First time to Boston

Old Jul 24th, 2021, 12:36 PM
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First time to Boston

This will be my first trip to Boston. I have done some research but I am overwhelmed. I am planning this trip with a companion but it may also end up a solo trip. We are planning on a Thursday through Sunday in September. I am looking for hotel recommendations in the mid range. Hopefully under $300/night. We are interested in historical sites, restaurants, maybe some unique shopping any sites that are a "do not miss."
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Old Jul 24th, 2021, 01:23 PM
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The Godfrey Hotel is very nice and a short walk to the Visitor's Center at Boston Common. If one of you is an AAA member, their AAA rate should be under $300 and they also waive the "Urban amenity fee" if you have AAA. They also allow cancellation right up until day of arrival so you can book now and have it as a back-up while you continue to look around. https://www.fodors.com/world/north-a...boston-s494460

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Old Jul 24th, 2021, 03:10 PM
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We visited for the 1st time and stayed in the North End and loved the location! We rented a 1 bdrm apt. through VRBO & it was much cheaper than a hotel. The airport offered a water taxi to a pier near our place so that was fun. We did not rent a car & mainly walked the city and took a taxi once. We were right off Hanover St. near Paul Revere's house, Old North Church, Giacomo's Italian Restaurant (amazing!), two amazing bakeries (Mike's Pastries & Bova's). We were walking distance from Haymarket, Faneuil Hall. It was all amazing! You will love it! We also took the Charlie to Fenway Park for a game & went whale watching. We didn't need a car for anything. Have fun!
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Old Jul 24th, 2021, 04:33 PM
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For a stay around $200 per night you could consider the new Hyatt Place at the Seaport. Breakfast is included and there are LOTS of restaurants within walking distance. The Ferry Terminal is right there if you decide on a day trip down to Provincetown/ Cape Cod or just enjoy a spin on the water taxi to the Aquarium. From the airport you can take the water taxi, or the Silver Line which is free from the airport & stops behind the hotel.
You can walk to North End for all the Italian bistros, and you can walk to South Station in about 20 mins though it's easier to just take the bus behind the hotel. From South Station you can get to anywhere.
This hotel is not a great idea if you like to walk to sights all day and stop back at the hotel for refreshers/ nap etc. It's a public transportation or bus trip or Uber ride to most places of interest. But the hotel is very pleasant and has a great rooftop lounge area with evening views over the harbor lights. And of course very easy to and from the airport.
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Old Jul 24th, 2021, 07:39 PM
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Thank you for your help. I had Mike's Pastries on a list. The Hyatt Place sounds like a good option. I rarely stop back at my hotel during the day. I can stop and have a tea or water and be ready to go again. When I went to NYC I stayed in Long Island City and it worked out really well for me. I am pretty good at public transportation and I am looking forward to learning a new system.
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Old Jul 24th, 2021, 09:58 PM
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Bring good walking shoes so that you can walk off the calories because you'll be in pastry heaven. Mike's is good, Bova's and Parziale's a block away might even be better., I'll await your decision and it will not be an easy one. And there's a branch of the excellent Flour Bakery near the wharf, yum yum.
The Boston Design Center is a short walk from the Hyatt Place if that interests you. The Chickadee Restaurant in the building serves salads & small plates & great drinks, & has an outdoor patio. https://www.bostondesign.com/visit-welcome
If you're a biker there is a bluebike station not far from the hotel www.bluebikes.com
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Old Jul 25th, 2021, 12:42 PM
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clarkgriswold, I am a walker. Even though I do partake in the yummy goodness of many desserts and wine, I managed to lose 5 pounds on a 5 day trip to NYC.

Thank you for all the suggestions. I am feeling better about my planning.
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Old Jul 25th, 2021, 12:49 PM
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Boston is small and walkable. In the North End( Italian), have a dinner or lunch at Saraceno’s, then walk down to Mike’s for a cannoli. We received a cannoli kit from Mike’s as a Christmas gift.
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Old Jul 25th, 2021, 07:09 PM
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Mikes or Modern is always great. We love walking in Charlestown, visit Bunker hill, Warren tavern always. George Washington ate there. I have done Airbnb in Beacon Hill but also John Jeffrie house. Close to the T and walked along the river there. Atlantic Seafood is very good. Legal Seafood on the harbor.
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Old Jul 26th, 2021, 07:55 AM
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I don't recommend the Seaport for a first time visit. It's just not convenient and has no character at all. The Hyatt is over a mile walk just to get to the Greenway and 2 miles to the North End (and no viable public transport to cut that down conveniently). I think the Godfrey is a much better location for you as a first time visitor.

Skip Mike's Pastry (I routinely purchased frozen cakes and cannoli from there for work events before we gave them up...yuck!) and go for Modern.
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Old Jul 26th, 2021, 10:06 AM
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I love Boston. It’s my favorite American city. I stayed in an AirBnB in the South End. I liked the neighborhood a lot as it was full of old brownstones and warehouses converted into lofts and homes, similar to my neighborhood in North Loop Minneapolis. Lots of great restaurants within walking distance in the South End also.

For the best things to do, I recommend walking the Freedom Trail, taking the red line up to Harvard and latching onto a student-led tour, visiting the JFK Presidential Library and walking through the North End, checking out delis and shops. It’s the Italian neighborhood. Oh and the Museum of Fine Arts with all of its Monets was also fantastic.
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Old Jul 26th, 2021, 08:06 PM
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I'll second amyb's recommendation of Modern Pastry at 257 Hanover in the North End. Whenever I visit Boston, Modern is my last stop before the return flight to pick up cannoli shells and a big bag of filling. So far TSA has never busted me for having the bag of filling in my carry on.

It's actually hard to find truly bad Italian food in the North End, but if you get a hankering for some good Mexican eats (especially the tortas) try Tenoch on Lewis Street. Not sure if they are open or only takeout at the moment, but worth checking it out..
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 01:46 AM
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We've enjoyed every Boston food tour we've been on. The JFK library is wonderful and easily accessbile via public transit but if you have a car there's a parking lot. I'm surprised by how much we enjoyed walking the Greenway from China Town to Quincy Market area. This didn't exit when we worked in Boston circa 1970s. Italian bakeries are great but don't miss the ones in China Town.
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 04:47 AM
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As of right now, there are no in-person tours at Harvard and the JFK Library is only open weekends for a few hours and tickets must be pre-booked. Maybe that will change by the time the OP visits, but something to keep in mind.

The Museum of Fine Arts is open and a general admission ticket does not need to be pre-booked for timed entry, but the special exhibitions do. There is a wonderful Monet in Boston show on now that is worth the effort of pre-booking.
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by clarkgriswold View Post
For a stay around $200 per night you could consider the new Hyatt Place at the Seaport. Breakfast is included and there are LOTS of restaurants within walking distance..
Last night I was looking at hotels. The Hyatt was $350/night and the Godfrey is $449. I might have to wait a while before visiting Boston. These seem to be the rates through October.
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 01:00 PM
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"No viable public transport"

Maybe not the greatest but okay for a good walker. Weekdays til about 6pm, the bus stop is right behind the Hyatt Place and goes to Haymarket. Later and on weekends the Silver line runs right behind the hotel every 10 minutes and will get her to and from South Station in 10 mins.
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 03:28 PM
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I stayed across the river in Cambridge. Very easy access. The rates for the hotel I used still seem very reasonable for September:

https://kendallhotel.com/
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