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Budget Travel Expert Marissa Strang Shares Where To Eat, Stay, And Play In Boston

Travel is often thought of exclusive to the wealthy.But f*ck that noise. There are deals. There are hostels. Your adventures are never quite as expensive as they seem at first glance. If they really are that costly, stay closer to home and travel your state. Roadtrip. Hit a national park.

Washington, D.C.-based travel blogger Marissa Strang knows that anyone can create a life full of travel and exploration and she’s dedicated her career to educating people about how to make travel more accessible while holding down a nine-to-five job.

“I’m on a mission to empower others to make their travel dreams a reality,” she says. “No matter what you look like. No matter what your socioeconomic status. No matter your age. I’m a strong believer that anyone — yes, absolutely anyone — can and should revel in the joys of seeing the world.”

To that end, Strang shares insightful travel tips and resources with her followers, from one-of-a-kind city guides and destination inspiration to budget-friendly travel hacks for aspiring travelers. And her favorite U.S. destination is one of the country’s oldest cities, Boston — a hub for history, delicious grub, and sightseeing.

If you’re planning a trip to the Northeast, Boston needs to be on your itinerary. So we asked Strang to share her expert guide on where to eat, stay, drink, and play while you’re in Beantown.

WHY BOSTON?

Boston City Guide 2022
Marissa Strang

One of the coolest things about Boston is that it’s steeped in history! America’s City of Firsts tells the story of the beginning of our country — with America’s oldest restaurant, first public market, first public park, first public school, first subway system, and more. Aside from being steeped in history, I love the layout of the city, and their seafood scene is insane!

What’s one thing that every first-time visitor should see or do in Boston?

Boston City Guide 2022
Marissa Strang

Be sure to check out Little Italy! Walking into the North End feels like stepping right onto a movie set. The neighborhood is filled to the brim with authentic Italian ristorantes, pizzerias, and bakeries. One of the most hailed spots in the neighborhood is Mike’s Pastry, dubbed the “Home of the Cannoli.” Turns out I don’t like cannolis very much, but people who do like them rave about how good they are. Keep in mind they’re cash only!

For the best pizza in the North End, head over to Regina’s Pizzeria on Thatcher Street. They’re slinging up greasy, cheesy, tasty goodness that any pizza-lover would regret missing.

Best way to take in the history of the city?

The best way to experience the core history of Boston is by taking a walk through the past. The iconic Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile walk, snaking its way through to 16 major sites relating to the city’s founding and the Revolutionary War. You know that little part of your brain from middle school history class that goes off when you hear “Boston Tea Party” and “Paul Revere”? These stories, and more, come alive on the Freedom Trail tours.

You’ll stop by America’s first public park, the site of the Boston Massacre, the Massachusetts State House, and more. I recommend taking a free tour with Free Tours By Foot (just make sure to tip your guide!). Alternatively, you can walk the trail on your own with the online brochure as your guide.

Where to get the best lobster roll and clam chowder?

If there’s one restaurant I’d proclaim a “must-eat” in Boston, it’s Union Oyster House. Having opened in 1826, the eatery has been serving up traditional New England seafood for over 160 years. It’s officially the oldest continually-operating restaurant in America and a National Historic Landmark. Perched upon cobblestone streets, the authenticity of the building is preserved with its classic brick façade and antique interior. You can slurp oysters at the famous semi-circle bar, sit at John F. Kennedy’s favorite booth, and stroll the two floors of artifacts and oddities that pepper the walls.

Don’t forget to try the creamy clam chowder (with a dash of Tabasco, of course) and the lobster rolls!

Three must-stop locations for a Boston bar crawl?

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Saloon for beautiful speakeasy vibes, The Beehive for an artsy feel, and Earnest Drinks if you like boozy frozen cocktails!

Coolest hotel or place to stay in Boston?

Boston City Guide 2022
Aloft Boston Seaport District

Tucked away in the Seaport District neighborhood is the Aloft Boston Seaport District hotel. Known for its modern design, bright flashes of color, and tech-forward amenities, the hotel gives off a buzzy and colorful vibe. Upon walking into the hotel, you’re greeted by high ceilings, mural art, a grand industrial staircase, and polished concrete set in an open-concept lobby.

It was a really awesome stay with great customer service, and centrally located too!

A must-see museum in Boston?

Boston City Guide 2022
Marissa Strang

Don’t forget to visit the site of the world’s largest art heist – seriously, there’s a Netflix documentary about it and everything! Every room at the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum is a work of art, meticulously curated to delight the senses. Over a dozen rooms, passageways, and galleries are nothing short of spectacular. Not to mention, the heart and soul of the museum: a spectacular courtyard featuring ancient Roman sculptures and lush greenery.

Whether you’re an art aficionado or just like to look at pretty things, the Gardener Museum is a must-see stop!

Best time of year to visit?

Between June and October! If you want to avoid the biggest crowds, go right after the summer around August and September, when kids go back to school.

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