Wanted to stop back and offer thanks to the Boston TA folks for your advice and many excellent recommendations leading up to our brief trip. We had a fantastic time and wished our stay could've been much longer. Although a poor wordsmith, I'll attempt a short trip report in the hopes of helping others with limited time in the area.
My wife was scheduled to attend a business function at the Westin Copley Place beginning the evening of 8/12 and ending the morning of 8/14. Since the purpose of the event was to recognize various achievements, it was very social in nature and guests were encouraged to attend. I was graciously allowed to tag along providing I promised not to disappear to attend a Sox game or visit Sam Adams. My wife had never been to Boston and my two previous work related visits didn't allow time for sightseeing aside from a trip to the Bull & Finch and a game at Fenway.
We descended through the overcast skies and touched down at Logan just past 2:00pm. Because this company event was quite large, bus transportation to the Westin Copley Place had been previously arranged. IIRC, we arrived from the south via Dartmouth Street and enjoyed the views of tidy looking apartment buildings with common areas converted to very attractive vegetable/flower gardens. Also visible along the way were several local eateries and watering holes which made the area seem very appealing.
After check in and event registration, we took to the sidewalks about 4:00 and over the next three hours wandered into the Public Library, around Trinity Church, up Boylston St, through the Public Garden and Boston Common, and finally stopped at the State House. Quite interesting to see in this relatively limited area the vast number of statues, plaques, and other historical designations and markers. Equally fascinating was the architectural contrast between modern high rise offices and the much older churches and homes. From the State House, we walked back on Beacon Street with several detours to the north to see this fabulous neighborhood. Many of the small gardens in front of these homes were quite elaborate! After the obligatory photo op at the Bull & Finch Pub, we made our way to Commonwealth Ave and enjoyed the park-like feel of this street until we got back to Dartmouth Street and turned for the short walk to the hotel. All in all, a fantastic walking tour and taste of the area.
After breakfast, we only had a couple of free hours to explore so we ventured southwest along Huntington Ave, past the fountain and pool adjacent to the Christian Science Center, and into the First Church of Christ, Scientist. Although we didn't stay for the tour, we walked through the sanctuary and public areas of this church and marveled at the vastness and detail. From here, we headed up Massachusetts Ave toward the Berklee College of Music and enjoyed the youthful vibe of the area. Oh, to be young again!
All too quickly, it was 11:00am and time to reconvene at the hotel to leave for the day’s group activity…..a harbor cruise and lunch aboard the Spirit of Boston. I didn’t know quite what to expect from this outing and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of food. Of course, the views of the city and harbor were beautiful.
Back at the hotel after the cruise, we had just enough time before dinner and the evening program to head across the skybridge into the Copley Place shops. Figuring our time was short, I assumed little damage to our charge cards would be incurred, but strategic placement of a Jimmy Choo store ensured I was incorrect.
Following breakfast and check out on Friday morning, we had about 7 hours of free time so after a short hop on the subway to Kenmore Station, we found Fenway Park and took the 50 minute tour. This guided tour started outside the stadium and featured stops in the lower level seats behind home plate, Budweiser deck in right field, press box, and the seats atop the Green Monster. Well worth the $12 admission if you're a baseball fan but especially if you're a Sox fan. After a stroll around the neighborhood and lunch, we took the subway to the appropriately named Aquarium Station, near the New England Aquarium and enjoyed the harbor views before taking a Boston Harbor Cruise boat to the Naval Shipyard. We had hoped to see the USS Constitution, however, the line for the 30 minute tour was enormous so after a short wait, we decided to walk through the adjacent USS Cassin Young. A word of note to anybody considering a visit to the Constitution…..she’s undergoing significant renovations that have resulted in her masts being removed and a temporary cover being built over the deck.
After the Cassin Young, we walked through the shipyard, marveling at the empty dry dock and abandoned cranes. This must’ve been quite a busy place in the ship building glory days. After a while, it was time to return to the Westin so a short boat and subway ride later, we picked up our bags and found our way back to the airport.
I can’t say enough good things about Boston and all the things it has to offer. Am already thinking of an excuse to visit again.