Rain or Shine: 10 Of The Best Things To Do In Brighton

1. Visit one of Brighton’s beach bars

Brighton Music Hall is a good bet in summer or winter, as it has Britain’s largest heated beach terrace for when it’s chilly. Head there in the summer to lap up the festival feel and live music. Otherwise, for a pint in a pub that resembles an upside-down boat, try the Fortune of War, Brighton’s oldest seafront pub, or the The Tempest Inn; a lovely foodie pub with views out to sea, with a dozen grottoes which divide into rooms for an intimate evening of wine, beer and cheese.

And although comparing Brighton beach to the Caribbean might be stretching it, the rum will still be flowing at Riki Tik Beach Bar.

2. Watch a film on the beach...

Brighton’s Big Screen has matinees and evening showings throughout August and September on the beach near the Palace Pier. There’s a bar, street food stalls as well as half-time ice-cream.

3. ...or in one of the oldest UK cinemas

The Duke of York’s first opened as a cinema in 1910 and has been in continuous use ever since. This Grade II listed building hosts Brighton’s film festival each year and is a specialist arts cinema.

4. Have a bash at Beach Volleyball

Hire a court at Yellowave, a permanent sports beach club on Madiera Drive (they supply the ball), and you and up to 12 friends can battle for beach supremacy.

5. Then put your feet up at its Barefoot Cafe

Sit on the decking and enjoy the views of the games and Pier. They do sandwiches, soups and light bites. You can also book a private beach barbecue if there’s more than ten of you.

6. Lose hours in Snooper’s Paradise vintage emporium

Housed in a former department store, this independent covered market uses its labyrinth location to pack in memorabilia, furniture, clothes, jewellery and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

Celebrating Brighton’s diverse culture, this is definitely the place to bag a retro bargain.

7. Try your luck at the Brighton Flea Market

This second-hand market is open every day selling bric-a-brac and furniture.

8. Browse the shops from the station to the seafront

Residents rightly get upset with visitors rebranding parts of the city, so get to know your shopping streets: the North Laine area comprises the streets between the train station and Brighton Dome.

The Lanes are narrow streets just south of Pavilion Gardens, between North Street and Prince Albert Street.

9. Get on your bike at the UK’s oldest cycle track

Preston Park’s Velodrome is free to take a spin round (unless there’s a track meeting on). If you’re feeling particularly competitive you can join in on a Wednesday night from April to August, where guest races take place.

10. See a Punch and Judy show

The Original World Famous Brighton Punch and Judy Show has been a seaside staple for decades. You and the kids will be in the safe “hands” of Prof. Glyn Edwards, who has been performing for more than 50 years. The outdoor summer season starts in June and runs to the end of August.

How to Spend Four Days in Boston

As one of the most historic cities in the United States, Boston has a lot of interesting things to do. It’s not as large as New York or Chicago, and it often feels more like a giant town than a city. I think that’s a plus, because Boston offers all the benefits of a big metropolis without the intensity and fast pace of New York.

Boston isn’t a city to rush through. Unlike many other destinations, people who visit Boston tend not to do it in a day or two. It’s as if they already know this is a relaxed city that deserves a bit more time. I think you can get a very good feel and overview of Boston during a four-day visit. Here’s an itinerary that will allow you to see the best of what Boston has to offer:

Day 1
Freedom Trail

bostonfourdays1

The Freedom trail is a 2.5-mile walk through historic Boston. It takes you through all the major sites and monuments. To see all the sites on the trail, expect it to take up most of your day. Given all the walking that’s involved, I would make this the only activity of the day. You’ll want to take your time and see all the sites. After all, Boston has a very long history. It may be “super touristy,” but it does an amazing job of presenting the history of one of America’s oldest cities.

Lunch in Faneuil Hall – Quincy market in Faneuil Hall is the best place to stop and eat lunch on the Freedom Trail. There are about two dozen different places to eat. You can get just about anything here from Greek to sushi to sandwiches and much more Since you’re in Boston, try the clam chowder, a local New England specialty.

Day 2
Boston Commons

bostonfourdays2Start your day in Boston Commons, a giant park that sees plenty of people on warm summer days. There are lots of different paths to take, including to the Frog Pond, where kids and adults can cool off. During the winter, there’s skating on the pond. Boston Commons is also a great place to go people watching.

Boston Public Gardens: After your early-morning walk, head across the street to the public gardens. You can take a swan tour through the pond in the middle of the gardens or you can simply stroll around and see some pretty flowers.Walk around the Back Bay – The end of the park meets Boston’s back bay, our version of New York’s SoHo and West Village. This is where Boston’s elite and wealthy live and nearby Newbury Street is our Madison Avenue, with lots of expensive shopping. The pretty brownstones and tree-lined streets make for a peaceful, leisurely stroll. Stop at the park on Commonwealth Ave to sit and watch the people and cars go by.

Lunch on Boylston – Move towards Boylston Street and eat lunch out on the patio of one of its many restaurants. If you want to spend a bit more money, eat on Newbury Street. Stephanie’s is good for both food and emptying your wallet. Snappy Sushi has great lunch specials, and Kashmir has delicious (and spicy) Indian food.

