Continuing our journey north, we stopped for a few days outside of Boston to hang out and visit some history. We stayed in Acton, an hour outside of Boston at Boston Minutemen Campground, a nice small wooded campground near the train station. The campground feels more like a county park than a commercial RV park with lots of trees and good lot sizes. It’s a little tight but they’ve made a good effort to make sure some lots can hold big rigs like ours.
Since the campground is so close to the light rail/train station, our original plan was to take the light rail to the subway into Boston for some sight-seeing. After a bit of research, we realized it would cost $50 round-trip for the two of us to make it into the city using public transportation and it would take over an hour to get to Boston (minus any wait time for the train or subway) but would only cost $28 to park up to 12 hours right under Boston Common and take the same amount of time to drive in the car.
People are right about Boston though, the traffic is quite horrendous no matter what time of day and apparently speed limits are more like whispered suggestions, and that’s assuming traffic is moving at all.
Thankfully, we made it unscathed and parked with plenty of time before our Freedom Trail tour. The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile path that meanders through downtown Boston with stops at 16 points that are significant to US history, mostly the Revolutionary War. There are audio tours and official guides you can buy if you want to do a self-tour of the trail. We chose to book the “Walk into History Tour” through the Freedom Trail Foundation with a tour guide. The tour is a good price (10% off if you order the tickets online) and we often find a guide can provide a lot more entertaining information than an audiobook or guidebook.
Apparently all the other tourists heard we were doing this tour and decided to do it with us, as we were a ginormous group that had to be split up. I guess as we continue further into summer, crowds will be the norm wherever we go so we’ll just have to get used to it.
Freedom Trail tour guides dress as real historic citizens of Boston who were involved in the Revolutionary War. Our tour guide was Josiah Quincy II, a lawyer who shared a practice with John Adams. After the Boston Massacre, he and Adams were the only ones willing to defend the British soldiers even though it went against their own political beliefs because they felt the soldiers should have fair legal counsel. Quincy and Adams were successful in defending the soldiers and most of them were acquitted. Quincy died of tuberculosis at 31 a week after the American Revolution began.
So Josiah Quincy took us on a tour of American history where we visited places like the Massachusetts State House where the dome is covered with 23-karat gold leaf (the gold leaf was painted over in WW2 to make it harder to spot and bomb from enemy aircraft); the Park Street Church, nicknamed Brimstone Corner due to the smell of sulphur from the gunpowder stored there; Granary Burying Ground, the resting place of Paul Revere, John Hancock, the victims of the Boston Massacre, and many other patriots of the American Revolution; and the site of the Boston Massacre. We covered 11 of the 16 sites and there is an additional North End Tour that will cover 3 more of the sites if interested. Our tour lasted a little over 90 minutes and we thought it was well worth the price.
After the tour, we grabbed some lunch at the nearby Quincy Market, which is basically a HUGE food court filled with dozens of options, and retraced our steps on the Freedom Trail. We enjoyed the tour but since our guide has a lot of ground to cover in a short time, there’s no dilly-dallying. I like to peruse the sites and read all the plaques so we spent the rest of the afternoon getting a closer look at many of the sites and enjoying the architecture and history of Boston.
Since our campground is pretty small, there isn’t a lot of places to walk Opie; however we did find Great Hill Conservation Area around 12 minutes away with a lake and trail, used as a dog park. We spent a few afternoons there so Opie could get his soak on and enjoy a nice 2 mile stroll through some woods. There are a few other conservation areas closer to the campground but none had water for Opie to swim in and that was just unacceptable… yes, he’s a spoiled spoiled brat.
I also got to meet up with an old college friend who I haven’t seen since college. I’m bummed that I forgot to take a picture but I had to share the experience because his company is working on a flying car! Seriously, how neat is that?!? Technically it’s an airplane that can be driven like a car (the wings fold up) and is street legal. They already have a prototype which I really wanted to see but the timing didn’t work out. Now THAT could make for a very interesting towed behind our RV!
After Boston, we enjoyed a few days visiting family in NH. Mike’s brother Gary is super-handy and installed a 30 amp RV outlet for R2 in his driveway for us. We used much of our time there catching up on RV chores, including a complete wash and wax for R2, deep clean inside, and some minor fixes and tweaks.
Gary and Dee have two german shepherds and their daughter has a cattle dog mix so Opie had a great few days playing chase, fetch, and getting regularly soaked in the kiddie pool in the backyard. Plus Gary and Dee own The Bagel Mill, a bagel/bakery shop in town, and their bagels rock! They boil the bagels (like proper New Yorkers) before baking them to get that perfect consistency. Needless to say, we had fresh bagels every morning and took 18 with us when we left. If our freezer was larger, we would have taken even more! Plus the whoopie pies were SO decadent, I think I’m starting to drool just thinking about the food. Even without the baked goods, it was a fantastic time seeing family!
This came at a perfect time for us as we will be visiting Boston next month! However, staying at Wompatuk State Park. Worried about traffic & parking since we have a dually truck!! Nice pics & tips
Have a great time in Boston! Definitely would be tough driving around the city in a dually, plus I’m not sure if you would fit in the Commons parking garage due to height restrictions but the subway and rail system are really extensive.
Wompatuk State Park looks really nice.
Great post! We will be in Boston later this month on our way up to Maine so it’s great hearing how you enjoyed the tour. I used to travel to Boston for work but never took the time to go on the tour so will definitely add it to our list. The dog park will be useful too!
Oh, have fun in Boston. Where in Maine will you be going? We just left Acadia and loved loved it! I’ll be writing that one up shortly.
Labs, with their webbed feet, do love to swim. Especially in the summer. I’ve been mulling over the idea to travel around New England in the fall of some future year to photograph the changing colors.
Yes, I totally agree about the labs and swimming. Opie is happy in a mud puddle if that’s the only thing available! I love the idea of traveling around New England during the fall, the colors must be amazing to see! I bet you could get some amazing photos during that trip, I’d say it sounds like a great idea.
Always love our visits to Boston, hubby went to college there and we make periodic trips to visit friends. We will be in Boston July 2019, 1st time with the RV, how far in advance to reserve here for a week? We have a class A, the beast is 45′. Any site #-s better for the larger rigs?
Sounds like you know Boston pretty well! For the Boston Minuteman Campground, we noticed the weekends did fill up and there are limited number of FHU sites and large rig sites available. We made our reservations about 6 months in advance but I don’t think we got to choose a site. They did put us in site 3 which we really liked and had plenty of room for us and our car (we’re 41′).