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What to do in Boston?

zzcn69

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Am heading to Boston March 16th. Have a list of museums and usual tourist things to do. Wanted to know if anyone can recommend other things for me to do. Good restuarants? Neighborhoods, Flea Markets? Am open to most anything. Thanks for your help.
 

theo

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Some thoughts...

Am heading to Boston March 16th. Have a list of museums and usual tourist things to do. Wanted to know if anyone can recommend other things for me to do. Good restuarants? Neighborhoods, Flea Markets? Am open to most anything. Thanks for your help.
Walk through (and eat) in the historic "North End". Lots (...and lots) of good, authentic Italian food.

Forget about any "flea markets". Inner city Boston is quite simply not a "flea market" kind of place.

If you have an interest in history, walk the (well marked) Freedom Trail. You'll see the Old North Church, Paul Revere's house and other sites integrally related to the early days of this country's struggle for independence. You might also want to visit the U.S.S. Constitution (a.k.a. "Old Ironsides"), a warship also of that Revolutionary era.

If you're a baseball fan, historic Fenway Park may be open for tours by then. If so, you could see the site of one of the biggest "chokes" in all of sports history (last seasons' late but focused and complete collapse of the Boston Red Sox). However, I don't think the tours include access to the clubhouse, where a select few overpaid Red Sox players drank beer and ordered take out fried chicken during games, while their teammates were "taking the gas pipe", going from the top of the AL heap to not even making it into the AL playoffs. :rolleyes:
 
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Sandi Bo

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I second walking the Freedom Trail. It never gets old for me. Quincy Market is on the trail, there is an amazing food court there (they have everything -- even lobster, I had some great lobster bisque last time I was there). Also in Quincy Market is Durgeon Park. I love to eat there, but family usually wins out and we eat in the food court (maybe cause it gives them more time to shop :)).

If you are driving, take lots of money for parking. It's high. My nephew works for a parking management company in Boston and takes public transportation to work.
 

sfwilshire

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Mike's Bakery of course. I've heard there is a better, less touristy option, but can't recall the name.

Sheila
 

theo

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Jogging the memory...

Mike's Bakery of course. I've heard there is a better, less touristy option, but can't recall the name.
Are you thinking of Modern Pastry, perhaps?

P.S. To the OP --- both Mike's and Modern Pastry are located in the aforementioned "North End" of Boston, a fact not stated in or obvious from the above quoted post...
 
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judyjht

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Definately MIkes!!! Get a Cannoli and a cup of coffee - can't be beat.

Location:
300 Hanover Street
(between Parmenter/Richmond and Prince Streets)
Boston, MA 02113 USA
 

falmouth3

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Legal Sea Foods and/or Union Oyster House are two well known and popular restaurants. As I am not a seafood lover, I can't say if they are really good or not. You can find both within easy walks from Quincy Market/Faneuil Hall. If you have time to go to the theater, there are 1/2 price ticket booths at Quincy Market and Copley Square for day of show tickets.

No tax on clothing in MA so you may enjoy shopping. You can buy an all day subway ticket for $9 or $15 for a week. It also covers buses and the Boston Harbor Ferry.
 

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Not sure how long you will be staying, but Boston is very big on St. Patrick's Day. There will be a parade and lots of pubs celebrating. I always enjoy shopping and lunch on Newbury and Boylston Streets. The Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum are good. I don't know if the skating on the common will still be there, but that could be fun.
 

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I enjoyed the aquarium. It was the first one I've ever seen a sea dragon. U can check out a city pass and see if there is anything you are interested in.
You can do the hoho. Too much to do , whale watch , parks,, etc. shaggy
 
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In Boston, the U.S.S. Constitution is a must... probably on your list. You will certainly be in a target rich area.

You may want to consider venturing just north of the city to Salem. There is much much more there than just the witch stuff... that you'll want to avoid.

The EssexPeabody Museum is outstanding, and the Maritime Museum there is very worthwhile as well. Prior to the War of 1812 when all the private merchant ships were commandeered into navel service, Salem was the wealthiest trading center in the world... very rich history indeed. Your can also visit the House of the Seven Gables and take in a lot of the HD Thoreau/Nat Hawthorne history too.

Nearby is Marblehead where you want to eat right on the water and rocks at The Barnacle; family owned and operated for over 50 years. Unpretentious approach and outstanding seafood... the family also has their own lobster boat so they catch their own. A few years ago during our last visit the twin boiled whole lobster special with all the fixins was $21.99... its either Tuesday or Wednesday - call to confirm and get there early.

