Boston North End, walkable? or T?

Sep 26th, 2009, 05:42 PM
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Boston North End, walkable? or T?

We are staying in the North End for five nights starting next Saturday 10/3. First trip to Boston. Should we plan on getting a pass for the T? or are most tourist things within walking distance (1-2 miles)? Excuse this sounding so general, I know there are a lot of things to see in Boston and we do like to walk and have heard Boston is a good walking city. But we also don't want to spend the whole day walking when it might be smarter to take the subway. We are from a rural area in Oregon (we don't even have a bus service), so if we are going to use the subway/T I want to get educated about it before we arrive. And suggestions for dinner in North End with one of us a vegetarian. thanks!
roguemckenzie is offline  
Sep 26th, 2009, 05:57 PM
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Here's the website and map for the T

With a good map, you can get around very easily walking. As long as weather is good, I think you would want to walk; if its raining, the T would be a better choice.

There's lots of good places in North End to eat, you really can't go wrong at any of them.
Jackie is online now  
Sep 26th, 2009, 07:08 PM
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You'll be able to walk to many nearby areas such as Charlestown, Faneuil Hall, Beacon Hill, the Boston Common. But you'll also probably end up using the T here and there, especially over the course of 5 days. You can buy as little as 1 ride on the T, so no need to worry about locking yourself into something.
wyatt92 is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 04:15 AM
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Don't buy a full pass - pay as you need, since much will be within walking distance. The MBTA website is surprisingly good and will give you routing info wherever you want to go. Look primarily at subway/trolley routes (identified by color - Red Line, Green ,,,). Bus routes tend to be more confusing.

Here is some fare basics on the MBTA. All payment is on a "Charlie Card" - a reloadable plastic debit card thing or a "Charlies Ticket" - you load as much money on it as you want (from 1 ride on up) and throw it away when used up. You want a Charlie Ticket for each passenger - load a few rides on it at first and buy new ones if you need to.

(And if you want some Boston trivia - the reason these things are called "Charlie" is based on a really old song about a guy named Charlie riding the MBTA. Decades ago fares varied by destination - collected upon boarding a subway/trolley car and then, if distance warranted, an additional fare collected upon exiting. In theory, if one did not have the fare to get off, they were stuck. Exact change only. So the song was about this guy Charlies who did not have the money to get off the train and roade around forever - "he was the man who never returned")

Where are you staying? There is not a lot of lodging that is truly North End? Have a good trip.
gail is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 05:45 AM
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gail--your describing Charlie on the MTA as a "really old song" made ME feel old! I remember learning the song in elementary school after it was a Kingston Trio hit (1959). I also remember wondering why Charlie's wife could hand him a sandwich as he rode by every day but couldn't seem to give him the extra fare to get off. Maybe she didn't want him to return.

roguemackenzie--if you are going to be in the Boston area for five days I would definitely recommend going to Cambridge, too, one afternoon/evening. It is an easy ride on the T (red line) to Harvard Square.
In general, as others have said, Boston is a great walking city. Have a wonderful trip!
Vttraveler is online now  
Sep 27th, 2009, 06:30 AM
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You do not need a Charlie card for each passenger. You need only one card. Be aware that fares are discounted using this card, so when loading- don't pay the regular fares posted of $2 but the discounted of $1.70. The cards are usually available right from the gate workers, just ask them for a card and purchase your rides from the machine.

I often see newbies, and help them with the purchasing. When the machine says "tap your card", place the Charlie Card over the load area, on the right side of the machine, continue your purchase, then tap again to complete the load. It can be confusing. I've seen people trying to load their cards with the credit card slots etc etc.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 03:41 PM
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Thank you all! and yes, I too remember the song about the man who never returned riding 'neath the streets of Boston!! We are staying in a VRBO on Henchman, friends had stayed before and recommended it. Thanks for the suggestion of Cambridge too, we thought if we ran out of things IN Boston we might venture out by subway. we will have a car for 11 days after we leave Boston for some further exploration of the state. Also thanks for the info on the card purchasing and tapping thing! It can all seem so easy to regulars and so foreign to the tourists!
roguemckenzie is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 07:34 PM
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I've always wondered the same thing!>>>
sf7307 is online now  
Sep 28th, 2009, 01:11 AM
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Mrs. Charlie was probably happy to have him riding around and not home bugging her - especially if he was so needy and helpless as to not be able to figure out how to get off a train.
gail is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 04:34 PM
Join Date: May 2006
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There's definitely plenty within walking distance of the North End (practically outside your doorstep are the Aquarium, Fanueil Hall, the Freedom Trail [more walking], all those cannoli's and cappucino's in the North End!), and a little farther walk (20 minutes or so), are the Museum of Science, the Back Bay/Copley Square (plenty of shopping), Beacon Hill, the South End (excellent restaurants and a small theatre scene), the Theatre District if you're into larger productions ("Jersey Boys" is in town), Chinatown.

All of the above are within walking distance.

The following would require riding the T: Harvard Square, JFK Presidential Library/Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Each are very cool attractions. I would only buy T fare as needed.
Liam is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 06:07 PM
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i mentioned the charlie card to dh and now i am being subjected to his singing it!

enjoy boston. it is such a great city. so full of history.
i call it an old city with a young feel.

the 't' is really fabulous. even i, with no sense of direction managed to get around by myself without getting lost once.

have a great trip.
abranz is offline  
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