Are you looking to plan a fun summer road trip through the Northeast next year? You might have considered stops in New York City or Boston, adventures in Acadia National Park, or booking a whaling excursion in the Atlantic. The Northeast is full of opportunities for exploration, learning, and fun. But if a day trip to Boston is at the top of your itinerary, you might want to think twice.
Let’s consider five reasons to avoid this urban city altogether so that your vacation doesn’t end up as a nightmare. Let’s dive in!
About Boston, Mass.
Boston, Mass., is in the top 25 most populous cities in the United States, with approximately 675,600 residents. However, the metro area ranks 10th in the country with almost 5 million people. It’s one of the oldest cities in the country and the birthplace of the American Revolution. The Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and the Battle of Bunker Hill were all critical events in the country’s fight for independence.
Today, the metropolitan area has the sixth-largest economy in the country and 12th-largest in the world at $363 billion. From the universities to the biotechnology industry to tourism, Boston is one of the most powerful economic cities in the world.
Pro Tip: Go for a swim in one of the many islands in the Boston Harbor.
Why Is Boston So Popular?
Residents flock to Boston because of the economic opportunity. Although the cost of living is high, the average income is also high compared to the rest of the country. Employment opportunities are endless, and the academia of the city also influences advancement.
Boston is also known for its sports teams and atmosphere. Fenway Park is the oldest ballpark in the country (basketball started in Massachusetts). The New England Patriots have won six championships since 2000. Tourists love coming to the city to take in a game or two because of the unbelievable sports atmosphere of Boston.
Is Boston a Good City to Live In?
As far as big cities go, Boston is small. It’s one of the most populous places in America, but it’s tiny compared to New York City, Houston, or Los Angeles. Residents enjoy living in a big city without being in a big city. The robust job market is also a huge advantage for Bostonians. As mentioned earlier, even though the cost of living is high, employers offer substantial benefits and higher pay than in other places in America.
But the cons of living in Boston are serious. The city has a high crime rate, a high population of homelessness, and terrible traffic. The public transportation options aren’t that much better. And the weather is awful for half of the year. So is Boston a good city to live in? You’ll have to be the judge of that.
5 Reasons to Avoid Boston
As you’re planning that summer vacation, here are five reasons you might want to avoid taking that day trip to Boston. You certainly will want to reconsider staying in the city. Boston may have its perks, but there are also major drawbacks to visiting the Cradle of Liberty.
1. Drivers and Traffic Are Terrible
Fondly called “Massholes,” Boston drivers are some of the worst in the country. Weaving in and out of traffic, speeding, ignoring basic driving rules like using a turn signal – all of these things have earned the drivers of Boston a spot on Allstate’s list of worst in the United States.
But it’s not just the terrible driving. It’s also the crowded streets. There are just too many cars and not enough roads or lanes. Boston is growing rapidly, and the infrastructure can’t keep up. Add in the on-street parking throughout the city and the bike lanes, and you have a real problem as you try to navigate downtown through extremely narrow lanes. The problem won’t be fixed either. There’s nowhere to expand in this already-crowded urban environment.
2. You’re Not a Sports Fan
Boston is the home of the Celtics, the Red Sox, the Bruins, the New England Patriots, and the Revolution. The city lives for sporting events. If you’re not a sports fan, it’s likely you won’t fit in or feel welcome. Bars, restaurants, and breweries fill up fast on game days (which is every day).
If you don’t pay attention to the professional sports schedules, you’ll find yourself battling even worse traffic than you encounter on a typical day in Boston.
3. The Weather Is Dismal
Winters are long and brutal. In Boston, it seems that spring will never arrive. If you enjoy being cooped up inside for three or four months, you might enjoy Boston winters. But for everyone else, living through the frigid temperatures, ridiculous cold winds from the coast, and 48 inches of snow is painful.
But even when spring arrives, all is not better. Although the cold and snow are gone, Boston receives just as much rain in the spring as it does snow in the winter.
4. It’s Overcrowded
Not only do a lot of people live in Boston, but those people all live in a very small space. The dense population makes it difficult to even walk down the sidewalks of downtown. If you’re looking for a place to eat dinner, you better arrive early or late to get a table.
The city itself is only about 48 square miles. With over 675,000 residents, this means almost 14,000 live in the same square mile.
5. People Are Rude
Business Insider ranked Boston as one of the top five rudest cities in America. In addition to their awful driving habits, Bostonians come across as brash, arrogant, and sarcastic. This is partly because it seems they’re always in a hurry, never chit-chatting on the sidewalk, always talking on their cell phones, and cutting in line to beat the crowds.
If you’re looking for a place where the locals will help tourists find their next destination or get the ins and outs of the city, Boston definitely isn’t that location.
Pro Tip: Feeling hungry? Grab a bite to eat at Alice’s Restaurant while exploring Massachusetts.
Is Boston, Massachusetts Worth Visiting?
If you are a sports fan, Boston is one of those cities you can’t avoid. There aren’t many places in the country where you can catch an array of professional games like hockey, basketball, baseball, football, and soccer on any given weekend.
Are you a history buff? Boston is also a city where you can check off numerous significant national park sites like the National Historical Park, the African American National Historic Site, and the Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. You can visit Paul Revere’s family home, the Old North Church, and the Charlestown Navy Yard.
But if you just want to explore a big city, choose another one. From the terrible drivers to the rude residents to the bad weather, there are plenty of reasons to avoid this Northeast city.
Have you ever been to Boston before? What was your experience? Tell us in the comments!
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