In January 2016, Runviewer went to the States in search of daylight and faced blizzards and freezing winds, but it was worth it for the sunshine and sights. The below videos show three routes which could match up nicely for a fantastic route around the North and West end of the city.
BOSTON COMMON AND PUBLIC GARDEN
We were caught in the snow one night on Boston Common although it didn’t deter the packs of post-work runners galloping through the dark. The following morning we filmed this short, snow-tinged walk in the sunshine.
We start in Beacon Hill, an exceptionally pretty and historic area of the city, home to hilly, brick-cobbled streets and gaslights as well as the Massachusetts State House where we conclude this walk.
Heading South to the Park along Charles Street with a belly full of waffles, we pass the boutiquey shops and restaurants to emerge at the intersection at Beacon Street. With the business end of the city framing the horizon, we continue across the road with Boston Common on our left, Boston Public Garden on our right. A brief detour into the garden takes in the boating lake, currently frozen over, but in warmer months home to the famous swan boats. A little walk onto the jetty over the lagoon allowed for some pretty photographs, but we turn back on ourselves at the bridge, leaving the George Washington Statue behind us and heading out of the garden along the path, flanked by squatting box trees.
As we proceed, the common itself is home to a bandstand on our right and the Soldiers and Sailors monument to our left: a civil war tribute towering upon Flagstaff Hill. There are a few parking garage entrances dotted around the park which is indeed access to the large car park beneath our feet!
Further along we come across the children’s playground and Frog Pond (see statues). The paddling pool is emptied in the winter and in this video is serving as a jolly ice rink. In spite of the azure sky and bright sunshine, our hands were basically falling off from the cold (we should have run to keep warm!) so our brief wander concludes at the North East corner of the park, walking uphill to the magnificent Boston State House.
BOSTON HARBORWALK TO AQUARIUM
This flanking route joined up nicely with the previous after a jaunt across the compact centre of town. The wind on this day was so bitterly cold we had to do this in sections, but again if you’re running you can rely on being a little warmer! Otherwise just come when the weather is!
Beginning in Boston’s North End, we look East across the water as we flank the car park, pausing to enjoy a moments peace among the shushing reeds, gulls and planes taking off across the water. Following this loop was irresistible to a Brit in midwinter, having naturally forgotten all about the colour blue, but again the pain in our little begloved hands again drove us away from the water’s edge to Christopher Columbus Park. This park is home to a rose garden, a statue of its namesake and an elegant trellis, which is heavy with greenery in the summer months but prettily adorned with festive wreaths as we pass underneath.
Rejoining Atlantic Avenue with a brief peek at the jetty view from the Aquarium, we head inland up Milk Street, presided by the landmark Custom House tower.
CONGRESS STREET BRIDGE
Our final (and very brief) video takes in the night time view of the city walking from the North side of the Congress Street Bridge.
This continuation of the harborwalk begins outside the Children’s museum, evidenced by the gigantic milk bottle we pass on our left. Heading back West across the bridge, we stop at the Tea Party museum to briefly enjoy some fine and jaunty pipe music in their entrance.. By this time we are very cold and also tipsy so apologies for the indulgence. You can’t see much of the boats themselves, but this night time view was more of an afterthought, to take in the scale of the financial district at night.
FACILITIES / TRAVEL
The heart of this city is easily walkable, with plenty of bridges connecting you to the boroughs across the water. There’s so much to see as a tourist too, and although our route is geared towards runners and thus avoids most of the busier spots, if you’re visiting you’re sure to pick up the trails, entertainment and museums on offer within the loop.
We’re not going to bang on about good places to eat as there are too many, but Charles Street has some very nice spots to refuel after a long day’s wandering / running.
We stayed in Beacon Hill with AirBnB and although this is one of the most expensive and desirable neighbourhoods of the city we found a great rate in a cosy flat on the cobbled Mount Vernon Street.
There are great rail connections across the city and out of town. It takes about 4-5 hours from New York City. We hopped on one of the five local subway lines from Beacon Hill to visit Cambridge and wander around a snowy Harvard University too. There’s a wide selection of metro stations outwards from the centre and across Greater Boston. There are also three boat routes and a wide selection of buses.
We took a coach non-stop from New York City to the lively South Station. They have toilets on board, but I wasn’t brave enough to use them on either occasion, for fear of being flung pantless across the vehicle. It was very affordable though and stopping services are also available (Check out Megabus, Peter Pan, Greyhound etc.)
For ticket booking and transport updates you can visit the Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority Website.
Finally, if you’re not fussed about the lovely countryside views from the coach and train, Logan International Airport sits just across the water in East Boston and is accessible via all the main transport routes.