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The NInja Verdict

ninja-wheel #NInja Verdict – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The NInja visited New England 18 months ago but only had 3-4 hours to spend in Boston itself – so why not head back to get a real idea on what it can offer as a short break destination ….

Overview

The Cradle of Liberty, The Athens of America, The Hub of the Universe, Title-town, Beantown. Boston goes by many names for many different reasons. It is a city that has so much to offer. If you are a History buff, foodie, adventurer, walker, runner, sports enthusiast, shopaholic or just wanting to explore a fun vibrant city, Boston has to be one of the top spots on your wish list. The NInja was there for 3 nights and did so much that I need a break to recharge! And yet there was so much that I didn’t get to do. It just means that there will have to be a repeat NInja break! 

Getting there

Dublin Airport has many different options to fly direct to the US. The airport is an excellent modern hub to start your journey. Pre-clearance at the airport means there is no hanging around once you cross the pond to the other side.

One thing I sometimes hear from people is that the USA is just too far away. I want to dispel that myth once and for all. Our flight over was 6hrs 40mins with a return time of 5hrs 45mins. Yes, it is longer than your average European holiday but not by that much. This time round the NInja flew with Norwegian Airlines. A return flight to Providence (approx. 1hrs drive from Boston City Centre) starts from only £350pp. That is unbelievably good value for a peak July/ summer flight. Book early though #likeaNInja as prices increase. The plane was similar to the one you get to Europe. There are no frills but it is totally comfortable and you can pre-load your tablet or devices with plenty of movies or shows to keep you entertained for the flight. Give Norwegian Airlines serious consideration for any trips to Massachusetts or indeed New York as they also fly to Stewart International just outside NYC. Once in Providence Airport if you wish you can take a T Station train which will whisk you to Boston City centre. The NInja decided to hire a car instead to give freedom to explore. I ended up using AVIS who were easy to deal with and I was out of the airport in no time reaching my hotel in just under an hour. The drive was mostly interstate the whole way until I got into the denser city centre traffic. But it was an easy trip and a nice drive. 

Accommodation

If you are wanting to have a central base to get to all Boston has to offer quickly, then the hotel the NInja stayed in was near on perfect – the Courtyard by Marriott Copley Square. This hotel was excellent. The staff were friendly, informative and extremely helpful. The hotel has a restaurant which offers various breakfasts items at an extra cost and you can also purchase various alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Starbucks coffee is on offer here! When I was there, the hotel were offering samples of the local’s favourite Sam Adams beer. I may have had one or two! The double room I had was enormous. With a sitting area, 2 desk areas and 2 TVs. The bathroom was also very spacious. The hotel was spotlessly clean which you notice from the minute you walk in. Once you step over the front door you are right in the middle of things Boston has to offer. Copley Square, the Public Library, the Prudential Centre and Mall, countless shops and eateries are right on your door step. A short walk will take you to the Public Gardens and Boston Common. A little further still and you end up at the docks. Remember … Location is key!

As a special extra treat, the NInja was lucky enough to be given a private tour of a hotel that is due to be opened in the next few months – the Cambria Hotel in South Boston. This is an amazing new boutique style hotel that will be much sought after by tourists and business people alike once it opens. Located in the up and coming trendy South Boston area and directly beside the Broadway T-stop, the Cambria’s motto is “Experience Southie, Explore Everywhere”. The foyer is open and spacious, the restaurant and bar area is very modern and super cool and will serve amazing cutting edge food and beverages. There is also a 2,400 sqft fitness centre, and 1,600sqft of meeting space. There are 159 guest rooms that are spacious with some cracker views over Boston and the surrounding area. However, without doubt, the best thing that took my breath away was the roof top dining and bar area. This place is incredible. With panoramic views, luxurious seating and a modern bar, this will be the place to go for some relaxing drinks and food. Local flavours will be on offer and an innovative menu. Cambria Boston can accommodate group, business and leisure travellers. I cant wait for the hotel to be finished so I can come back and sample the delights the Cambria has to offer.

Food + Drink

Boston has copious amounts of choice in this area. There are honestly too many to mention them all. From quick grab and go breakfasts places, multiple food trucks, chain restaurants, local eateries or food courts, Boston has it all. Being so close to the sea there is plenty of fish, lobster and clam chowder on offer.

If you are after an innovative eating-and-drinking destination that features the city’s top chefs all together under one roof then you must check out TimeOut Market It only opened at the start of July, so there’s currently a great bit of excitement about it – it’s genuinely spectacular for foodies

Have no idea what you want to eat? Hit Faneuil Hall Marketplace. You will not be stuck for choice here. Check out the ice-cream. You wont be disappointed! So no matter what your food tastes are or your budget you will have no problem finding somewhere that suits.

Things to do

This may take some time …

First on your agenda has to be a spot of Whale watching. Boston Harbour Cruises run Whale watching trips each day. At $55 for an Adult and $35 for kids this is a great opportunity to see these magnificent creatures up close in their natural habitat. The entire trip is anywhere between 3-4hrs and it really is must do. I was able to see numerous whales on our trip as our skipper guided the boat to the best viewing spots. Wanna try something a little more thrill seeking? Codzilla is for you. Check it out. Bring a rain jacket though!

While you are at the harbour you have to visit the New England Aquarium. This place is great for adults and children. The massive tank that runs through the middle of the aquarium has loads of fish, stingray, shark and the biggest turtle I have ever seen in my life! Don’t miss out on the chance to pet some of the stingray and sharks on your way out too!

No trip to Boston is complete if you don’t do the city famous Duck tours. This is a great way to see most of the city, learn some interesting facts and have a brilliant laugh. The guides are excellent! Full of fun, they make the tour all the more enjoyable. Just when you think the tour cant get any better, your bus becomes a boat as you head onto the Charles River for some more sightseeing.

Fenway Park is the home of the Boston Red Sox. For any Sports Fan this is the mecca of Baseball Parks. The oldest park in America is really something special. Try and get yourself to a game (April to October) as they close the surrounding streets down on game days and it really is a party atmosphere. If you cant get tickets for a game, do a tour of the park as you get to hear all about this historical stadium.

Fancy a dander? Make your way to Boston Public Garden. The oldest botanical garden in America. It is beautiful to walk or run around or just sit and watch the world go by. You will also find the famous Swan Boats here. And just across the road is Boston Common the oldest Park in America. Check out the frog pond that in winter gets iced over and becomes a free ice-skating rink. Speaking of free, why not walk the Freedom trail. This is a 2.5 mile walk that takes you around 16 Historical sites. Look for the double red bricked trail and off you go. You can do this on your own or you can book on to a tour and have a guide take you round at a cost.

The Skywalk Observatory is a great place to see panoramic views of the city. Some 50 floors up you get a great view all over Boston. Once in you can pick up a handy audio device that talks you through the many sites on offer. The cost of entry is $21. The Observatory is found at the Prudential Centre which in itself is worth a trip. Countless shops to keep all the shopaholics happy!

You can see lots of Boston if you purchase a Boston Go Card. This is the best and cheapest way to see loads of what the city has to offer. You get so much included in this card from the aquarium, to Trolley tours, Museum of Science, tour of Fenway Park, Skywalk Observatory, Freedom Trail Historical Tour and many, many more. It is so much better value than purchasing individual entry to all the attractions and things to see and do.

For more information on Boston and all that it has to offer please visit www.massholiday.ie

For information on flying to Boston with Norwegian please visit www.norwegian.com

Or why not pop into your local NInja travel agency and let them plan your Boston holiday!!

Copley Square, Boston
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