Words by Carlie Tucker
Holding up a spot on the east coast of the USA, a mere four hour drive from The Big Apple, Boston makes a great spot to stopover if you have the chance to add a little travel to your business travel. This historic city serves up the perfect blend of old and new, beguiling guests with its rich US heritage, vibrant wining and dining scene and sweep of extracurricular activities.
Image courtesy of johnnysluncheonette.com
Where To Eat
Boston’s reputation may be centred around the legends of their sporting teams and the hallowed halls of their academia, but a thriving dining scene has been secretly bubbling away in the background ready to emerge as one of the best in the nation. Sure you can find some pretty outstanding traditional New England fare (lobster rolls, clam chowder, etc), but local dining spots aren’t restricting themselves to the old favourites. Finding good food in Boston is easy, whether you’re after a bite to go or haute cuisine created by expertly trained chefs, and here’s where you can start.
If you can’t face an early start (or even if you can), get to Johnny’s Luncheonette in Newtown to kick off the day. This homestyle 50s-style diner serves up Americana breakfasts at its best. What’s better, it’s available all day. The menu is long but it’s all about the favourites, from fresh doughnuts to specialty omelettes with home fries and toast. You can’t go wrong with the likes of Spiced Apple Stuffed Pancakes or the more regional Pastrami Scramble.
Located in Charlestown, Brewer’s Fork is a little bit local bar and a little bit local restaurant. The result is one heck of a spot to grab a bite accompanied by a tall glass of quality suds. Hungry guests can choose from a delightfully diverse menu of small plates, sandwiches, oysters and wood-fired pizzas. It’s the latter that has garnered the most attention from locals. Go traditional with sausage, or try something new with a clam or meatball pie.
Alden & Harlow has been topping must-try lists in Boston since opening in Harvard Square in 2013. The whole concept behind its success is chef Michael Scelfo’s penchant for showcasing local ingredients in their best light in a fine dining meets kitchen table atmosphere.There’s Pan Fried Soft-Shell Crab and Crispy Berkshire Port Belly, but it’s the Secret Burger that has everyone raving.
Image courtesy of envision-hotel-boston.com
Where To Stay
Boston certainly has its fair share of hotel chains to choose from when it comes time to book a stay. Options such as Westin Boston Waterfront and Hilton Boston Downtown are sound choices, but if you’re looking for something a little more unique, the Envision Hotel Boston has you covered. This boutique hotel features just 39 rooms, each one styled with a personal touch.
There are five configurations to choose from, ranging from the King Suite to the Accessible Double/Double. Regardless of which layout you choose, you are assured a comfortable and cozy experience complete with a pillow-topped bed, in-room Keurig coffee brewer, iPod docking station, microwave and refrigerator. There is also a desk with ergonomic chair, WiFi and a daily newspaper delivered to your room. As far as amenities go, onsite dining is available at the Brew’ens Cafe, and there is a fitness centre to help you stick to that routine.
A quieter location in a residential setting allows you to escape the bustle of the city, but you’ll maintain easy access to many of Boston’s best sights thanks to nearby public transport. Fenway Park is close at hand as is Copley Square. Book this SmartSTAY hotel through your FCBT Travel Manager and you’ll receive fast track to Diamond Status when you join the Choice Privileges program. You’ll also receive 4,000 bonus points and have access to 50% more bonus points with all subsequent stays.
Image courtesy of Getty
Where To Play
When it comes time to see the sights, there are plenty to choose from. Among the most famous, though is the Freedom Trail. This 2.5-mile redbrick trail takes you from Boston Common to Bunker Hill, showing off Boston’s history in the Revolutionary War. There are 16 sites along the way, which generally takes anywhere from one to three hours to complete. Public walking tours are also available. The number of stops you make it entirely up to you, but make sure to hit the Old North Church and the home of Paul Revere.
For even more history, and another significant walking trail, check out the Black History Trail. Starting at the Museum of African American History, there are 14 significant sites that detail historic events in the African American population through the 19th century. This includes the African Meeting House and the oldest black church edifice still standing in the US.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace, one of the stops on the aforementioned Freedom Trail, is another top spot to get a taste for Boston life. This sprawling marketplace plays home to plenty of unique boutiques to get your shop on whether you’re looking for a souvenir for the road or a sweet local treat to tide you over.
If you’re looking for history of a different kind, Harvard University is a worthy stop. Calling Bean Town home since 1636, this Ivy League leader not only offers up beautiful architecture and grounds, but plays home to a number of museums. Just be sure to stop off at the Memorial Church for interesting insight into the university’s history. Once finished with campus wander, the streets of Harvard Square are lined with shops and restaurants to check out.
Last but not least, any sporting fan spending time in Boston needs to sit in on a game. Whether it be hockey, baseball or basketball, this city is home to some of the best teams in their respective leagues. If you have time for a game, get to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox or TD Garden to see the Celtics or the Bruins.