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The Freedom Trail: Everything You Need to Know

The Freedom Trail in Boston is a 2.5 mile walk dotted with 16 historical sites which all tell The Freedom Trail tour guide in costumethe story in their own way of the Revolutionary War. The tours, website, events and historical information are provided by The Freedom Trail Foundation.

There are several ways you can enjoy the trail and “Walk into History”:

  • Book a tour led by 18th-century costumed Freedom Trail Players® dressed in period costumes
  • Go it on your own with a map and a friend.
  • Plan a field trip and join a School Tour
  • Get a Smart Phone App which features all 16 sites and some just off the trail.

Related: Your Next Outdoor Adventure in Boston

Sites Along the Freedom TrailThe Freedom Trail house in Boston

Sites Just Off the Freedom TrailThe Freedom Trail Boston Commons

There are many more sites to see in Boston that are just off The Freedom Trail that add to the rich telling of American History. Don’t miss these destinations as well.

Other Heritage Trails

If you feel up to more walking and more American History, you might enjoy these trails as well.

Walk to the Sea Trail

The one-mile stretch from Beacon Hill to State Street, in the Financial District, to Long Wharf, on the harbor features glass and steel panels with historic maps and stories of how the geography of eight Boston locations along the route have been changed over time. See the remarkable land transformation of this small hilly peninsula into a great modern city.

Massachusetts State House – The Black Heritage Trail

During the 19th and 20th centuries, Boston’s free African American community led the nation in the movement to end slavery and to achieve equal rights. These remarkable patriots established businesses, founded organizations and created schools. Their houses of worship, homes, schools, and Underground Railroad sites make up Boston’s Black Heritage Trail®.

Foods Along the Freedom Trail Walking Tour

The Foods of the Freedom Trail Yummy Walk will explore many of the Freedom Trail sites and taste typical New England cuisine as its been revolutionized for today’s Bostons food scene.

Historic Pub Crawl

This walk is also conducted by the The Freedom Trail Foundation. At each of the four pubs you will visit on your tour, taste contemporary Boston fare and enjoy a different sample-size Sam Adams beer. This tour is 90 minutes and is great for individuals, small groups, corporate team building, or as a date.

Staying in BostonShort term apartment rental

If you are planning a trip to Boston to enjoy The Freedom Trail and all the rich history that Boston has to offer, consider staying in a short-term apartment rental rather than a hotel. You can experience one of Boston’s historic neighborhoods like a local and have all the conveniences of home in one of our gorgeous apartments. We have several locations spread out throughout the city to choose from. Give us a call today and start planning your next trip to historic Boston.

5 Interesting Ways to Discover Boston Outdoors

Have you done all the usual touristy things in Boston? Are you ready for something unique? Check out these lesser known outdoor experiences while you are in Boston. You have the whole rest of the year to stay inside. Get out there!

Discovering Boston Outdoors

Summer isn’t over yet! We know there are tons of lists of all the touristy things you can do in Boston outdoors in the Summer, and those are all very cool (Freedom Trail, Swan Boats, catch a Red Sox Game). But we want to give you something a little more edgy and lesser known. Tell your friends about it and raise your in-the-know factor a few notches.

#1. Boston’s Best Outdoor Dining

Boston OutdoorsBoston Magazine recently published this fantastic article on THE BEST places to eat outdoors in Boston. Every journey must start with nourishment, so check out the list and pick a place to go!

#2. Explore some “secret gardens”

Well, the word “secret” just screams unconventional (or maybe we should whisper it). Either way, you will enjoy discovering these hidden gardens in some of the unlikeliest places. This is one of the best ways to experience Boston outdoors–it’s like a treasure hunt!

#3. Take a Tour of Fenway Park.

