Seizing the opportunity of the Memorial Day weekend, my family and I embarked on an exciting road trip. Ford graciously provided us with the 2023 ST-Line Elite AWD HEV Ford Escape to review, and we couldn’t wait to hit the road. With limited time and a sense of wanderlust, we deliberated on our destination. Initially, we considered driving to Pittsburgh, staying overnight, and then heading to Cleveland. However, time constraints quickly changed our plans; after all, I couldn’t venture out with untidy nails. So, my husband diligently researched quick trips from New York, focusing on destinations within a three-hour radius. Eventually, he selected Boston—a city renowned for its family-friendly attractions and its proximity to our starting point. Follow along as I recount our memorable experiences and offer valuable insights to families planning an enriching weekend getaway in Boston.
A 4-Star Retreat with Sensational Views and Culinary Delights!
Upon completing a scenic 196-mile drive, we arrived at our overnight accommodation, the Boston Marriott Long Wharf. Positioned in the heart of the city, this 4-star hotel not only provided us with a comfortable stay but also treated us to breathtaking views of Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park. However, because it’s 2023 and we acknowledge that Columbus’s impact was not substantial, we believe it is high time for the park to undergo a name change that aligns with a more inclusive and historically accurate perspective. Nevertheless, the hotel’s prime location proved to be advantageous as it placed us within close proximity to various renowned attractions. Just across the street, we found ourselves surrounded by notable establishments such as the aquarium and esteemed restaurants like Legal Sea Foods, Chart House, State Street Provisions, and Boston Sail Loft, which is particularly famous for its mouthwatering award-winning clam chowder.
Day 1: Brunch Delights, Ice Cream Indulgence, and Trolley Tour Adventures!
Indulging in an Irresistible Sunday Brunch at Alden & Harlow
Upon our arrival in Boston around noon on Sunday, excitement filled the air as we eagerly checked if our hotel room was ready. Unfortunately, it wasn’t, but my husband was determined to kick-start our Boston adventure without delay. With growling stomachs and curiosity piqued, we made our way to Alden & Harlow in Cambridge. The menu had something for everyone, including our picky pre-teen.
I couldn’t pass up trying the Sweet Corn Pancakes adorned with roasted blueberries, ricotta, and honey. I also enjoyed the Seared Bluefin Crudo featuring charred cucumber oil, Thai basil, and pickled chiles. While I usually have crudo that’s thinly sliced, this was prepared with chunks of tuna. It’s a small portion so be prepared to not share. They had a couple of interesting craft cocktails making it pretty hard for me to choose. But, I’m a tequila woman. Therefore, I opted for the refreshing Desert Rose cocktail, a fusion of Altos Blanco Tequila, Mancino Bianco, pomegranate shrub, and lime. Spotting the Springtime in Jalisco cocktail on the menu, my husband couldn’t resist its inclusion of Raicilla, reminiscent of our vacations in Puerto Vallarta where we tried real Raicilla. It helped the Secret Burger (house creekstone grind, his faith, and housemade roll) go down easier.
Meanwhile, our daughters enjoyed the French Toast adorned with brûléed bananas and brown butter whipped cream. As if the French toast wasn’t sweet enough, they also had housemade donuts filled with strawberry jam. My oldest daughter and I agreed the jam was a bit too sweet, but my toddler loved it.
A Well-Deserved Treat for Our Young Adventurers
After our satisfying brunch experience, destiny led us to stumble upon a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream shop during our walk back to the car. Seeing the excitement in our daughters’ eyes, we couldn’t resist granting them a well-deserved sweet treat. After all, they did endure a three-hour car ride. They gleefully enjoyed their ice cream during the car ride back to the hotel, setting the stage for the next adventure awaiting us.
Waiting Works Up an Appetite
After our delightful brunch, we eagerly returned to the hotel, hoping our room would be ready. Unfortunately, we faced a disappointing setback—it wasn’t prepared yet. Faced with a two-hour wait and a restless toddler, we decided to make the most of our time. My husband took the initiative and purchased tickets for the Boston Summer Nights Trolley Tour that evening, ensuring an exciting adventure ahead. We also secured tickets for the New England Aquarium for the following day, adding another anticipated experience to our itinerary.
As the wait dragged on, our patience dwindled. We couldn’t resist our growling stomachs any longer and ventured to Bostonia Public House, conveniently located just a few blocks away from our hotel, the Boston Marriott Long Wharf.
This is what we ate at Bostonia Public House:
- I indulged in a classic hot lobster roll paired with a refreshing mango margarita.
- My husband relished a BPH burger accompanied by delectable sweet potato fries.
- Our daughter delighted in a generous serving of lobster mac ‘n’ cheese.
- Our toddler happily gobbled up a hot dog with crispy fries.
