Boston is less than 3 hours north of New York but in style and atmosphere it is a million miles away. The large student base provides a thriving cultural scene, while the historical pride of the city is always on show. One true delight of the city is that everything is close at hand making it perfect to stroll around – a rarity in modern day America.
The Freedom Trail incorporates many of the sites that played a crucial role in American independence, from the Boston Tea Party to the Old North Church. While Boston treasures its history, it is a city of diverse interests, ranging from a passion for the Red Sox to a love of shopping, museums and the fine arts. Boston fare ranges from authentic international to cutting-edge, fusion-style cuisine. The authentic clam chowder and seafood are as good as you''ve heard and the city''s outdoor cafés and waterfront views make for ideal dining experiences.
American history plays out along Boston''s Freedom Trail. Follow the red line marking the trail, on foot if you''re inclined - it''s 2-1/2 miles long and snakes through the hilly, tree-lined heart of the old city. Highlights include Paul Revere''s Old North Church, the beginning point of his famous ride; the Old South Meeting House, which launched the Boston Tea Party; the Boston Massacre Site; Paul Revere''s House; and the USS Constitution.
Nightlife & Party with Locals
It tells you something about Boston nightlife that many popular spots are associated with hotels and restaurants. What Bostonians do get excited about is the Red Sox. Win or lose, fans compete for tickets in storied Fenway Park. It''s easier to get tickets to see the Boston Celtics play basketball in TD Banknorth Garden downtown. Each year on Patriots Day, the third Monday in April, amateurs take their turn at the world''s most famous footrace, the Boston Marathon.
Gourmet Cuisine & Dining Out
If you love seafood, Legal Seafoods is the restaurant for you. Started in Boston, there''s a reason the chain has become so popular - its seafood is reliably fresh and good. Ye Olde Union Oyster House has been serving fresh seafood since 1826, and the historic restaurant still offers an unbeatable Boston experience. For a change of pace, head to the North End, Boston''s Little Italy, to dine on the best authentic Italian food in the city.
World Class Golf Courses
You won''t get far in the suburbs without seeing a golf course, and given the sport''s popularity, you won''t be the only one looking. If possible, opt for the lower prices and smaller crowds that you''ll find on weekdays. The Massachusetts Golf Association represents more than 400 golf courses around the state. It has a searchable online database and will send you a list of courses on request.
One of the best public courses in the area, Newton Commonwealth Golf Course, is a challenging 18-hole Donald Ross design. It''s 5,305 yards from the blue tees, par is 70, and greens fees are approximately $30 on weekdays, $37 on weekends.
Within the city limits is the legendary 6,009-yard William J. Devine Golf Course, in Franklin Park, Dorchester. As a Harvard student, Bobby Jones sharpened his game on the 18-hole, par-70 course, which is managed by the city parks department. Greens fees are approximately $56 on weekdays, $62 on weekends.
Less challenging but with more of a neighbourhood feel is the 9-hole, par-35 Fresh Pond Golf Course, 691 Huron Ave., Cambridge. The 3,161-yard layout adjoins the Fresh Pond Reservoir, and there''s water on four holes. It charges around $22, or $32 to go around twice, on weekdays; approximately $26 and $38, respectively, on weekends.
Boston is a top-notch family destination, with tons of activities that appeal to children and relatively few that don''t.
Street performers, crowds from the world over, the food court, restaurants, bars, and shops make Faneuil Hall Marketplace (you''ll also hear it called Quincy Market) Boston''s most popular destination. It''s conveniently located across the street from the harbour, where a stroll along the water can help your crew decompress.
An Exploration of the Museum of Science is another highlight. Your kids will revel in the displays and exhibits that cram every branch of science and inquiry into this enormous and child-friendly institution. A trip to the Boston Children''s Museum is another exciting possibility. The hands-on exhibits, noisy galleries, and overall air of discovery and excitement make this excursion catnip for the elementary-school set.
The Mugar Omni Theater (at the Museum of Science) and the 3-D Simons IMAX Theatre (at the New England Aquarium) offer intrepid visitors hair-raising experiences in the safety of a comfortable auditorium. Most of the large-format films concentrate on the natural world.
Finally, a tour of Fenway Park, nearly a century old, the Red Sox'' creaky, cramped home is a baseball shrine that delights visitors with even a passing interest in the sport. Adolescents too cool to admit that they''re having fun at other attractions tend to drop any pretense of boredom here, and younger kids unabashedly love it. The parents saving a bundle of cash by not paying for game tickets tend to agree.