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Fenway Park, one of America’s most beloved ball parks. According to their website Ballpark tours are available daily, year-round, during rain, snow and sunshine. Online tour tickets are available and released weekly. Please continue to check this website for up to date access and online sales.fenway park boston outdoors

#4. Urban Bass Fishing Trips on the Charles River

Do you like to fish? What about URBAN fishing? Have you always wanted to try it? Boston Bass Adventures offers one of kind guided bass fishing trips on 8 miles of Boston’s Charles River, all while taking in the amazing Boston skyline. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced anglers welcome!

boston skyline from boat outdoors

#5. Magazine Beach and Swimming Pool.

FREE SWIMMING! You can’t beat FREE! At 15 acres, Magazine Beach is Cambridge’s second largest park. It features a free outdoor swimming pool, soccer and baseball fields, exercise equipment, picnic areas and plenty of parking. This is the jackpot of Boston outdoors!

What do you like to do?

We’d love to hear how you like to spend your time outdoors in Boston. If you are looking for a place to stay while visiting Boston, check out our short-term apartment rentals in every Boston neighborhood.

10 Dumb Massachusetts Laws

Some Laws Just Don’t Make Sense Anymore

Most of the time, laws and rules are in place to help people and keep us safe. But sometimes, they just don’t make any sense. These laws make you wonder what happened to bring them about.

#1. No gorillas are allowed in the back seat of cars. I call shotgun!

Related: Parking in Boston (just don’t bring your gorilla).

gorilla laws in massechusetts#2. What? NO CHRISTMAS? Christmas has been illegal in Massachusetts since 1659. If you do want to celebrate it, be prepared to pay five shillings.

Christmas tree ornament

#3. Stopping for red lights is not required by law unless they are flashing. Ummmm, you SHOULD really stop, though.

stop lights

#4. Well, DUH! Tomatoes may not be used in the production of clam chowder.bowl of clam chowder

#5. In Boston, it is illegal to eat peanuts in church. It must be the crunching that gets annoying.

handful of peanuts

#6. Taxi drivers are prohibited from making love in the front seat of their taxi during their shifts. They also can’t have their gorilla in the back seat, apparently.

taxi cab

#7. All men must carry a rifle to church on Sunday. But not peanuts! Leave your peanuts at home!

man carrying a rifle

#8. Hunting on Sundays is prohibited. Okaaaaay? So what are the rifles in church for?

man hunting

#9. Children may smoke, but they may not purchase cigarettes. Whew, as long as they can’t buy them.

ashtray

#10. Public boxing matches are outlawed. Awe, c’mon! What are we going to do for entertainment on Friday nights?

Related: Summer Events in Boston

couple boxing

Come check out Boston and all the wonderful, weird, and amazing! Need a place to stay? Consider Short-term Apartment Rentals.

13 Boston Breweries: Cheers!

boston breweries Breweries in Boston

If you are looking for a delicious craft beer and great atmosphere (hey, that rhymed!) look no further. We have the ultimate list of Boston Breweries. Cheers!

Note: Some of these breweries are located a bit outside of Boston, but they are worth the adventure!

Related: Summer Events in Boston

Boston Brewery Toursboston breweries tours

Boston Brew Tours has fostered relationships with the Boston area’s best breweries. You can tour breweries ranging from nano-breweries to regional large scale breweries.

We want to hear from you…

What is your favorite Boston Brewery?

5 Tips to Staging a Dining Room

Staging rooms in your apartment, condo or home can help increase the selling price and entice buyers  or renters quickly. Start with the dining room and the next potential looker will say, “I want to live here!” If you are staging short-term apartment rentals, these tips will increase the appeal of the apartment to potential renters.

Staging doesn’t have to be expensive if you follow a few decorating rules and use some imagination.

TIP: Space is key. Make the room look as big as possible with simple colors and no clutter!

 

1. The Furniture

If your furniture is beat up or not the right size for the room you may want to consider replacing it.

  • Center the table under the chandelier if you have one. If you don’t, center the table in the middle of the room.
  • If you have an area rug, center it first and then center the table on top of it.
  • Remove any furniture that makes it hard to pull out a chair or walk around the table.
  • Remove any furniture that partially blocks door ways or walkways.
  • If your dining room chairs have fabric on them make sure they are clean and fresh looking. If they need to be replaced pick a pattern as opposed to a solid fabric.

