Hop on for Boston experience
AFTER several trips to the United States and with Boston still on the ‘bucket list’, 2015 was the year for a 48-hour whirlwind visit as part of my latest expedition to the land of the Stars and Stripes.
Staying downtown at the Nine Zero Kimpton Hotel, it was the ideal location to rest my head in the city known as ‘Beantown’ (a colonial reference to baked beans, a staple dish at the time).
A luxury boutique hotel, right on the Freedom Trail and next to Boston Common, it offers something for everyone wanting to get to know Boston.
Hitting up the concierge for the ‘must-do’s’, I was told a hop-on, hop-off trolley tour of the city was the best way to get the most out of this picturesque and historical city.
Whether you are strapped for time or looking for a scenic tour, this is definitely the best way to do it. If you want a better look at any of the stops, you can just get off and catch the next trolley, as they run every 15 minutes.
Some stops include the historic North End, USS Constitution and Charlestown Navy Yard, the original Cheers bar, Harvard and Cambridge universities, Fenway Park, Boston Common, and the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum.
Boston’s dominance in American sports has gained it the nickname ‘City of Champions’, making it a sports fan’s ultimate dream.
From the Boston Celtics to Bruins, Red Sox and New England Patriots, there is a team for everyone and a visit to Fenway Park is a definite must-see; one of the United States most beloved ballparks, it is the home of Red Sox legends Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Carlton Fisk and Jim Rice.
The one-hour guided tour takes you through the members seating, media box, Pesky’s Pole, the world-famous ‘Green Monster’ (not for the faint-hearted but the best seat in the house) and if you are lucky, you get to step on the hallowed ground.
As for food and drink, there is plenty to whet your appetite but according to locals, a visit to Boston is not complete without trying their famous lobster rolls.
I was told the best places to sample these crustaceans were James Hook & Co, Row 34 and The Barking Crab; I tried The Barking Crab and was underwhelmed.
Bostonians are a friendly bunch and when it comes to hospitality, they are brilliant and this was especially evident with the staff at my hotel and burger joint Wahlburgers.
Being a fan of ’90s boyband New Kids on the Block, a visit to Wahlburgers was always on the cards and after a quick chat to my concierge, dinner was organised.
The brainchild of brothers Mark, Donnie, Paul and Bob Wahlberg, the burger haven is popular with locals and visitors, with queues around the corner every day of the week.
I did not have to wait long thanks to my concierge, who rang Mike the manager to make sure I did not miss out.
Not only was I treated to the yummiest burg- ers in Boston but I also got the best seat in the house, sitting right next to Bob Wahlberg, who made himself known to me and had a long chat.
The Beantown Pub is good for those wanting to watch live sports and The Highball Lounge is great if you want a nice cocktail and some bites.
Clockwise from above: Downtown Boston; Wahlburgers; queue outside the Paramount Cafe; The Barking Crab; Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.