If you are willing to go a little further to Plymouth you can take in the Pilgrim history - the Plimoth Plantation is the authentic place to go; they take the Colonial Williamsburg approach of living in the past to the next level.

We will be on the Cape in May... we can't wait!
 

falmouth3

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Singlemalt and I agree on the top places to see. I always recommend Plimouth Plantation as one of the top places to visit. You will need a car to get there, though. You can also get onboard a replica of the Mayflower and see Plymouth rock, although that isn't too impressive.

And I think the Constitution (Old Ironsides) is also a fantastic place to visit. Go to the museum on the Navy grounds, too. They may not have good guided tours on the ship in March because they have a smaller crew onboard, but the sailors love to talk about the ship. If you ask a lot of questions, they will be more than happy to answer them and then you'll get so much more out of the tour. If someone is asking questions, then others join in and you'll learn a lot more than just walking around the ship.

We have some fine museums in the area and we like the Science Museum and planetarium. There is an Omni dome theater there and there is also an IMAX at the aquarium. If you're a walker, you can easily walk from one point of interest to another.

You won't be bored.
 

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I worked in Boston for a couple years. There are just too many interesting places/things to do there. I always enjoy the touristy things, like going to the top of the Prudential building for a panaramic view of the city. You could visit MIT and Harvard square. The original House of Blues is in Harvard Square, so this was a must-see for my Dad. My Mom and Grandmom really enjoyed the Kennedy Museum. Fannuil Hall and the North End are a must. Mike's Pastry has the best cannolis. You could go to the Cheers restaurant, which is right near Boston Common. The best aprt is that you can easily access all these great places with their public transportation system, the T. I look forward to bringing my children to Boston in the coming years. Have fun!
 

Skittles1

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An addendum to my previous post: the original House of Blues was in Cambridge of the Harvard campus, but is now closed. It relocated to Lansdowne St in Boston, which is a really fun street that runs along the Green Monster side of Fenway Park. It has lots of clubs and bars.
 

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Things To Do

China Pearl or Imperial Tea house, great restaurants in Chinatown. The No Name Restaurant for the best fresh seafood at reasonable prices. Catch a Celtics Or the Current Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins game. Before or after a game got to #4s for a drink. The Prudential and John Hancock buildings have wonderful observation floors for stunning views of Boston. The Parker House Hotel has great meals and awesome Boston Creme Pie! Its right down the street from the Cemetery where noted political figures are buried. The Boston Common and Public Gardens are beautiful spots to have lunch if its a nice spring day. Love that Dirty Water, Boston will always be my home!
 

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Check out the online version of Timeout Boston magazine for events. To add to the restaurant recommendations, I suggest Toscanini for ice cream and Giacomo's for Italian.
 

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They have tour guides that leave from Boston Common that take you on the freedom trail for a small price. They tell you all the historic stories related to all the sites and buildings you see along the trail. I insisted on doing it when we were there two years ago, even though my husband lived in the city while he was in college and knew the general lay of the land. The two of us and my kids loved it so much, when we got to the end at Quincy Market, we paid to do the extended tour up to the North End and close to the USS Constitution. It is a lot of walking, but I learned a lot. It was nice to have the tour guide to show us shortcuts and back doors, too. Most of the historic places you would want to see are on this tour.

The USS Constitution is great, but they had given out all the tour times when we were there at the end of the tour. We had to return the next day.

I whole heartedly agree about Mike's and the cannolis in the north End, and I'm not a huge fan of cannoli and I wished I had bought two! They have a ton of flavors and lots of other pastry, also. (I remember this being pretty close to where we ended the second half of the tour I mentioned above.)

We went to one of the Legal Seafood restaurants. I remember going to one with friends a lot when I was in high school, 25ish years ago. It was the local type of place that had newspaper on the table under the fried seafood. I think they tried to make them upscale. No one in my family liked the food, and my DH and DS love all types of seafood. I thought it was really overpriced. Big disappointment! I don't know if it was the one we went to, or all of them now.

Swan Boats in Boston Garden are popular and historic.

Totally agree about the St. Patty's Day parade - lots of green beer, bands, and fun!

The Museum of Fine Arts and Science Museum are good, if you like those things.

Have fun!!
 

theo

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An interesting historical anecdote, but LONG obsolete...

