Lucky for me, I have family in Canada so this year’s family holiday centered on visiting them in June/July. Our flights in economy comfort with extra leg room was well worth the small surcharge out via New York and back via Boston worked out cheaper, so I thought why not add in a few days stopover in these fascinating cities, even though both in the USA, they are both very different. New York is a vibrant exciting city, they say a city that never sleeps, and that’s true. We were not disappointed with any aspect of our trip. As there were three of us we took a taxi from the airport, I booked in advance but there really was no need to, such an easy process when you arrive and around $65. In around an hour we were in the city, and checking into our accommodation.
We stayed at the Radio City apartments on West 49th Street, just off of Times Square in a one bedroom apartment which was well equipped, and more than adequate for the three of us. Great location with a variety of places to eat, whether it is fast food, a diner or a fancy restaurant. After a short rest, and time for me to unpack we headed out to the Empire State Building. It is a very impressive building and I would suggest tickets are bought in advance to avoid the queues. Whilst the views are great, from my own personal point of view I think the views from the Rockefeller Centre are better.
We purchased a 3-day hop on/hop off bus ticket which included a couple of extra additions one being a cruise around the Statue of Liberty, which was 90 minutes well spent. The view of the Manhattan skyline was amazing. We were not able to stop off at Liberty Island as the Statue was still being repaired following the terrible storms they suffered in 2012 but being able to see it from the water was just as good. One place I would certainly recommend is the 9/11 Memorial, it is a very special place to visit and what they have done and are continuing to do is truly memorable.
After or 3 nights in NY we headed up to Canada. Most of the time was spent with family in Stratford, famous for the Avon Theatre where during the summer months a festival is held. It’s a pretty town, around an hour from Toronto, with the Avon River flowing through. We also took time out from family to go down to Niagara Falls for the night staying at the Embassy Suites in a room that overlooked the falls. It’s located at the quieter end of town, near one of the newer casinos and it takes around 15/20 mins to walk along to the very busy end of Niagara where all the amusements are located. Well worth staying on a night when they have fireworks over the falls. Plenty of places to eat depending on your budget.
Saying goodbye to family… We headed down to Boston. A taxi from the airport into town took around 30 mins and was around $30. We stayed at the Revere, formally the Radisson, it was comfortable and a good location about 5 mins walk from Boston Common. Took us around 20 mins to walk down to the waterfront where the boat trips leave from, and there are plenty of places to eat down on the front. We took a boat trip to Salem, and after around 70 mins landed in what seems like time gone by. Salem is a very quaint town, with lots of activities and places to visit based on the Witch Trials. Enough to do the one day, but take the 5pm boat back as town pretty much shuts then and not much to do other than eat!!
We also did a Whale Watching trip, it takes a fair while to get out to the site where they are often sighted and we found the trip out itself is quite boring however once we saw the whales the memory of the tedious time on the boat vanished. Back in Boston for July 4th we decided to do the Tea Party experience, a fantastic interactive family event and share in the various events of the day before heading down to the Charles River ready for the evenings Boston Pops and fireworks spectacular, and they were. Everyone was enjoying the summer sunshine with picnics and games, with a great party atmosphere. Our last day took us on a trip to Cheers, and a visit to Quincy market, all in all a fantastic holiday with plenty to see and do. If you want any more information about any of the destinations or hotels, please feel free to call me.