A week in Boston

Jul 25th, 2003, 02:05 PM
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A week in Boston

My wife, 11 y.o. son and me are going to spend a week in Boston/area in August. Would you give me an idea what the best way to spend our time? This is our first trip there.
leoton is offline  
Jul 25th, 2003, 02:24 PM
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I am jealous!! What a great age for your son. There is so much history in Boston-- I'm sure you'll find the week flying by.

In my opinion, the best way to spend the days is simply walking around. It's a fantastic walking town, and quite compact. Combine that with the convenience of the "T", which goes everywhere, and you've got an ideal town for visitors.

Boston Harbor's a good day-long destination. Nearby Boston National Historical Park takes in several historic sites such as Faneuil Hall, the Paul Revere House and the Old South Meeting House. Take a walk on the Freedom Trail and learn a little American History. Are the Red Sox in town? Maybe a game over at Fenway Park? Take the "T" to Cambridge and walk around Harvard Yard. Newbury Street, with the world-famous Newbury Comics!! Oh, you and your wife should find plenty of fun stuff to do in town too.

That's just a bunch of ideas off the top of my head. Boston-area Fodorites, have at it!!
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Jul 25th, 2003, 04:27 PM
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great! thanks. should I plan Martha Vineyards and/or Cape Cod? just trying to spend time effectively AND relaxing.
leoton is offline  
Jul 25th, 2003, 04:38 PM
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If you plan on Marth's Vineyard or the Cape it will really be an all day affair. The Cape is about 2-3 hours from here depending on traffic, then you have to catch the ferry to the vineyard and back and then drive all the way back to Boston. Thats one looong day. I am assuming that you will be staying in the city for the whole week.

As the previous poster said, there is so much to do in Boston, but 1 idea I have is to do a whale watch. I believe they go right out of Boston. It's a sight your son won't forget. The childrens museum here is great. Lots of hands on. I love to walk Boston. It's very easy and very safe. Ask the concierge at your hotel or log onto boston.com and see if anything comes up there. You might want to call the chamber of commerce and see what idea's they can give you. Don't forget to ride the historic swan boats while you are here. Have fun!
fivestar is offline  
Jul 25th, 2003, 04:46 PM
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yes, we're staying in Boston (theatre district) for a whole week. thanks for your reply... All ideas are really appreciated.
leoton is offline  
Jul 25th, 2003, 04:53 PM
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The children's museum is good, but really for younger kids. An 11-year-old will enjoy the Aquarium and the Museum of Science.

leoton, have you looked up past posts about Boston by doing a search? Lots of good suggestions, discussions of whale watches, day trips, etc.
Anonymous is offline  
Jul 26th, 2003, 08:37 AM
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Since you are considering drives (to the Cape) as well as your Boston visit, then why not do Plimoth Plantation too, or even head west to Old Sturbridge Village?
rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  
Jul 26th, 2003, 09:13 AM
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Or what about Marblehead, Gloucester, or Salem, to get a look at old New England seafaring towns? Talk about bringing Moby Dick back to life!
Jul 26th, 2003, 09:13 AM
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They started doing the "Duck Tours" after I left New England; however most every post I read about things to do in Boston mentions this. Think it takes about an hour, maybe 1 hr & 1/2.

And having lived in the area during my formative years (quite a while ago ...) I can confirm that Boston holds many, many attractions. If you are considering a day or two outside the city (driving is the easiest, altho traffic can be a bear), I'd suggest going to Plymouth and visiting Plimoth Plantation; they also have a replica of the original Mayflower ship. And the rock? Not worth your time --- no one really knows for sure if it is "THE" rock (give me a break). As for driving down to the Cape / Martha's Vineyard, it makes for a very long day, and it's prime time season in August --- I don't know if I'd call that a "relaxing" experience.
There is the option to take the ferry to Provincetown (on tip of Cape Cod) --- or if it's a water experience you're seeking, then a drive to Lexington & Concord & Walden Pond can be lovely --- you can swim in Walden Pond (or at least I was able to many yrs ago) --- .

OH, oh, you'll be there in August during several of the feast days in the North End (Italian section of Boston). I'm sure one of the main visitor websites for Boston can provide you more details about when, etc.

Lastly, check this thread >>>
Another post from earlier in year with many good responses for an itinerary in Boston.

