Boston with the Boys – Day One (and the hotel)

This past Monday, the family and I slipped away for a few days of sightseeing in the historical city of Boston, Massachusetts!  I posted a few photos on Instagram but now I would love to share more details of our fun family getaway.  I had planned to lump everything into one post but then realized I had too much to share.  So, let’s start with Day One…

Fodors Boston Guidebook - Day One of our Family Trip

On Monday morning, we drove from New Jersey up to Boston, dropped off our luggage at the hotel and headed straight to the Museum of Science.  We chose the museum for our first activity because it was close by our hotel and we wanted to stay indoors because it was a rainy day.  Luckily, we arrived just in time to attend the Lightning Exhibit at the museum.  With two boys ages 12 and almost 10, lightning is very exciting.  Well, the exhibit ended up being very exciting for all of us.  What an electrifying way to jump start our vacation!  Heehee…

The lightning exhibit was both educational and entertaining.  The presenter had quite a sense of humor and made learning about electricity interesting for everyone!

Lightning Exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science

This is the only photo I was able to take.  Sorry, I didn’t catch any lightning in action.  My son grabbed my phone to record most of the show instead of taking pictures.  Now I have a bunch of videos on my phone with loud crashes and lightning bolts!

Afterwards, we grabbed a quick lunch and then explored the museum until closing time at 5:00.  Most of the exhibits were interactive and the kids had the best time trying everything out.  I loved the “Science is Deceiving” exhibit which displayed a bunch of optical illusions.  The kids loved…well basically everything!  This was definitely a good choice for a rainy day!

Boston Science Museum

It was still raining when we headed back to the hotel so we took a taxi.  Actually, we used Uber.  My husband uses them all the time when he travels and I was quite impressed with how fast a car shows up once you contact them.

The Liberty Hotel Boston - formerly the Charles Street Jail! My boys loved this place!

During our time in Boston, we stayed at the wonderful Liberty Hotel.  (I took these pictures on one of the sunny days but when we arrived it was pouring.)  We stayed on the top floor in the new section which provided a fabulous view of the city.

View from the 16th Floor - The Liberty Hotel in Boston

Great view, huh?  Our room actually faced the other direction with a less than fabulous view of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.  At least this large window was right next to the elevator so we got to enjoy the scenery each day.

The Liberty Hotel was a perfect choice for our family for a few reasons:

  • It’s a Starwood property (my husband used his points accumulated from his business travel)
  • The hotel was ideally located in the beautiful Beacon Hill neighborhood and next to a train stop.
  • The hotel was once the Charles Street Jail… yes a jail!  Find me two boys who don’t think that is super cool!

Honestly, I didn’t know if I was going to like the idea of staying in a jail when we booked the hotel – I mean it does sound kind of creepy, doesn’t it?  Luckily after reading the reviews and seeing photos, I thought it might be kind of fun and after all, my kids were really looking forward to it!

The Liberty Hotel Boston Lobby

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I really did like the hotel!  The open lobby was impressive with the several levels of “catwalks” up above.  We loved all the lounging areas scattered around and we took full advantage of them upon returning back from dinner in the evening with a cup of tea (or ice cream) in hand.

Lobby and Catwalk at the Liberty Hotel in Boston (formerly the Charles Street Jail!)

The architecture was stunning with the original brick walls and wood beamed ceiling.

A few alcoves displayed photos of the original jail along with details chronicling the transformation from jail to luxury hotel.

Renovation History of the Liberty Hotel in Boston

And of course some bars here and there…

Jail cells at the Liberty Hotel in Boston

Most of the old jail feel was limited to the original structure.  While some of the hotel rooms were in this section, our room was located in the newer section on the 16th floor.  The newer rooms were just recently renovated with a more contemporary feel.

 Our room made staying in jail about as nice as you can get!

Liberty Hotel Room with 2 Queen Beds

Definitely a masculine vibe in here.  I think anything else would have been silly!

Liberty Hotel Room

Loved the gallery wall in the room…

Gallery Wall at the Liberty Hotel in Boston (formerly the Charles Street Jail!)

The kids kept asking if those keys were really used here.  I thought they were a great touch along with the map of Boston and the historical photos.

The masculine “jailhouse chic” look continued in the bathroom…

Liberty Hotel Bathroom

The hotel is also dog friendly and I loved spotting a few precious pooches strolling through the lobby with their owners.  Although I knew about the dog-friendliness before our trip, I had no plans to bring Rosie with us with all the sightseeing we had lined up.  Of course, I would have hated to leave her alone in a room where she wasn’t familiar with anything.  After all, she was having the best time with her pals at my niece’s house anyway…(no, they are not all her dogs!)

Doggie play date

My niece sent me daily pictures because she knew how much I would miss my little girl.  Is it just me, or does Rosie look a little sad here?  (3rd dog from left).  I think she missed her mommy…

Anyway, on our first night we dined at the fabulous, 75 Chestnut in my favorite neighborhood of Beacon Hill.  I honestly could not have picked a better restaurant for our first night in Boston.  First of all, Chestnut Street is an absolute dream with its Federal style row houses, brick sidewalks and gas lanterns.  If I were to move to Boston (and money was no object), I would live on Chestnut Street without hesitation!

75 Chestnut - a fabulous restaurant in Beacon Hill Neighborhood - Boston

When we arrived for our reservation, we were fortunate enough to be seated in one of the cozy tables nestled in front of a huge bay window overlooking that charming street.  (If you ever plan to try this restaurant, I suggest you request one of these tables).  Not only was the atmosphere and scenery just lovely, but the food was wonderful as well!  We devoured the Herbed Clam Chowder, which ended up being our favorite clam chowder from all the restaurants on this trip.  Between that and the Chicken and Pear Salad for my entree, dinner was just perfection!

We thought we were too full for dessert but after walking several blocks back towards the hotel, we stumbled upon a lively ice cream and coffee shop and had to go in!

JP Licks - Ice Cream and Coffee

A perfect way to end a perfect day!

Ice Cream at JP Licks

If you would like to continue on, you can read all about our Day Two adventures!

Have you traveled to the city of Boston?

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  1. Oh this sounds like such a fun trip. Thanks for taking us along with you, great pics.

  2. Shelley… you did my new home town proud!! Can't wait to try that restaurant!! Have a wonderful weekend and stay warm!!

  3. Sounds like a fun trip! My boys would love staying a hotel that was an old jail. I always think my dogs are sad when I leave them too (which isn't very often). Hope your week is off to a great start!

  4. Fun, fun, fun! We went for the first time in Boston last Christmas and it was only a day trip so it was fun seeing all these places we didn't get a glimpse of during our visit!

  5. What a fun adventure! I dined in an old jail house once, but never spent the night. 🙂 We vacationed in New England last fall. We didn't spend much time in Boston. Most of our times was spent in New Hampshire. Sure was gorgeous! Thanks for sharing with SYC.hugs,Jann

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