Boston suggestions

Old Sep 18th, 2014, 08:29 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Boston suggestions

Hi Everyone!
My bf and I just booked a flight to Boston on the last week of October. We did this randomly mainly because we needed a vacation and the tickets were cheap. We are from Chicago and have never been to Boston. We're in our mid-20s, love to learn the culture in Boston along with other adventures. Any suggestions on what to do? Also, WHERE TO STAY is another big concern. Which area is the best place to stay? Also, we are big on seafood, where are the best places?

Any suggestions would be great. Thank you in advance
gshl is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2014, 02:13 AM
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God time to come! The previous weekend is the Head of the Charles Regatta, one of the biggest rowing events in the world, so you would never have gotten a room!

Many people like the John Jeffries House next to the MGH-Charles T station. This is on the Red Line which will take you to Davis Square in Somerville (pubs, bars, live music), Harvard, and MIT in one direction and Park Street (start of Freedom Trail and transfer to Green Line) in the other. The T is not cheap on a per ride basis, but the passes are.

The Red Line is rapid transit a bit like the El in Chicago. The Green Line is light rail and trolleys that start underground and wind up running down the middle of streets, usually on a private right of way.

The E cars on the Green Line go to Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall (classical music) and the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

The B.cars go out Commonwealth Avenue through Boston University (BU) to Boston College (BC). Between the two, particularly in Allston, there are lots of bars with indie bands and cheap ethnic restaurants. Pick up a copy of the free weekly "Improper Bostonian" to find out what is going on.

It is pretty easy to find good seafood in Boston. There are fancy places and not fancy places. Legal Seafood has many branches and is always reliable if boring. The Daily Catch on Hanover Street in the North End is tiny (20 seats) and has really fantastic Italian fish and shellfish, focused on calamari (it is also known as the Calamari Cafe). There are many upscale choices but you said you were on a budget.
Ackislander is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2014, 02:16 AM
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That was "Good time to come!"
Ackislander is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2014, 05:56 AM
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love to learn the culture in Boston

Find a dive bar in Southie, get super drunk, start a Yankees Suck chant, maybe get in a fight.

In all seriousness, the culture depends upon what you are looking for, as there are really several social scenes that can be pretty self-contained.

Also, we are big on seafood, where are the best places?

If money is no object, Island Creek Oyster, Row 34, maybe Ostra. On a budget (knowing even cheap seafood isn't that cheap), Legal Harborside 1st floor, maybe Merrill & Co for the Sunday oyster roast.
travelgourmet is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2014, 11:29 AM
  #5  
cw
 
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Anyplace in Copley/Back Bay area and Faneuil/Harbor area is convenient for sightseeing. There are other places in between too. Boston is a compact city and it's easy to walk from one area to another.

A good way to walk around and see sights, both old and new, is to walk the Freedom Trail. Walk around the North End, which is Boston's Italian section. Lots of little shops and about a million restaurants. Agree with travelgourmet's seafood recommendations.

Since sports is a huge part of Boston culture, you should take a tour of Fenway Park.

The Seaport area is new, and caters to convention goers, but there is a nice harbor walk and you can go to tour the Harpoon Brewery. They now have a beer hall. There is a smaller no frills seafood restaurant right near there--Yankee Lobster. But go to Legal Harborside 1st floor for the views. Or go to their 3d floor for a drink and the same views.
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Old Sep 19th, 2014, 12:06 PM
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One half day could be the Freedom Trail with lots of stops along the way for gelato in the North End and poking around all the little streets, go across to Bunker Hill and Old Ironsides and then take the commuter ferry back to the waterfront.

Another day do Museum of Fine Arts visit. If you have stamina you can also see the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum. MFA has a few nice eating places. Walk back through the Fenway to see the victory gardens (well, they might still be worth seeing in October, depends on the weather--they are funky & fun), then through to Mass Ave, walk by the Christian Science Church reflecting pool and then up Newbury Street to the Public Garden. If you still have it in you, then walk on Charles & hook up with the Red Line to Alewife.

You can stop on the way at the Christian Science Church and visit a local curiosity--the Mapparium, a giant globe you get to walk inside of. It's better than it sounds.

Another nice thing to do is to take Red Line to South Station and walk along the Greenway. You can go look at the seals at the Aquarium outside, (inside if the price isn't too much--it's a very nice aquarium) then thru the Marriott to Christopher Columbus Park along the water, then left up Richmond St. Stop at Bova Bakery for a sfogliatelle or some almond macaroons, then head over to Bunker Hill (this is a partial Freedom Trail Walk). Or end up in North End for nice Italian food at Antico Forno on Salem St, and don't miss the excellent hardware store nearby.

These are all things I like to do with friends or family when they visit. I have lots more of them, but this is a start!
CharlotteK is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2014, 03:16 PM
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PS, this isn't a trip report. Perhaps you should ask the mods to de-designate it and you can get more input.
BigRuss is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2014, 05:00 PM
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We stayed at the John Jeffries house and loved it but it fills up quick. We took what they had left and it was a deluxe suite but still under 200.00 a night which is good for Boston. We love taking the water taxi to Bunker Hill and eating at Warren's tavern for lunch. George Washington ate there but it is laid back and not pricey. We splurged for lunch at Atlantic seafood. So very good. Had oysters all over the place but Row 34 is good. If you do stay at John Jeffries there is a Whole foods close by. We loved having a frig for drinks and snacks. My fav part was getting up early and walking the esplanade and the Boston gardens. It was interesting to see all exercise classes going on in the parks and around the frog pond. Great bars, loved The Black Rose and the bars on Charles St. We bought the one week pass and it is good for the water taxi as well.
flpab is offline  
Old Sep 24th, 2014, 10:08 AM
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If you're in the Cambridge area, a standard is Mr Barkely's Burgers and we also liked Russell House tavern. If you have access to a rental car for a day(maybe get a Zip since driving in boston makes the loop look simple) head up to Lexington and Concord - little shops and plenty of history/culture there too. A duck tour always looked fun but we never did one. Freedom trail and Faneuil Hall are stops to make for sure.
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