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dwzemens Apr 12th, 2006 05:43 PM

Boston Logan Layover - Ideas for 5 hour sightseeing
My wife and I have a seven hour layover (early May) at Boston Logan on the way to Amsterdam. Can someone suggest (details please, details) how practical it will be to get into downtown Boston, see some sights, get some lunch, and get back to the airport? We land at 12:00pm and depart at 7:10pm.

If you could let me the best way to get downtown, what sights to see that are convenient, a good restaurant for lunch, etc it would be great!


TKT Apr 12th, 2006 05:51 PM

It will take about half an hour from the airport to dowtown by public transit, taxi may be quicker if there is no traffic problem.

I would suggest the Blue Line into Government Center than get out and spend the day at Quincy Market and the North End.

Another option might be to leave downtown before rush hour, around 4, and have dinner in Maverick SQ. in East Boston, many authentic South American Restaurants, or walk from the subway to Santarpio's for thin pizza, and then you would have a short cab ride to the airport.

curiousgeo Apr 12th, 2006 06:25 PM

A short walk from the Government Center T-stop is the Union Oyster House, good for some Boston clam chowder, established in 1826, touristy but fun for a visitor. A block or so away at Faneuil Hall is the much younger Durgin Park, established around 1876 for yankee fare, prime rib, baked scrod, corned beef and cabbage, baked beans, etc. Both reasonably priced.

The North End is also a short walk away, with an amazing number of Italian restaurants to choose from. Nice to actually hear Italian being spoken as you wander the area. Antico Forno on Salem Street is a nice moderate place, everything is prepared in a brick oven, great pizzas there too. Good luck.

dfrostnh Apr 13th, 2006 04:00 AM

Details were asked for. I haven't been to Logan in a while but I remember taking a bus to South Station and then being able to use the subway. OK here's the link to Logan's transportation page & Blue Line sounds good
Lunch at Durgin Park would be good. Maybe visit the North End for dessert! Quincy Market is in an historic area and the Italian North End is a short walk from there.

Fairhope Apr 13th, 2006 04:26 AM

Quincy market is the first stop out of Logan I believe. Plenty to do/eat

bennnie Apr 13th, 2006 05:18 AM

Quincy Market is not the name of the stop. And Maverick Square is the first stop after the airport, then Aquarium. You can get off at Aquarium and walk to Quincy Market.

Going the other way on the Blue Line will take you to Revere Beach where you can walk along the ocean, sample some of the best fried clams and lobster rolls around at Kelly's, have an ice cream and take in the "sights".

djkbooks Apr 13th, 2006 08:43 AM

You can catch a free shuttle bus at Logan to the water taxi which will drop you along the Boston waterfront. There is seeing/doing/dining in all directions.

Do check the weather forecast before leaving home - it can be quite chilly in May and Boston tends to be very windy.

If the weather is pleasant, you might want to consider a trolley tour (board near the Aquarium). It's hop on/hop off, so you could always hop off at Newbury or Boylston or Quincy Market/Faneuil Hall for lunch.

xkenx Apr 13th, 2006 07:39 PM

There is a bus from terminals at Logan to downtown waterfront area, also subway from adjacent to terminals. If you want some history, walk the Freedom Trail which is near the waterfront and the Quincy Market area. A good tourist map will show you everything. Barnes and Noble sells them.

KathrynT Apr 13th, 2006 08:23 PM

You might enjoy taking a Duck Tour which will give you a good overview of Boston and is a hoot. You can purchase your tickets in advance and the tours last about an hour and a half (

escargot Apr 13th, 2006 08:57 PM

I am wondering if this is a weekday or on a weekend. Makes a difference for rush hour traffic as far as taxi cab.
I agree you should take the T or the water taxi, whichever you are most comfortable with figuring out.

If you land on time, you will likely not be on either T or water shuttle until 12:30 or so and then I agree with either North End or Quincy Market for a nice lunch/walking - better to stay close by.

If you need to be back at terminal by 5:00, you will have to look at water shuttle schedule, or allow how much time it took you to get there by the T and head back possibly as early as 4pm. This will leave you enough time to walk and find a lunch spot, eat, and stroll a bit on your way back.

