Attention parents! Is this your first ever drop-the-kid-off in Boston for college rodeo? If so, congratulations! Attending college in Boston is exciting and full of discovery for the students, and it can be quite fun for the parents as well, once all of the moving in and orientations are over.
Since, presumably, you’ll be visiting Boston a couple of times, or more, over the next four years, it’s time for you to get acquainted with this great city! Boston is a big city with centuries of history and culture. It certainly isn’t possible to get a lay of the land in one short trip, but we’ve got plenty of Boston insight and advice to help you make the most out of your first trip!
The Parent’s Guide to Boston
Boston is Home to 35 Colleges
Yes, you read that correctly, Boston is home to no less than 35 colleges. Suffice it to say that any school supply needed can be found. Internships are abundant. Coffee shops are everywhere. Intellectual stimulation is rampant. Boston is a town full of overachievers, geniuses, artists, future politicians, and more. Just know that your child is getting smart by simply breathing in the academically potent air.
Sports Are Life
Bostonians are more than obsessed with sports. The average Bostonian lives, breathes and speaks sports. If you want to understand Bostonians and participate in the spirit of the city, then attend Boston sporting events. Head to Fenway Park to take in a baseball game, which is a classic Boston experience! You can visit the Boston Globe to get further acquainted with all of Boston’s sports teams, events, games, and more!
Get Used to The Talk and The Slang
It isn’t clam chowder, it’s CHOW-DAH. Boston accents are part of Boston’s charm, and they might take a little getting used to, especially the slang. “Bang a U-ie” refers to making a U-turn. Brush up on your Boston slang here.
Know Which Side of The River Your Kid’s School is On
In Boston, one side of the river is a different world than the other. Is your child going to Harvard? Then you should know that Cambridge is a whole other world than Boston. Is your kid going to Boston University? Don’t even think about going into Cambridge. Serious Bostonians don’t even dine on the other side of the river. Naturally, as visitors and tourists, you are welcome to either side, but the river marks an important part of Boston culture!
There are numerous roundabouts, referred to as rotaries by locals, in Boston. The important thing to remember if you’re less acquainted with them is that the drivers already in the roundabout have the right-of-way.
Bostonians Love Beer
Samuel Adams will always be a classic Boston beer, but there are plenty of others to try as well! Check out Harpoon, Mercury Brewing Company, Smuttynose, the Beer Works, Wachusett Brewing Company, and more!
You Will be in Danger of OD’ing on Dunkin’ Donuts
Bostonians addiction to Dunkin’ Donuts is intense. You will discover that single streets often have two Dunkin’ Donuts. We are here to warn you that extreme self-control is necessary to avoid eating the delicious donuts for every meal.
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY: Bring Back The Romance of Train Travel on Your Next Trip to Boston
Get to Know the Different Neighborhoods
Boston may be one city, but it’s one city comprised of dozens of unique and vibrant neighborhoods. One of the most exciting aspects of getting to know Boston is roaming through the neighborhoods. Here is a quick breakdown of some our favorite areas:
- Back Bay – Home to many of Boston’s most iconic attractions and landmarks. The quintessential “Boston” look. Rows of brownstone houses, home to the Public Garden, Boston Common, and Copley Square.
- South End – Hip, urban, and the flagship gay part of Boston.
- North End – Everything Italian. End of story.
- Dorchester – The biggest part of Boston and a very historic part at that!
- Beacon Hill – The most beautiful area in Boston. Visit here and feel inspired! Near the Back Bay, you’ll find cobblestone roads and lots of brick.
Boston Common and The Public Garden
Neither of these titles is plural, yet tourists tend to pronounce them “Boston Commons” and the “Public Gardens.” Sound smarter than the average tourist by not doing that!
You Won’t Want to Miss These Important, Historical Spots
Boston is a living, breathing, history book. If you’re a history buff, then this is the perfect city for you to explore! Keep in mind, though, there’s much to see! To help you narrow down which historical parts to interact with, let us recommend:
- Granary Burial Ground – The final resting place for numerous historical figures.
- Bunker Hill Monument – A 221-foot granite obelisk to remember the Battle of Bunker Hill.
- Old North Church – The famous place where the signal was sent by Paul Revere to warn the residents of Cambridge that the British were coming!
- Freedom Trail – Not so much a guided trail, but rather a DIY walk, the Freedom Trail winds its way through the city showing off numerous historical sites along the way. Paul Revere’s house included!
- Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum – See where the fateful Boston tea party took place!
Avoid the Need to Park at All Costs
Boston is infamous for its severe lack of parking. The quickest way to avoid stress on any visit is to plan your trip around not having a car. Public transit is excellent for the most part, and when it’s not Uber and taxis abound!
Alright parents, hopefully, this is enough Boston insight to ensure your trip to the city is a success! We highly recommend you choose to stay somewhere central, especially if you’re planning on doing lots of sightseeing. As mentioned, driving isn’t ideal so placing yourself in a hotel that is walking friendly and near all the public transit will greatly enhance your enjoyment! Copley Square Hotel, situated in the heart of Copley Square in Boston’s Back Bay, is perfectly central, historical, and luxurious!