BOSTON is a beautiful city. Home to the U.S.’s oldest public park, Boston Common, which is also the starting point of the famous Freedom Trail, it’s a great place to explore on foot. From the Common, the genteel, 19th century town houses of Beacon Hill rise in the north, beyond which flows the famous Charles River (which separates Boston from Charlestown). To the west lies Cambridge, home of Harvard University. The bulk of the historic sites sit east and north-east of the Common. South is the theatre district, whilst the stylish shops of Newbury Street in Back Bay to the west lead to Fenway Park, home of the legendary Boston Red Sox baseball team. Boston is Massachusetts’ capital, largest city and is eminently walkable. Founded in 1630, it’s one of the oldest cities in the United States. The key role it played in the American Revolution is highlighted on the Freedom Trail, a four-kilometre walking route of historic sites that tells the story of the nation’s founding. Marked by red bricks embedded in the pavement, the trail leads to a succession of historic gems – a must for any history buff.In the heart of downtown Boston, and along the Freedom Trail, is Faneuil Hall Marketplace. The original Faneuil Hall dates back to 1742 and the festival marketplace now encompasses the North Market, Quincy Market and South Market buildings. Lovely to spend time here, grabbing a bite beneath the Quincy Market canopies, picking up unique finds from pushcarts and pausing to take in a street performance or two.You don’t have to be a student to warrant a trip across the Charles River to nearby Cambridge. Home to two of the most prestigious universities in the country, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), its stunning architecture and incredible diversity of restaurants and shopping attracts a mix of students, locals and sightseers. Many consider Boston a highly cultured city, perhaps as a result of its intellectual reputation. Mark Twain once wrote of it: “In New York, they ask, ‘How much money does he have?’ In Philadelphia, they ask, ‘Who were his parents?’ In Boston they ask, ‘How much does he know?’ ” Much of Boston’s culture originates at its universities. Boston Duck Tours is a company that operates historical tours of the city using replica World War II amphibious DUKW vehicles which move seamlessly from land to water and vice versa. The company has three departure locations throughout the city and it’s a novel way to take in the sights.Fans of the television show Cheers won’t be able to resist popping into the bar shown in the opening credits of this nineties sitcom. Formerly Bull and Finch pub, it has since been renamed to the more tourist-friendly “Cheers” – an icon in Boston and a hugely popular stop where you can drink to all things Bostonian.