Going to Boston

Considered one of the most notable towns in the country, Boston is one of the most important cities in the country in terms of airport traffic because it has connections with different cities around the world as well as with numerous cities and town in the country. This makes it one of the easiest destinations to get to and if you plan to visit New England, Boston can be the perfect starting point for your holiday. While it can get frustrating finding a parking place in Boston, you can get around very easily by subway or by foot. You can also get around by bike or taxis and if this is the place you are going to go in day-trips around the region than you should know that there are 2 main bus stations and several bus lines that run all day and night long. Boston is a great vacation destination for people who like visiting parks and historical sites and also to try different international cuisines, have beer and watch a baseball game. In fact the city is so popular that it is always in the top ten lists of the most visited American cities.

Things to do while in Boston include, but are not limited to, walking, sightseeing, outdoor sports like boating, swimming, or cycling, indoor sports, going to a concert or a sport event, visiting a famous university campus or finding the best things to do and see in the city’s neighborhoods. Cambridge, the near by town, is most of the time included in Boston in terms of tourism. One of the reasons for including Cambridge in Boston is the fact that two of the world’s most famous universities, MIT and Harvard, are located there and if you ever make it to Boston you have to visit the campus of one of the two. Boston is also the home for several other world known universities like Boston University, Boston College, Berklee College of Music, Emerson College and Tufts University. Because there are more than 100 universities in Boston, the city is always packed with young people so the entertaining industry is very developed and covers the most demanding tastes.

Like any big city, not all the neighborhoods are safe to walk and drive around, but there are plenty of places to see and do in the safe ones. You can visit the Downtown, the Chinatown or the historic places from the Back Bay and Bay Village neighborhoods. You can visit some of the big museums from Boston like for example the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Harvard Art Museums, the MIT Museum, USS Constitution Museum or the Boston Children’s Museum. One of the biggest Boston attractions is the New England Aquarium that has whale watching tours available. There are also numerous galleries and places to shop all around Boston. Because of the big numbers of visitors and students, Boston has a series of big events throughout the year. A few of the most important ones are the St. Patrick’s Day, the Boston Marathon/Patriot’s Day which always takes place on the third Monday in April, the Boston Pride which takes place in June, the Feast of St. Anthony in August and the Head of the Charles Regatta in October.

If you are looking for something else to do except visiting museums and taking part at the big events, you have plenty of things to choose from. If you like nature you can visit the Arnold Arboretum, the Boston Harbor Islands State Park or the Boston Common and Public Garden. If you don’t mind walking you can take one of the available trails like for example the Freedom Trail and if you like being on the water you can take a cruise in the Harbor or towards on of the islands belonging to the Massachusetts state. For shopping and good food you can visit New bury Street, the Quincy Market and the Faneuil Hall or the Harvard Square and if you like beer you can take one of the available tours and visit the Sam Adams Brewery or the Harpoon brewery. Although a place where there is always something to do and see Boston can be considered quite expensive in terms of accommodation. A hotel room in Boston can range from $50 to more than $400 per night, but luckily you can always search for motels and hostels or bed and breakfasts and inns where you can find rooms or beds starting at $25 per night. Like in many other cities food can be cheap if served at fast foods or all you can eat buffets, but the good thing about it is that there is a great variety of places with low prices to choose from.

Best Free Things to Do in Boston

This is a brief list of the Best Free Things to Do in Boston. It’ll be a whirlwind tour as there are a lot of free things to do but not much space to tell you about them. So jump in the tour bus and let’s get going…

Free Boston Historical Tours:

It’s difficult to find another town in America to equal the history of Boston. From the colonists early days to the revolutionary war, and then to the many events that have shaped the city and the nation’s history there’s a lot packed into a small area. The city’s past is best experienced in the walking trails winding through it’s historic sections and neighborhoods.

The most famous of these trails is the 2.5 miles Boston Freedom Trail, a red-lined walkway taking you to 16 historical sites from Boston Common to Bunker Hill in Charlestown. Pick up a free map and guide at the information kiosk on Boston Common.

A step away from Boston Common is the Beacon Hill district – a walker’s delight through the cobbled alleyways lined with red-bricked houses and semi-hidden gardens. The Black Heritage Trail offers a journey through the hill area and free maps are available at Abiel Smith School.

Experience a Free Boston Event:

Watching Beantown residents celebrate life is definitely one of best free things to do in Boston and its event calendar is jam-packed with a diversity of celebrations from the Italian Feast Days in the North End to the South End’s Festival Betances, and the free concerts in the Back Bay and on Boston Common.

Other popular events in the city are the 4th July fireworks at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade and the family Friday night movies in the summer, also at the Hatch Shell. And for the ultimate in crowd involvement join us on Patriot’s Day in April for the oldest Marathon event in the world – the Boston Marathon – and encourage the runners through those final agonizing miles into Copley Square.