2. Set The Dining Room Table

Set the table like a meal is about to be serve, but keep it simple.

  • Remove all leaves from the table and set only 2-4 chairs around the table.
  • If you use place mats and cloth napkins pick colors that coordinated with the room.
  • Use dishes that are modern and simple. Layer them for depth: dinner plate, salad plate and bowl.  dining room table set for staging
  • Use pretty glasses and tasteful silverware to complete the look.
  • Add some fake fruit to give the illusion of food.
  • A vase of flowers (real or artificial) in the middle of the table are a great touch. White tulips, roses, or daisies, just a few stems in an odd number, are simple and elegant.
  • It is also ok to not set the entire table, but use a stunning flower arrangement in the middle and let the buyers envision their own dinner party here.

3. Artwork and Decorations

Again, less is more and color coordination is important.

  • Remove all items from shelves. Pack away all knickknacks and personal items.
  • Remove all family pictures, kids’ art and anything else personal. You want the buyer to be able to envision themselves living here.
  • Paint the room a neutral color if it needs it. art for staging a dining room
  • Fix all curtain rods, light switches,  fixtures etc. that need fixing. You know, all those things you kept meaning to get to. Do it now!
  • Fix any holes or imperfections in the walls.
  • Pick one decoration theme through out the house and stick with it.
  • Hang simple, elegant artwork on the walls. Art used for staging is marketing and not the same as art you would choose to decorate your home.  Check out this article on Art for staging a home.
  • A potted artificial fern or other large plant in the corner gives the room an added lived-in touch.

4. Buffet or Side Board

If your dining room is large enough to have a buffet or sideboard, you can have fun with this while making it appealing to a buyer. These tips also work for a bar or counter with stools that may be located between the dining room and kitchen.

  • Hang a large print or attractive mirror above the buffet. Mirrors astaging a buffet tablere great for creating the illusion of more space while providing a nice decorative feature.
  • Think about symmetry and balance when decorating the top. Two matching lamps or candle sticks placed on either end work well.
  • For the middle, use items of varying heights.
  • Just like the table, add some fake food or beverages.
  • Also add some greenery like flowers or a plant.

5. What NOT to do When Staging a Dining Roomstaging a dining room

  • Don’t crowd the room with too much furniture.
  • Don’t use doilies or any other decoration that will date the room.
  • Don’t leave all of your dishes in the china cabinet. Choose a few pieces and spread them out. This will keep the look neat and tidy.
  • Don’t use more than 4 chairs around the table.
  • Don’t let the room appear dark. Open up (or remove) heavy curtains and turn on lights and lamps. This is also where a well placed mirror can help.
  • Don’t stuff unused art and items in closets or the basement. Potential buyers will be opening drawers and doors. It might be worth renting a storage unit to store your unused items, and it is a great opportunity to declutter and sell or donate your unwanted items. It will be less to move, too!

One More Thing

Every room should be staged with the same principles listed above. You want to create a space where a buyer or renter can see themselves living here. Good Luck!

Traveling From New York City to Boston

Traveling from New York City to Boston is just 220 miles and you have so many options for travel! We recommend making at least a weekend out of your trip in Boston (you can make a day trip out of it but you will have a hard time deciding what to do, and will miss out on a lot).

We’ve listed the pros and cons of each mode of transportation to help you decide how to get here. Now you just need to figure out where you are going to get a bowl of chowder!

Driving from New York City to Bostonmap for driving from NYC to Boston

Driving from NYC to Boston takes about 4 hours. But, this doesn’t account for rush hour on either end or possible construction. Also, be prepared to pay tolls.

Here are the 3 most direct routes:

  • CT-15N and I-90 East
  • Just I-90 East
  • I-84 East

PROS: Sightseeing, stopping whenever you want, having your car in Boston, cheap, comfortable, control of the radio.

