This is the city’s historic heart, where gleaming skyscrapers jostle for space with colonial-era landmarks.
Among Boston’s best-known historic hotels, the Omni Parker House is famous as the birthplace of the Boston cream pie. It’s even been claimed that future revolutionary Ho Chi Minh whipped up hundreds while working as a baker in the hotel’s kitchen. Save room for a slice of the sweet treat after a day of exploring the nearby Boston Common, the very first city park in the United States.
Sidle up to the bar at Union Oyster House for a meal of traditional New England fare, from creamy clam chowder to fresh molluscs from Katama Bay. This is one of America’s oldest restaurants, and the menu includes throwbacks like gingerbread and oysters Rockefeller. Eat at the raw bar to watch the lightning-fast oyster shuckers, or request the ‘Kennedy Booth’, the former President’s favourite spot.
Trace the history of the American Revolution on the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile route stretching from Boston Common to the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown. It’s easy to explore on your own, but for the full colonial-era immersion, opt for a walking tour led by the costumed Freedom Trail Players.
Rows of Victorian brownstones make Back Bay one of Boston’s most elegant neighbourhoods, and the chic shops of Newbury Street are ideal for an afternoon of browsing.