The city is too big for everyone to know your name, but the film location of the TV sitcom Cheers is a cool place to browse photos of your favorite characters from the show. On the hot and humid day we visited, it was also the perfect spot for a cold beer. The street outside is lined with beautiful old residential buildings.
I picked the Omni Parker Hotel as our residence for two days, it’s in the perfect location for exploring downtown, and only a ten minute walk from the harbor. The impeccable service started right at the curb when we pulled up and the valet took care of us. The bellhop tried not to look freaked out when he saw all the crap we wanted to carry up to our room. That’s what you get when you live out of your car for three weeks.
Not wanting to miss out on anything we hit the street soon after our late afternoon arrival. With no particular plan, we stumbled around downtown looking for photo ops and famous dead people in graveyards. Our first bar, Beantown, was perfectly located across the street from one of the stone orchards. It was the ideal place to sip on a Sam Adams and look at his grave site on the opposite side of the road.
Our feet and backs gave out on us so after refreshing ourselves back at the hotel, we stayed in and ordered what turned out to be a delicious local pizza.
We headed out on foot again early the next morning, walking downhill to the harbor front. Long Wharf offered a great view of the Boston Harbor and the endless variety of watercraft that plied its waters. We checked out the menu at the Chart House and decided to return later for dinner.
A fancy hotel lured us out to Atlantic Avenue, where we found of cooler full of bottled water, courtesy of the City of Boston. That was fine, but something across the street looked even better. A local craft brewery was set up on a sidewalk patio. Thinking we’d be foolish not to check it out, we headed over.
What caught Cathryn’s eye next was on a picnic table in front of a young couple – a lobster roll. She commented on how good it looked and asked the young dude where he’d gotten it. The beer garden didn’t serve food so she went off the get brunch while I grabbed a cold one and parked it in the shade.
We like to meet new people while travelling, and in this case it paid off. The young man had gone to university in Boston and gave us some great tips for our drive up the coast. Cathryn returned with our early lunch, shy of $26 U.S. for the fresh lobster roll. It didn’t matter, there was enough for two and it was amazing. She was supposed to wait until Nova Scotia to indulge, but I’m glad she didn’t. After killing time in Cheers, we climbed aboard one of the many Duck Boat Tours that ply the city streets and waterways. I’d always thought the things were too tacky and touristy, but it was one of the best city tours we’ve ever had. Our guide was knowledgeable and funny, and they even let some of the kids on board drive when we were in the water. It was cool to see the city from that vantage point.
We found another, or maybe two more Irish Pubs on the hot walk back to our hotel. The shady detour through Boston Common Park was a welcome relief, the swan boats that cruise the pond have been in operation by the same family for something like a hundred and forty years.
We made it to the Chart House for a nice dinner, albeit our reservations were too late for us to take in the fireworks display in the harbor. Although we suffered blisters on our feet and sore backs, we can now call Boston one of our favorite big cities.