Copley Square and Trinity Church – Copley Square is a great little park where you can buy discount theater tickets, listen to musicians, and gaze up at the Hancock Tower. You can also go into Boston’s Trinity Church, which is one of Boston’s oldest and most beautiful churches.

Museum of Science – At the end of the riverfront is the Museum of Science. If you aren’t too tired, check out the museum and the Omni Theater inside. Though many of the exhibits are for kids, it’s still one of the best museums in the country. Their outer space exhibit is outstanding.

Day 3
Visit the Aquarium

Boston’s aquarium is one of the better ones I’ve been to. It’s really well done, the fish aren’t all cluttered into a few small tanks, and there’s a lot of information about how to protect the oceans.

Explore the North End

The historic North End is the heart of Boston’s Italian community. You’ll hear just as much Italian as you will the Boston accent. In the morning, you’ll see little Italian grandmas shopping while the grandpas have their morning espresso. It’s almost like being in Italy. You’ll find the best gelato outside of Italy here.Head Up to the Prudential Tower – Once you’re out of the North End, head back towards Copley to see the Prudential Tower. You can go up the tower and get a bird’s-eye view of the city.

See a Game – Boston is a sports town. Throughout the year, you’ll find sports teams playing. Bostonians are die-hard about their teams, so you’re sure to witness some intense feelings when you go. If you really want a Boston sports experience, go to a Red Sox’s game. If you can’t get in, hang out around the bars near Fenway. Just never, ever, ever root for the Yankees!

 

Day 4
Take a Free Tour of Harvard

bostonfourdays8Founded in 1636, Harvard is the oldest university in America. Head to its home in Cambridge (Harvard Square train stop, red line) and join a free tour. Learn about the university’s history, architecture, programs, and myths. When you’re finished, wander around and experience Harvard Square’s eclectic offerings. There are a lot of good street musicians to listen to. (Tracy Chapman got her start here.)

Hang out in Harvard Square

See the mix of life in Harvard Square. Walk around, stroll into used bookstores and coffee shops and watch artists, vagabonds, locals, and college students mingle. There are some cool little shops in “The Garage.”

Take the Sam Adams Brewery Tour

After four days of sightseeing, you deserve a beer or five. Sam Adams Brewery offers free tours of its brewery. Sam Adams is a major brewer in Boston and locals drink it widely and frequently. Tours start mid-afternoon and depart every 45 minutes. You get a few free samples along the way. If you’re under 21, don’t worry. You can still go, you just can’t drink.

The Hottest Restaurants in Boston

1- The Table at Season To Taste

This beautiful tasting menu — four courses, plus assorted surprises — is a steal at $65. The restaurant seats 20; you'll feel like you're in chef Carl Dooley's home dining room, and the kitchen is wide open, so you can see everything. Dooley is killing it on the currently airing season of Top Chef, too. Get in now while you can still get a reservation. This is one of the most exciting openings of the year so far. (Want to pay a visit without going for the whole tasting menu? There's a little standing area where you can order snacks and drinks.) Eater picks: salad of grilled squid and citrus with Castelvetrano olive, pistachio, and mint; house-made garganelli with mussels, roasted broccoli, and lemon bread crumbs.

2- Sugidama

A former medical office has been beautifully renovated into a Japanese restaurant with a focus on house-made soba, served in a variety of hot and cold preparations. (Vegan options are available.) There's also plenty of sushi and yakitori. Eater picks: pork kimchi soba; sukiyaki soba,.

3- Tenoch

With locations in Medford and the North End, plus food trucks, Tenoch has made a name for itself thanks to its outstanding fast-casual Mexican food, especially the tortas. The highly anticipated Davis Square location is finally open, and there are lines, but they move quickly. Eater picks: torta campechana; carnitas tacos.

4- Winter Hill Brewing Company

The highly anticipated opening of Winter Hill Brewing Company has drawn plenty of crowds, which an extraordinarily cheerful staff has been handling gracefully. The space — which is a cafe by day and brewpub by night — shows no trace of its former life as a cell phone store. With five beers on tap and a few new ones rotating into the line-up soon, there's something for everyone. Small plates and sandwiches, too. Eater picks: spicy Korean Brussels sprouts; fried pickles; house cream ale.

5- Angela's Café

A longtime East Boston favorite for Mexican cuisine, with a particular emphasis on the city of Puebla, has added a second Eastie location in order to serve both sides of the large neighborhood. The new spot is in Orient Heights, taking over the former El Paisa space, and is currently operating from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, serving breakfast and lunch.

Boston's Best Attractions and Activities Offer Something for Everyone

Boston Public Garden
Take a leisurely stroll through the oldest botanical garden in the United States and get a feel for Boston's charm and grace. 1877 marks the start of the Garden's fame for the Swan Boats that float along the pond when the weather warms; a necessary ride for the kid in all of us. The Swan Boats do not get all the attention, as the grounds truly are a sight to hold. Pack a picnic and sprawl across the lawn to enjoy the beauty of this inner city treasure. Year round, the beauty of Public Garden shines, and makes for excellent photo opportunities.

