I just found out I'm vacationing in Boston this November. I've never been. Any tips on what to do? Thanks, pc
If you're into history, find the Freedom Trail. It takes you past a lot of historical landmarks. If you have kids, the Duck Tours are very popular. Make sure you visit the North End (our version of Little Italy) for a cheat meal and go to Mike's Pastry to finish it off. If you like Chinese food, Yan's Best Place in Chinatown is fantastic.
If you like clothes shopping, go to Filene's Basement. Make sure you get an employee to explain the way their prices work though. Newbury Street is a very chic place to shop (and very expensive), and Espresso Royale (on Newbury) blows Starshmuck's out of the water. If you see a guy with big puffy hair and black glasses, that's me, because my apartment is on that block.
Gold's Gym on Lansdowne St (across the street from Fenway Park) is a great place to train while you're there. They have plenty of squat racks, benches, DBs, etc. and lots of plates.
Which part of town are you staying in?
espresso and canoli.
Depending on when in November you're there and how cold it is this fall, you may be able to see some spectacular fall foliage if you rent a car and drive around. I'd say the closer to October, the better in that regard. I believe you can track which areas are in "peak foliage" times at http://www.weather.com
You'll definitely want to take some time to walk around the Public Gardens and the Boston Common, which are nice -- though not too many flowers to see in the Gardens at that time of year.
I'd say it kind of depends on what you like to do -- are you more of a museums person, do you like historic architectures, do you like quaint neighborhoods, are you a gourmet tourist, etc.
BTW, if you happen to like wine, and particularly champagne, there's a guy who's posted on this site who said his family owns Westport vineyards, which is a short (a couple hours) drive from Boston and has some tasty champagne -- they also have a brewery down the road.
I'd also suggest picking up The Lonely Planet's Boston city guide and looking in there -- I've had luck with those boods whenever I've used them when travelling (though I haven't specifically reviewed the one for Boston).
Thanks for all your replies. Was just informed i'm tagging along on a business trip with my husband. He will have to work one day, so I'll have one on my own and three with him. I'm a planner, he is not so I'd like to have a good idea of what we'll do so we don't wander around aimlessly.
I love history, art and architecture. Love to eat too! I can already see too many cheat meals in my future!
I love a more 'local' kind of experience so I appreciate all your suggestions. While I know Filenes is great I'll probably pass us shopping for other activties...Quaint neighborhoods yes!!
swivel...love your avatar...
If you'll have the kids with you, the NE Aquarium, the Children's Museum and the Museum of Science are great. If not, the MFA-Museum of Fine Arts is nice. Faneuil Hall and Downtown Crossing are fun places to wander, eat and shop. You will also be about an hour and a half from Cape Cod, which would be a nice day trip.
If you'd like company one day, let me know - maybe I can get a babysitter and we can hookup!
then i'll see ya at the bruins game ! i'll be the one w/ the bourke jersey and a pint of allen's ginger brandy ! -s
Just me and my 'boyfriend' on this one! No kids. Maybe we can get one of the boston guys to teach us some power lifting techniques...lol!!
Mid November...don't know exact dates or part of Boston yet...
I grew up in Boston and it is amazing city. If you can get to downtown boston you can walk or talk short hops on the T-public transportation-to other close parts of Boston like Harvard Square or The Museum District over on Hungtinton Ave. If you get right to downtown you must eat as many times as you can at Faneuil Hall-best eats on the planet-over 100 of the best foodstands you could ever eat from. The only thing that could suck could be weather in November-it will be cold-and it could rain-snow a bit later in the month. You'll have a blast-it is such an amazing city. Hook up with a local-aka Jillybop or someone as roads/driving etc can be confusing there. Enjoy and post some pics!
The Union Oyster House. No other place like it.
For a real down home local experience, drive out of the city at 4:30 pm on a weekday and use the zipper lane! WEEEEEEEE!
I recommend not skimping on a hotel. The Mrs. and I stayed at the Swiss Hotel for a week and didn?t even rent a car. You canwalk everywhere. I love Boston.
For a good restaurant whose cost is a value relative to its quality (note: I'm not saying it's cheap eats), I would try Sel de la Terre. It's right next to the Acquarium, and right next to Legal Sea Foods.
