Just one night in Boston with a CityPASS and a golf connection made a great vacation escape. Arriving at 9 am, we checked our bags at Boston Park Plaza, conveniently located next to the Arlington train station, close to the Boston Public Garden, with elegant accommodations and views.
Forecasts threatened rain, so we first headed to our Harbor Cruise before the clouds had a chance to break. We walked all the way, taking in the city sights and used our CityPASS to hop aboard. Comfortable seating, fresh ocean breeze and a full bar set the stage for a harbor history tour narrated with humor. We heard tales of illicit activity and how the stinky horse rendering plant and city trash heap polluted the harbor. What a transformation after the people sued the city and won, cleaned it up and extended the shoreline bit by bit. Sludge digesters send liquid to sea and solid as fertilizer to Florida. Now the ships, shores, city skyline and oldest working lighthouse are all instagram worthy shots. It’s another example of Boston Strong resilience.
We took the train next, to the historical Fairmont bar for lunch and then walked through the mall to The Observatory. On the 50th floor, a 360-degree circle of windows showcase city views 750 feet above ground. Headsets relate the stories around monuments and colleges below, highlighting immigrant history and famous Bostonians. From Bunker Hill to the old North church – one if by land, two if by sea, the shots heard round the world come to life.
Golf shots are heard within the walls of the Boston Park Plaza in the Top Golf Suite. Part of the Lynx Fitness Center, the Top Golf Suite is a country club within the city and thanks to the Boston Park Plaza there is a full liquor license. To date, 600 of the 1200 Lynx members have signed up. Three bays of full swing simulators feature cameras above green tee pads that take hundreds of pictures with 360° sensors following the true ball flight. Bill the pro is a testament to practice as he improved from 20 handicap to 12 by hitting a hundred balls a few times a week in 20-minute sessions. Members can use Mizuno clubs from the back or the Top Golf clubs provided, and personalized Club fitting is available. The suite accommodates up to 40 people for $500. Individuals can share a bay for $100 per hour with up to 4 people. The adjoining room expands for a maximum of one hundred people for an event. Camaraderie is achieved as participants sip, swing, network and laugh. We swung our clubs on the simulated Pebble Beach and continued on to The Commons for happy hour as the rain poured down outside. The lobby bar was the perfect place to whet our whistles while keeping our bodies dry. Red Sox fans were abuzz as we marveled at the Boston Park Plaza renovations during which original clocks were uncovered and hung in the lobby along with original etched eagles. Boston Park Plaza is a bustling place for business people, travelers and conventioneers.
The rain gratefully stopped in time for one of our sports dreams to come true – watching the Red Sox at Fenway. A taxi weaved us quickly to the oldest ballpark in baseball still with its Green Monster – the manual scoreboard along the center left field. Go early as the fans rev up with excitement. Sure, you can get a hot dog at Fenway, but everybody recommends the sausage sandwich, but the best is the lobster roll. Get it hot or get it cold. Definitely stay for the middle of the eighth inning to enjoy the Sweet Caroline rendition.
Next morning, we meandered through Boston Public Gardens with all the big joggers, baby strollers, dog walkers, and pedestrian commuters. Florals and magnificent trees from around the world are marked – Belgian Elms, Japanese Pagodas, the tulip tree, beeches, maples and more. We ended up at the New England Aquarium by the harbor. This place is like combining all of your world dive experiences and snorkeling from the sea of Cortez to the Asiatic. Representing the Amazon was an anaconda filling an entire terrarium. Penguins from different parts waddled, smooched and swam. Dragon fish or sea dragons we didn’t even know existed glided by glass. Shows and demos span the entire day. We’ll be back with some kiddos someday but this trip we had a tee time, 45 minutes away at Segregansett Country Club, one of the oldest in New England. If you get a chance to play with a member, the food is worth sticking around for after and one of the reasons they host so many weddings.
Yeah, all that in Boston in just 36 hours. Imagine with more days and the 2018 Boston CityPASS which saves on many attractions and includes prepaid admission to four of the top ones – New England Aquarium, Museum of Science, Skywalk Observatory and Boston Harbor Cruises OR Harvard Museum of Natural History. Costs for a Boston CityPASS booklet through Feb. of 2019 are $59 for adults (value $107) and $47 for children 3-11, valid for nine consecutive days.