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Who's the Bos? Neil Masuda heads to Boston where he is enthralled by baseball, JFK memories and aquatic adventures.

Byline: Neil Masuda

* INING in the wooden restaurant booth where John F Kennedy used to feast on lobster stew, you can really understand why Boston's favourite son appreciated his unruffled existence in the unofficial "Capital of New England".

The Massachusetts senator, as he was then, would regularly turn up at Ye Olde Union Oyster House to peruse his bundles of newspapers in relative seclusion.

And he'd chosen a truly historic place to unwind - America's oldest restaurant has been running since 1826 - and if the sea fare was as good in the 1950s and 1960s as it is today, he would have left feeling ready to take on the world. Or at least the Russians.

The perennial interest in Kennedy shows no sign of abating and it's well worth heading to the JFK Library and Museum.

Set at the sea edge opposite an inlet where some of Boston's most famous stars have luxury homes, the JFK Library can be reached within minutes from the centre of Boston via the city's simple, but very efficient, Rapid Transit and Commuter Rail Line - the T, for short - used by more than one million people a day.

The train takes you to the JFK/UMass stop and from there it's a free shuttle bus ride.

The museum deals with the 20th century, and the modern technology there takes visitors to the era when Kennedy forged his career. Images of key events, such as his 1960 presidential campaign and the Cuban Missile Crisis, have a far greater immediacy than merely listening to a guide's informed, yet detached narrative.

cinating ages.

So it becomes a fascinating place for people of all ages. JFK was one of the most distinguished alumni of Harvard University and it seemed right to visit this Ivy League seat of learning ost of d attended by so many famous sons and daughters of America, including US President Barack Obama.

Harvard Square was teeming with tourists on the sunny day I visited and nearby bars and cafes were doing a brisk trade. on the d nearby Once again, it was just a matter of jumping on the T and heading to the stop for Harvard, which brings you out in the middle of a suburb, with numerous stores and restaurants.

It stretches over a wide area, so it's a good idea to take a guided tour. These are often given by undergraduates and are full of information.

Everyone seemed to want to get their photo taken in front of the John Harvard statue in "Harvard Yard" - including even Wayne Rooney when Manchester United made a pitstop there before a pre-season game against New England Revolution. One unusual way to get around Boston is to take the Duck Tour, on an amphibious craft.

It takes you round most of the areas you'd want to visit on land before heading towards the major waterway running through the city.

heading towa waterway the cit A amms And since it's amphibious, within moments you are sailing on the water, looking at the cityscape.

When you're b a tra the pedes back on land, there's a time-honoured tradition between the local Boston pedestrians and those aboard, w shout "quack aboard, where both sets shout "quack, quack" at each other. It's just as daft as it sounds.

Other trips include Provincetown, a 90-minute fast boat journey away, where you can watch whales.

n There is also a ferry service to Boston Harbor Islands, Cape Cod and Salem, where they held witch hunts.

The city has a reputation as a "party town", which is particularly clear after the Boston Red Sox have won at Fenway Park.

ll The stadium is a cathedral to baseball and has a bleachers bar that's open to the public on non-match days, where you can walk down to pitch level. Just don't yell "Yankees!" (sworn enemies from New York). The House of Blues venue - where The Human League had just played a gig - is directly opposite the ground.

And for shoppers, Newbury Street is the place to go, where all the top fashion names can be found.

But even if you've got the cash to splash, don't go thinking you'll easily find a bargain because you won't. It would be much wiser to save your hard-earned money for the out-oftown outlets.

My trip was worth it for the Nine Zero hotel alone, which was the perfect base to explore the area.

Although classified as a boutique, it was much roomier than that might suggest.

A kingsize bed and wetroom shower made the stay particularly comfortable, while the regular offer of a free glass or two of wine at 5pm was a civilised way to unwind after a day of sightseeing.

get there Travelbag has 3nts at the Best Western Center City, Philadelphia, and 3nts at the Nine Zero hotel, Boston, from pounds 929pp for travel in November, including Amtrak train travel between Philadelphia and Boston and flights with US Airways in to Philadelphia and out of Boston., 0871 703 4240.

Tourism: time zone -5 hrs currency US $ pounds 1 = 1.60 best time to go..Great twin city autumn trip


GENIUS: The view at Harvard GLOWING: Skyline at night TASTE: Where JFK dined out QUACKERS: The duck boat tour HAVE A BALL: Fenway Park
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:1U1MA
Date:May 19, 2012
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