As one of America's oldest cities, and the capital of Massachusetts, Boston's modern, vibrant streets echo its revolutionary past. Beyond being a historic milestone, Boston is also a thriving metropolis, rich with culture and hidden beauty.
Unfortunately, the city was thrust onto the world stage in 2013 for all the wrong reasons when three people were killed and more than 100 maimed during a terrorist attack during the Boston Marathon. Despite this, the city has rallied together and has proved it will stand staunch in the face of violence.
Founded in 1630, a stroll through the city is like reading pages from a history book. Key moments in the country’s history from the American Revolution to the abolition of slavery are celebrated and encapsulated in numerous buildings and monuments. The best way to appreciate what the city has to offer is to pound its winding network of streets and diverse neighbourhoods - it’s so compact and easy to navigate on foot and driving around the city is a nightmare.
From upmarket Beacon Hill and studenty Harvard to the Italian North End, Irish-influenced Southie' and Back Bay, with its shops and cafes. Like London, each district has its own charms and attractions. In fact, many visitors consider Boston to be one of the most European cities in North America.
Needless to say, it’s attractive, enhanced by its natural waterfront setting – Boston has a historic harbour and the meandering Charles River. In addition, numerous parks and a hot and sunny climate mean there is plenty to satisfy outdoor-lovers in the summer from bike rides to picnics and concerts. Whale watching cruises and the chance to go bird-watching in one of the city’s 30-plus islands, which make up a national park, mean there are plenty of natural gems too close. However, autumn is also a popular time to visit, when trees in the city burst with flaming reds, browns and yellows, part of the legendary New England fall foliage.
A recommended spot to see the city in all its glory is from the Skywalk Observatory, on the 50th floor of the towering Prudential building. It is one of many soaring glass and steel skyscrapers that reflect the city’s contemporary face, alongside a plethora of fabulous museums, edgy art galleries, sophisticated restaurants and a diverse nightlife scene.
And there’s plenty of other attractions to explore. Ever fancied seeing a baseball match? You’re in the right place. Head to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox in action. Love savouring a food market? Tuck into gourmet cuisine at Quincy Market, an unmissable indoor market in the city centre or sample freshly caugh lobster or the city’s legendary clam chowder. Bit of a shopaholic? Check out the boutiques on Newbury Street, luxury shops in Copley Place or the the state’s biggest outlet mall on the outskirts of the city.
One word of warning though; Boston is not cheap. You’ll be hard pressed to find centrally located hotels for less than $100 a night, and this is ranked as one of the world’s most expensive cities.