CONS: Traffic, parking, possible annoying road trip buddies.

Related: Parking in Boston

Flying from New York City to Bostonflying from new york city to boston

Flying from NYC to Boston takes about an hour and is the fastest way to travel (but that does not account for check in time, boarding, etc.) However, it is a very popular route for a lot of business people and vacationers, so there are a lot of inexpensive shuttle flights available. You can get a flight for around $150, and in some cases under $100 if you watch for deals. This can be cheaper and faster than a bus. You want to fly into Boston Logan Intentional airport. There are many options for ground transportation once you arrive.

PROS: Fast, fairly cheap, the cool view from the sky, no tolls to pay

CONS: Airport security, lost luggage, too many “road” trip buddies (who are strangers)

Traveling from New York City to Boston by Busnew york city to boston by bus

Traveling by bus is easy and affordable. It takes about 4.5 hours, depending on traffic and there are several bus lines and departures to pick from. You can get a round trip ticket for around $15 (maybe less). A good website to check out is Gobuses.com.

PROS: Cheap, lots of departure times, easy access to bus terminals, no tolls

CONS: slightly longer trip, not as comfortable as a car or train

Traveling from New York City to Boston by TrainNew york city to boston by train

Traveling by train can be quick and pretty stress free, but tends to be a bit more pricey than other travel options. Some train trips can take about 3.5 hours and some can take up to 5.5 hours. Trains are comfortable and Penn Station in NYC is easy to get to. Bostons’ South End Station is very nice and close to a lot of attractions in Boston.

Purchase tickets in advance on Amtrak’s website. For you last minute travelers you can buy tickets right at Penn Station.

Related: Boston’s South End: Everything You Need to Know

PROS: Comfortable, fairly fast, lots of departure times available, dining car

CONS: more expensive than other travel options

Staying in BostonNewbury Street Studio

Now that you have your travel plans figured out, where are you going to stay once you get to Boston? Just like travel options, you have many options to pick from that have varying levels of comfort and price. We recommend short-term apartment rentals to get the best experience in Boston. You have all the comforts and convenience of home, and you have several Boston neighborhoods to pick from.

Have a great trip!

Boston’s Beacon Hill Neighborhood

What makes Beacon Hill one of the most desirable and expensive neighborhoods in Boston?

We are going to explore this great area of Boston and find out. Be sure to visit Beacon Hill, or stay in this neighborhood the next time you visit.

Related: Short-term apartment rentals in Beacon Hill

Historic Beacon Hill

A walk through Beacon Hill is like a walk back in time with its Federal-style rowhouses, narrow, gaslit streets and brick sidewalks. The name, “Beacon Hill” is derived from the location of a former beacon atop the highest point in central Boston.

The area, approximately one-half to three quarters of a mile square, is bounded by Cambridge Street on the north, Somerset Street on the east, Beacon Street on the south, and Storrow Drive on the west.

In 1955 Beacon Hill was made the Historic Beacon Hill District and it was designated a National Historic Landmark on December 19, 1962.

The neighborhood consists of three sections:

  • South slope
  • Flat of the Hill
  • North slope

State House in Beacon HillThe Massachusetts State House is located on Beacon Street and is the home of the Commonwealth’s government. This building has a magnificent gilded dome and is pen to the public. Free tours are offered Monday through Friday between 10am and 3:30pm (reservation is requested.)

The Boston Common is a popular park enjoyed by residents and tourists. It is located just across from the State House.

The Charles Street Meeting House in Beacon Hill is a historic church that was built in 1807. This building was the site for many famous speeches by Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth. Currently is being used for commercial purposes.

The Nichols House Museum was built in 1805 and renovated in 1830 and is perfect example of a  four-story row house decorated in original furnishings. It was built by architect Charles Bulfinch and gets its name from Rose Standish Nichols, who lived in the house between 1885 and 1960.