Tess_Durberville is offline  
Jul 26th, 2003, 09:35 AM
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There are boxes around the city, (Copley Square, Harvard Sq., Park St)
That hold two free paper that are great for listing all events.
"The Improper Bostonian" and "Stuff"(at night) There's a boat that goes to Provinetown, the tip of cape cod.
One that goes to Gloucester.
cigalechanta is offline  
Jul 26th, 2003, 04:09 PM
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I highly recommend a tour of the USS Constitution (aka Old Ironsides) in Charlestown. It is the oldest commissioned ship still in the US Navy's fleet. Tours are free and are given by the US Navy. The sailors are dressed up in period costumes. There's also a navy destroyer across from the USS Constitution which you can also board for a free tour. The easiest way to get to the USS Constitution is to go to the pier by the Aquarium and take the MBTA shuttle boat. The fare is $1.25 each way. The shuttle is worth the ride because you'll get a great view of Boston's waterfront along the way.
leslie is offline  
Jul 26th, 2003, 05:46 PM
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Glad you mentioned that, Leslie, something chldren would love!
cigalechanta is offline  
Jul 30th, 2003, 12:06 PM
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thank you all for your responses.
leoton is offline  
Jul 30th, 2003, 07:16 PM
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The first thing to do would be to get tickets to a red sox game. Really worth visiting are both the Aquarium and the Science museum, both are very interactive. Fanuel Hall in Boston and Harvard Square in Cambridge are lively and usually offers something for everyone. The freedom trail is interesting for adults, but your son may not be as enthusiastic, don't miss a walk through Boston common/garden and at least a look at the swan boats. From boston harbour they offer whale watching cruises that are always a hit with young teens and adults alike. For time relaxing and people watching, spend a few hours on the Charles River, you could rent a boat, have a picnic, there's always something going on.

The Cape is only about 1 hour 15 minutes if you travel on a weekday after 10 a.m. It would be an easy drive, but also consider there are so many similar and many more interesting places before the Cape that are closer and may provide more enjoyment. Westport, MA is a penisula and is surrounded by beaches. Horseneck is the State beach, easy in/out from Boston. Plymouth also has some good beaches. In the Westport area is New Bedford with it's whaling museum and boat tours. Battleship Cove in Fall River gives extremely interesting tours of a battleship and submarine. A great day trip from Boston could start with a tour at Battleship Cove, go to the Beach in Westport for Lunch and visit the Whaling Museum in New Bedford in the afternoon, getting you back to Boston before dark after a very memorable day.
worldexplorer is offline  
Jul 30th, 2003, 07:53 PM
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For your 11 year old, do the Duck Tour! They are designed to be fun and they are. He might even get a chance to drive the "duck" when it goes into the water.

I would also second the idea of the tour of "Old Ironsides."

It is a great walking town. I love to just walk the Freedom Trail and hang around Quincy Market. But I digress...

Again, do the Duck Tour for the 11 year old.
JEL is offline  
Jul 31st, 2003, 06:10 AM
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If you are interested in baseball but don't want to spend the money on the Red Sox try getting tickets to the Lowell Spinners or the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Lowell is 1 hour north of Boston, accessible by commuter rail. It is home to the Red Sox's Single A minor league team. They play in a terrific little park and have lots of promotions/gags etc going on between innings. Tickets may be tough to get as they tend to sell out the entire season. But season ticket holders sell their seats on a board hosted at the team's internet site (lowellspinners.com).

Pawtucket Red Sox play in Pawtucket RI about an hour south of Boston. They are the Red Sox Triple A team. Their tickets seem to be more readily available. They play in an older park that was recently renovated. High quality baseball is played. I believe the commuter rail could get you there also but you'd have to verify that.

Other suggestions would be to eat at Fire and Ice, check out the New England Sports Museum at the Fleet Center, head out to George's Island for a picnic. Wander around Havard Square.
bennie is offline  
Jul 31st, 2003, 08:28 AM
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Speaking of Lowell -

The history of America's Industrial Revolution is commemorated in Lowell, Massachusetts. The Boott Cotton Mills Museum with its operating weave room of 88 power looms, "mill girl" boardinghouses, the Suffolk Mill Turbine Exhibit and guided tours tell the story of the transition from farm to factory, chronicle immigrant and labor history and trace industrial technology. The park includes textile mills, worker housing, 5.6 miles of canals, and 19th-century commercial buildings.

rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2003, 03:26 PM
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Just returned from Boston with my 11 year-old. The Duck Tour was a real kick!! Lots of history and info but funny and entertaining. Get Sven as your guide. Took a tour of Fenway Park which was fun. Also, we were able to go to the Patriots training camp in Foxboro. Check their website for times. Some of the players stay after practice and sign autographs. And it's free!
teener is offline  
Aug 4th, 2003, 08:55 AM
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thank you all, great advices! we're not going to rent a car in Boston (is it a good idea?), trying to use public transportation... does it limit our choices significantly? we're going to stay in Theatre district...
leoton is offline  
Aug 4th, 2003, 09:33 AM
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I don't think you need to rent a car. All of Boston is accessible by public transportation. If you did venture out to Lowell, Foxboro or Pawtucket you can do so on the commuter rail system. Granted a car would be faster and somewhat more convenient for these side trips, assuming you don't get lost and have a tolerance for some traffic. But if you are sticking to Boston then don't bother with a car.
bennie is offline  
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