We found historic Boston a very easy city to tour with its great sightseeing trolleys and efficient subways. Armed with all-day trolley passes, we listened to the guide/driver's history, and we hopped off and on the trolley, exploring the sites that interested us the most.


Member Rating 0 out of 5 by TRAVELPRO guide on May 29, 2003

200 years of U.S. history becomes a real adventure when touring Boston.

We started our tour of Boston’s historic sites by walking a few blocks from our suburban hotel to catch the subway to downtown Boston. We started and ended our tour for two days at Faneuil Hall (site of may fiery town hall meetings) and Quincy Marketplace near the waterfront in downtown Boston.

Here we soaked up the ocean breezes and walked along the waterfront. After touring Boston’s sights on the trolley, we enjoyed a delightful evening meal each evening in this marketplace (which contains many restaurants and food stalls) before we headed back to our hotel on the subway.

We feasted on great seafood and discovered that Boston baked beans are a real treat in Boston. In early evening, we watched street performers at the marketplace. We talked with a former teacher who dressed as a Boston patriot and posed for pictures for tourists.

Walking and riding the trolley along the famous Freedom Trail acquainted us with Boston's rich treasure of colonial and revolutionary history, including the Old State House, Paul Revere House, Old North Church, Old Corner Bookstore, Beacon Hill , and U.S. Constitution("Old Ironsides").

On the trolley tour, we passed the Bull & Finch Pub, known as "Cheers" to the millions of fans of the long-running TV series. We inquired if it was worth getting off the trolley to go inside, and we were assured that the inside didn’t look like it did on the TV series.${QuickSuggestions} There’s a lot more about Boston to enchant and excite the visitor than the memories and monuments of the past. Boston is a unique town that has long prided itself on being the "Athens of America." With 60 colleges and universities without 60 square miles, Boston is home to prestigious schools like Harvard University, Boston University, University of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As a result, Boston draws bright young people from all over the world, giving the city a youthful vibrancy.

Boston is a fascinating mix of people - from the descendants of "Mayflower" stock to Italians and eastern European Jews who came to work in the city's factories and mills at the turn of the century. African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and, of course, the Irish, have given Boston a full share of history and glory. ${BestWay} WALKING, RIDING THE TROLLEY and SUBWAYS. No need to rent a car and worry about where to park it.

For more information, contact Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, PO Box 990468, Boston, MA 02199-0468, (617) 536-4100.

Durgin Park

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by TRAVELPRO guide on May 29, 2003

We know now why this restaurant in front of Faneuil Hall is a Boston legend. It is filled with both history and excellent food.

They are famous for their New England-style ribs. Since we were in Boston, however, I opted for their scallops, and they were delicious. My husband tried their Yankee Pot Roast and found it very tasty and fork tender.

We both sampled the baked beans at Durgin Park and found they are made the good old fashioned way. They are served in small crocks and accompanied by melt-in-your mouth cornbread that is very rich and yellow.

For dessert, I coudn't resist their fresh baked Indian pudding served with whipped cream. It's a delicious spicy butterscotch-flavored pudding that's one of their regional cuisine house specialities.

It's a casual, fun restaurant with high tin ceilings and red/white checkered tablecloths.

340 Faneuil Hall
Boston, Massachusetts, 02109
+1 617 227 2038

Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by TRAVELPRO guide on May 29, 2003

This was one of the most interesting and informative trolley stops. At the Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum, everyone participates in a mock town hall meeting. At the end of the meeting, the leader/guide dumps a bale-size "tea" bundle overboard.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could have had this much fun in the classroom while learning history when we were children?

Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum
Congress Street Bridge
Boston, Massachusetts, 02210
+1 617 338 1773

John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by TRAVELPRO guide on May 29, 2003

You can take a harbor cruise to the JFK Museum and Library during the summer tourist season. However, when we visited in the fall, the cruises had stopped for the season so we took the subway to the JFK/ University of Massachusetts stop where a free shuttle bus takes visitors to the presidential library.

We saw Jackie’s wedding dress being assembled into a new exhibit. Since her death, the Kennedy family has donated many personal items to the museum from her estate.

John F. Kennedy Library and Museum
Columbia Point
Boston, Massachusetts, 02125
(617) 929-4500

John Hancock Observatory

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by TRAVELPRO guide on May 29, 2003

We encountered much interesting history on the observation deck of the 60-floor John Hancock Tower, a sparkling mirror-glass skyscraper in Copley Square in Boston's historic Back Bay. It's probably the best place to get an overall view of Boston. You look down from a towering 740 feet above the heart of Boston. It is the tallest building in all of New England and nationally acclaimed for for its award-winning design.

The express elevator whisks you straight up to the top floor where you can see sail boats dotting the Charles River, bustling Loan International Airport, and even New Hampshire's White Mountains in the distance.

Inside in a heavily-protected showcase, we viewed an original oversized signature of John Hancock, one of the original signers of the American Declaration of Independence. I had always heard about his large signature, but it was amazing to see the actual signed copy with his enormous scrawl.

In the shadow of the skyscraper is the famous 1877 Trinity Church, one of the top 10 architectural churches in America.

Hancock Tower
200 Clarendon Street
Boston, Massachusetts

The Computer Museum

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by TRAVELPRO guide on May 29, 2003

It's great for both children and adults too. Five large, colorful galleries are filled with over 150 fun, easy-to-use exhibits that delight, entertain, and inform. There's something for the pre-schoolers, grade, and high school students, and lots of information for adults to absorb. I've been operating a computer since the early 1980s and I learned many things about computers.

The Computer Museum is the world’s first museum devoted to history of computers. It contains fascinating early computers, computer-related artifacts, as well a huge walk-through computer. We were intrigued with the display of a 1950s machine punching out the early cardboard IBM cards.

The Computer Museum
300 Congress St.
Boston, Massachusetts, 02210
(617) 426-8855

Parker House rolls originated here

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by TRAVELPRO guide on May 29, 2003

Many fine foods originated in Boston--from Boston baked beans to Boston cream pie. One of the most interesting Boston food origination stories is the the Parker House Roll. My mother used to make this light and fluffy clover-leaf rolls.

While in Boston, I picked up this fascinating information about how this popular roll originated. It was created by accident at Boston’s Parker House, one of America's finest hotels of the 19th century.

By the 1870s, most deluxe hotels like the Parker House were switching their food service away from the traditional "American Plan," by which everyone ate the same meals and paid for them whether they ate them or not. They were changing to the more popular European Plan, by which one could order a la carte and be charged accordingly.

Hotelier Harvey Parker was adamant that his guests should and could have anything they wanted at any hour. This marketing policy put the kitchen through hoops on a daily basis. One oft-put-upon cook was a baker named Ward, who was known to have something of a German temper.

As the story goes, one guest made so many requests of Ward for a certain kind of soft roll -- none of which was satisfactory -- that Ward became furious and angrily took some dough he had been working with and tossed little buns of it into the oven.

To everyone's surprise -- especially Ward's -- the little buns puffed up marvelously well, and the guest was delighted. Apparently so were other guests at the hotel at that time, so that soon the little soft rolls with the crease on the top became one of the most requested items. This is how the Parker House roll was born.

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