Beacon Hill Shopping

Beacon Hill’s main drag, Charles Street, is the best place to start your shopping experience. Many antique stores, unique boutiques, and things you can’t find at big box stores.

Beacon Hill Dining

Some well established anchor restaurants in this area include The Paramount, Tatte Bakery & Cafe, and Ristorante Toscano. But you will find hidden gems, the perfect cup of coffee, breakfast and more.

Related: OpenTable Beacon Hill Restaurants

As you can see, a visit to Boston isn’t complete without a stop in Beacon Hill. There are so many things to do and historical sites it is definitely worthwhile.

Boston’s Amazing Back Bay

Boston’s Back Bay is chock full of amazing architecture, restaurants, shopping, art galleries, and more. Today, along with neighboring Beacon Hill, it is one of Boston’s two most expensive residential neighborhoods.

Learn more about this popular area of Boston and why you should visit!

Back Bay Architecture

Victorian Brownstones. The rows and rows of Victorian brownstone homes are considered one of the best preserved examples of 19th-century urban design in the United States. These regal sentries make the Back Bay famous, and create the vision most people imagine Boston to be.

Boston Public back bay boson libraryLibrary. An architecture marvel in its own right, the Library stands tall on the corner of Dartmouth and Boylston Streets. According to its website, the Boston Public Library has a collection of over 23.7 million items, which makes it one of the largest (and the first) municipal public library systems in the United States.

 

 

Back bay hancock tower200 Clarendon. Previously known as the John Hancock Tower, it is the tallest building in Boston and all of New England. The tower was designed by Henry N. Cobb of the firm I. M. Pei & Partners and was completed in 1976. The next year the American Institute of Architects presented the firm with a National Honor Award for the building.

 

 

 

 

Prudential Tower. This is the second tallest building in Boston and is also known as the Prudential Building or, as locals call it, “The Pru.” It has a 50th-floor observation deck, called the Skywalk Observatory, which is currently the highest observation deck in New England that is open to the public. Definitely worth the elevator trip up!

skywalk observatory back bay

Newbury StreetBack Bay Shopping

Back Bay has one of THE BEST shopping districts in Boston. Newbury Street, Boylston Street and Commonwealth Avenue are lined with unique shops. Keep your eyes open because you may spot a celebrity shopping on these picturesque streets.

Most famous perhaps is Newbury Street, with its numerous chic boutiques and galleries it is a must for anyone new to Boston.

Back Bay Dining

Since Back Bay is one of the most expensive places in Boston, there are many fine dining experiences to splurge on. But the more thrifty traveler can take heart and find reasonable options as well.

Cheap Restaurants in Back Bay

Best Fine Dining in Back Bay

Cafes in Back Bay

Bars in Back Bay

Back Bay Accommodations

The best way to see Boston is to live like a Bostonian. Short-term Apartment rentals are extremely popular in this area and with so many of them nestled in this historical neighborhood you can’t go wrong. In this high-rent district you get more bang for your buck in a furnished apartment. 

Check out these Boston short-term rental options and experience the Back Bay like a local.

Best Places to Eat in Boston

Foodies, take notice! As you know, there are sooooooo many wonderful places to eat in Boston and we can’t possibly list them all here. But we think you’ll like the ones we included from a great place for breakfast to a unique nightcap and all your culinary needs in between! Check ’em out!

Best Places for Breakfast in Bostonbreakfast in boson

Greater Boston’s best breakfast spots from the Boston Globe. Red velvet pancakes & pastrami Benedict. From homey to haute, here is where to go for the most important meal of the day.

Boston City Voter. You voted, here are the results for the best breakfast places town. The A List!

US Today’s 10 Best List. Boston’s Best Breakfast: Where to Curb Your Morning Cravings

Best Places for Lunch in Boston

10 Best. Top Picks for Lunch in Boston.

Independent Traveler. Top 8 Spots for Lunch in Boston

Open Table. Diners’ top choices for the 10 Best places to Lunch in Boston

swan boats at boston commonBest Places to Picnic in Boston

Best Picnic Spots in Boston

Hidden Boston. Places near Boston to eat Outdoors.