Boston Parks and Gardens:

Come April everybody in Boston is ready to get outside and enjoy the warmer months. This can mean eating lunch on a park bench at the Common or jogging through the Esplanade bike path or strolling through the gardens in one of the six parks of the Emerald Necklace system.

One of the most popular free things to do in Boston though is to visit the Boston Public Gardens just across Charles Street from the Common. The Boston Public Gardens are especially vibrant in the spring when the formal flower beds are blossoming with color and in the fall when the foliage bursts into fiery life.

The Other City – Cambridge:

I know people in Cambridge probably quake in their boots when I refer to their fair city in the same breath as Boston but the short hop across the Charles River to the campuses of MIT and Harvard puts you in a different world.

I’m particularly fond of Harvard Square and the quirky buildings of MIT. Harvard Square comes to life at night with street performers on every corner. Linger around an open bookstore or grab a coffee to go at one of the cafes and you can get free entertainment for the night. The best way of seeing MIT is to take the free Campus Tour. The tours depart from the Building 7 Lobby, located at 77 Massachusetts Avenue, and generally last 75-90 minutes, and are offered at 11:00am and 3:00pm Monday – Friday.

Free Tickets to Boston Museums:

Boston has a number of world class museums and most offer free access on certain days and times. The Boston Public Library system offers free passes to cardholders, which provide access to the Museum of Science and New England Aquarium on first-come first-served bases.

Other popular museums offering complimentary entrance include the Museum of Fine Arts free Wednesdays from 4:00pm – 9:45pm, the Institute of Contemporary Art free Thursdays from 5:00pm – 9:00pm, and the Harvard University Art Museums free on Saturday from 10:00am – Noon.

If you’re interested in more ideas and suggestions then you can find a list of 21 free things to do in Boston here.

Boston Cruises – A Best Kept Cruise Secret

Boston Cruises are a fantastic way to begin or end a vacation. You know Boston, of course. The Old State House, Faneuil Hall, the Boston Tea Party, Old Ironsides. You could explore the city forever. But why not do your exploring as a prelude to some vacation time on a cruise?

Yes, a cruise. Boston has been one of America’s leading ports since before we were America. Holland America sails the Maasdam out of Boston. Norwegian Cruise Lines sails the Norwegian Majesty, the Norwegian Gem and the Norwegian Dream. Royal Caribbean offers the Jewel of the Seas. Your choices for cruise lines, ships, and itineraries are varied enough that everyone should find some rest and relaxation.

The Maasdam is the one of Holland America’s smaller ships, and the smallest of the ships sailing out of Boston. Placed in service in 1993, she displaces 55,000 tons and can carry approximately 1200 passengers. Being an older ship, cabins on this cruise vessel are a little larger than on the newer ships. The Maasdam sails from Boston on a circular, 7-day tour of Newport, Rhode Island; Portland, Maine; St. John, New Brunswick, Canada; Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Bar Harbor, Maine; and returning to Boston.

This is a lovely cruise to take in the fall, when the New England landscape lights up with legendary colors. Bring some warmer clothes and enjoy a drink out on the deck while you watch some gorgeous scenery go by.

Another cruise the Maasdam sails on is the 7-night Canada and New England discovery, which visits Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; cruises up Saguenay Fjord in Quebec; then visits Quebec City and finally docks in Montreal. If you yearn for more time aboard ship, she also has a 17-day “Voyage of the Vikings” that leaves Boston, and visits Sydney, Nova Scotia; Corner Brook, Newfoundland; Qaqortoq, Greenland; Isafjord, Akureyri, and Seydisfjiordur, Iceland; Lerwick, Scotland; Stavanger and Oslo, Norway; and finally docking in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Another smallish ship (as cruise ships go) is Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Majesty. She was built in 1992 and completely refurbished in 1999. The Norwegian Majesty has been stretched to 680 feet and now displaces almost 41,000 tons. She sails round-trip from Boston to Bermuda, and back again. In 2008 Norwegian’s Dream will take over this route and the 7-day Canada and New England route will be offered.

In September and October, Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas sails for 7 days on its Canada and New England cruises. This is a roundtrip cruise from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard; Portland, Maine; Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Saint John, New Brunswick. There is also a shorter, 5-night cruise that eliminates St. John, New Brunswick from the cruise.

Jewel of the Seas is 962 feet long and displaces over 90,000 tons. She offers a sports court and rock climbing wall, solarium, fitness center, casino, day spa and dedicated youth facilities. There’s something on board for everyone, no matter your mood.

Consider sailing Royal Caribbean from Boston to warmer climes with their 10-night Caribbean cruise. Leave the cool weather of Boston and head for Puerto Rico, St Thomas, St Maarten and Aruba. The ship docks at the end of the trip in Miami, Florida.

Boston cruises are not particularly well-known. But this best-kept secret can offer you value that few other cruisers will find.