Noah and I have been living in the greater Boston area for a little over 1 ½ years now! This September first has marked our third time of moving around in that same time frame 😅. Don’t even ask how many other times we’ve moved around before even coming up here (it’s a ton, we have it just about down to a science now…). We initially moved into a super cute Cambridge neighborhood and lived there with all three of our pets for about 10 months before we crossed the river (a whole two miles) into the Brighton village of Boston city. We just spent the last year being walking distance to the river and that has been relaxing, to say the least.
Images below are just a few from our first neighborhood we lived in in Cambridge. It is such a cute area!!😍
Moving up North in the dead of winter from Clemson, South Carolina was a pretty big change to say the least. Add into the mix a pandemic and you have two very confused Southerners. We tried our best to take advantage of the city, but hopefully you will understand our slow progress 🥲.
I’ve experienced a lot of weird stuff that was new for me — Northern accents, Northern attitudes, snow! Lots of snow, including shoveling my car out and learning why it’s best to not just wait for the snow to melt… Then, there’s triple the cost in everything, parallel parking, the list goes on.
I have to say – the jury is still out on whether I see myself ever choosing to remain in the city. I still really love the idea of rolling hills for miles, no neighbors, no hassle, and reasonably priced everything. Houses, produce, and even shoes, all become more affordable the farther South you go, generally, haha.
Though there are a lot of great things about the city, too! For one, there really is always something to do. I would definitely have moments where I felt sort of stuck in Clemson whenever I was antsy to do something fun or adventurous. I felt like my only option was to go hiking (and I didn’t even go that often!). Whenever I feel bored at home in Boston, I hop on the next bus into town! Well, it hasn’t always been that easy, with the pandemic and everything, but during that brief hopeful moment this summer as vaccination rates and COVID-19 positivity rates switched spots, it started to feel something like a city life 😌
I share what things we have done so far that we really enjoyed below!
If you click the images you should see captions 🙂
Boston: the Freedom Trail
- The Freedom Trail
- Highly recommend for spring to summer months. Probably fine to do year round tbh, just stay warm ☃️
- Begins at the Welcome Center of the Public City Garden in Boston Common.
- It is ~2-3 miles long, and it takes you through all different parts of the city
- You follow a visible red brick line to every landmark! Don’t worry they are easy to pick out ☺️
- BikeRide with BlueBike Share!
- A 30 minute bike ride costs $3.00 and there’s dozens of drop off points all over the city.
- You can pretty much follow the river to get to anywhere in the city by bike!
Boston/Cambridge: Kayak the Charles River
- Kayaking or canoeing along the Charles River
- You can do a 2-3 hour kayaking trip for as cheap as $25 per person at any one of the popular Charles River Kayak Kiosks along the river banks!
- Canoeing is even better priced and all of the kiosks offer a range of boating equipment. You can choose from kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and more (maybe?). The kiosks are located at several river access points so you can choose to paddle through the quieter suburbs toward Newton or dive right into the opening into the Atlantic Ocean near downtown.
That’s basically it for affordable things to do in Boston 😂 but I list below a few other places that you might find enjoyable to explore, too:
Cambridge: Fresh Pond
- Fresh Pond Reservation
- Lots of trails, parks, and nature in the middle of Cambridge.
Boston: Harvard Football Stadium
- Harvard Football Stadium and the Recreational Area there
- Lots of open fields, tracks, and free recreational stuff. It’s really cool actually it features an outdoor skate park and even an ice skating rink in the winter.
Boston/Cambridge: the Charles River
- Any recreational spots along the river
- There is always some cool recreational spots along the river. Where we live now, there are two huge kid parks, two of them are water parks! I’m pretty sure it’s free, too. Just this past weekend I saw the water parks looking like Water Country, USA, with lifeguards and everything, just like in my backyard, it felt like!
- You just never know what you will find in the city when you explore. At the river near my house, there’s a regular drum circle that plays in the courtyard every weekend. There’s even Herter park, a full on amphitheater that hosts free shows weekly during the summer (yes, even right now!!).
- One time I even stumbled upon an artist painting the river early one morning on my run 🥺 it was such a whimsical moment running up among a Bob Ross Bob Rossing it right there in the open. Though I feel bad for the painter hearing me stomping, grunting, panting as I run by. Sorry, dude!
Cambridge: Harvard College Observatory
Oh, yeah! My work! The Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics! Why, you might ask?! Well because of the super historical Harvard College Observatory, of course. How can you forget!
And most recently we went to the SoWa open market in South End for the first time and it was lovely! There’s other more tourist-y things that we did (or tried to do) this summer that we’ve been wanting to do and I’d definitely recommend including the aquarium, whale watching (weather actually cancelled our whale watch event 😔), festivals like SoWa open market which are happening all times of the year all over the area, and visiting the many beautiful and immaculate college campuses that decorate the city.
Images are all my own and from April — August 2021.