Boston or NYC in December?

Nov 1st, 2014, 08:17 AM
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Boston or NYC in December?

Hi Everyone,

I'm going to be flying out of the US on Dec.18 so I can either fly out of Boston or NYC. I was planning on staying for a few days in either before my flight. I have been to NYC several times and I love it and don't mind going again but I thought this time I could visit Boston since I've never been there before. I've done some research and it looks like December is not recommended for Boston because of the cold and there aren't many tourists around so I'm not sure if that will be a good idea or not.

Which one would you recommend? Boston/NYC?

Rana25 is offline  
Nov 1st, 2014, 08:39 AM
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Boston's temperatures in December would not be that much different from New York's. Maybe a few degrees colder but being on the water moderates the cold.

There are plenty of tourists in Boston at that time, and everything a tourist might do is open and available except for water activities (whale watch, harbor island tours, etc.). It's a lovely time to be in Boston with skating on the Frog Pond in the Christmas lit Boston Common and special holiday music events.

What do you like to do? The Museum of Fine Arts, and the Isabella Gardner Museum are both wonderful. You can walk the Freedom Trail, which wends its way right through the city. Many buildings to visit along the way so you're not outside walking for a long time.

New York is wonderful as well, but since you've been there it might be fun to explore a new city. Boston is compact and walkable, and the subway system is pretty easy to use.
cw is offline  
Nov 1st, 2014, 09:37 AM
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Weather in Dec is not SO different in Boston and NYC. Boston is a little colder and gets a little more snow -but you can get very cold temps and a lot of snow in either one - possible in Dec although more likely in Jan/Feb. In either case you will need a full winter wardrobe.

So unless you are a delicate flower used only to tropical climates I would definitely go for Boston since you haven;t been there and it' a fascinating city, although not that large.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 1st, 2014, 12:39 PM
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CW thank you for the info. I like your suggestions, I like to walk around a city so The Freedom Trail is a great option. I like to explore the outdoor activities, catch a show, do some shopping..

nytraveler, I have seen some harsh winters, thank you for asking! It does look like Boston is a better option.

If you have any more ideas please let me know Also, what area do you recommend for a hotel to be close to these attractions?

Rana25 is offline  
Nov 1st, 2014, 01:17 PM
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Recommended areas of Boston will include words like Back Bay, Faneuil Hall, Copley, Downtown in the description. There is also a Convention Center/Seaport area which is fine most of the time but just a bit farther away from most of what you are likely to want to see - and less accessible to public transit.

Be careful booking in Boston - since rates are so high lots of hotel call themselves things like Boston/Waltham - or some other name. They are not actually in Boston and even a few miles out could take quite a while on public transit.

One thing that is fun in winter is to take a Boston North End (Italian area) food tour. They stop in 6-8 little shops and the total distance walked is about 1/2 mile - so you have plenty of opportunity to get warm. Ice skating on the Boston Common (they have skate rentals) will make you feel like a kid again.

It takes a lot of snow to shut Boston down, and December is not generally a really big snow month. Still, bring warm and waterproof footwear, since stepping off the curb into a slush bowl can ruin you for the day.
gail is offline  
Nov 1st, 2014, 01:59 PM
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December in Boston is pretty wonderful.

Both the Handel and Hadyn Society and the Boston Baroque Orchestra do Handel's Messiah, the Nutcracker is playing at the Ballet, the Boston Pops will have a string of concerts. If you like music, the choir at Emmanuel Church in the Bsck Bay (Episcopal) sings a complete Bach cantata before the principal service each Sunday, and many of the performers are "alumni" who sing when they are home from performing .

The museums are gorgeous, and the Gardner, only three blocks from the MFA, has an enclosed courtyard filled with flowers, perfect on a dark day.

The Common and Public Garden are lovely if it snows, and Beacon Hill is beautifully decorated.
Ackislander is offline  
Nov 4th, 2014, 03:34 AM
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Hello! I highly recommend NYC during these days since the place has a lot of sights to offer. And New York is not that cold during this month compared to Boston.
toddpeterson is offline  
Nov 4th, 2014, 07:29 AM
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Nothing comes close to New York in December. It's great.
BigRuss is offline  
Nov 4th, 2014, 12:40 PM
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As much as I like Boston for sightseeing, I agree with BigRuss about New York in December. Historically, the weather in NY and Boston in December is almost exactly the same (average high temperature, average low temperature and amount of precipitation).
sf7307 is online now  
Nov 4th, 2014, 03:34 PM
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One reason I recommend against going to NYC in December, despite it being BY FAR my favorite US city to visit: that month is one of the highest of high seasons for the Big Apple, and lodging will be at its costliest. Boston will be cold, no doubt, but NYC will be jammed and even more expensive than usual -- and "usual" in that place is already pretty costly.
PaulRabe is offline  
Nov 4th, 2014, 06:50 PM
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Although I love NY and wouldn't mind going there again, I have to agree with PaulRabe that hotels are very expensive at that time. I compared both locations and Boston hotels are at least half the price compared to NY.
Rana25 is offline  
Nov 5th, 2014, 01:56 AM
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I've lived in both cities, Boston much longer than NYC, and love them both in December. NYC, especially in areas tourists are likely to frequent, is very, very crowded in December because people love the holiday atmosphere and who can blame them? But it's not for me.

Boston's tourist crowds tend to descend in leaf season and around the Marathon. December to me is a perfect time to walk around our old fashioned and compact city. Lights on the Common, sometimes a fading rose bush still in bloom in the Public Garden, tea at an old hotel, gas lights and elegant decorations on Beacon Hill...and the low scale and funky charm of Cambridge is a pleasure for shopping, particularly on the stretch of Mass Ave between Porter and Harvard Squares. I'd take the Red Line to Porter and check out the wonderful independent Porter Square Books (with good cafe) in the large, not very charming shopping center there, and then stroll back along Mass Ave, which still has many unique and unusual stores--Abodeon for mid-century modern, Clothware for pretty well-priced clothes, small restaurants & bars. You wind up in Harvard Square with the appealing Yard, Harvard Book Store, Brattle Theater, Harvest Restaurant.
CharlotteK is offline  
Nov 5th, 2014, 10:57 AM
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CharlotteK, if you don't work for the Boston tourist board, you should!
sf7307 is online now  
Nov 5th, 2014, 01:37 PM
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IMO, much of the Christmas-themed stuff in New York gets absurdly overcrowded and the shops are simply unbearable.

I'd stick with Boston and save the money. Weather will be comparable in both, which isn't saying much.
travelgourmet is online now  
Nov 7th, 2014, 01:32 AM
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sf7307--nope--don't work for the tourist board. But I love my city--especially around the winter holidays! I've got a whole other special love for the waterfront areas as well, but that's nicer in warmer weather.
CharlotteK is offline  
Nov 8th, 2014, 04:45 PM
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CharlotteK you certainly got me excited about Boston! Thanks for all the info

travelgourmet I agree with you on that.
Rana25 is offline  
Nov 9th, 2014, 11:16 AM
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Sassafrass is offline  
Nov 9th, 2014, 03:25 PM
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Boston always!
Bostonblondie226 is offline  

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