Boston in Early Sept.

Old Apr 24th, 2009, 09:12 AM
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Boston in Early Sept.

Hello All,
My husband and I are in our 50's and going to be in Boston for our first time just after Labor day. We are pretty active, but not in terrific shape. Walking most of the time is fine but we poop out later in the day. We will be there only three days and know we don't have time to see everything so we are throwing the question up to you to help us pick out our itinerary. We like the historical sites the best, and think we'll see one museum, no aquarium (we have a good one near home),and are thinking of doing the Freedom Trail w/ an audio tour by ourselves. We have a ballgame one evening at Fenway but the rest of the schedule is up for debate.
Your opinion...Is Bunker Hill worth the visit? ....Is Old Ironsides too touristy?... Is the Paul Revere house interesting?....How long for boston common?...We are coming from the Cape and Escargot (a million thanks) is suggesting a route that has historical stops along the way, (check my Martha's Vineyard thread), but in any OTHER direction are there any side trips worth doing considering our time frame?
Thanks in advance for your time and energy!!
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Old Apr 24th, 2009, 09:28 AM
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One thing to keep in mind is that Boston is a very small, compact city. So you can cover a lot of ground in a short period of time.

Bunker Hill is on the Freedom Trail, so while I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to see it, there's no reason why you can't make it one of your stops. Same with Old Ironsides, they are both about a 20 minute walk to the North End (Boston's Little Italy) where the Paul Revere House is. The North End is a must do, both for the food and the architecture, it's very old world European.

The Boston Common is just a park, there's some statues and such but unless you want to have a picnic it won't take up much time. Beacon Hill is adjacent to the Common and is a beautiful neighborhood to spend an afternoon in. Lots of cute shops and, again, amazing architecture.
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Old Apr 24th, 2009, 09:44 AM
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The Freedom Trail begins at Boston Common; there's no reason to allot extra time. Since you're short on energy, I recommend that you skip Bunker Hill but do see the Constitution, taking a taxi from the North End if you're trying to conserve your energy. The Paul Revere House is on the Freedom Trail. For a museum, I recommend the Isabella Stewart Gardner; it's compact and unique.
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Old Apr 24th, 2009, 10:27 AM
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We were in Boston last September for 3 days.

Essentially we walked all of Boston in a day (we're in our low mid-60s).

We stayed across from the harbor beside Quincy market.

We took the city transit boat to Old ironsides (a great harbor view for about 1.00)

From there I walked (about 10 minutes) to Bunker Hill 9not much to see but worth the short walk).
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 03:14 AM
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The JFK library would be my choice for one museum. You can get there by subway but we usually go there first when we drive in. There's good parking. Spend the afternoon and then drive to our hotel where we do not get in the car again until we leave.
If you want to splurge, I highly recommend Michelle's Culinary Tour of Boston's North End. You don't have to be a cook to enjoy the tour. Lots of historial background. If one of your days is a Friday or Sat, don't miss the pushcart vendors in Haymarket Square (next to Quincy Market and North End is across the street). It is mobbed on Saturdays. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. A quick walk thru will give you the feeling for this Boston institution.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 04:33 AM
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If you are coming up from the Cape, then you will drive right past the highway exit that's a mile from the JFK Library/ Museum. Next to it is the new Commonwealth Museum, operated by the state Archives, where you can see original documents dating back to the 1600s and get an overview of the 99% of our history that isn't Kennedy.

http://www.sec.state.ma.us/mus/museum/index.htm

http://www.sec.state.ma.us/sec/mus/m...easuresidx.htm
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 06:05 AM
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Bunker Hill monument has a nice view...but you need to walk up a few hundred stairs. If you're not up for that...don't bother.

Definitely check out Old Ironsides.

You can take a Duck Tour if they are still operating in September. There are also boat rides out to some islands that are part of the National Park Foundation. The islands aren't anything special, but the boat ride can be enjoyable.

Definitely spend some time in the North End.

Enjoy the Sox game...I'm jealous.

Oh, and when you are at Boston Common, walk over to the State House. It's pretty inside and there are some interesting things to check out in the main foyer...I like it anyway.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 03:10 PM
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I agree that the one museum might be the Gardner. You could even do it on your way to Fenway if it fits into your schedule for that day--it's right there.

Depending on your historic interests, the Adams National Historic Site in Quincy is fabulous. You can't do it at your own pace, though: you need to take a tour, which shuttles you from John Adams's birthplace to the Old House (I think that's what it's called). Like the JFK Museum, it's on your way from the Cape to Boston, right off the highway. You'd just have to pick which president you're more interested in learning more about.

I'd skip Bunker Hill and, depending on your interest in ships, possibly the Constitution. It takes time to get over there. I'd vote for doing the rest of the Freedom Trail. End up in the North End and have a great dinner there. The culinary tour that dfrostnh mentions is lots of fun. It really gives you a flavor of the North End. For a short trip to Boston, however, you might prefer to do something a little more "mainstream."
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 03:54 PM
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All great info! I went on the M. Topor's No. End Tours site and it looks like big fun. I think we'll take the early tour and have lunch in the North End.
Will check out the museums mentioned and report back soon. Thanks!
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 03:56 PM
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The Adams tour is based out of a visitors center that is near the Quincy Center Red Line station; the trolley takes you to all 3 homes. Yes, ironically the newest of the 3 is called "Old House"..

http://www.nps.gov/adam/planyourvisit/guidedtours.htm
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Old Apr 28th, 2009, 04:46 PM
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I am sure you are planning on eating, check out www.beantownbite.com, they have a list of great restaurants and they are very accurate.

Also, make sure you get a duck boat ride, they are super touristy, but very informative... I live here and have been on it three times.

You could easily get from boston common to paul reveres house and back within two hours... remember, boston is a walking city, therefore very small. If I were you I would allot about four hours for the common and north end. I would make sure to check out the waterfront while you are in the North End. Have fun.
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