pre-honeymoon. We stayed at in the Financial District, just a few blocks from the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum.
On Friday morning, I started at the Fort Point Channel and ran 3.5-miles along the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a string of urban parks, up to the North End, an Italian neighborhood lined with dozens of restaurants and bakeries. Afterwards, we took a train to Cambridge for bRUNch at The Friendly Toast, which included the thickest raisin bread I’ve ever seen, an egg scramble with avocado, black beans and fresh salsa and pineapple juice. Then we walked to Harvard University’s campus for a self-guided walking tour of the Harvard Yard and the campus’ older buildings.
On Saturday morning, I followed the Freedom Trail in the drizzly rain for a 5-mile history lesson. The brick-lined route leads tourists to 16 museums, meetinghouses, churches, cemeteries and other historical sites significant to the American Revolution. I started at The Langham and ran to the Boston Common, the country’s oldest public park and where colonists shared a pasture for their cattle to graze. There I picked up the brick path and continued it to each of the spots marked by ground markers as well as plaques on the sides of buildings. Some of the notable spots I enjoyed were:
and Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, which many free African-Americans are buried, including abolitionist Prince Hall who founded America’s first Black Masonic Lodge.
After crossing the Charlestown Bridge the rain picked up, so I turned around before making it to the Bunker Hill Monument and USS Constitution and ran through the North End and down the Rose Kennedy Greenway back to the hotel.
As someone who enjoys exploring new cities by foot rather than on a touristy trolley, I appreciated Boston’s Freedom Trail. Other than a few places were the red brick turned to faded red paint and the street market that interrupted my run, the trail was a great way to go sightseeing and the best part was that it was free.
In full disclosure, I deviated from being vegetarian and overall wedding diet because what’s a runcation without sampling the local cuisine? One night we had dinner at Panza, a quaint Italian restaurant. Note that you’ll want to make reservations to dine anywhere in the North End. All of the restaurants had lines trailing down their sidewalks, so during our 90-minutes wait for a table, we walked over to Mike’s Pastries for cannoli. I was anxious to try fresh seafood out of the harbor and nervous about what it could do to my stomach considering I hadn’t eaten seafood in nine months. For dinner I had seafood risotto, a creamy blend of shrimp, scallops, asparagus, diced tomato and arborio rice. After dessert for hors d’oeuvres, my fork danced around my plate, and I was too full to finish.
The next day we near stopped the New England Aquarium at City Landing, where I tried a soft shell crab sandwich. The crab was disappointing. I’m sure it was that my taste buds hadn’t missed seafood one bit because all I could think about was it tasting like the ocean.
Like all vacations, the three-day weekend wasn’t long enough. Boston friends, what great restaurants and running trails should I visit the next time I’m in the northeast?