Have never been. What's best part of city to stay in? Not looking for 5 star, but not looking to go cheapo either. What are the not to miss sight seeing kind of stuff? And of course, best wine shops to visit? Thanks
We were in Boston for 10 days last summer (first time). Beautiful city.
We stayed at the Nine Zero Hotel on Tremont Street, pretty much a perfect location for tourists. It's right near Boston Commons, Beacon Hill, Faneuil Hall, etc. Lots of good shops, restaurants, theaters nearby. There's a subway stop just a couple of blocks away, but a lot of places are easily walkable from here. I returned our rental car after the second day.
The restaurants that we liked (and remember):
Grotto, in Beacon Hill -- very good (and busy!) Italian, big portions, solid No. 9 Park, Beacon Hill -- our favourite eatery in this city, great food and very good wine list, went there twice, recommend highly Union Oyster House, Faneuil Hall -- very good lobster otherwise average, touristy KO Steakhouse, in the Nine Zero -- more than a steakhouse, some surprisingly interesting items from a very good chef (watermelon soup, great salads, I really liked the crispy grilled chicken) L'Espalier, Back Bay -- outstanding food, though pricey; I didn't like our server (she actually overfilled our Champagne glasses twice, and not because of the foam; she just filled them with tiny pours until they overflowed, even after I told her to stop), but can't fault the kitchen at all Bartley's Burger Cottage, Harvard -- outstanding burgers, with lots of variety, and choice of ground turkey or beef, very popular, you may have to share a table (we did) Fajitas and Ritas -- another popular place, this one near our hotel, college crowd, good food, also very popular Stephi's on Tremont -- my wife enjoyed this place; I had a bad meal and disliked it, but from the volume they do, I guess I'm in the minority, so I'm listing it
Things to do (and there are a lot in this great city):
JFK Library -- this was a highlight for me, and I think would be for anyone who remembers 1963; I got pretty choked up a couple of times Freedom Trail -- National Park Rangers do a free walking tour every day, very interesting North End -- just walk around; lots of good Italian restaurants and bakeries, Paul Revere's house, Old North Church, etc Back Bay -- just walk around, esp on Back Street Museum of Fine Art -- very good collection, but poorly lit in some rooms, don't understand why Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum -- an interesting old house with plenty of art (my wife really like this) MIT and Harvard -- it was pouring while we were there, so we visited both places in one day, but you could easily spend a day walking around each; easy to get there by subway Old Ironsides -- take the ferry, a real piece of history that you can walk on Province Town -- take the fast ferry for a nice ride, picturesque resort town, interesting sights and people Boston Common and Public Garden -- again, just walk around
We found Boston to be a very friendly city, easy to walk around, lots to see. Our only problem was bad weather last August, but if the weather cooperates you should have a grand time. Enjoy!
Once again, my traveling compadre Seaquam nailed most of the things. We too have stayed at nine zero and loved it. A great boutique hotel with a wonderful color palette and great service. Our last couple times to Boston we have stayed at the Liberty Hotel- we absolutely LOVE it! Originally the St. Charles Jail, it has been wonderfully renovated, and is in a great location as well. Boston is such a wonderful city to walk around, but also has a very good public trans system. Adding to Seaquam's list, I will include some of our favorite restaurants: sportello- exceptional interpretation of the lunch counter- amazing soups, wonderful housemade breads and jams, good selection of wines and very reasonable... We love this place. Tangerino- simply phenomenal Moroccan food and a great dining experience- plush pillows and private areas to dine in. Located over in Charlestown which is another great neighborhood to walk around (bunker hill monument is over there). Top of the Hub at the top of the Prudential Building- great place to enjoy a cocktail and take in the beautiful scenery of Boston at night. Sonsie- a great little place in Back Bay where the pizza is excellent, they have a good selection of wine, and you can sit on the patio and just chill after shopping on Newbury Street Chau Chow City- if you love dim sum, this place does it good! Very good! Some places that I didn't see mentioned in terms of places to visit, are the Charlestown area, top of the Prudential Building, Trinity Church and you have to check out a game at Fenway... Even if you are not a fan of baseball, it is a beautiful spot filled with so much history. Have fun... Boston is a wonderful city- one of my favorites in the US.
Nice calls, TPE. I forgot about Top of the Hub, very nice bar and great view. We were there on a seriously overcast day so visibility was limited, but still a pretty nice view of the city. And Fenway is one of the legendary ballparks; we had tickets to see the Mariners play there, but game was cancelled because of weather. Wish we could have done that.
Just a quick example of how wet it was: the old cemetery on Tremont St. is about 2-3 ft. above street level. When we were walking past it, water was running off the cemetery in wide streams, creating little waterfalls over the stone retaining wall and washing over the sidewalk. My wife was a bit disturbed by this once she realized it, and had to run across the street through traffic to avoid wading through that water. We had 4 or 5 days like that, but some pretty sunny ones as well, fortunately.
Thanks again guys. We will definitely hit as many restaurants recommendations as possible. Taking in a game at Fenway would be a real treat for sure. We plan to do lots of walking and see as much as we can in 5-6 days. We may need to scale back the hotel option a bit as I'm travelling with teenager and 21 year old nephew. The cost was approaching $500 per night for the four of us at Nine Zero
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