The songs of the seagulls, the crisp air, the sweetest seaside towns and outdoor adventures, the character of old buildings...New England really is a gem. Perfect for a girl's weekend with my ladies Simi and Robyn!
Flying to Boston from Columbus is super affordable. The city itself is wonderful, but you're also within 90 minutes of fabulous New England towns like Portsmouth, Newport, and Portland. Talk about an epic day trip!
Simi and I had an early flight and arrived in Boston around 8:30am. We dropped off our bags at Robyn's awesome apartment in the South End before meeting Simi's pal from law school at Tatte, a lovely bakery cafe with middle-eastern inspired dishes like poached eggs with grilled tomatoes and halloumi over homemade sourdough.
I got the breakfast sandwich with poached eggs, Vermont cheddar, tomato, arugula, and avocado on the yummiest chewey sourdough. I also had iced coffee and a few bites of Simi's double chocolate muffin.
After breakfast we camped out with our laptops and java and got some work done while Robyn finished client calls. Then we hopped on bikes and rode around the city, exploring the South End and Back Bay. I love that Boston feels like a big city but still has a cleanliness and calm to it.
When our bellies started grumbling again, we grabbed a late lunch at Dig Inn. I enjoyed a bowl with brown rice, kale, snap peas, tofu, and avocado with flaky salt and olive oil. The pesto was the perfect addition. So satisfying!
We followed up lunch with a stroll around Beacon Hill, complete with beautiful brick roads and brownstones. I just love how green Boston is!
We rounded out the afternoon with more chatting and relaxing before dinner at Kava, an authentic and adorable Greek restaurant in the South End. We started with warm bread and olive oil, zucchini chips with tzatziki, grilled octopus, and oven roasted cauliflower with spicy tomatoes to share. The octopus and cauliflower were definite favorites. Then we enjoyed a couple salads with super yummy Greek feta and grilled halloumi cheese before sharing the whole grilled Mediterranean sea bass. The Greek music in the background was the sweetest touch!
On the way home we stopped at FoMu for some of the best coconut milk ice cream I've ever laid mouth on. I ordered the chocolate pudding and raspberry shortcake with big chunks of almond crumble. What a night cap!
Portland, Maine is a lovely town with river and mountain views, local restaurants, shops, and stunning Victorian homes. It's a beauty and a mere ninety minute drive from Boston. We snacked on Puffin's cereal in the car and hit the rode early Saturday morning for Portland.
First stop, The Holy Donut! Quite literally one of the best donuts I've ever had. These gems are made with Maine potatoes and are crispy, warm, and delicious bites of heaven. I had the Maine Blueberry flavor and bites of Simi's chocolate sea salt. They also have vegan and gluten-free options, so everyone can enjoy.
We strolled around the streets of Portland for a bit longer and then drove the Back Cove Trail, a three and a half mile loop around Back Cove offering great views of the Portland skyline. Next was a casual lunch at Local Sprouts Co Op. I had a maple mustard tempeh wrap with tomato, greens, tofu aioli, and house pickled on the side. Tasty and filling!
Our next outdoor adventure was two hours of stand up paddle boarding with Portland Paddle at Casco Bay. I'd never been paddle boarding and am not the most athletic gal on the block; but we had an absolute blast in the bay (even thought I stayed on my knees the whole time and never actually stood up).
A quick ten minute drive away, Urban Farm Fermentory is the perfect laid-back afternoon spot to refresh and rehydrate with kombucha on tap. We all ordered flights so we could taste a bit of everything.
I had the ginger, turmeric, rose, sage, and wildflower. The ginger tasted like a big hunk of fresh ginger---so refreshing. The rose was a close second favorite!
Dinner was a classic New England lobster fest at Portland Lobster Company. Live waterside music, fresh Maine lobster, juicy sweet corn, casual outdoor vibes...I can't recommend this charming spot enough. We each got lobster dinners that included baked potatoes, corn, and cole slaw. It was such a fun evening!
After a restful night of sleep back in Boston, we took a walk in the sunshine to a quaint little French bakery called Cafe Madeleine for my favorite chocolate croissant and holy moly, did it deliver! Light and fluffy yet buttery and rich, studded with the loveliest chocolate. Does it get any better? Surely not. I washed down every bite with hot coffee from Render while we conquered our inboxes.
After coffee, we headed to Harvard Square in Cambridge for brunch at Alden and Harlow, a modern eatery specializing in thoughtfully sourced American food. I ordered the torched avocado toast with peekytoe crab, poached egg, and kalette kimchee. We shared the kale salad with fennel, pistachios, and lemon as well as the patatas bravas. The kale salad might've been my favorite, but it was all super filling and satisfying.
We strolled around the farmer's market and shops in beautiful Cambridge for the next couple hours, soaking up the sunshine and taking in the beauty of the surrounding green spaces. Then we hopped in the car and headed to Jamaica Pond in the Jamaica Plain area of Boston for an even more stunning walk. There's no shortage of diverse landscapes in Boston!
We grabbed dinner after exploring the huge Whole Foods in Boston. I went with veggie stir fry, a huge juicy peach, and dark chocolate peanut butter cups for dessert.
Whether you're planning an approachable and affordable girls weekend or romantic getaway, consider a New England adventure for your next trip. You sure won't be disappointed!