Situated on America’s East Coast and a six-hour flight from the UK, cultural Boston is the perfect choice for a holiday weekend, or longer getaway. Just 40 miles from Plymouth, where America’s ‘Pilgrim Fathers’ first laid anchor, this is where the American Revolution began with the Boston Tea Party, and its fledging history is here to see in its narrow streets.
A sense of grandeur is maintained – Ivy League Universities including Harvard and Yale plus MIT are in close proximity, oozing elegance from their every brick. The 2.5-mile Freedom Trail will help get your bearings in this easy-on-foot city. You could kayak round the harbour or take a gondola down the Charles River, then head to the esplanade to catch a free film or concert on the outdoor stage of the Hatch Shell concert venue. Fancy a day trip or overnight stay? Massachusetts boasts quaint fishing ports and miles of white sand beaches, and in autumn the scarlet-hued cranberry bogs give way to the spectacle of New England’s autumn colour. There’s even the Sleepy Hollow-style shiver of Salem… if you’re brave.
The Boston Harbor Hotel is special. You can get a ferry straight from the airport to its oh-so-grand front doors, and the views of sailboats in the historic harbour are the best. If you prefer something quirky, the great value Kendall Hotel is situated in an 1890’s Cambridge firehouse, done up in bright colours and folk art.
New England food is fresh from the ocean and mammoth-sized lobster, oysters, and a tasty clam chowder are in order for all. The Union Oyster House and Legal Seafood are famed for what comes out those shells.
Take The T! The locals love their rapid transport system, otherwise known as MBTA, and the subway, along with connected buses boats and streetcars, make it quick and inexpensive to get around the city and its historic suburbs. You’ll need to purchase a CharliePass (Like a London Oyster Card) before getting on board.
Spring is perfect for enjoying Boston Common, but there are few sights in the world so spectacular as a New England fall. Take a trip north to the Mt Washington Cog Railway where the leafhoppers get one of the best views of all. That said, a trip to spooky Salem in Halloween season, or a December visit combining the ski slopes of nearby New Hampshire, would delight as well.
Driving! Boston has some of the worst traffic jams in the US, especially on the notorious Interstate 93, and parking rules are confusing.
A tour of Fenway Park, ($17 adults, $14 seniors) historic home of the Boston Redsox baseball team. And if you’re organised enough to book ahead between April and October, smell the sizzle of ‘Fenway Franks’ hotdogs as you take in a game. Too late to book? Try Bleacher Bar, situated under the stands
Take the tinies to Boston’s public gardens where Mrs Mallard and her eight bronze ducklings are off for a waddle through the park. Older kids will enjoy a a bike ride along the Esplanade, while a top tip for teens is Codzilla – Boston Harbour’s party tour boat. ($29 Adults, $27.50 seniors)
Autumn visitors should head for Davis Mega Maze, a three-mile walk-in puzzle of tall corn in nearby Sterling, Massachusetts, where you kids can also pick apples and have farm themed fun.