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Where to stay without a car - South Boston?

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Where to stay without a car - South Boston?

We (3 of us) will be visiting Boston for several days after a cruise and I'm researching where to stay. We will be arriving mid-May 2013.

We haven't decided what to do yet but we're history buffs so that will be our focus. We also like offbeat and off the beaten path tours/adventures. We are not into shopping and don't plan on dining at any 5 star restaurants.

That said, after checking the cost of lodging in North Boston - Back Bay, Beacon Hill, etc, I thought we should consider staying in maybe South Boston or thereabouts and using public transportation into N Boston. We may even use the hop-on hop-off trolley to get around more easily.

Is this a good idea or spent the bucks to stay in the middle of everything? We really like hotels or inns where we can walk out the door and be in a neighborhood. We do not like to stay in hotels that, when you walk out the door, you are surrounded by corporate buildings and have to travel just to enjoy the area.

Lodging and neighborhood suggestions, comments are appreciated. Thanks!

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Winchester...
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1. Re: Where to stay without a car - South Boston?

You want to be someplace like the "Omni" Parker House or the Millenium or the Marriot Custom House or Long Wharf. It is definitely worth spending more to be in the middle of everything.

It's not clear to me where you are thinking of staying in South Boston - could you be specific? I'm thinking maybe you mean the newer Seaport district which isn't horrible but is definitely more like walking out the door and being surrounded by corporate buildings.

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Long Wharf, Boston
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2. Re: Where to stay without a car - South Boston?

You might want to check out some of the smaller, less expensive Boston hotels, like the Chandler Inn, in the South End (which is not South Boston; it is a vibrant neighborhood in Boston with lots of lovely restaurants), or the Copley Inn, very central to everything in Back Bay. Also, the Oasis Guest House. You could book one of these now, just to have central, affordable accommodation, then keep trying Hotwire or lastminutetravel as your dates get closer if you'd prefer a bigger hotel. Priceline is not good to use if there will be more than 2 of you in the room.

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3. Re: Where to stay without a car - South Boston?

Here we go again ... suddenly, within the past few months we've been getting references to "North Boston" and seriously, there is no such place. There is the "North End" (Italian neighborhood that has exactly ONE hotel (Fairmont Battery Wharf) that is pricey and that some people would say isn't really in the North End. And there's the suburbs, north of Boston, many of which are not practical without a car.

The cruise ship will arrive in the Seaport District which is sometimes referred to the "South Boston Waterfront". There are few large hotels there and you would have subway (silver line) access to the rest of the city.

Prices vary from day to day based on what's going on in town. If you post your EXACT dates, we'll be able to give you more ideas.

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4. Re: Where to stay without a car - South Boston?

Making reservations sooner rather than later is a good idea too, since May is a busy time in Boston with college graduations. You could make a reservation at a price you can live with, that you can later cancel if you find a better deal.

Also look at the John Jeffries House.

The cruise ship terminal is in South Boston but in a low-rise office/industrial area. The rest of the South Boston neighborhood is largely residential with a few motel/hotel places next to a very busy highway.

There is a North End and South End which are really neighborhood designations. There is no area called North Boston.

Back Bay, downtown, and Quincy Market/waterfront are all areas that meet your requirements. The South End would be nice as well.

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Indiana
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5. Re: Where to stay without a car - South Boston?

Sorry, I referred to areas of which I have no knowledge :-). That's why I'm here asking for advice. At least you told me where our ship comes in! And, yes, I always book waaaay ahead of time then keep looking - just in case...

We arrive on Saturday May 18 for 3 nights. We prefer smaller hotels/inns but aren't opposed to something larger if necessary. I did notice a number of small B&Bs and inns that might work but without knowing what areas to look at, it's difficult to know where to choose. The worst thing would be to pick a place then find out too late that it's nowhere near easy transportation or a pleasant neighborhood.

Thanks again!

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6. Re: Where to stay without a car - South Boston?

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to come across like I was "scolding" you ... it's not about you, really! It's just that when several people in a short time make a reference like that, it's usually becuse it was published somewhere or somebody is giving out bad information. A few years back there was a travel agent in Europe advising clients that there was a car ferry to P-town and it doesn't exist.

In any case, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the 18th falls on the weekend before Memorial Day, which THIS year was the biggest graduation weekend of the year. As ting mentioned, book something cancellable now, if you can and then keep looking.

LastMinuteTravel is a website with 'secret" hotels that are usually easy to ID based on photos. For your dates, (and it's EARLY to be looking) only 4 hotels came up. Trhee were over $375/night and the 4th was a 2 star in the mid-$200s and I didn't recognize it by the photos. It might be the mid-town hotel, but I didn't have time to go look at their site for photos.

You know ... this might be one of the rare times where it is cheaper to rent a car and stay in the 'burbs.

As a last resort without a car, check out Suburban Extended Stay, or the Inn at Crystal Cove in Winthrop. Your commute would be a combination of bus and subway and take about 45 minutes. Both these properies are on the busline, in a quiet, working-class neighborhood within walking distance of a couple of restauarants, an ice cream parlor, a convenience store and the beach.

Edited: 02 August 2012, 17:44
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Winthrop
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Indiana
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7. Re: Where to stay without a car - South Boston?

Well, we could depart out of Boston instead of sailing into Boston .We would be there 2 week earlier ( probably May 1 or 2) but I doubt 2 weeks is going to make a big difference in prices. I'll keep looking even though I know it's too early for a lot of places to even list their 2013 prices.

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8. Re: Where to stay without a car - South Boston?

Hi Zelinder: exactly, that is why you came here for help. The Parker House is a great suggestion. I only have experience with one b and b and it's not centrally located.

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9. Re: Where to stay without a car - South Boston?

Two weeks CAN make a huge difference in prices. Sometimes even a few days. I think you'll find things much cheaper then.

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10. Re: Where to stay without a car - South Boston?

That two weeks would make a HUGE difference. Most colleges graduate mid-may not early may. If you depart May 1, that means you'd be visiting Boston in late April. AFter the marathon, before graduation ... unless you hit upon a huge convention ... prices will be better.