I move in a month. But first, I tackle my Boston bucket list

Ten years and eight months — give or take a couple of days — is how long I’ve lived in Boston. And I’ve never taken a Duck Tour.

I’ve watched them drive up and down Huntington Avenue, past my walk to class when I was an undergrad at Northeastern University. Again when I was in my mid-20s, as a writer living in Back Bay. I cringed as they quacked and groaned when out-of-town guests suggested we take one. Now, that I approach my last month in the city, I want nothing more than to take one for a ride.

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Despite living in the Back Bay for the majority of my time here, I’ve never been to the top of the Prudential Center and had a cocktail at Top of the Hub. I’ve never strolled down to the Esplanade for fireworks on the Fourth of July. I’ve never been to the BSO. I was never at the finish line for the Boston Marathon. (To be fair, as a newsroom employee, I’ve always been working.)


I’ve never been to a game at Fenway Park. (GASP.)

I blame the “I’ll get to it when it’s not so crowded” mentality that comes with taking your own neighborhood for granted. I eventually moved to Davis Square, and now am anticipating my next move — back to New York, where I’ve Ping-Ponged with Boston since I graduated high school. This time, however, it’s different. It’s a more permanent move. While I’m not sure I’ll remain in New York, I know I won’t be back to Boston — at least not permanently.

So in the coming month, I plan to embark on checking off my (very) Boston bucket list. Below are 55 very touristy things I want to do before I leave the city for good. I think they could make an excellent summer to-do list. Some I vouch for (and just want to do again) while for others, I’ll be a first-timer. Either way, they’re all quintessentially Boston.

• Order the Beyoncé at Mr. Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers; wash it down with a lemonade.

• Go on a Boston Ghost Tour — which I’ve been told are equally terrifying and enthralling for history buffs. See a ghost.


• Study the fine art of preservation and replication — especially the glass flowers — at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

• Get down at Zuzu’s Saturday night Soulelujah dance party.

• Kayak down the Charles via Community Boating.

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• Catch some stellar acoustics in Calderwood Hall at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

• Finally get to Fenway and order the Lobster Poutine. Don’t feel a bit guilty about it.


• Devour slices at Galleria Umberto and Ernesto’s in the North End, before washing them down with Santarpio’s in Eastie. Bring cash.

• Eat a chocolate mouse (or four) from L.A. Burdick.

• Say “so long” to the penguins at the New England Aquarium.

• Master the art of candlepin bowling at Sacco’s; skills are non-transferrable.

• Get lost at Cambridge Antique Market.

• Raid Boston Public Market and Haymarket, then picnic on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

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Aerial view of the Rose Kennedy Greenway

• Check off my local craft beer brewery list — Trillium, Night Shift, Lamplighter, Aeronaut, Mystic, Dorchester, etc.

• Finally see the Boston Pops.

• Walk the paths at the Arnold Arboretum or the Public Garden; remember how lucky we are to have a city with access to this much green.

• Take the Architecture and Art tour of the beautiful Boston Athenaeum.

The Albert Gordon Reading Room at the Boston Athenaeum
Craig Walker/Globe Staff

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• Catch an After Midnight screening at Coolidge Corner Theatre.

• Whittle away an afternoon reading at one of the many fine independent bookstores I’ve failed to spend enough time in — Brookline Booksmith, Papercuts J.P., Porter Square Books — and ask their expert staffs for help with my summer reading list.

• See a laser light show at the Museum of Science Planetarium.

• Embrace all the cheese and glory of floating by on a Swan Boat in the Public Garden.

• Whisper a secret to the Mapparium — The Mary Baker Eddy Library’s perfectly spherical globe that carries sound from one bridge end to another.

Boston, 9\25\02 Mary Baker Eddy Library opens Saturday to the public, featuring the Mapparium, which is a thirty foot globe of brightly colored glass which represents a view of the world and the nations from the inside out. Chet Manchester, creative director, works on the finishing touches inside the globe. -- Library Tag 09282002 Library Tag 09232004 Calendar Library Tag 03112007 Travel - New England
Mary Baker Eddy Library featuring the Mapparium, which is a thirty foot globe of brightly colored glass which represents a view of the world and the nations from the inside out.