We went to one of the Legal Seafood restaurants. I remember going to one with friends a lot when I was in high school, 25ish years ago. It was the local type of place that had newspaper on the table under the fried seafood. I think they tried to make them upscale. No one in my family liked the food, and my DH and DS love all types of seafood. I thought it was really overpriced. Big disappointment! I don't know if it was the one we went to, or all of them now.
It sounds as though you may have actually gone to the original Legal Seafoods all those many moons ago, which was back then actually located in the adjoining city of Cambridge (...not in Boston itself).

In the several decades which have gone by since then, Legal Seafoods CEO Roger Berkowitz has made his (now huge) company the hands-down gold standard for quality monitoring and control in the entire Boston area seafood industry. Legal now even (entirely voluntarily) has its' own lab facilities to test seafood products before those products go out to their restaurants, including laboratory testing of all shellfish.

I'm not a fan of Legal's CEO Roger Berkowitz, who I have met personally on numerous occasions, invariably finding him to be arrogant and pompous. Just the same, the above quoted observations of long ago "yesteryear" are old news, neither relevant nor applicable today. You simply can't get better quality seafood in Boston than that which is provided by Legal Seafoods' restaurants, although their menu is not inexpensive.

P.S. To be very clear, I have no affiliation with Legal Seafoods' company; I have had numerous direct work related contacts with their operations over the past two decades but, now retired, I no longer have any direct contact with Legal Seafoods and I have absolutely no reason to "wave their flag".
 
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Trolley Tour!

In Boston and any popular city I travel to, I always look for a trolley tour. Usually it is an all day ticket and you can hop on and off. The Beantown Trolley is one. Usually the drivers have a running commentary and are very knowledgeable.
Especially if your going to be there a few days. Then you have the option to revisit the areas of your choice. If it was in season I would say visit Fenway Park in the back bay area. They may have off season tours.
Also dining in the Revolving restaurant at the Prudential Center is always a pricey treat. If it is still in service.
 

cissy

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Oh yeah... there are duck boat tours which are fun and not too expensive. Travel around the city then float down the Charles.
 

Arnie

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Bit off topic!

Oh yeah... there are duck boat tours which are fun and not too expensive. Travel around the city then float down the Charles.
Just to share the ducky experience: Our duck broke down on the river and had to get duck towed. True!!! Still fun, we had a cooler of our own liquid refreshments to take the edge off
 

spencersmama

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It sounds as though you may have actually gone to the original Legal Seafoods all those many moons ago, which was back then actually located in the adjoining city of Cambridge (...not in Boston itself).

Could be - I lived a few T stops away from Cambridge in high school. DH went to MIT for undergrad, so there are a few Cambridge ties.

I'm glad to hear the company has helped regulate the seafood industry. We didn't have a good meal the day we went, but it could have been the chef or just a bad day. Unfortunately in that kind of industry, you may only have one chance to make a lasting impression. It is a pet peeve of mine to go to an upscale restaurant, pay a lot of money for dinner and be disappointed, though. There are just too many good restaurants in a city like Boston to waste a meal on poorly cooked food!

Thanks for the info, even if it is off-topic. I have been known to go off-topic myself! I found your post very interesting. Glad you shared!
 

spencersmama

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theo - another off-topic, New England aside. When I was in high school, Kimball Farm was just a big, old barn that sold ice cream and Jordon's was just a furniture store! :D It is interesting to go back and visit a place you haven't been for a long time.
 

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Just came back last night from the Custom House - beautiful property. We did the "Super Tours Upper Deck Trolley Tour". It was a hop on & off all day. For $38 per adult you can ride for 2 days - since it was winter, they extended it to 3 days, and when we actually bought our tickets at the Marriott concierge, she told us that they were honoring the tickets for 7 days. This tour also included 4 bonus tours - harbor splash, old south meeting house, Harvard Museum of Nat. Hist. and MIT museum. It was a great trolley tour filled with lots of history.....very nice and knowledgeable drivers - highly recommend it!!

Something we learned on the trolley - the Cheers pub on Beacon St. is the original "Outside" as on TV....the Cheers pub in Quincey Market is a replica of the inside and the actual show was filmed in NYC.....
 

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Am heading to Boston March 16th. Have a list of museums and usual tourist things to do. Wanted to know if anyone can recommend other things for me to do. Good restuarants? Neighborhoods, Flea Markets? Am open to most anything. Thanks for your help.
Nah, skip it. Nothing worth doing in Boston. No sights to see, no history, no culture, no decent food for miles. Best to stay home but if you have to go, just stay in the hotel. ;)
 
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