It’s perfect for a lunch dinner – and Tea Party! How to spend 48 hours in Boston
- Buy a CityPass to save time and money if you want to visit the top attractions
- Join a food tour and try local dishes such as baked beans cooked with molasses
- Visit the home of the Boston Red Sox to learn about the history of baseball
New York may be the obvious destination for a US city break, but if you’re after somewhere a little different, but still offering bags of history and plenty of culture (and sport), check out Boston.
The Massachusetts capital is home to some of the oldest institutions in the US and, thanks to its reputation as America’s walking city, most historical sites are easy to see on foot. Spring and autumn are good times to visit, as summer gets busy.
Boston winters are hard, but if you like a snowy Christmas, the city is perfect.
Highlife: Boston Harbour skyline. For best views go to the Observation Deck, says Qin Xie
Start your day with a stroll to Independence Wharf for one of the best views in Boston from the Observation Deck which offers a stunning panoramic from the 14th floor – and is free. For historical immersion, the Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum (bostonteapartyship.com) is just around the corner. Or follow the scenic Harborwalk north to Long Wharf, where you can board sightseeing cruises.
Pick up a CityPass (citypass.com) if a few attractions are on your agenda, as you’ll save time and money. Boston Harbor Cruises, which offers 90-minute narrated sailings around the harbour, and New England Aquarium – both at Long Wharf – are included.
Harvard Business School is ‘an essential stop for history buffs,’ writes Qin
For lunch, locals love a good food truck. Bon Me Food Truck (bonmetruck.com) have several sites around Boston with delicious, Asian-inspired dishes. For an indoor alternative, try Milk Street Cafe (milkstreetcafe.com) for excellent sandwiches and salads. Make sure you save space for the Foods of the Freedom Trail tour with Yummy Walks (foodtoursboston.com), though. The mile-long journey starts at Boston Common and you won’t have to wait long for your first bite, usually a lobster bisque. Along the way, you’ll get to try Bostonian specialities such as baked beans cooked with molasses and hot Indian pudding, made with sweetened corn meal.
The tour finishes near Boston Public Market, which is perfect if you want to do more grazing.
But if you’re really hungry, Boston’s Italian neighbourhood, the North End, is five minutes’ walk away. Grab a slice of pizza from the ever-popular Ernesto’s Pizza (ernestosnorthend.com) on Salem Street. The steady stream of customers is testament to its status as one of the best pizza places in Boston. Afterwards, join the queue at Mike’s Pastry (mikespastry.com) on Hanover Street for one of their filled cannolis.
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Sport obsessed: A Boston Red Sox game. You can take a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium
Bostonians are obsessed with sport. Hop on the subway to Kenmore for a behind-the-scenes tour of Fenway Park (redsox.com/tours), home of the Boston Red Sox baseball team. You’ll learn about the history of baseball and see the pitch from the best seats.
Afterwards, walk 15 minutes to Boylston Street for some shopping before ascending 50 floors to the Skywalk Observatory (skywalkboston.com) for a bird’s-eye view of the city – entry is free for CityPass holders.
It’s a 20-minute subway ride to Government Center to change trains for Cambridge. Hop out there for lunch at Spyce (spyce.com), where healthy bowl food is cooked by ‘robots’. Dishes are delicious – with fresh herbs, spices and sauces mixed with grains, pulses, salads and meat or fish.
Quick bite: Food trucks are everywhere. Qin suggests trying Bon Me Food Truck
Cambridge is where campuses for Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sprawl into one another. MIT offers self-guided tours, while at Harvard the free, student-led tours give you the chance to walk through leafy Harvard Yard. It’s an essential stop for history buffs.
Another reason to check out Cambridge is for the most underrated view of Boston – from the River Charles. There are kayaking tours with Paddle Boston (paddleboston.com) that coincide with the sunset, so you see the magnificent city skyline.
The kayaking can be hard work if it’s windy, but you don’t need to have prior experience. However, you will need a hearty, warming dinner afterwards. Fortunately, seafood chain Legal Sea Foods (legalseafoods.com) serve the best New England seafood chowder.
American Sky (americansky.co.uk) offers a three-night stay at the Boston Harbor Hotel from £679pp, room-only, including flights.
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