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We need your help - please - 1st visit to Boston

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We need your help - please - 1st visit to Boston

We are four women planning 4 days in Boston next June.

We have never been to Boston, so any help and advice you can give would be appreciated.

Where would be the best part of town to stay.

Any recomendations on what hotel to stay at - would prefer 3 or 4 star, preferably a hotel that has breakfast included.

What sites should we see, and what should we do to make our visit to Boston intesting and exciting.

Any help would be very much appreciated.


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1. Re: We need your help - please - 1st visit to Boston

I have just come back from Boston my first time staying the city although I have been there five times. Its a great city to travel around its all very easy. We stayed in Cambridge( Royal Sonesta ) which was just about a 10 T ride into the city. You must do the Freedom Walk, shopping and perhaps go out to the islands

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2. Re: We need your help - please - 1st visit to Boston


As with many of these types of requests, it's best to ask a more specific question so we can be of more help.

If you do some searching on the forum for "best neighborhood to stay", or "neighborhoods to stay in", you will get many ideas.

As far as what you should see, again, that really depends on what you like to do. Are we talking shopping? Historic sites? Museums? If so, what kinds of Museums? Do you like art, natural history, science, etc? Are you interested in getting out of the city at all? To the beach? Mountains? I love Boston and New England, so as far as I'm concerned everything is interesting and worth visiting. Obviously, it's best to narrow that down.

As a general rule of thumb (and rules are made to be broken), you can't go wrong staying in the Back Bay area. Most hotels offer an option for breakfast, but it's not as common as it is in Europe, so be sure to ask when you are checking rates, etc. whether it includes breakfast.

Some potential hotels you might want to check:

Omni Parker House


Back Bay Hilton

Sheraton Boston

Marriott Copley Place

Westin Copley Place

Back Bay Hotel

Fairmont Copley Plaza

Let us know a bit more about your plans.

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3. Re: We need your help - please - 1st visit to Boston

Without knowing your preferences it is hard to give you an honest suggestion, but the hotels already recommended are all good. The advantage to Boston is that it is quite tiny (land-wise) so you can walk or cab it anywhere you like. I would certainly recommend that you make sure you see BackBay and Beacon Hill. Dinners in the North End are touristy, but since you are tourists I suppose it should be on your list of places to see. I'm partial to the restaurant scene in the South End (note this is different than Southie). Most people like the Freedom Trail - you can look online to learn more about what this features. If the weather turns bad one of the days you are here, I might suggest visiting one of Boston's museums... my favorites are the Isabella Gardner Museum, Museum of Fine Arts and Harvard University's fine arts musuem (The Fogg). I would certainly recommend a quick trip across the Charles River to see Harvard and I would also recommend treating yourself to Tea at the Four Seasons as well as a nice seafood dinner if you are not from the coast. My favorite restaurant in town is Mistral but there are so many to choose from. There is also the matter of nightlife which can be fun if you know where to go.

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4. Re: We need your help - please - 1st visit to Boston

I think it's pretty well established that the handiest places for tourists to stay in Boston, when they are just interested in general tourist things, is either Back Bay or Downtown/Financial/Faneuil Hall area. But probably Back Bay (and the adjoining area called "Park Square" which includes the Radisson and the Park Plaza Hotel). Downtown I think one of the best located hotels is the famous old Parker House hotel. There are many hotels in Back Bay and Park Square areas so you should really be all set. All of these areas are located near one or two subway stops, so you can get around. Oh, and Beacon Hill is very convenient too -- the two hotels I can remember there are the Beacon Hill Hotel on Charles Street, and the Liberty Hotel (the hot new hotel in town).

Do read the board, including many posts from people who are also newbies to Boston. You'll start to get an idea of the basics, and what the most recommended things to do are. One thing I would add -- I really think it's great to get a sense of Boston's geography, harbor, and history, by taking the little ferry out to George's Island (which contains Fort Warren). You'll get some very interesting history, and you can explore this huge, star shaped fort, and see great views. The ferry is pleasant, and includes a refreshment counter. Another ocean going possibility is to take a whale watch cruise out of Boston. You'll really get a good dose of New England with either of these.

