Boston, one of the oldest cities in the country, was founded in 1630 by English settlers. The scene of key historical events, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston, the city has become a hub of culture and education, attracting millions of visitors each year. The area known as Boston Proper includes such neighborhoods as Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Chinatown, Fenway-Kenmore, the Financial District, Government Center, the North End, the South End, and Downtown, where visitors will find historic landmarks like Faneuil Hall, the Freedom Trail, Boston Public Garden, and Boston Common. Boston is well-connected by its subway system, known as the T, which includes the the Red, Orange, Green and Blue lines, linking the city with suburban areas like Cambridge, Brookline, Brighton and Newton. The city is also a major attraction for sports fans, hosting such teams as the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium, and the Boston Celtics and the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.
The Paramount, an old-school cafeteria in Beacon Hill and Boston Common, features outstanding diner fare, including pancakes, home fries, burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Open since 1937, this Boston staple highlights the history and personality of Beacon Hill. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, guests can be seen enjoying a grilled chorizo omelet with black bean corn salsa, fresh guacamole, pico de gallo and pepper jack cheese in the morning, a homemade roasted turkey burger with avocado, roasted brussels sprouts, roasted beets and pepper jack cheese on a brioche roll at midday, or a New England blue cod entrée with mashed potatoes, roasted cauliflower and braised shakshouka sauce in the evening. The Paramount also hosts Wine Down Wednesdays, where a bottle of great wine can be ordered with dinner with no additional corkage charge. The diner also partners with Emerson Stage, offering a 10% discount for theatergoers who show their receipt from a stage show. This cozy, no-fuss eatery is the perfect way to start the day or to grab a bite while you’re on the go.
Boston Whale Watching Cruise
Aside from the numerous Boston landmarks that visitors should make time for, they may also want to fit in a whale watch aboard a high-speed catamaran. The three-hour cruise visits the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, the most renowned whale watching area on the East Coast, located at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay, between Cape Cod and Cape Ann. Stellwagen features a plethora of humpback, finback, and minke whales, who can be seen freely enjoying their natural habitat. The Stellwagen Bank also showcases five species of seals, including the harp seal, gray seal, harbor seal, hooded seal, and ringed seal, as well as dolphins, such as the white-beaked dolphin, Atlantic white-sided dolphin, common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin and Risso’s dolphin. Guests are encouraged to capture these beautiful creatures on film. The cruise is guided by a member of the Whale Center of New England (WCNE), who will offer little known facts about these spectacular animals. With a length of 50 feet and a weight of 37 tons, these endangered animals are awe-inspiring. The climate-controlled catamaran itself features comfortable seating, as well as a snack and beverage bar. The cruise departs from the easily accessible Long Wharf in Boston.
Carmelina’s in Boston’s North End, the city’s Little Italy, is headed by Chef Damien DiPaola, who has reinvented his family’s classic Sicilian recipes. The restaurant’s interior, designed as an open kitchen so customers can view the cooking process, is decorated with family photos, adding to the coziness of the space. In the summer, the retractable front walls allow for al fresco dining. Among the standouts are appetizers, such as, the steamed mussels marinara, and the exploding little neck clams with garlic, cherry tomatoes, and a touch of hot chile. Entrées include the outstanding tonno con pesto siciliano and fusilli with slices of rare ahi tuna, sautéed cherry tomatoes, pistachio pesto, fusilli, and the Sunday macaroni with meatballs, sulmona sausage, and beef rib in a zesty tomato sauce and topped with whipped ricotta, which is served every day.
Spring and fall are the best times to visit Boston since the weather fluctuates from cool to mild. The city houses several world-renowned music venues, such as Symphony Hall, home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Boston Pops Orchestra, and the Boston Opera House, home to the Boston Ballet. Theaters include the Cutler Majestic Theatre, Citi Performing Arts Center, the Colonial Theater, and the Orpheum Theatre. The city also hosts several annual events, such as First Night on New Year's Eve, the Boston Early Music Festival, the Boston Arts Festival and Harborfest. Notable museums include the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Boston Athenæum, the Boston Children's Museum,the Museum of Science, and the New England Aquarium. Let us know how your visit to Boston goes and feel free to offer your own suggestions for those planning a getaway.