Travel Story 

Boston’s top picks

The Boston Tea Party might have upset the tea leaves, but Boston is still pretty English in style and ambience. Stretch your imagination and you’ll find images of London, England around every brick corner. And like London, you’ll best enjoy Boston by foot or with someone else behind the wheel. Here are some top picks to help make the most of your stay.

1. The Trollies

Any one of the motorized trolly busses offer fun and safe adventure as they continually circuit the city, picking up and dropping off passengers. The brightly coloured trams rattle along the streets and newsy off-the-cuff commentary keeps your head turning from one side of the bus to the other through three centuries of remarkable history. Hug your seat and the tour’s about 90 minutes. Hop and off to explore and you could take all day.

2. Faneuil Hall

Set in the busy ambience of this Covent Garden-styled marketplace, the original hall was built in 1742 and has been used as a meeting site ever since. Revolutionary speeches were all the rage back then (hence the hall’s nickname, the Cradle of Liberty) and, sitting amid the tall colonial pillars which frame expansive windows and ornamental wood panels, you easily imagine yourself hearing those fiery words of independence. Below the hall, on ground level, lies Quincy Market, a thriving metropolis of clothes and assorted market goods alongside street entertainers who have long since replaced the revolutionaries.

3. Feline’s

One of the world’s most famous bargain basements that for some savvy shoppers is reason enough to visit Boston. Designer labels proliferate on everything from underwear to fur coats, shoes and housewares. And the longer the item remains on sale, the greater the discount. It’s trench warfare shopping (appropriately described since Feline’s lies at the edge of "the Combat Zone‚" Boston’s red light district) but armed with a credit card, the winnings are substantial.

4. Boston Common

Reminiscent of London’s Hyde Park, a walk through the oldest public park in the United States is a 48-acre pastoral interlude to Boston’s busy downtown core. Here was where the British troops were once quartered, the colonials mustered for Quebec and civil war regiments assembled. And, if you absolutely insist on driving, it’s under the common where you can leave your car although parking in Boston, like in London, is a touchy subject.

5. Beacon Hill

Originally 60 feet higher than it stands today, Beacon Hill derives its name from a bucket of flaming tar which was hoisted high atop a mast to warn of enemy approaching. Today, it is Boston’s most exclusive residential neighbourhood and a delightful maze of red bricked sidewalks, gas lights and cobblestone streets, federalist mansions and townhouses. Watch for the leaded panes of glass brought over by early settlers from Holland. Their unusual reaction to the sun has tinted them a forget-me-not blue, making them priceless and irreplaceable.

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