Sightseeing in Boston

We spent a great five days in Boston before we went touring New England. It's one of our favourites for history, sights, and a really good atmosphere.

Sightseeing in Boston

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by shaunandtrish on June 7, 2003

Good things to do:
1. The Duck Tour: This is a 45 minute land/water tour of the city in an amphibious open sided vehicle. It costs about $25 and leaves every 15 minutes from the Prudential Centre. You have to buy a ticket in advance at the booth. You get a running commentary from the driver. Good for getting your bearings.

2. Whale watch: Again for $25-30, but this time you go off-shore and watch whales. We saw humpbacks and fin backs (big ones). If you don't see whales they let you go again. This obviously means you very rarely miss out. There are lots of operators and prices are similar, but the 2-3 hour tours are better because you get a faster boat and get to the whales more quickly. ${QuickSuggestions} Use the "T" for transit to/from Logan International. We paid $25 for a taxi to Prudential when we arrived. We paid a dollar each on the "T" on the return. Obviously this will depend on how much luggage you have and how tired you are. Boston can be pretty hot and humid even in the fall.${BestWay} Walking and the "T" are best.

Copley Inn

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by shaunandtrish on June 7, 2003

This was a real find and has got to provide the best value in the city taking into consideration facilities, price, and location. It is 100 yards from the Prudential "T" stop, with small but well-equipped and clean rooms, friendly people, and rates at about $130.

There are no dining facilities and stairs make it unsuitable for people with mobility restrictions. The website is here. There are kitchen facilities, including sink, cooker, and kettle, but it does not pay to be too adventurous as the ventilation is not efficient enough to disperse the fumes from anything like a steak etc. You may set off the smoke and fire alarms as I did and cause an evacuation of the building. Eat out I'd say. There's a decent Chilli Joe in the Prudential Centre 10 minutes walk round the corner, which is quite cheap, and lots more options for dining within a 15-minute walk. The ventilation issue when cooking is the only real negative.

If you do go to the website and have a look, there are photos of the guest rooms. We stayed in two different ones and those photos on the web site are fairly representative based on what we saw. The real plus is the location. Absolutely second to none at that price.

Copley Inn
19 Garrison St
Boston, Massachusetts, 2116
(617) 236-0300


Member Rating 3 out of 5 by shaunandtrish on June 7, 2003

Its easy to spend $20 on breakfast alone in Boston if you don't know your way about, and that's OK if you really want the full works, but this place lets you get a good cup of coffee and a muffin for about $2. It gets full between 8 - 9am with people on their way to work. You can find it at the Prudential Centre near the Barnes & Noble bookstore.
Prudential Centre
Boston, Massachusetts

Duck Tour & Whale Watch

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by shaunandtrish on October 25, 2003

The Duck Tour is great fun. Like most city tours, you get a great running commentary from a driver who knows his or her stuff, and a potted history of the city. This tour is amphibious (the vehicle is a bus AND a boat, so part of your tour is actually in the river). The vehicles are open-sided, meaning that it's a great chance to get loads of photos.

One of the more irritating parts of the tour is the obligation to "quack quack" at other ducks you pass, and sometimes at pedestrians. I'm a grumpy so and so.

The whale watch is something else. Take care with your choice of operator. There are numerous stalls for different operators and I'm sure they are all reputable, but some offer some serious advantages (they are all about $25/$30 per person).
1. Some operators give you a free ride on another day if you don't see whales.
2. The half-day tours are not necessarily better than the two-hour tours. It might just mean a slower boat and a longer ride out to the Stellwegen Bank. I'd take a faster boat. If the whales are moving around, you have a better chance of a good view.

When we went, we saw quite a few humpback and some finback whales. These are big ones. They may not surface near to the boat, so if you want good pictures, your camera needs to be up to the job. Ours wasn't, so even though we had good firsthand views (which was every bit as good as you'd think), our photos were rubbish.

The tour is led by a guide who stands out front with his/her binoculars (a useful thing to have to hand) and points out whales when he/she spots them. This means you are invariably dashing from one side of the boat to the other. All part of the fun.

Boston Duck Tours
3 Copley Place
Boston, Massachusetts, 02116
(617) 723 3825

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