7 Reasons Why Boston is the Greatest City in the Universe! www.theshortesttallman.com

7 Reasons Boston is the Greatest City in the Universe.

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Cuz I love that dirty water… Boston, you’re my home.

Doot doot… doot doo-doot……  doot doot… doot doo-doot.

(The Standells)

Boston is the greatest city in the universe.  I elaborate:

7 Reason Why Boston is the Greatest City in the Universe! www.theshortesttallman.com

The Freedom Trail By Ben Schumin – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10613765

1.          History:  America was born here. Plymouth Rock is nearby-ish (Plymouth is a lovely day trip out of Boston-proper).  The freedom trail hits it all, hits all the historical landmarks from the Bunker Hill Monument, the site of the Boston Massacre (one of the contributing events that led to the Revolution), the USS Constitution, the Old State House (well almost original, I think first one burned down- fact check), Paul Revere’s blacksmith shop, an old cemetery or two in downtown– it’s amazing!  Walking the freedom trail is our absolute favorite activity.  I have always looked forward to when my kids are old enough to be studying the American Revolution in school- time for a road trip to my favorite city!!!  Before Sam Adams was a beer and Thanksgiving was owned by Macy’s, it all started here.  ‘Merica!

7 Reasons Why Boston is the Best City in the Universe! www.theshortesttallman.com

Old State House, Boston, MA.
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=221678

2.          Manageable city:  I went to school in Boston (BU), so I’m partial, but it’s a very manageably-sized city. If you like walking among high rises (sometimes I just love that urban landscape to explore), walk a block from Fanueil hall and you’re in the financial district. The city center is not nearly as overwhelming as NYC, and both cities are equidistant from where I live. Because of its manageable size and ease of navigating (haha on foot I mean; Boston is disastrous by car!  At least compared to NYC), we much prefer a weekend away in Boston.  Everything is right there.  

3.         It’s very New England, but with a large collegiate population:  seafood, popped collars, the accent- it’s a lot of fun to look at and listen to. Not unlike any other metropolitan city, of course, it’s a different culture than our suburban lifestyle. And, my family is from the Boston area, so I do kinda strut into eastern mass and shout “these ah my people.”  Because Boston is a big time college town, there are a lot of non-permanent residents there.  Lots of young people, which of course impacts the culture.  I mean, you’ve got some pretty hipster neighborhoods- Harvard Square and Coolidge Corner both come to mind.  Just click on this link for the Paris Creperie.  I mean.  Seriously.  I can attest it is amazing, went there on our Babymoon.  And it couldn’t be more hipster.  Or whatever new word hipsters have replaced “hipster” with.

4.         Ocean:  you’re at the edge of America! (sounds so dramatic!  especially with the bold letters and italics). Who doesn’t love being at the coast?  Take a harbor cruise, choose among various lengths, leave from the New England Aquarium site. My recommendation- Duck Boat tour. It hits some great areas, the boat is obviously super cool, and I’ve never taken a duck boat tour where the tour guide/driver wasn’t hysterically funny and super informative.  On the cheap?  Take the harbor commuter boat to Charlestown side- putz around, look at the views.  A few bucks, maybe; at least that’s all it was 10 year ago.  Leaves from the same place area as the Harbor cruises, right at the NeAq.  Speaking of coasts, if you have extra time, check out a place like Gloucester, up on the nohth showah- it’s wicked up they-uh.

5.         Speaking of the aquarium, there’s a wealth of museums and attractions:  The Shortest Tallman recommends, among others:

7 Reasons Why Boston is the Greatest City in the Universe! www.theshortesttallman.com

Taken from the Royal Sonesta Hotel, Cambridge. The building hanging over the water is the Museum of Science; the bridge is the Ziskind bridge!

MoS, NEAQ, MFA, Christian Science center (has a cool globe thing, the Mapparium). Children’s museum is cool, although we never go- it’s on south side near South Station kinda, and honestly we always fill up our time along the Freedom Trail and the Back Bay area.

6.         Outdoor parks:  the Common and the Public Garden are adjacent to each other and LOVELY. One end of the Freedom Trail is at the Common.  I am smiling just thinking about it.  Swan boat tours, the frog pond, the cool playground at the frog pond for little ones… It’s just a great afternoon. There’s nice parks scattered around, of course. One I’d like to give a shoutout to is across from the Museum of Science. This one is a hidden treasure. Gorgeous, modern playground including a splash pad for the hot months; walking paths; and you get a front row view of the Ziskind bridge, as well as where the duck boats enter/exit the water. It’s on the Cambridge side, just down the street from the Cambridgeside Galleria mall.  My kids still talk about how Boston has the best playgrounds, haha.

7.         Shopping:  Boston, like any metropolitan city, is a shopping mecca.  Although many of the shops on Newbury and in the Prudential Center are a little too fancy and expensive for me, it’s still a nice walk.

7 Reasons Why Boston is the Greatest City in the Universe! www.theshortesttallman.com

Prudential Tower, from Cambridge-side.

The Apple Store in Boston is also a sight to see as well, located right on Boylston, which runs parallel to Newbury St., and across from one of the locations to the Prudential Center.

Might I also mention that we always go to the food court in the Prudential Center at least once when we’re in town, due to its variety, price point, and location.  One fun thing you can do at the Prudential Center, is to either eat at the Top of the Pru restaurant, which as you can imagine, is very high up and has gorgeous views and good food (I wouldn’t go with kids), or just go to the observation deck at the top of the Prudential Tower.  It’s one of the tallest buildings in Boston, and the 360 views are really cool.


Of course, just outside of Boston proper, there’s a zillion things to do, as well.  The Cape is a biggie; we spent some time there last summer.  One of these days, I’m dragging my family to Salem.  We always talk about going, but honestly, when we head towards Boston, we just love being in the city so much, we don’t want to leave for a day trip outside of Boston.  I guess it’s like ordering your favorite dish at a restaurant.  Salem is super cool, I remember going as a kid once, so someday we’ll go as a family, hopefully on one of our next trips out that way.

If you do go to Boston, let me suggest a playlist:

  • Sweet Caroline/Neil Diamond
  • Dirty Water/The Standells
  • The Dropkick Murphys, especially “Shipping Up to Boston”
  • Boston/Augustana
  • More Than a Feeling/Boston

Comment below with your thoughts, and be sure to mention any Boston favorites that I missed!