Boston Mini Speedboats
Hop aboard a Boston Mini Speed Boat Tour and be the captain of your own boat. This sightseeing tour mixes with a fast flying adventure to get your heart rate up and your adrenaline pumping as you fly around Boston Harbor on your very own boat. The hour and half excursions are both informative and fun, lead by tour guides who keep the history brief, the information clear and the tour moving along. See many of Boston's best sites from an entirely different angle as you float alongside at the helm of your own boat. Follow your guide out into the Harbor where you'll enjoy the feeling of total freedom while pushing your boat to its limits and speeding around. Grab a friend and share the time on this tour of a lifetime.

New England Aquarium
The adventure begins before you step foot through the door. Watch the Harbor Seals swirl around in the outdoor tank while you wait for your tickets, or linger when you finish and recount your time inside. A four-story tank spans the center of this aquatic marvel; filled with marine life this is a sight to be seen. Catch a show in the glass enclosed classroom overlooking Boston Harbor, plunge your hands into the touch tank where rays and sharks are circling and awaiting your touch. Whale Watch cruises are available seasonally and are a special way to enhance your day.

Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston
Roam the galleries or watch a show in a waterfront building that is as beautiful as what is housed inside. The modern art is an eclectic mix of what may sometimes seem to be mayhem. Funky fun displays rule the roost at this cutting edge art museum. Where new and established artists display a variety of handiwork. An on-site cafe offers outdoor seating where you can marvel at the waterfront views over food and drink. Tips for visiting with kids, as well as special family days make instilling a love of art in your kids an easy task all the while enjoying something you love.

Fenway Park
Boston fans are crazy about baseball. Ask many and they will claim it as their religion, and offer Fenway as their place of worship. Even if baseball is not your thing, be sure to catch a game at Fenway Park, home of the legendary Green Monster, and one of the hardest homers to hit in the league. You'll quickly find yourself caught up in the action, and may be come a fan before the ninth inning has ended. If a game is out of reach, enjoy a tour. An in depth inside look at one of baseball's most beloved ballfields is yours for the taking for a small fee.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Faneuil Hall was originally established as a market for merchants, fishermen and vendors, but has transformed throughout the years. From playing host to prominent figures like Samuel Adams and George Washington, to its transformation into one of America's premiere urban marketplaces. Currently, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is home to more than 50 shops, 14 restaurants, and 40 food stalls. Here you can do it all while taking in the variety of street performers who take to the sidewalks to entertain the masses. Faneuil Hall attracts locals and tourists alike. This urban outdoor mall is more than just a spot to shop, but also a place to congregate and enjoy all it has to offer.

Boston Symphony Orchestra
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is one of the most respected orchestras in the world and Housed in one of the best designed (acoustically) music halls in the world, Boston Symphony Hall. Playing host to a variety of concerts throughout the year, including the Holiday Pops, The Boston Symphony Orchestra wows crowds. History has been made within these walls where songs like the popular "Sleigh Ride" have been composed. In 1946 Leroy Anderson composed this piece of music specifically for the Pops and it was performed first by the Boston Pops on May 4, 1948, before the words were added two years later. The stunning setting and talent of those playing the music on stage will put you in a trance as you journey with the BSO on a musical adventure.

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Although it was not just one night that led patriots to take matters into their own hands to begin a fight for freedom, it was the continued lack of freedoms and representation that brought about the Tea Party. Here, you can relive the catalyst to the American Revolution and see memorabilia from the time and event. The museum holds insight into America's path to becoming a free country. This tour is an interactive experience that starts with a meeting at an Old South Meeting House replica led by actors in period garb and continues onto recreated vessels where you'll be come a Patriot and participate in tossing tea into the sea. After getting to know the ships themselves you'll move into the museum where short films depict the Tea Party and its aftermath. After your tour visit Abagail's Tea Room for a tea tasting.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The MFA is one of the largest museums around. An entire day could be spent admiring the works, both ancient and modern, that live within these walls. Along with many amazing (and famous) paintings, the MFA offers visitors the chance to enjoy artifacts from around the world. Home to four dining venues, there is a choice for all tastes eliminating the need to exit throughout the day. The MFA hosts many unique events including lectures, music, films, art opportunities for kids, and even cocktail parties. The gift shops offer art inspired items that allows guests to reflect on their favorite parts of the museum.

Boston's Freedom Trail
The best way to see Boston. Starting at the Boston Common, but easily picked up at any point along the way, the Freedom Trail offers historical insight into the city and its surroundings. Check out one, some or all of the sites on this route where a red trail painted on the sidewalks takes you throughout Boston. With 16 official stops along the way, you can walk past, or further explore the historically significant spots lining the path. Easy to hop on and off, the Freedom Trail weaves throughout the city and highlights some of Boston's most special. Guided tours are available for a fee.

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