So... You're shippin' up to Boston, eh?
Let's start this off with a confession. I said all offseason that there was no way I would miss this game. I was so excited to make it back to the wonderful Commonwealth of Massachusetts with a wonderful drive through New England in PEAK foliage. Unfortunately (kind of), my one month visit to California is now entering its 7th consecutive month of extension. After traveling back for 4 Virginia Tech football games, the bank account is saying no mas. A win for fiscal responsibility. A blow to my heart. To be fair! I was just there 3 short weeks ago, so I'll be ok.
If you know me, you know that there are few things that I love more than the wonderful city of Boston. As the Hokies make the trip up north, what better opportunity would I have to share some of my favorite spots for you to check out in Beantown!
The Boston Common
Few more iconic spots to visit other than the central public park in downtown Boston. Dating from 1634, it is the oldest city park in the United States. It is a wonderful park as a whole. Statues of iconic founding members. Get yourself a nice cup of Joe. May I suggest Café Nero and take it in.
One spot to make a brief stop by is the famous bench from one of the greatest movies of all time, Good Will Hunting. Over 2 decades ago a young Matt Damon and the late great Robin Williams sat and shot one of the best scenes of all time (below). Since Williams passing, this bench has become a memorial of sorts where folks write inspirational messages and lay flowers in Robin's memory. It is a tad difficult to find, so here are the GPS coordinates to help you find it!
Located just north of the Common is One of Boston’s most picturesque areas, Beacon Hill. This little gem has steep streets lined with Federal-style and Victorian brick row houses lit by antique lanterns. Charles Street is the main strip in this beautiful slice of town.
Great place for a date or solo walk up and down the beautiful streets, stop and get a brunch bite at Tatté or at one of my favorite pubs, The Sevens (Might I suggest the reuben with a cup of clam chowder)!
If you are looking for the best spot to take a picture in this area, it is Acorn Street. One of the most photographed streets in America and dates back to the early 19th century.
Just west of Beacon Hill is the esplanade. It features a wonderful view of Cambridge just across the Charles River. If you do the entire loop and cross the Longfellow Bridge you will pass right by MIT and Harvards' campuses, and head back by way of the Harvard Bridge near Newbury Street. Plenty of shopping and places to eat over there as well. I have kayaked over on the esplanade before, but that was definitely not in November.
Let's talk about my favorite topic... food.
You absolutely cannot go wrong in this city. I will just list a few of my favorites and you can pick and choose.
Union Oyster House
If I am in Boston, I am going to Union Oyster House. I went for the first time ever when I visited Boston College as a recruit way back in 2013. It is the oldest restaurant dating back to 1826 and only a block from Faneuil hall.
What does Billy Ray get?
Oysters: (Lots of them). You can sit at the oyster bar and have them shuck them and hand them over as you enjoy your beer of choice.
Clam Chowder: You wont find a bad cup of chowder in Boston, but the game changer is the cornbread that comes with it. My suggestion? Crumble the bread in with the chowder, dash of pepper and a handsome helping of hot sauce. *chefs kiss*
Main course: Seafood platter, sautéed shrimp & scallops, or the steak. All phenomenal.
This is my favorite place for breakfast or an early lunch. There are several locations across the city and all of the food is phenomenal.
What does Billy Ray get?
Look, you can get the best avocado toast you have ever had... if you want to spend over 10 bucks on it. May I suggest the shakshuka. No words necessary. See below.
If you are looking to ball out for dinner, Strega is my favorite Italian spot. Located in the North End of the city this place is absolutely incredible. Dimly lit with a wall of televisions that play mob classics exclusively.
What does Billy Ray get?
I have gotten something different every time. I go in and literally tell the waiter or waitress to pick for me and I have never been disappointed. Neither will you.
10 mins from BC campus in West Roxbury. Packy bought me a burrito from there and it was amazing.
Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.
One of the biggest debates in all of Boston is who does pastries better. Is it Modern or Mikes? You be the judge. They are both on Hanover street and 325 feet from one another. For what it is worth: Molly Zodikoff c/o '18 says Modern.
Here are my Favorite late night spots.
Labeled as a restaurant and supper club. You want to get after it? Go to the basement.
Locally known as "TITS". This is a great spot to catch a game or grab a drink and bite.
Located right by TD Garden, another great spot to catch some of Saturday's games and grab some good football food. I would say go to the Fours. Which WAS one of the best sports bars in America, but sadly closed its doors after 44 years last fall.
If you are looking for a friendly laid back spot to play darts and drink beer, this is for you. Located right in the heart of Beacon Hill.
I cannot stress this to you enough. IF you are in town for Sunday and plan on watching some NFL action, get out of bed and skip over to Southie no later than 9:45 ,am and get in line at Stats. You will not get in if you show up later, but rest assured they have great breakfast. There is not a better environment to take in a Sunday of football.
Boston is my favorite city in the world. It's a city of winners, incredibly smart and gritty people, and I hope whoever is going has a wonderful time. If you have ANY questions or need other suggestions hit me up on twitter.