Where we stayed: Ames Boston Hotel | rate it 4/5 | +v's: excellent location, beautiful, modern room, friendly | -v's slightly noisy, pricier end
How long: 3 nights, 2.5 days
How we got there: 50 minute plane from DC
How we left: 3.5 hour train to NYC
City highlight: Museum of Fine Arts, Harpoon Brewery
Boston was the fourth stop on our American adventure. Being honest, Boston didn't offer us as much to explore when compared to our prior stops in Vegas, New Orleans and Washington DC, however there was a stand out - The Boston Museum of Fine Arts. We also stayed in a lovely hotel, Ames Hotel, which is centred in the middle of town and is quiet, modern, and trendy.
The Museum of Fine Arts boasts an extraordinary collection of pre-BC era relics from Egypt, and it's collections of pottery, banquet crockery, and artefacts from Asia are incredible.
The range of art work spans Cezanne, Monet, Manet, Sargent, Constable, Copley, Van Gogh, Degas, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Pollock, Warhol, Eames and Sully. To stand in front of art that I studied during high school art history classes is wonderful. Claude Monet's Water Lilly studies are beautiful, they reflect translucency and brightness in pastel tones - I feel lucky to have stood before them in person. The 50's Eames furniture and homewares on show fit in today's retro, Scandinavian trend, and Warhol's copper paint work which he urinated on to achieve its bubbling effect has stood the test of time for modern, expressionist art.
The Freedom Trail, which is a 2.5 mile walk through Boston's historic areas, filled a half day. You need to pay to view the small museums and churches, but at the end you can climb the Bunker Hill tower for free - it's 294 steep steps. The view (and sense of achievement) is worth it. For refuelling on the trail, stop by Mike's Pastry for flavoured Cannoli in the North End.
We did a tour of the Harpoon Brewery. The 50 minute tour is $5 per person and includes tasting of their various brews. The Harpoon UFO (unfiltered offer) White is my new favourite. Their freshly baked pretzels which are made from the barley mush produced in the first stages of the brewing process are a must try. The walk from the city to the Harpoon Brewery is about 25 minutes.
For infamous clam chowder, we went Ned Devines Irish Pub. Trip Advisor suggested it, and it was a great pick.
We continued the American Burger Stakes, trying Five Guys and Wendy's in Boston. Wendy's falls straight to the bottom with their flavourless patties and sugary buns. Five Guys slips in behind Johnny Rockets - we liked the fresh shelled peanuts that you could grab for a snack, and their burgers featured juicy patties and decent pickles. The Cajun fries were also a winner.
We ate a lovely dinner at Orinoco Kitchen, a Venezuelan restaurant in Cambridge. This also gave us a chance to see some of Harvard's old buildings.
For us, Boston didn't seem to need a long time to explore; the full two days we had here was plenty.