The historic heart of Massachusetts, the Cradle of Liberty; Boston is one of the USA's great cities. Culture vultures, shopaholics, foodies…whatever kind of traveller you are, you can get your fix, served all-American style, here. The city's surrounding areas are also a source of natural wonder, especially in autumn, the time to be in New England.
In the second part of this post, award-winning travel writer and proud Bostonian, Melanie Nayer rounds up her insider recommendations for stays outside the city. From spas to seaside spots, she shows us some of the best the state has to offer. But first we asked for the top reasons to visit her beloved Boston...
The Walking City
"It's amazing how much history is packed into such a small space that is Boston. In theory, you could head out first thing in the morning and see all the neighbourhoods, tourist sites and most historical attractions before bedtime. That's the beauty of Boston - everything you could want is, quite literally, within walking distance.
History and Gnocchi
Each neighbourhood has a different feeling and offers something unique - Boston's North End is where you'll find the Old North Church and recall Paul Revere's famous ride, while enjoying cannolis and gnocchi at one of the famous Italian feasts.
The South End is full of trendy shops and century-old architecture; South Boston is also fierce with Irish pride and pubs.
The Two Bs
The Back Bay offers some of the best restaurants and retailers; and Beacon Hill is where you'll find some of the oldest homes in the nation, as well as our copper-dome capital building. Boston captures the best of old and new, and its location on the harbour means travellers never have to go far for a fresh piece of seafood or hot bowl of clam chowder.
Another historical fact: Boston is home to the oldest public transportation system in America, which means getting to the outskirts of the city is fast and easy. Head to the beaches or go apple picking; plan a hayride in the fall and head into Salem for one of the best Halloween celebrations around. In the fall, you'd be remiss if you didn't plan a drive north of the city to take in the beauty of the New England colours as they turn from summer to autumn. Blues become purples; greens become golds and reds become bolder and brighter than anything you've seen. Since Massachusetts is such a tourist-friendly state, there's a plethora of lodging options no matter where you go. From luxury rooms to quaint campgrounds, you'll find everything you need to make your visit to Boston special.
Welcome to my home city! I hope you fall in love with it as I have, and that the beauty of Boston leaves a lasting impression."
Don't forget to check out Melanie's Massachusetts hotel picks.
Virgin Atlantic operate daily flights to Boston from London Heathrow.
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About the author: andrewAndrew Bowman
Andrew is an occasional contributor to the Virgin Atlantic blog. He lived in the Japanese countryside for two years until he could no longer resist the pull of London's galleries, pubs and clubs. He likes to pretend he can speak Japanese and also sometimes writes about music.