If it is a nice day, eating outside at Faneuil Hall or walking the waterfront (if you take the water taxi) along and towards North End, you will find many restaurants.

Should you choose to venture further into the city - for Freedom Trail or Duck Tours, I would become very familiar first with what you would need to do - so you won't get confused, late getting back, etc. Personally, I think you are better staying in the waterfront/north end/ quincy market as your choices.

On a weekend taking a taxi might work, but during rush hour, which often starts at 3:30 or 4:00 in Boston depending on the day, you could sit in traffic far too long - so I would stick with T or water taxi, something that only entails one or two stops and leaves less room for error.

gail Apr 14th, 2006 03:49 AM

If by chance your date is first Sunday in May, the city is especially congested that day with thousands of walkers fo annual Walk for Hunger, which starts and ends at Boston Common and does a loop towards the west. The afternoon effect on North End, Faneuil Hall area should not prevent any short trip into Boston on that day, but venturing further into city (Boston Common, Public Gardens, Duck Tour, etc.) might create some logistical problems.

dwzemens Apr 14th, 2006 04:12 AM

Great replies, thanks to all.

We will be there on May 6th, as Saturday, if that has any significance, please let me know.

- dwz

gail Apr 14th, 2006 05:10 AM

I just "googled" that date + Boston and found nothing of any significance going on.

escargot Apr 14th, 2006 07:30 AM

you can also try to see if there is something going on you might want to see or to see if there is something going on that might interfere with your plans causing walking/traffic problems. go the the what's happening/art and entertainment/ current 'this week/end posting' etc.

you can also check the page for the, which you wouldn't purchase, but it gives some ideas of things to do or see but again, be careful with your timing.

djkbooks Apr 14th, 2006 07:11 PM

On a Saturday, assuming your luggage is checked through and you have boarding passes in hand, best bet is to bus to the water taxi and go exploring from there.

I, personally, would plan to be back at Logan headed through security no later than 5PM.

ariela111 Apr 20th, 2006 03:26 PM

I think it would be much more efficient for you, and your time constraints, to cab it.

You can have the cab drop you off in the Quincy Market or North End area ... they're next to each other and both offer tons of walking, sites, and restaurants.

If you go to the North End, you can't miss having a cappucinno and cannoli at CAFE VITTORIA on Hanover Street. A great lunch place in the North End is Il Panino, also on Hanover St.

Or, you could have the cab drop you off on the corner of Newbury St. and Arlington. You can walk in one direction through Boston Common (beautiful park/swan boats) and into Beacon Hill down Charles Street (eat at FIGS). Or, you can walk down Newbury St which is the best shopping/restaurant street in the city.
On Newbury St., a great lunch stop would be "Stephanies", eat outside, it's wonderful.

cantstayhome Apr 20th, 2006 03:47 PM

I agree with the cab idea for a weekend, especially if you allow yourself plenty of time to get back to the airport. Consider going to the aquarium area, having lunch at Legal Seafood right there (famous for its chowder, which has been served at the last several presidential inaugurations - and better, in my opinion, than the Union Oyster House - but the Union Oyster House has its perks and fans, too, including John Kerry who I believe spends every election day there), and hop on the sightseeing trolley - it stops right there by the aquarium. If you go there, there is a seal tank outside the aquarium where you can watch the seals without paying admission to the aquarium.

Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall are also right by the aquarium, as is the North End, but if you really want to see the city, check out the trolley (, you can hop on and off all day. The tour is under 2 hours, so you could ride around, see the city (goes over to Cambridge, too) and decide when you want to jump off. Can go around the corner to Emack and Bolio's for ice cream before getting on the trolley. The duck tour is fun, too. Goes all around Boston and then plunges into the Charles - the tour is narrated. If you just want to eat, eat, eat, the Langham Hotel (formerly the Meridien), does its chocolate buffet on Saturdays, and I think it will still be going on through May (it stops for the summer).

dwzemens May 18th, 2006 05:33 AM

Just wanted to update and thank everyone for the help. We took the subway from Logan Airport to the Aquarium stop - how easy it was. Took ten minutes.

We walked around downtown a bit, on the wharf, etc. Then the five of us ate at Legal Seafood. We had a very nice lunch and it was not that expensive, either!

Great town Boston!

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