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Alpaca Sweater: Boston!

It’s almost snow season, so it’s best to get down South before the weather starts acting up. By South, of course, we mean Boston, the Hub of New England. And even though it’s only a touch over two hours away, nobody likes traveling in the winter, so you better hurry now! There’s plenty to do in Boston, and if you’re smart, you’ll make a full weekend out of it. So, in our next installment of Alpaca Sweater, we’re taking you to Beantown and, instead of throwing things at you that you’ve already heard of (think: Top of the Hub, the Aquarium, Duck Tours), we’ve got a few lesser known spots for you to check out. So, yes – pack a sweater, and some good shoes, and let’s get this show on the road!

  • Well, we’re going to assume that you’ve arrived in Boston on a Friday evening, and that you’re pretty hungry. If so, you’re in luck…Boston is chock full of amazing places to eat. No matter what type of cuisine you pick, Boston has a most delicious option. If you want to go Italian (and who doesn’t?) you want to head over to the North End. Carmen is an ideal spot for a romantic dinner and boasts AMAZING meatballs. You’ll want to make a reservation, but it’s well worth the extra trouble. The prices are reasonable and the food is delicious – plus the wine list is incredible! If you want to go Thai, there’s Bamboo, a tasty little place in Brighton with a huge menu and Sapporo, a smooth and delicious Japanese beer. However, when you’re in Boston, you want to go big or go home, right? If that’s your mindset, you NEED to go to Boston Burger Company over by Berklee. Whatever you get is going to be a true mess of yumminess and glutton. It is so worth it. Whether you’re feeling a little crazy and want The King, a burger with peanut butter, bacon and cinnamon, or you’re looking for something to cure the hangover you don’t have yet (a burger with onion rings, fries, mozzarella sticks and more piled on top of it), the Burger Company has it. And make sure to order with extra napkins.
  • For some after dinner drinks, there are tons of options. If you did choose to head over to Brighton for dinner, you’ve got Harry’s on Warren Street. Harry’s has an amazing gin and tonic, but if you’re looking for a good beer, Harpoon brews Red Paint especially for them. If you stayed in town for dinner, you can choose from the excellent The Fours, a huge bar famous for its pre-Bruins game specials, but clears out nicely when the game starts, and allows for a relaxed, fun game time vibe. You could also check out Central Wharf or Warehouse, both on the outskirts of the Financial District and offering a distinct, upscale atmosphere for decent prices.
  • You know what the best meal to eat out is? Breakfast. And that fact becomes even more true when you’re in the Hub. Mike and Patty’s is a small little place in Back Bay that serves simple breakfast options with a side of great service. If you’re not into eggs and bacon, go Banana Sandwich. It’s exactly what it sounds like and it’s perfect. If you don’t mind hopping on the T, grab the C Line to Coolidge Corner and try out Clover, a nice little place that serves breakfast sandwiches in pita pockets. Amazing.
  • Some people aren’t big morning eaters, and that’s fine. As long as you’re into coffee. Finding the best cup of coffee in Boston is a big feat and not for lack of amazingness. In fact, there is SO much amazingness that picking a winner is near impossible. Here are some starts…Cafe Fixe in Washington Square is a minimalist little place – white walls, strictly pastries, new age furniture – but the coffee is delicious. Additionally, you can find a Pavement cafe wherever you are, and it’s excellent. A few other suggestions are Flat Black, Bean & Leaf, Dolce Vita Cafe, and Blue State Coffee. Of course, it all depends on which neighborhood you’re in, but you’re bound to find a delicious cup of Joe to start your morning off right.
  • In the mood for an activity? We’ve got some thoughts! Head over to the Park Street stop and check out the Brattle Bookshop. We can guarantee you haven’t seen anything like this place. The massive, outdoor bookstore has tons of deals – we’re talking books for $1, $2, and maybe sometimes $3 – and gives way to a multi-floor indoor store. Want a little livelier form of fun? Check out Sacco’s, an awesome bowling and billiards place. You can bowl for only three bucks and escape the late Fall chill. If you’re not scared of the cold, take that delicious cup of coffee and head to Jamaica Plain to see Arnold Arboretum, hands-down the best place in Boston for foliage.
  • Another amazing thing about Boston is the seemingly never-ending array of cheap concerts. Check out The Middle East, House of Blues, Paradise Rock Club or TT the Bear’s Place and you’re sure to find something you’re interested in seeing. You can get tickets for as cheap as $10 if you’re lucky!
  • Another unique thing to do, and Boston is full of them, is visit the Boston Common Frog Pond. If it’s past November 19 and the temperature is low enough to freeze water, ice skating is a ton of fun. Enjoy some good laughs as you inevitably fall on your rear, and take in the adorable image of toddlers and kids out for their first skate. If you’re more of an intellectual than an athlete (and who says you can’t be both?) go to the Brookline Booksmith and hear a reading by a (probably) famous author.

So, there you have it. Plenty of amazing things to do in Boston this fall. And there are thousands more to discover and try, you just have to do your research. So, ‘paca sweater and get going!