Did you know that there is a bus to Boston right here in the Bronx? It’s called Catch-a-Ride and it leaves from the front of Pelham Bay Park! No more trekking out of the way to Manhattan, only to pass right through the Bronx on the way up. The bus currently leaves from Brooklyn and then heads to the Bronx on Fridays, and returns Sunday afternoons- dropping off passengers in the Bronx first. When we found out about this awesome service, Lisa from The Bronx Socialite and myself decided to try it out for ourselves. We both had never been to Boston, and with this new service it was the perfect chance to make a weekend of it.
The bus departs from the Bx 29 stop in front of Pelham Bay Park at 11:15 am, and drops off in front of the Sheraton Hotel in Boston’s Back Bay around 3pm. We had made plans to stay at the Aloft Boston Seaport District in South Boston, so we jumped in an Uber Express Pool and headed to check in once we arrived.
The Aloft Boston Seaport District is located on D St., right across from the Signature Boston Convention Center- which is awesome because that makes their Lawn on D the Aloft’s front yard. The Lawn on D is a grassy outdoor space with awesome light up swings, lawn games, concessions, live music, and more.
The fun continues inside the Aloft with a bright and airy lobby- filled with plenty of areas to lounge, play games, enjoy a game of pool, and spend time with family and friends. Each time we passed through the lobby it was filled with folks hanging out- there were even paint nights! While we were visitors from out of town, I know I’d still love a good staycation at the Aloft if I was a local.
After checking in, we made our way up to our room to settle in and finalize our plans for the evening. The rooms are also hip and vibrant, with the beds facing windows with a great view of some of the Boston skyline and the Lawn on D below.
With our map provided to us by the front desk, we were able to get a good feel for where we were in Boston, and where we planned to visit.
Located behind a wall that separates the bedroom area you’ll find the bathroom along with the mini fridge, closet, and coffee station. There’s even an awesome robotic butler called Botlr- who you can text to bring you items like towels, toilet paper, and other necessities without leaving your room.
After dropping off our bags and freshening up, we headed out to grab a bite to eat. We opted to try Luke’s Lobster, a seafood counter that serves Maine-style lobster rolls and had great reviews (there are also NYC locations, but we had never been). It also happened to be down the block from our next destination, so it was perfect. The rolls are pretty small considering the price, but they were full and flavorful.
After, we walked down to the Skywalk– an observatory overlooking the city of Boston. Observatories are my favorite way of kicking off our visit to a new city, and the Skywalk did not disappoint. With beautiful views and even some great history thanks to the Dreams of Freedom Museum, it was the perfect way to begin the night.
We then headed for drinks at the Barking Crab. While some reviews call it a Bostonian tourist trap, it was still a place that we wanted to experience at least once. Located right on the water, with lobster traps and other cool nautical decor, the packed picnic tables were filled with folks chowing down on seafood. We hustled for a seat at a table near the bar and first tried the frozen Rose and one of their signature drinks. Both tasted watered down, so we switched to hard cider and a rum and pineapple. It was a cool way to see one of their bar scenes, fun decor, and a water view- and I’d be down to go back for lunch one day to also try the food and enjoy the place in the daytime.
We decided to end our night hanging out at the Lawn on D- where there was live music from the band 7 Day Weekend as people enjoyed cornhole, Giant chess, and other fun. Of course, it’s not a visit to the lawn without the cliche’ photo on the cool light up swings. We spent the rest of the night lounging on lawn chairs discussing our time so far in Boston and plans for the next day. When the lawn closed at 11, we walked across the street and were in our pajamas ready for bed within minutes.
The next morning we headed out early for a 10 am whale watching cruise with Boston Harbor Cruises. This 3-4 hour cruise heads out into Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary, where we had quite a few whale sightings. The entire trip is narrated by a New England Aquarium naturalists who share tons of knowledge on whales and other marine creatures. We also got to catch a glimpse of Cape Cod and see the tip of Provincetown in the distance.
