It’s that time of year again, I’m getting the itch for adventure. Last summer we took our first family road trip. With the open road and a whole slew of movies for our trusty minivan’s DVD player, we drove from Oakville, Ont., a suburb of Toronto, to Boston in about 10 hours. I was skeptical that our family of polar opposites could vacation in harmony, but despite a few backseat brawls, that’s exactly what we did.
For the luxury lover
The beautifully restored Inn at Hastings Park is everything this tired mama could ask for in a property. Each gorgeous room is designed to feel just like home, only waaaay better — it’s no wonder Travel + Leisure recently named it one of America’s most stylish hotels. Our suites in the barn were spacious and welcoming, with luxurious beds, bathtubs big enough to swim in and a little reading nook for Charlotte, my bookworm. An afternoon spent high diving at the town’s leisure facilities across the road had my children declaring they wanted move to Lexington. I’m not sure they knew that we might not be able to live at the inn.
For the fusspot
Gourmet fare isn’t seven-year-old Peyton’s thing and sometimes traveling with her can be a royal pain in my butt. I’ve yet to meet a kid who doesn’t love cheese pizza though, and the Boston Pizza Tour of the city’s north end provided my picky eater with three slices of doughy goodness from the city’s most famous pizzerias, while we walked though this historic neighbourhood. The tour took us by several historic sights including the building where Rose Kennedy grew up, Old North Church and Paul Revere’s home. The springy crust and delicious tangy sauce won Ernesto’s my vote for most the delicious slice.
For the smarty-pants
Eleven-year-old Charlotte devours knowledge the way other kids devour candy. She’s always got a book in her hand and an interesting factoid on the tip of her tongue. Charlotte thoroughly enjoyed the Boston Duck Tour and I could practically see her brain growing as she absorbed our tour guide’s vast knowledge. The other kids loved our guide’s funny jokes and the chance to drive a genuine World War II amphibious vehicle down the Charles River.
For the sports nut
My eight-year-old son, Carson, is a little jock and I booked our Boston hotel with him in mind. The Marriott Fenway Park is just a short walk from the iconic baseball stadium and the neighbourhood is buzzing on game days. While the boys took in a Red Sox game, the girls and I enjoyed some lazy time at the hotel’s rooftop patio and indoor pool, with an incredible view of the action. Our suite was perfect for our little family as it was reasonably priced, included breakfast and had a kitchen that saved us a lot on restaurant meals.
Where to eat
Artistry on the Green at the Inn on Hastings Park took care of my family’s culinary whims while we were in Lexington — from the fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever tasted to gourmet sandwiches and chips for our lunchtime picnic. While my children enjoyed endless bowls of plain pasta with butter for dinner, I was slightly more adventurous and savoured the restaurant’s famous clam chowder (named the gold-standard in creamy chowder by the Boston Globe) and signature seared scallops.
Delicious fresh seafood and a laid-back atmosphere made our unplanned dinner at Summer Shack our favourite dining experience in Boston proper. We all enjoyed eating our weight in lobster and my children were thrilled with their plastic lobster bibs. Most importantly for me, it was noisy enough that no one cared when my kids weren’t impeccably behaved.
And we all loved Rancatore’s homemade ice cream, especially the bittersweet chocolate flavour.
*This article originally appeared on Chic Savvy Travels