One other tip -- there is good food in Boston but almost none of it is located on Newbury Street, which is the "main drag" in Back Bay. Go ahead and stop at one of the cute sidewalk cafes there, but don't think that they are the height of Boston food. Let's deal with restaurant possibilities much later -- closer to the time you come, since things can change. Oh, and do keep in mind that late May and early June are college graduation season around here. I would suggest doing your research and booking your hotel rooms as soon as possible or you might not get anything you really like. And we want you to have a great trip!

Bangor, Northern...
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5. Re: We need your help - please - 1st visit to Boston

We spent 3 nights in Boston recently and really were impressed by it . Heres what we did ( hubbie and me - early 50's!)

Stayed Copley Square hotel - really helpful staff ( downloaded directions for us when we got hire car later) , very central hotel for great shops, and We really loved their " wine down hour " - free wine tasting every evening between 5 and 6pm for all guests! Great restaurants close by too ( We liked the Atlantic Fish company especially ! )

Walked the Freedom trail , We love walking and found the City very easy to get about .

Although breafast wasn't included in our hotel , there are lots of good spots - We wandered to Charles street where there are nice shops to browse, then headed over the river to walk to Harvard ( about 1 1/2 hours stroll )

Lovely parks too -

Isabella stuart gardner museum - I loved it , husband preferred Museum of fine arts .

It is lovely to get the water taxi to and from the airport - very relaxing , and nice to see the City from the water .

Nice shopping around Quincy market area too - Abercrombie and Fitch , American eagle - but my new American favourite is " Vineyard vines" in Copley mall !

Boston is great for a short break - We are recommending it to all our friends !It has a European feel - based on Paris apparently .

Bangor, Northern...
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6. Re: We need your help - please - 1st visit to Boston

We recently spent 3 nights in Boston , and loved it ! Here is what we did- ( me and hubbie - early 50's ! Ie past night clubbing !)

Stayed Copley Square hotel - great location, lovely helpful staff ( or "intuition specialists " as they are called !!!) handy for shops , restaurantsetc - We particularly enjoyed Atlantic fish company .

We particularly enjoyed the hotels free wine tasting for guests every night from 5-6pm!

Although breakfast wasnt included , we wandered out to Charles street area - good shops to browse , and coffee shops etc

Did the freedom trail - Quincy market area again good for shops - Abercrombie and Fitch , American Eagle etc - and lots of casual eating stalls .

We walked everywhere - because We enjoy it - much to the bemusement of the Americans who always directed us to the " T" underground !

We walked out to Harvard ( about 1 1/2 hours along the Charles river ) , I loved the Isabella Stuart gardner museum, husband preferred the Museum of Fine art .

Lots of lovely open park areas - Boston Common etc ,

Get the water taxi to and from the airport - 10$ each way - lovely relaxing way to see the city from the water .

Boston has a very European feel - street cafes etc - you will love it !

Bangor, Northern...
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7. Re: We need your help - please - 1st visit to Boston

Oh - and avoid Joes restaurant in Boylston street - a mouse ran up the wall beside me !!

Sheffield, United...
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8. Re: We need your help - please - 1st visit to Boston

I have also just came back from Boston and stayed at the Sheraton Back Bay. This hotel is very conveniently located within The Prudential Shopping Mall and also T station. It is easily to get to from Logan airport using public transport.

As mentioned by other posters, hotels in the Back Bay or Downtown/Financial district would be ideal for tourists. Although it is kind of less crowded in Back Bay compare to Downtown/Financial district. The Back Bay area is also very convenient for food and shopping. For $15 you can have a week worth of T pass to travel around on busses and subway. Within the Downtown/Financial district it is indeed all very walkable but to Back Bay it is also walkable however taking the T would be the easier option.

Peoria, Arizona
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9. Re: We need your help - please - 1st visit to Boston

The last time I was there, we were in an RV, so I can't really say about the hotels.

But, for things to do... if you haven't been before, you need to walk the Freedom Trail. Even if you're not a history buff, the history of Boston is fascinating.

Ride the T - that's an experience in itself.

There are great posts here in the forums and I've included some sites that I've found useful in my visits:




Bath, United Kingdom
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10. Re: We need your help - please - 1st visit to Boston

I have also just returned from my first trip to Boston and can recommend the Sheraton in the Back Bay area, for location and ease of access to the rest of the city. (I have posted a review)

I bought a guide book before I booked my trip and read up on all that Boston had to offer, and searched the forums here at Trip Advisor for tips and advice. There are plenty of interesting things to do in Boston but it depends on what *you* find interesting.