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Marianne29 Mar 16th, 2006 10:52 AM

Boston - What time of year to visit? and where to stay?
Hello Fodorites, A friend recommended Fodors for travel research - what a fabulous site!! My boss is going to use her American Airline miles to book a flight for me - anywhere I want to go in the 48 states. (Just me traveling unless I can talk my boyfriend into going - depends on when I go.) Seeing my message title, I've obviously decided on Boston but need to narrow down when to visit. I've been to Boston once for a business meeting - redeye from Los Angeles, meetings during the day, dinner with co-workers, meeting after dinner, hotel to sleep and flight out first thing in the morning. It was January 2004 and freezing! I've seen nothing but the airport, an office and Todd English's Fish House and want to see all that I can. I have been reading all of the Boston posts and have a huge list of things to do and see - I am so excited!! What is the best time of year to visit and not be charged an arm and a leg for high season prices at the hotels while still being comfortable walking everywhere? Many thanks in advance for your recommendations.


cmcfong Mar 16th, 2006 11:02 AM

I recommend you go either in May or September/October. Boston is a wonderful place yearround, but personally those are my favorite months. I stay at the Newbury Guest House on Newbury St. It provides a reasonably priced downtown accomodation with easy access to stores, restaurants and the transit system. Great choice of a place to go, my favorite city. Have a wonderful time.

Marianne29 Mar 16th, 2006 11:18 AM

Cmcfong - thank you for your quick reply! I suspected those months, but thought that a frequent visitor would know best. I found the website for the Newbury Guest House and it looks perfect. I now just need to coordinate with my wonderful boss on when would be most convenient for me to be out of town. As a frequent guest of the Newbury, may I give you "credit" for the referral when I make my reservations?

seetheworld Mar 16th, 2006 11:24 AM

Just want to mention that May is college graduation month, September is college move-in month, and October is college Parent's weekend month.

Just keep that in mind when making reservations (don't wait too long before booking). :D

Personally, I would go mid-June.

cmcfong Mar 16th, 2006 11:31 AM

stw makes a good point about the need for advance planning.
I do visit Boston as often as possible. I lived seven of the happiest years of my life there, right across the street from the Newbury Guest House. Great city.

Anonymous Mar 16th, 2006 11:33 AM

Mid-June would be fine, as long as MIT and Harvard are done with their graduations, they're the latest of the lot that start in early May. But If you can get bookings in May, it is indeed a beautiful time to visit, especially staying in the Back Bay; the Public Garden is absolutely magical in the spring.

If you come in the fall, early October would be great -- plan on renting a car one day and taking a foliage tour.

If you're concerned about hotel prices, then look into Priceline; some people have gotten very nice hotels very cheaply. One popular strategy is to book a regular cancellable reservation, then try Priceline, which sometimes gets lots of last-minute availability.

ajaq Mar 16th, 2006 12:22 PM

I would go toward the end of May (after college graduation) and before the middle of June (end of school year for the rest of the bunch).

I almost always stay with friends in Boston so I don't have recommendations on a specific location to stay but I would recommend the general area of the North End. So nice!

gail Mar 16th, 2006 01:08 PM

The least expensive time to go is winter months - but I would not recommend Boston in the winter unless you like slush and frostbite.

Marianne29 Mar 16th, 2006 01:34 PM

Thank you all for your input - especially with the graduation and college move ins/outs. As soon as my boss gets back into the office we can figure out the best dates for me to be out of the office on the work calendar and then I'll make my reservations.

Gail - If I remember correctly, my 1 day in Boston in 2004 was a record "low" temp day. B-B-b-brrrrr!!! And that was just moving between buildings and cars, no walking of any distance.

lvk Mar 16th, 2006 03:15 PM

Nice Boss!

Have you ever been to New England in autumn? If not, then I absolutely recommend going in October. Sure, there will be crowds in town for parents' weekends. Yes, there will be busses full of "leaf peepers" winding their way through the state. But there is really nothing like Boston in the fall.

The only glitch may be the availability of Frequent Flyer seats into Boston during that time. If you book your accomodations early, you should be fine there.

A foliage-deprived, former New Englander now living in Southern California.

mamadadapaige Mar 16th, 2006 05:40 PM

May can sometimes still be raw and cool. June is a very nice time to visit. September can sometimes still be hot and humid - October is just such a nice time in Boston.

I recommend staying at the Beacon Hill Hotel and Bistro. It is on Charles STreet in Beacon Hill which is a very central location in Boston and very close to the Public Gardens - an easy walk over to Newbury Street - lots of great antique shops to poke around in, etc.

Post back if you need restaurant recommendations or any ideas of things to do.

ariela111 Apr 22nd, 2006 02:56 PM

I agree with the last 2 postings ... and think that June or October are the best months. May can still be cold and rainy. Sept/October is gorgeous !!

A great hidden gem hotel, that i think would be perfect for you, is the Charlesmark Hotel on Boylston St. This is a relatively new, trendy, chic hotel in a fantastic area of Boston that will put you walking distance to the best shopping and restaurants the city has to offer. It's also very close to Boston Common (beautiful park), and it would be an extremely short cab ride if you wanted to go into the North End or Beacon Hill.

tovarich Apr 23rd, 2006 02:02 AM

We went in September and of all the tours we made in the US its still the best time of the year to visit. The kids are at school, you get the indian summer?It's great.We stayed at the Chandler hotel;reasonably priced for Boston and not too far from everything.Greetings from Belgium. Paul

djkbooks Apr 24th, 2006 05:31 PM

Well, the best weather will have the highest hotel rates. Hotels are a bargain from November to March.

However, April is shoulder season and the last two weeks are positively splendid. You just never know about the weather (this year it's fluctuated wildly - 70 one day, 50 the next), but the trees are in bloom all over, the Public Gardens are resplendent, and there are zillions of pansies all about.

September, after Labor Day, is also very nice.

Note that Priceline is fabulous for Boston, even during "high" season, if you know what you're doing...

Brazilnut Apr 24th, 2006 06:11 PM

I lived in Boston many years ago while going to grad school (at BU). I miss it alot, wish I could visit it again...

Boston, as true of all of New England, is most beautiful in the fall. Go in September/October, you will love it!

Marianne29 May 15th, 2006 12:56 PM

Thank you to all for your replies. My trip is now set for October 14-20. I have my flight and hotel booked. I am doing research now on what to see & do. Once I have a few plans made, I will post a new message with any questions that I may have, and to ask for critiques. Thanks again for your input!!

ltt May 16th, 2006 07:04 AM

what hotel did you pick

AuntAnnie May 16th, 2006 07:17 AM

I spent a week in Boston last Fall. It was fabulous!! Fav dining: Hamersley's Bistro,a pub stop at Jabob Wirth, cappucino and gelato at Vittorio's. (North End), pasta at Strega (also North End) and a rustic, fun lobster meal at The Barking Crab. Sights: The Freedom Trail was amazing, the public library, the Museum of Fine Arts, the JFK library and Harvard Square. Cabs were easy to find and very affordable. It is a great city. Have fun!!

slewis May 18th, 2006 10:32 AM

djkbooks says: Note that Priceline is fabulous for Boston, even during "high" season, if you know what you're doing... do you mean asking for right zone, number of *? which zone do you recommend?

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