When you think of travelling stateside, a handful of major cities spring to mind, and certainly along the Eastern Seaboard, holidaymakers have traditionally headed towards New York and Miami. Boston, however, is seeing a surge in visitors in recent years, with no signs of slowing down. As one of the oldest cities in America, it is filled with history, and the influx of new openings mean a wonderful cocktail of old meets new, creating an ideal ground for exploration. We visit to discover its greatest hits.
The seafood is the flippin’ best
Boston’s culinary expertise is in seafood, what with it being a coastal city surrounded by thriving sea life. The Barking Crab is a 25-year-strong shack on the edge of the Seaport selling massive lobster, crab and oyster platters. The food is overpriced for a casual affair with disposable lobster bibs, but it’s the kind of ‘check it off the tourist list’ place you need to visit while in town. If it’s date night, we highly recommend Alcove at the picturesque Lovejoy Wharf, where incredible salmon and scallops paired with fine wines will blow your mind. For Asian travellers keen to sample Japanese cuisine on American shores, it’s all about Zuma on One Dalton Street. It’s simply stunning in terms of design and serves up the freshest catches in informal Izakaya style (tip: order black cod for each member of the table—you won’t want to share).
…and you can catch it yourself
Why let restaurants have all the fun? With Boatsetter, you can book a fishing trip with a local boat owner, who will take you out for half a day’s fun under the sun (that’s if you’re travelling March—October, other times may not be quite so sunny!). You’ll learn how to catch bait, sail in search of juicy sea bass, and when the hard work’s done, toast to fishing success with your merry captain. Alternatively, just use Boatsetter to rent a luxury yacht and watch the slippery action from afar.
It’s the home of tomorrow’s leaders
Do we even need to explain what Harvard is? The most famous university on the planet is right here in Cambridge, north Boston. It’s where Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy and George W. Bush studied—so chances are you’ll brush shoulders with a future president on campus. The Boston CityPASS gives you access to the Harvard Museum of Natural History as well as a bunch of other iconic attractions in one easy booklet, without the hefty lines—so it’s definitely worth ordering pre-Harvard arrival.
The trendy Seaport is where shopping is at
Move over SoHo NYC, it’s all about the happenin’ Seaport in Boston. Art, innovation, culture and community come together here in “the Silicon Valley of the East”, but above all, the shopping is brilliant. In terms of fashion, you have everything from Mr Sid’s tailored suits to Peter Millar golf shirts, and your wife can spend hours browsing Sephora’s beauty products and Lululemon’s yoga pants. There is also the Institute of Contemporary Art to break up shop time, and a plethora of amazing eats—but we’ve already talked about food…
It’s super walkable
We’re accustomed to great transportation in Singapore, but the US—a driving country with not-so-great transport links—is usually frustrating. Thankfully, Boston is “America’s Walking City”, and most of its gems can be explored on foot. The best hike is the Freedom Trail. It’s a 2.5-mile, red-lined route that leads to sixteen historically significant sites; such as museums, meeting houses, churches and burying grounds, dating back 250 years when the American Revolution began. There are two things that made our hike that extra bit better—Kane’s delicious handcrafted doughnuts and Back Bay Roasters’ cold brew coffee. Seriously, don’t walk Boston without them (wait, are we talking food again?).
The skyscraper hotels are now open
Boston is an old city, and like Paris, it’s, therefore, a short one. 2019 has seen some major skyscraper hotels open up, meaning rooms with observatory views and no viewing obstruction. The affordable Moxy Downtown Boston is where the hipster kids congregate. It’s located in the Theatre District, spins funky beats in the lobby and has an interactive food truck photo booth if that’s your thing. It’s great if you’re looking to meet new people or party with pals without having to travel far for a bed. If you’re the kind of gent that prefers the finer things in life and meticulous attention to detail, the new Four Seasons One Dalton Street is a no brainer—a trusted stay that always exceeds our expectations. This particular Bostonian offering has the coolest engineered solid stone bathtubs against floor-to-ceiling windows: there is no better soak than this. The building also has Boston’s finest lap pool, and a stylish One+One breakfast bar.
But if you’re afraid of heights…
The Godfrey Hotel Boston is where we’d head to if we want to keep our heads down and get back to business. It has 242 guest rooms and 500 square feet of meeting space, conveniently located at the Downtown Crossing neighbourhood, yet is relatively peaceful in the rooms and social spaces. There’s also a brilliant coffee shop called George Howell which seems to have the tech freelancers plugged in and fuelled up from 6:30am to 6:30pm, and a snazzy bar to hit up when work is done.
It’s great for shows!
The Boston Ballet was founded in 1963 and here you’ll find world-class performances of classical, neo-classical and contemporary ballet. Asian-American breakout star John Lam has been perfecting the art form since he was just four and today is one of the most talented dancers we’ve ever seen. He’s next in The Nutcracker at the Boston Opera House. In terms of sport, you can enjoy a game at Fenway Park, home of the mighty Boston Red Sox baseball team, and did you know that so many movies and TV shows have used Boston as a backdrop that they are showcased by a dedicated On Location Tours sightseeing bus? One of the most iconic stops is the bar from hit TV series Cheers, on Beacon Hill. The lively and colourful venue is an actual bar where you can enjoy a famous local beer. Cheers to that!
You can experience Vegas AND Macau together
In June 2019 the Wynn team opened a USD2.6 billion gaming resort, the Encore Boston Harbour. It’s over the top, lavish recreation at its very best. Encore infuses the golden glamour of their Vegas offering with lucky Chinese splashes throughout this stunning resort that has 210,000 square feet of gaming over two levels. It’s a boy’s dream playground. The Encore isn’t just games though—you’ll find all kinds of dining options, a Moroccan-esque spa, and bachelor-party-ready suites in case you decide to make a full weekend of it (highly recommended). Phew – Boston is more than history books and statues after all.