From the twinkling holiday lights to the doors outlined with garland and wreaths, homes throughout New England are throughly decorated for the holiday season, and Boston is no exception. After spending Christmas in Newport a few days prior, we decided to drive up to Boston on New Year’s Eve for our last day trip of 2016.
Before our arrival, we reserved our parking spot online at the Boston Common Garage which shaved a few dollars off an already inexpensive parking spot (for Boston’s standards, that is!) The parking garage is located in a very central area. If you’ve never seen a parking lot by the Boston Common, that’s because it’s entirely underground! I know, I had no idea that existed either!
We stopped by the Visitors’ Center on the edge of the Boston Common to pick up some maps and ask questions about Boston’s public transportation system, the T. Along the way, we saw a largely decorated tree; Frog Pond, which transformed into an ice skating rink for the winter; the Massachusetts State House; and some commemorative statues, which we assume are part of Boston’s Freedom Trail.
Acorn Street in Beacon Hill
Just north of the Boston Common is a historic neighborhood called Beacon Hill. Without knowing too much about the area, we strolled over to Acorn Street, which Dan’s mom had suggested the night before. Acorn Street is arguably the most photographed street in America, and after seeing this place for ourselves, we understand why! We shared the charming cobblestone street with several other photographers and tourists.
Can we take a moment here and point out all of Dan’s layers? 😂 He looks like he’s ready for an Arctic expedition! In his defense, it was chilly and we planned to be outside all night celebrating New Year’s Eve. But I’ll admit, it was disappointing whenever I reached for his hand and felt his thick winter gloves instead!
Anyone fallen in love yet? Apparently, 3 Acorn Street is on the market for just shy of $10,000/month. Not too shabby for a 4 bed/3.5 bath on the most picturesque street of Boston. (Just kidding, that’s a lot of money).
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Eventually, we took the green line to reach the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Back Bay, Boston. Oddly enough, this museum is well-known for being victim to the biggest art heist of the century. The ornate frames of the stolen paintings are still hanging, but left empty to this day. While this held our interest, our absolute favorite part of this museum was the courtyard which you can see at any vantage point!
Once we finished the main exhibit, we went upstairs to the new wing of the museum to see Isabella Stewart Gardner’s manuscript collection. We noticed an illustration of the goofiest shark which looked out of place within these medieval documents! The best part was finding it in magnet-form at the gift shop!
Hope that gave you a laugh 😉
Our main reason for visiting Boston during New Year’s Eve was for the First Night festivities! At Copley Square, there were musical performances and live ice sculpting. This year’s ice sculpture theme was Nautical Legends. I only managed to get a close up shot of the octopus tentacles, so you’ll have to trust me when I say they looked incredible!
We stumbled upon an Asian community preparing for the New Year’s Eve parade along Boylston Street. The lion dance was definitely my favorite part!
New Year’s Eve Fireworks
This year, we watched the fireworks from the Boston Common. To be honest, I’ve never been so close to a large firework show. When the first pop went off, I nearly jumped 5 feet in the air! Now I totally sympathize with dogs that hide under tables and freak out on the Fourth of July.
Also, I learned that I suck at photographing fireworks. So, I’m not even going to humor you with the other photos I took.
We hope everyone had an exciting New Year’s Eve celebration and spent it with loved ones!