It was a beautiful cruise from Boston Harbor into the Gulf of Maine and it was so exciting each time we spotted a whale coming up to the surface. We were able to bring waters on board, but there is also a concession stand on the first deck with food and drinks available for purchase (cash only!). Before we knew it we were back at the harbor and were ready to head to lunch.
We opted to walk from the harbor to Little Italy- which gave us the chance to capture some great photos along the way. All around Boston there were friends and families enjoying their beautiful summer Saturday. Much like in New York, we spotted plenty of street performers and musicians- which added to the fun.
It just so happened to be St. Anthony’s Feast during our visit, so it was the perfect time to see Boston’s Little Italy. Little Italy is made up of beautiful side streets and we made our way around and into the area where the feast was taking place.
We ultimately decided to cool down with some white sangria at Rigoletto Ristorante, a brick-walled cafe with open windows overlooking Salem Street. I opted for the Veneziano flatbread while Lisa chose the Margherita. Both were delish- and large enough to share.
We had plans to head to Boston Commons, the oldest city park in the United States. So we decided to take in the sites along the way of our 20 minute walk there. Along our route we stopped into Faneuil Hall Marketplace– a historic building with lots of great souvenir shops and restaurants.
Once we entered one side of Boston Common, we stopped to see the Frog Pond- a spray pool in the summer that turns ice skating rink in the winter. I couldn’t resist dipping my feet in after watching so many kids cooling off on such a beautiful day. It reminded me of the many fountains in NYC where people from all over flock to cool off on a hot summer day.
We then headed over to see the infamous swan boats that have been operating since 1877. These pontoon pleasure boats are just 4 bucks a person and are a lovely site to see in this beautifully landscaped part of the park.
After, we headed across the park to Primark in Boston’s Downtown Crossing area to do a little shopping before heading back to the hotel for a dip in the pool.
The pool at the Aloft is an indoor saline pool located on the first floor. The hotel’s gym overlooks the pool, with doors that lead out to the patio where guests can hang out. It’s not a huge pool, but it was perfect to stop in and take a dip to cool off after walking 7 miles around Boston.
After our pool sesh, we headed back to our rooms to change and head out for a light bite. This time we opted to try Citrus & Salt– coastal inspired Mexican food by Hell’s Kitchen runner up and Boston chef Jason Santos. The restaurant had made many lists of restaurants to try in Boston, so we decided to give it a shot. We opted to try their Watermelon Rose Margaritas and fresh made jalapeno guacamole with hand cut tortilla chips- which were both amazing. If I wasn’t so full from lunch, I would have loved to try some of their fun menu items like Grilled Street Corn- which is rolled in flaming hot cheeto crumbs, or their Warm Agave Glazed Cornmeal Biscuits- which looked and smelled amazing at the table next to me.
Our early morning wake up and 7 miles of walking caught up to us, so we headed back to the hotel to enjoy a good night’s sleep before heading home the next afternoon. We awoke to a beautiful sunrise over the Boston skyline and enjoyed our last moments in our comfortable beds before packing up. Our receipt had already been emailed to us, so we simply dropped off our keys before catching an Uber to check out the SOWA Open Market and purchase something for breakfast.
The SOWA Open Market is Boston’s largest market of local artisans, farmers, food trucks, brewers, and musicians. I grabbed some fresh squeezed lemonade from one vendor and a BLT from a delicious bacon vendor. Lisa had a bacon, egg, and cheese from the same place and cold brew tea from another. She also picked up some Muhammara from a Lebanese food stand to take home.
We also took a walk down the block to check out the market’s Beer Barn- which would be filled with Sunday crowds enjoying beer and food trucks in no time.
We then jumped in another Uber Express Pool back to where it all began to catch our ride home to the Bronx. The bus was already there- so we showed our boarding passes and hopped on.
Our time in Boston was great- we tried to fit in a little of everything, and left with many new places to be sure to go back and explore. With Catch-A-Ride Bus leaving right from my neighborhood in the Bronx, we’re sure to be back. And with such a comfortable stay at the Aloft Boston Seaport District, I already know where I’m bringing my family next time we’re in town (btw it’s not too far from the Children’s Museum!).
We received some accommodations to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are our own.