History comes to life in Boston. The city played a central role in the American Revolution—sites rich in significance to the birth of the nation lie around almost every corner. But Boston isn’t stuck in the past. World-class colleges, a thriving arts and music scene and flourishing technology, finance and professional services firms demonstrate the city’s ability to grow with the times.
Getting to and from the airport
Logan International Airport is 3 miles from downtown Boston. Taxi service is available curbside on the arrival level at each terminal. Airport shuttle buses provide free service between airline terminals and the Airport station on the city’s subway line. Buses run about every 5 minutes from stops on the lower level of each terminal. The Logan Express Bus offers nonstop service between the airport and the downtown Boston area. Buses depart from Terminal A. A one-way journey costs $5 and takes about 20 minutes outside of rush hour.
Getting around Boston
Boston is a compact city, so walking is an excellent option. But the city also has an extensive public transportation network. It’s operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and referred to by locals simply as the “T.” It includes subway, bus, trolley and boat service throughout the area. Tickets can be purchased at subway stations and select convenience stores. A base fare is $2.65. For added convenience, you can preload a CharlieCard with the amount of your choosing and tap it at station entrances or on vehicles to pay for your ride.
Taxis can be found throughout the city at major attractions and hotels. They can also be hailed from the street. If the weather is fair, consider biking to your destination by using The Hubway, Boston’s bike-sharing system. The Hubway operates over 100 stations around the city. Purchase a 72-hour pass ($12) or 24-hour pass ($6) for unlimited 30-minute trips.
Where to stay
For luxury accommodation, try The Colonnade Hotel Lif (120 Huntington Ave., Boston 02116; Ph: +1-617-424-7000), The Eliot Suite Hotel (370 Commonwealth Ave., Boston 02215; Ph: +1-617-267-1607, Autograph Collection The Envoy Hotel (70 Sleeper St., Boston 02210; Ph: +1-617-338-3030), Hilton Boston Logan Airport (One Hotel Drive, Boston 02128; Ph: +1-617-568-6700) or Hyatt Regency Boston (One Avenue De Lafayette, Boston 02111; Ph: +1-617-912-1234).
For midscale options, consider Hotel Indigo Boston/Newton Riverside (399 Grove St., Newton 02462; Ph: +1-617-969-5300 or La Quinta Inn and Suites Boston/Somerville (23 Cummings St., Somerville 02145; Ph: +1-617-625-5300). And for an economy stay, try Best Western University Hotel Boston/Brighton (1650 Commonwealth Ave., Boston 02135; Ph: +1-617-566-6260).
Things to see and do
Get acquainted with the city by strolling through the North End’s charming cobblestone streets. This Italian neighborhood is Boston’s oldest and includes quaint restaurants, eclectic boutiques and historical sites. Be sure to plan a stop at The Paul Revere House. This is where Revere began his famous ride to warn patriots of a pending British invasion during the American Revolution. For most of the year it’s open daily, but it closes on Mondays in January, February and March. Admission is $3.50.
For almost four centuries, people have congregated at the lively Quincy Market. Today it houses local shops and international retail brands, as well as cheap and cheerful food stalls. Street performers and musicians put on lively shows along the promenades.
The New England Aquarium never fails to impress with its innovative exhibits and unique creatures. An interactive turtle exhibit gives visitors a hands-on experience in diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating these fascinating animals. Admission is $26.95. It’s open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Soak up Boston’s history with a journey through the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail featuring 16 historically significant sites. The trail starts at Boston Common, America’s oldest public park, and ends at the famous Bunker Hill Monument. Tickets for the Freedom Trail Foundation public walking tour are $12. Visit the Freedom Trail website for a schedule of tour departures.
Where to eat
One of the best seafood spots in this coastal city is Ostra. The Back Bay establishment focuses on contemporary Mediterranean dishes. Show up in advance of your reservation and enjoy a drink in the stylish piano lounge before dinner. Find it at 1 Charles St. South, Boston 12116; Ph: 617-421-1200.
Chef Barbara Lynch wows guests with unique dishes at No. 9 Park. The sophisticated Beacon Hill establishment blends Italian and French cuisine. Lynch takes advantage of in-season, regional produce for all her entrees. Try the Nantucket Bay scallops for a taste of just-caught freshness. As the name suggests, it’s at 9 Park St., Boston 02108; Ph: +1-617-742-9991.
Head to Mistral and enjoy vibrant dishes like the Maine crab ravioli with thyme and tomato broth. The French-inspired menu has been tempting Boston natives since opening in South End in 1998. Once you’ve finished your meal, visit the neighborhood’s art galleries. Head to 223 Columbus Ave., Boston, 02116; Ph: +1-617-867-9300.
L’Espaliar was one of the first fine-dining restaurants in Boston and has a reputation for consistently high standards. Chef Frank McClelland’s produce is sourced from the restaurant’s farm in nearby Essex, Massachusetts, guaranteeing freshness in every bite. The menu changes regularly to reflect what’s in season. The restaurant is at 774 Boylston St., Boston, 02199; Ph: +1-617-262-3023.