“The good news is that it’ll be 7 degrees on our first day; the bad news is it’ll drop to minus 12 in the following 48 hours.”
I knew this isn’t what my sister had envisioned when I convinced her to take a spring break in Boston but it hadn’t even occurred to me that Massachusetts’ capital would be colder in March than in London at any time of the year. In my head I had imagined warm sun and cold beers, not woolly hats and guidance on how to avoid frostbite. Perhaps that’s why the flights were such a bargain and half empty on the way in.
However, here we were, wrapped up but determined to make the most of it. Four days in the city where the American Revolution began, home of the world famous Red Sox and a cosy bar where everybody knows your name. Our time there included Quaker hosts, a bike tour, Italian food, Irish coffee, a tea party and lots of snow.
Check out the ninety seconds highlights reel below and read on for more details.
Boston by bike
Day 1. Fuelled by maple syrup covered waffles and bottomless coffee we met up with Len from Urban Adventours for a tour of Boston on bike. On the plus side there were only four in our group but the negative was the other two tourists were Dutch cycle enthusiasts keen to break a world record for our circuit. I was struggling to remember where the brakes were and what side of the road to cycle on. Despite the wind Boston was looking stunning with clear, blue skies and bright sun. Len was a fantastic guide and his enthusiasm for Boston and cycling shone through.
That afternoon we started a revolution at the Boston Tea Party boat, taking part in an interactive tour describing how our children were going hungry and then throwing boxes of tea in to the harbour. Does that make me a traitor?
A frozen freedom trail
Keen to find out more about the role that Boston played in the American Revolution we hit the freedom trail, a red brick road that guides tourists from one historical site to the next. The first thing I learnt was that it couldn’t have happened during the winter, the snow storms making it impossible to see more than a few yards ahead. We did the sensible thing and staggered our route with breaks at Irish pubs, sampling their coffee and whiskey combinations.
When the weather did abate we continued, eventually making it to the Bunker Hill Monument where the trail ends. It was absolutely worth it with stunning views back across the city with a pink sunset as the back drop.
Our last part of the trip was Verity’s idea, a food tour of Boston’s Italian Quarter. We went with Off The Eaten Path tours with Paula as our guide. My assumption was that there would be lots of talking and just a few snacks as we went from place to place. I was right about the talking, Paula had so much information to share but very wrong about the food. Huge slices of pizza, arancini balls, pasta, cheese cruquettes, wine, coffee and gelato were sampled on our way round various restaurants and cafes. In short the food was incredible.
Boston is a brilliant city for a mini-break. I thought the weather would restrict us but it actually added a huge amount to the trip. We used Airbnb and stayed at a Quaker residence, next to the common in the stunning Beacon Hill. The permanent residents were very welcoming and it was a perfect base to explore the city. I look forward to returning in the future.