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Walking the city and more: The 1-Day and Weekend Plans

In reasonable weather, with good walking shoes, the best way to explore Boston is (mostly) on foot. Here are suggestions of walking "tours" you can do.

For the 1-Day Plan, take a sightseeing tour (or duck tour!) and do nos. 1, 2, 4. Choose ONE museum and spend an hour or so in an area of interest. Consider having dinner in the North End, or perhaps an early dinner in the Beacon Street or Back Bay area, before taking in a show.

For your weekend plan, you can probably do everything on this list, leaving the day trips for an extended visit. If you have an extended visit, you can certainly take more time with museums, engage in spectator sports, or do more browsing and shopping in the Newbury Street area, and actually have a chance to experience a concert or play in the evenings.

  1. The 3-mile 16-site Freedom Trail is a must. This will take you past some of the major sights of the city, including the famed Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Allow a few hours, if you want to have time to stop and browse or sit and admire! For more information, see: The Insider
  2. Boston is a conglomeration of neighborhoods: do some walking to explore the quintessential Boston. On you map, you will see, for example, the famous Beacon Hill neighborhood, an "upper-crust" sort of area, anchored by Charles Street, which has shops and restaurants. (To get there, take the "T" to Park or Charles and start walking.)
  3. Try also the North End of Boston, which the Italian section of town, and full of authentic Italian restaurants.
  4. The Back Bay Newbury Street area has major shopping and dining possibilities, and not just at street level. It is trendy, yet characterful, and is a must on your visit. Check these for more information: History Or look at Shop Back Bay
  5. Stroll along the Charles River, in the public playground area called the Esplanade. To read about the Esplanade, try Attractions If you feel like some fun water activity, try renting a small boat at SkiPaddle
  6. Cambridge, the home of Harvard, and a lovely area across the Charles River with cafes, restaurants and shops. If you love bookstores, the Harvard Coop (co-op) is legendary.

Organized tours

Don't feel much like walking? Weather a little cool? There are various organized tours of differing lengths and costs. The most quirky would be the Duck Tour, where you hop in an amphibious vehicle, which in turn traverses the sights for you. Residents are used to seeing Trolley Tours all over the city. For more possibilities, check http://www.discoverbostontours.com/

Museums and Culture

Either along your walks or as an independent excursion or set of excursions, do visit Boston's world-class museums. There is the Museum of Fine Arts, the wonderful Gardner Museum, and, for something different, the Aquarium. The Boston Symphony is one of the world's top orchestras, with a regular season, and then with Boston Pops for lighter fare.

For more information on museums, this link is recommended: Museums

Tourist Deals

CityPass provides admission to 6 attractions: New England Aquarium, John F. Kennedy Library & Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Skywalk Observatory at the Prudential Center, Harvard Museum of Natural History Museum of Science. Also, the all-inclusive GoBoston pass provides a great deal for 60+ admissions as well as information, including 20% off on shopping, and even admission to day trip destinations e.g. Newport Mansions, 6 Flags, and ferry service to Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. For different outlets (some affiliates may offer a better price!), type in GoBoston card, or Boston CityPass in your search engine. Alternatively, if you are in a larger group and are on a budget, it may be worth getting the Entertainment Book for Boston ahead of time. Proceeds may be designated to a favorite charity, and the book offers 2-for-1 coupons at many restaurants (though not always the most renowned ones), attractions, and even things like dry-cleaning! Check Entertainment

Day Trips

Boston is within easy reach of many quaint and historical destinations. For example, there is Salem of witch-hunt notoriety, Concord, the home of the New England Transcendentalists and many more. All these are set up for the tourist trade, with restaurants, boutiques for browsing and bed-and-breakfasts. Many are accessible by public transportation, so cross-check your chosen destination against your transportation information. Or else, just rent a car for a day or two!

See day trips/

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