Boston Massachusetts

Boston offers residents and visitors an irresistible blend of past, present, and future. History and innovation combine to create a small-scale destination that's easy to explore yet always surprising. One of the oldest American cities, Boston is known around the world for high tech and hospitals, arts and music, and dozens of excellent colleges. With its fascinating attractions, excellent shopping, lovely scenery, and terrific restaurants, the Boston area is perfect for both a quick visit and a longer stay

Things to Do:

Bostonians walk everywhere. One top historic attraction is a walking tour -- the Freedom Trail -- and two favourite neighbourhoods are pedestrian-friendly Beacon Hill and the North End. They walk the galleries of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Art, the banks of the Charles River, and the lively streets of Harvard Square. Then they take a break in the Public Garden for a ride on a Swan Boat, at Fenway Park for a Red Sox game, or at a restaurant for local seafood.

In Two Days

Once you have a feel for the city, it's time to explore beyond downtown and investigate subjects other than history. The Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and other destinations contrast invitingly with the colonial extravaganza of the Freedom Trail. This itinerary may require some flexibility, because you probably won't have much control over when your Duck Tour starts. Aim for tickets on a tour that starts in the afternoon, when the scene on the river is liveliest, with rowers zipping around and sailboats skimming past. If your tour falls in the morning, the rest of this itinerary easily adjusts to accommodate it. Start: Museum of Fine Arts (Green Line E to Museum of Fine Arts or Orange Line to Ruggles).

1. Museum of Fine Arts

Be at the museum when the doors open at 10:00 The MFA can easily -- and most enjoyably -- take up a full day, but it doesn't have to. Check out the website to get some sense of what you want to see. If you prefer not to explore on your own, take the first guided tour of the day, which begins at 10:30 The museum has a cafeteria, cafe, and restaurant, but I'd suggest saving your appetite for the next stop.

2. Shops at Prudential Centre

One of my favourite branches of Legal Sea Foods is here, on the main level off Boylston Street. If you prefer something lighter, the food court is nearby. Or walk 5 minutes to the Back Bay branch of Jasper White's Summer Shack.

3. Boston Duck Tour

This is the most entertaining motorised way to see the city. On a reconditioned World War II amphibious landing vehicle, you see the top attractions, pick up some historical background, and head for the water, then thrillingly the Duck plunges into the Charles River and cruises around the basin.

Duck Tours don't operate from January through March (unless they're needed for a Patriots Super Bowl victory parade) or on weekdays in December. An excellent alternative is a Boston Symphony Orchestra or Boston Pops concert at Symphony Hall, a short walk from either the MFA or the Prudential Centre.

4. Newbury Street

The commercial heart of the Back Bay, Newbury Street offers the best shopping in New England. Familiar chains and one-of-a-kind boutiques and galleries make it a can't-miss destination for serious consumerism or just window-shopping. It's also architecturally fascinating. One block away, Boylston Street also offers excellent shopping.

5. Public Garden

Newbury Street begins across Arlington Street from the most beautiful park in Boston. The Public Garden is lovely year-round -- a visit will brighten up even the greyest off-season day -- and the Make Way for Ducklings sculptures are always delightful. In warm weather, leave time for a Swan Boat ride.

6. Afternoon Tea

All that walking makes a perfect excuse for a hearty meal of pastries, finger sandwiches, and, of course, tea. My favourite afternoon tea is at the Bristol Lounge, off the lobby of the Four Seasons. The Lounge at the Taj Boston and, on weekends, the lobby lounge in the Mandarin Oriental, Boston, and the Courtyard restaurant at the Boston Public Library also put on a good show.

7. Beacon Hill

The most picturesque neighbourhood in town is a festival of red brick, cobblestones, and gorgeous architectural details. Charles Street, the main thoroughfare, is a lively shopping destination with a refreshing lack of chain stores. Wander on your own or seek out a guide -- on summer weekdays, a Boston by Foot tour starts at 17:30.


For more information on holidays to Boston
call Joanne on 01243 779 737

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