Something for Everyone

Boston is an eclectic city that can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of their interests, available time, or budget. For a small city, Boston has a amazing range of sights and activities, many of which are available at no or little cost.

Something for Everyone

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by dolphoto on October 3, 2002

Museums: Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stuart Gardner, Museum of Science (and Planetarium), Children's Museum, New England Aquarium, Franklin Park Zoo

Shopping: Quincy Market, Copley Place, Prudential Center, Harvard Co-op and Bookstore, Newbury St.

Sports: Red Sox (Fenway Park is worth a visit game or no), Celtics, Bruins, NE Patriots, Boston Marathon (April)

Tours: Freedom Trail, Duck Tours, Make Way for Duckling Tours (for children), Harvard campus

Dining: Tea at the Ritz; Old Union Oyster House; Durgin Park (original at Quincy Market only); L'Espalier; Grendel's Den; Jimbo's or No Name seafood; All-night dining at Ken's Dessert: Toscanini's Ice Cream; Canolli from Michael's in the North End

Cheap Thrills: Ferry rides. Take the ferry for a picnic on the harbor islands or round trip on a commuter route (great when there are fireworks.)Maparium at Christian Science Center.

Less cheap thrills: Whale watching in summer; concerts; theater${QuickSuggestions} Accomodations vary widely. Be careful in choosing location as neigborhood character can change quickly. Cambridge can often be a lower cost, equal quality alternative while providing great views. Boston has all the crime problems of much larger cities. Be alert and wary. Do not assume that quiet residential neighborhoods are safe. The criminals may not live there, but they do know the way.${BestWay} Walking and public transportation are all you should need. The best way into Boston from the airport is the water taxi. It will take you directly to the Boston Harbor Hotel. From there, you can either walk or take a subway to almost anywhere you want to go. Taxis are also readily available. There are no taxi stands in Boston, so wave, whistle or do whatever you have to do to get their attention. It's also easy to get taxis in front of any hotel. The Boston subway system (the T) is easy to follow and very efficient. The oldest in the country and second oldest in the world (following only London) it deserves at least one ride. What ever you do, do NOT try to drive in Boston. Boston drivers have a reputation of aggressiveness which is somewhat deserved (although I prefer to consider it assertiveness). Boston roads used to be cow paths. There is no neat pattern like other cities. That means there are ambiguous intersections which confuse those new to town just enough that locals push their way in to keep on schedule. No offense intended. Actually, we consider ourselves to be defensive drivers.

The Public Garden

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by dolphoto on October 4, 2002

The Boston Public Garden is really an extension of Boston Common, but the feel is completely different. In Spring, Summer, and Fall, beautiful flowers line the winding walkways and aged trees separate you from the bustle of the city. Year round, the Garden is a great place for an walk as part of an evening date. It's the daytime, however, when the Garden's most famous features are best appreciated.

For children and those of us close to our inner child, Boston Public Garden is best remembered for its association with "Make Way for Ducklings," the story of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and their family. Statue of the family can be found in the park and are favorites with the kids. More importantly, the pond the Mallards called home is still there and populated with hungry relatives who love to eat bread, popcorn, or whatever else you care to share. Many are tame enough to take food from your hand.

Also populating the pond are swan boats. These large, peddle-powered boats take people (fee) on a narrated tour around the pond, under bridges and near duck houses. The swan boats are major attractions in Boston, but run only in the summer.

Boston Public Garden
Adjacent to Boston Common
Boston, Massachusetts
(617) 522-1966

Museum of Fine Arts

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by dolphoto on October 3, 2002

Affectionately known as the MFA, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts is one of the world's great art museums, with major collections in Egyption, Japanese, Chinese, European, and American arts. The high quality of the exhibit spaces have made it one of the top choices for traveling exhibitions. Despite recent renovations, the MFA still maintains its aura of a grand dame, aloofly presenting great pieces of art.

Perhaps the best way to see museum for the first time is with the "one hour tour" which brings you to the best of the best. The tour covers India, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas with dates ranging from 2548 BC to 1883. Artists include Paul Revere, Renoir, Rembrant, and Donatello. This tasting will give you enough of a feel for what's available to plan your own explorations. A great time to visit is on Wednesday evenings when the museum is open from 4 to 9:45 pm. No fee is charged, but a donation is requested. With smaller crowds, this is a great date spot.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts, 02115
(617) 267-9300

The Freedom Trail

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by dolphoto on October 3, 2002

The Freedom Trail is a marked and guided route past all of the key sights associated with revolutionary Boston. Stops include the places where John Adams and other met to vent their anger and plan their next steps, the location of the Boston Tea Party Ship, Old North Church, and many other places key to the early history of the United States. Most of the actual buildings still stand and can be visited. The Freedom Trail not only brings history into focus, but it brings it alive. You can stand where Adams spoke or where Crispus Attacks became the first martyr for American freedom. Not all of the history is quite so serious, either. In the same cemetary as many of the revolutionary heros can be found the grave of the one and only true Mother Goose. A replica of the tea party ship is available for you to climb aboard as well. Although it is a bit away from the main part of the trail, a visit to the USS Constitution, Old Ironsides, is a special treat to anyone with maritime interests and well worth the journey. Nearly all of the Freedom Trail can be covered for free.
Freedom Trail
15 State Street
Boston, Massachusetts, 02109
(617) 242-5642

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