Boston has always seemed like just a pretty place with old buildings and well-known colleges. But when I was interviewing students for this story, I very quickly realized it had a lot more to offer. I definitely wasn’t expecting recommendations for thrift stores offering clothing by the pound and historic hiking trails, but shockingly, that’s what I got. Immediately, I wanted to visit the city, and I think after reading the suggestions from the College Fashionista community, you will, too. So whether you’re a new student exploring the city, an old student looking for new kicks, or you just want to show your parents a really good time for the weekend, here are all the must-dos the next time you find yourself in Boston, Massachusetts.
Must Do: Hike The Freedom Trail
Why you should go: Julianne Stein, a student at Emerson College, says it’s a 2.5-mile walking tour that shows historically significant spots in Boston, and it’s great for learning more about the city’s history and for sightseeing.
Julianne’s insider tip: They offer a 90-minute walking tour with a guide dressed in 18th-century clothing. You can walk it by yourself if that doesn’t float your boat.
Cost: Totally free.
Where it’s located: The Freedom Trail website states that you should see the address of the Visitor Information Center on Boston as a guide for GPS directions: 139 Tremont St., Boston, MA, 02111.
Must Hang: In the Public Garden
Why you should go: According to Ava Feneberger, a student at Emerson College, the Public Garden is a must—it’s a great place to kill time or de-stress during a busy day.
Ava’s insider tip: It’s close to several T-stops (as it’s so big) and if you’re lucky, the ice cream truck will be on the corner of Boylston and Charles when you’re there. If it’s winter, the frog pond in the common (right across the street) turns into an ice skating rink!
Cost: It’s free to hang out, and $3 to ride a swan boat (which is worth it, according to Ava).
Where it’s located: Its address is 4 Charles St., Boston, MA, 02116.
Must Caffeinate: At Thinking Cup
Why you should go: Julianne says, “My friends and I love Thinking Cup—it’s affordable and delicious.”
Julianne’s insider tip: It’s a cute cafe that serves great coffee and pastries. There are a few of them—Newbury St, Downtown, and the North End—so you have your pick of locations.
Cost: It depends on what you order! You can view the full menu here.
Where it’s located: There are multiple locations, which you can view here.
Must Shop: For Thrift Clothes at The Garment District
Why you should go: Ava says, “If you’re a thrifty girl like me, you have to go to The Garment District. It’s in Cambridge and has a great selection of thrifted stuff.”
Ava’s insider tip: The first floor is a costume shop/ free-for-all, and there are clothes in a giant heap. It’s grab-what-you-can, a dollar a pound. If you prefer more structure, the second floor is a typical (sort of expensive) thrift shop, with genuine vintage clothes, at around Buffalo Exchange-type prices ($20 for a shirt, generally). It’s a fun addition to a thrifting day (and the building is pink, so who can resist?).
Cost: It ranges depending on what floor you’re on (see Ava’s tip above to get an idea of what to expect).
Where it’s located: The Garment District’s address is 200 Broadway, Cambridge, MA, 02139.
Must Eat: A Quesadilla at Maria’s Taqueria
Why you should go: Ava says if you’re looking for fast, cheap, and good Mexican food, Maria’s Taqueria is the best.
Ava’s insider tip: They’re on Tremont Street, right by the public garden, so grab yourself one of their delicious quesadillas and a Lime Jarritos and head to the garden for a picnic on a nice day!
Cost: IDK, how many quesadillas are you planning to eat?
Where it’s located: It’s right off the Boylston T Stop on the Green line, but also close to Park Street (red line) or Chinatown (orange line). The address is 226 Tremont St., Boston, MA, 02116.
Must ‘Gram: The Skywalk Observatory at the Prudential Center
Why you should go: According to the website, it’s “Boston’s only sky-high vantage point for sweeping 360-degree views of Greater Boston and beyond.” So basically, #viewgoals.
Julianne’s insider tip: It’s perfect for taking those Instagram photos with the cityscape in the background. It’s a little pricey, but totally worth it.
Cost: Entry is $16 with a student ID.
Where it’s located: It’s located in the Prudential Center at 800 Boylston St., Boston, MA, 02199.
Must Visit: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Why you should go: “It’s fun to see this woman’s crazy collection of art, but it was also the site of a famous heist, which is fun for any true crime fans,” says Ava.
Ava’s insider tip: It’s a great place to go with friends to get that ‘Gram, or with family, if you want to do something more historic. Block out an hour or two, as it’s small, but there’s a lot to look at.
Cost: It’s only $10 with a student ID.
Where it’s located: It’s easily accessible by the T at the address 25 Evans Way, Boston, MA, 02115.
Planning your trip? Save our map of Boston below to your Pinterest, or print it out to take with you on-the-go!
What city guide should we create next? Let us know in the comments below!
Opening image by Monica San Luis. Artwork by Kali Concepcion.