While the food was decent, the standout was the fries that accompanied my lobster roll. I, hesitantly, ended up sharing with my oldest. The portion size of our daughter’s lobster mac ‘n’ cheese was impressively large, enough to satisfy all four of us. And of course, what toddler doesn’t adore a hot dog?
During our meal, my husband received a long-awaited call informing us that our room was finally ready—almost five hours later. Relieved, we could now enjoy a brief hour of relaxation before embarking on the much-anticipated Boston Summer Nights Trolley Tour.
Discovering Boston’s Charm under Moonlit Skies
With contented appetites, we made our way back to the hotel, utilizing the time to prepare for the much-anticipated Boston Summer Nights Trolley Tour—an immersive journey into the captivating history of this city.
Over the course of 90 minutes, we were transported into Boston’s colonial heritage. While the sun was setting, and a cool breeze in the air, we marveled at the city’s cobblestone streets, adorned with breathtaking colonial architecture. Our friendly guide led us through the most iconic locations, painting vivid pictures of Boston’s storied past.
During the tour, we were captivated by the sight of The Embrace, a poignant bronze figural abstraction inspired by the touching embrace between Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, celebrating his Nobel Peace Prize victory in 1964. We also spotted the renowned Cheers bar, with the trolley driver adding to the ambiance by playing the iconic theme song from the beloved sitcom. Our journey took us to Boston Harbor, Cambridge, and the Public Garden, each offering its own unique charm and historical significance. It was a truly immersive and educational experience that deepened our understanding of Boston’s heritage.
Pricing and Accessibility
For those interested in embarking on this tour, the cost is $32.87 per adult and $20.95 for children aged 6-12. The tour offers an accessible and affordable way to delve into Boston’s history while creating lasting memories for the whole family.
Day 2: Monday (Memorial Day) – Exploring Marine Wonders and Savoring Seafood Delights
A Mesmerizing Underwater Adventure at the New England Aquarium
We embarked on our second day in Boston with a visit to the renowned New England Aquarium. This family-friendly attraction proved to be a delight for all ages, providing an enchanting glimpse into the captivating world of marine life. The New England Aquarium boasts a compact layout, centered around a captivating large tank that spans three floors. The top level offers a mesmerizing open view, while the outer walls showcase smaller tanks housing a variety of sea life, including enchanting jellyfish. Additionally, the aquarium provides an outdoor area dedicated to three playful sea lions.
Related: Top 5 Aquariums to Visit When Traveling
Our little one’s excitement soared as she eagerly searched for mommy and baby animals. She’d been asking to see them for days. From the playful penguins at the entrance to the majestic sea turtles and an array of captivating sea creatures, the aquarium offered an educational and awe-inspiring experience.
Despite the requirement of purchasing tickets in advance and entering at the selected time slot, we found the New England Aquarium to be uncomfortably crowded, considering my ongoing COVID consciousness. It was disheartening to observe that very few people wore masks.
Ticket costs: Adult $34, Child (age 3-11) $25, Children 3 and under Free. We were fortunate to receive a discount through our AAA membership.
Culinary Delights at the Boston Sail Loft
After immersing ourselves in the wonders of the aquarium, we treated our taste buds to a delectable lunch at the esteemed Boston Sail Loft. Our meal was a feast of flavors, with the award-winning clam chowder stealing the show. Surprisingly, the infusion of dill added an unexpected depth of flavor, and we were both impressed, vowing to incorporate this herb into our homemade versions. We also indulged in the Fried Fisherman’s platter, featuring an abundance of clams, shrimp, calamari, and cod, while my husband opted for the savory Sauteed Seafood. Each dish surpassed our expectations, boasting generous portions that could easily satisfy three people.
With our appetites fully satisfied, we left Boston Sail Loft with memories of mouthwatering seafood delights. The portions were so substantial that my husband even enjoyed the leftovers during our leisurely car ride back home. The experience at the Sail Loft left an indelible impression, and we can’t wait to return. Until a trip back, we’ll settle for making our own version at home.
Until Next Time…
Our brief visit to Boston left us with unforgettable memories. From immersing ourselves in the city’s history to indulging in mouthwatering cuisine, it proved to be the perfect destination for a memorable family weekend getaway. The Marriott Boston Long Wharf exceeded our expectations, providing excellent accommodation in a prime location, allowing us to maximize our limited time. As we reflect on our journey, my husband and I are already planning our return to this vibrant city, eager to explore even more. We were thrilled when a friend suggested taking the ferry over to Martha’s Vineyard (Inkwell) on our next visit, adding another exciting dimension to our future Boston adventures. For families seeking a blend of culture, history, and culinary delights, Boston remains an ideal destination that promises enriching and enjoyable experiences for all.