• Attend open night at the Boston University’s Coit Observatory. They’re Wednesday nights, weather dependent, and free.

• Make the trek to Castle Island; get a chili dog with cheese at Sullivan’s.

• Eat one more absolutely perfect sticky bun from Flour.

• Catch a blend of Berklee and neighborhood jazz at Wally’s.

• Start a book at the Boston Public Library’s Bates Hall; finish it in the Courtyard.

9/7/2016 - Boston, MA - Boston Public Library - Lisa Rosinsky, cq, is the new children's writer-in-residence at the Boston Public Library. She's photographed here in the Boston Public Library courtyard, where she'd drawn inspiration for years. She is writing a young adult novel, which she describes as a "queer, modern-day Robin Hood retelling about privilege, social justice and survival." Topic: 20Rosinsky. Story by Eryn Carlston/Globe Staff. Dina Rudick/Globe Staff.
The Boston Public Library courtyard.
Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

• Follow almost every chef in Boston’s advice and eat through the menu at Peach Farm.

• Watch a flick from the balcony at the Brattle.

• Have that unavoidable drink at Cheers; don’t act surprised when nobody knows my name.

• Wait in line for the Super Cluckin’ sandwich at Cutty’s.

• Hike around the Harbor Islands.

8/18/98 Globe Staff Photo by David L Ryan BOSTON ...Boston Lighthouse in foreground sunset with islands and city of Boston in background AERIAL LIBRARY TAG 05221999 LIVING library tag 06252000 city weekly
Boston Lighthouse in foreground sunset with islands and city of Boston in background.
David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

• Let the bartenders take the wheel at Drink.

• Make last call at the Model; dance the remaining 30 minutes away.

• Surrender ears to Cantab on a weeknight.

• Snap a selfie in Graffiti Alley.

• Get all my senses tipsy at Cafe ArtScience.

Cambridge, MA - 02/06/17 - Giselle Miller is a pastry chef at Cafe ArtScience in Kendall Square. (Lane Turner/Globe Staff) Reporter: (Sonia Rao) Topic: (xxCafeArtScience)
Giselle Miller is a pastry chef at Cafe ArtScience in Kendall Square.
Lane Turner/Globe Staff

• Slurp down a watermelon full of shoju at Myung Dong 1st Ave; follow with questionable karaoke.

• See a pay-what-you-can production from the Hub Theatre Company.

• Get lost in the halls of the Museum of Fine Arts; channel inner-“Gossip Girl” from the front marble steps.

• Eat at South Street Diner at 3 a.m.

• Walk up Washington Tower at Mount Auburn Cemetery at dusk.

Cambridge, MA 8/19/2015 View of the city of Boston from the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, a garden cemetery that is also a National Historic Landmark.
View of the city of Boston from the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, a garden cemetery that is also a National Historic Landmark.
Michele McDonald

• Take a taco tour through Eastie, finish with beers at K.O. Pies at the Shipyard.

• Find my zen with outdoor yoga at Frog Pond.

• Find one last diamond in the rough at the Garment District. (Fun fact: My freshman year, I bought vintage cowboy boots here for my dad. He still says they’re the best shoes he’s ever owned.)

• Experience one last seaside show at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion.

• Go for a dunk at Inman Oasis.

• Stock up on stationary at Black Ink.

Sidekick 9/28 (0928sideshop) Black Ink library tag 09282005 sidekick
Black Ink
The Boston Globe

• Drink in the beer garden at Charlie’s Kitchen; eat all the cheeseburgers.

• See a science-theater production at the MIT Museum.

• Get tipsy with [Expletive] Shakespeare.

• Have a pint at the Bell in Hand.

• Stand under the Old State House balcony; download a reading of the Declaration of Independence from Audible or YouTube.

• Visit Make Way for Ducklings in the Public Garden.

• And finally take that Boston Duck Tour.

Boston, MA, 06/18/06 - The duck tour boat photographed on Sunday, June 18, 2006. (Globe Photo/ Wiqan Ang) Desk: Calendar Category: Reporter: Correspondent Editor: James Reed Library Tag 03222007
The duck tour boats
Wiqan Ang/Boston Globe