The Knurd. The 8 Best Picnic Spots in Boston

Best Places for Dinner in Boston

Trip Advisor. The 10 Best Restaurants in Boston

5 Boston Seaport Restaurants to Try

Open Table. Best Downtown Boston Restaurants

desserts in bostonBest Desserts in Boston

Taste Trekkers. My Top 5 Desserts in Boston

Trip Advisor. Best Desserts in Boston

Zagat. Best Bakeries in Boston

Best Bars in Boston

DrinkBoston.com’s Best Bars in Boston.

10 Rooftop Bars in Boston

The Guardian. Top 10 Bars and Pubs in Boston

There you have it! We are pretty sure you can find SOMETHING on one of these lists that you’ll LOVE!

Many of our short term apartment rentals are very close to these top eating picks. When you need a place to stay in Boston, stay with Maverick Empire.

Free Things to Do in Boston

Free equals good! Grab your walking shoes and get out and explore Boston with these FREE options. Time your exhibits and exploring right, and you could do it all for free. Have fun!

Related: Your Next Outdoor Adventure in Boston

Free Museums in Boston

The Institute of Contemporary Art, BostonInstitute for Contemporary Art.  The ICA is located in South Boston and features contemporary art and emerging new artists. It is very family friendly.  Admission is FREE for all every Thursday from 5 to 9 PM during ICA Free Thursday Nights.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The MFA has one of the largest collections in the world with nearly 500,000 works of art. They have art from ancient Egyptian to contemporary, special exhibitions, and innovative educational programs. Admission is FREE Wednesday nights after 4 pm (voluntary donations is suggested). Also, for youths ages 7–17, admission is free during weekdays after 3 pm, weekends, and Boston public school holidays; otherwise admission for youths is $10.

Commonwealth Museum. This museum has state of the art interactive exhibits. Its dramatic “treasures gallery” holds the great historic documents that protect our liberties. Admission and parking is always FREE to this museum.

Boston Fire Museum. This museum is located in an old firehouse at 344 Congress Street.  You will find fire fighting memorabilia from the Greater Boston area as well as information on fire safety. The museum is open on Saturdays from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM and admission is FREE (donations accepted).

Boston Parksswan boats at boston common

The following list if from the Boston Parks Department website and includes all the Boston Parks that make up what is called the Emerald Necklace–an 1,100-acre chain of nine parks linked by parkways and waterways. Download a map here.

From Boston Common to Franklin Park it is approximately 7 miles by foot through the parks.

freedom trail emblemBoston Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile, red-lined route that includes 16 historically significant sites. Explore museums and meetinghouses, churches, and burying grounds. You can pay for a tour or complete a FREE self-guided one.

 Self Guided Walk to the Sea

According to their website, “The Walk to the Sea encompasses four centuries of Boston history.” It begins at the State House on Beacon Hill and passes many historic landmarks and skyscrapers. The Walk from summit to sea is only one mile but brings the history of Boston to life.

Shopping and People WatchingFree in Boston

Markets are great places to find unique items and equally unique people. Boston has some of the best markets in the world. Check them out.

  • The SoWa Open Market. A community of artisans, entrepreneurs, and creative minds that believe in crafting quality hand-made goods you won’t find anywhere else.
  • The SoWa Vintage Market. Boston’s weekly go-to destination for antiques, vintage, collectibles, art and many other one-of-a-kind curiosities.
  • Faneuil Hall. This marketing place is known for its world famous street performers.  Jaw-dropping stunts, musical acts, and mind-boggling balance routines will keep you entertained.

Planning a Trip to Boston

Since we are already talking about saving money, check out a great way to stay in Boston in one of several historical neighborhoods at a short-term apartment rental instead of an expensive hotel. We have several locations to fit your schedule. Call us! 877-795-4387