It's French food -- kind of upscale bistro. The wine list is good and fairly priced. The interior is nice, and the service is excellent. And if you happen to be there on a Wednesday night, reserve yourself a spot for their weekly wine-tasting dinner, which is a great deal.
Legal Seafood(great seafood), Fanueil Hall(touristy - great food), Quincy Market(outdoor market - good experience), Copley Place.
You'll find whatever you want a stone's throw from Fenway Park on Landsdowne St. Jillian's and Boston Billiard's are nice sports bar type places.
Walking around weather permitting:
Public Gardens, Newbury St., Harvard Square, Copley Square.
Omni Parker House
Museum of Fine Art, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Wentworth Institute of Technology should have an architecture museum.
Total Performance Sports in Everett- strongman, powerlifting, bodybuilding, martial arts, etc. A short trip, but worth it.
Gold's in Revere/Everett - I can't remember which town, they're next door to each other, bodybuilding freakazoids - might run into a pro wrestler or two. World's in Somerville is the same.
I went to Northeastern University and grew up outside of Boston. If you can only pick one from my list go with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. You will have an incredible experience. It is an absolutely fascinating place with a mind blowing history and collection. If you are into architecture/art/history this has it all. The Museum of Fine Art and Wentworth are right across the street too. I'll take you, Jillybop, and my wife out to lunch - let me know.
If you plan on going to clubs then definately check out The Alley right across from Boston Common. its this little alley of upscale clubs, my favorite is The Liquor Store and right next to Gypsy. Theres also The Roxy, Mantra and The Matrix, Plan on dropping a bundle for a good time at these clubs but there will def be great music, atmosphere and sexy sexy people dressed to impress.
I would add:
Check out the North End for old-school Italian. I was told that there are people who've lived there for 50 year who still can't speak English. Mike's Pastries is said to have the best cannoli, though others dispute this and I have no opinion. Hanover Street has many good restaurants.
Also, head over to Charlestown and see the Naval Yard, Old Ironsides and the Tavern on the Water, which has one of the best views of the downtown skyline of any restaurant (you can also get an interesting view from the Federal Courthouse, which is also very interesting architecturally).
Another little neighborhood close to downtown: Beacon Hill. You can walk around and check out the old brownstone row houses, and if you go down Charles Street between the Boston Common and Cambridge Street there are many "cute" (my wife's term) little stores and restaurants. A very good restaurant in that area that I highly reccommend (I know the chef, but I'd reccommend it anyway) is 75 Chestnut (the address and the name of the restaurant).
Another good hotel downtown: The Langham. It's in the old Federal Bank building, and even if you don't stay there you should head to the piano bar for an overpriced drink to enjoy the ambiance and the architecture.
I agree with most of what's been written about Boston, but the weather should actually be pretty good. (By New England standards, anyway.) It will be getting cold, but New England falls are beautiful and crisp: the air is so clear and dry you feel like you could see around the world, if only you could find the right place to stand.
You should bring comfortable shoes and should plan on walking almost everywhere; driving and parking are too annoying and walking is too interesting.
The thing I love most about Boston is that it's so idiosyncratic. My European parents felt that Boston was the most European of American cities. Visit the sorts of places you won't find anywhere else:
I strongly recommend you visit Harvard Square in Cambridge; there's a great street scene and great architecture. Do also visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; it is a remarkable collection amassed by a remarkable woman. Walk The Esplanade along the Charles River: The views of Boston and Cambridge are breathtaking.
For the Bostonians: DOES anyone have better cannolis than Mike's Pastry?
I get there now and then. It's a great town.
Faniel Hall (?) is great. Boyleston street was a hoot for shopping, eating etc.
I did a "Duck" boat tour out of Charlestown. It was great. Very historic and fun. Also did a thing on a tall ship in the harbor. They take you out for a sail and they have a sea battle with another tall ship. Fake cannons etc. It's great fun. If I can find the brochure I will post it. My 10 yr. old still raves about it. So do I! The other thing to look up is the "ghost tour". It's a tour of all the haunted houses in Boston. Great people lead the tour. They are funny and a wealth of info on the city.
Visit Fenway and see the 2005 World Series trophy; they'll have won (again) by then.
my husband doesn't like to go. wanna take me?