Playing TouristsTravel

Playing Tourist – Top 4 stops in our short visit to Boston

Our Visit to Boston

After spending a week making the trip from Orlando to the Boston area, we were finally ready to play tourist for the first time. Up to this point the trip had been all driving and visiting with some family and friends along the way. In our usual impatient style, we wanted to get the best impression of Boston we could in the least amount of time.

Boston Minuteman Campground

The Commuter Train

Our campground (Boston Minuteman) was 40 miles northwest of downtown Boston. Considering traffic and parking, we quickly decided that driving into town was not a good option.

The commuter train had a station in Littleton with a large parking lot about 10 minutes from the campground. This seemed like our best bet, although arriving at the station around 10:00am, we found that it was completely full. There were many cars parked on the grass though, so we decided to take a chance and do the same. It worked out fine. The round trip train cost us $20 each, but we probably would have spent about as much if we tried to drive into town and park. Plus, this enabled us to avoid all the complications.

Boston Commuter Train

Boston Commuter Train

The Trolley

The commuter train took an hour and brought us into North Station. It was about a two block walk to an Old Town Trolley stop. We've always been inclined to just wonder around by ourselves, but back in February some friends go us to take an Old Town Trolley tour of Savannah, Georgia. We really enjoyed it and found it to be a great way to get an overview of the city highlights. One thing that's great about these tours, is that they let you get off at many points along the tour, wonder around, and then get back on the next trolley to come along when you are ready.

The Boston Old Town Trolley tour cost us $38 each. It was fully narrated and every driver we got really seemed to know the city details and tended to be pretty entertaining. The route itself was about two hours, and there were almost 20 stops where you could get off and later reboard. In our case we stopped at three places and spent a total of about four hours taking the tour.

Boston Old Town Trolley

Boston Old Town Trolley

Boston Old Town Trolley

Boston Old Town Trolley

Favorite Stop #4 - Boston Public Library

There are a lot of great things to see in Boston, but for us, there's never enough time. Our solution has been to "Enjoy what we see, and not worry about what we don't!"

Our fourth favorite stop on our Boston tour was the public library. It's a very old building, loaded with history including some incredible paintings on the walls and ceilings. In many ways it felt like visiting a museum.

Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library

Favorite Stop #3 - Old South Church

Our third favorite site was the Old South Church. While it is loaded with history (the current building was completed in 1873), it was the beauty that overwhelmed us. Of course I really like old churches!!!

Old South Church

Old South Church

Old South Church

Old South Church

Old South Church

Old South Church

Favorite Stop #2 - Boston Harbor

How could we not include the Boston Harbor? I mean even if you hated American History, you'll never forget about the Boston Tea Party.

While the harbor has changed a bit since then, we were lucky enough to hit Boston when the "tall ships" were in port.

Boston Harbor

Boston Harbor

Boston Harbor

Boston Harbor

And our Favorite Stop #1 - The street corner with Johnnie Gilmore!!!

Places and scenery are great, but I am usually all about people. I have a lot of old friends and acquaintances, but I always love to meet someone new. Furthermore, I'm a musician.

Johnnie was standing on the corner playing solos on a bass guitar like I had never heard before. (Just coincidentally, I'm a bass player and used to have the exact model bass he was playing. I wouldn't say it affected my opinion here, but he sure played it better than I ever did.) Now please don't booh, but for me, he was the highlight of our day in Boston.

Click on the image below to check out his amazing music...

Here's another video from Johnnie's own YouTube collection.