Jump to content

Any advice appreciated on what to do in Boston (and Cape Cod)


Recommended Posts

We've never really been to Boston being there once just to embark on a HAL cruise Boston to Montreal, and staying in Montreal a few days afterward.

 

We are now going to Boston for a few days. I know we will hit museums as DW is an art teacher. She also is a beach person and wants to spend one of our days in Cape Cod. Any suggestions are welcome especially any hidden gems. Has anyone used either of the Boston passes, and if so have they found them worthwhile. (She is disappointed that she has not found the Boston Museum of Fine Arts on either pass she found.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

I know we will hit museums as DW is an art teacher

You'll want to check out the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in addition to the Museum of Fine Arts-- they are very close to each other. 

 

20 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

Any suggestions are welcome especially any hidden gems.

All or some of the Freedom Trail is highly worthwhile. While some of it is touristy it gives you a great overview of the city of Boston. 

 

22 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

Has anyone used either of the Boston passes, and if so have they found them worthwhile.

If they cover multiple places you plan on visiting then it might be worth it. Typically we don't use them that often when we visit cities unless there is a really compelling reason. 

 

24 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

She also is a beach person and wants to spend one of our days in Cape Cod.

You'll need to rent a car and you are about 1.5-2 hours from most beaches in Cape Cod. If being at the beach is that important have you considered staying a night down there? The Chatham Bars Inn is a favorite spot and is right on the water. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you staying the whole time in Boston? Or do you also have a reservation on the Cape?

 

On a good day, its an hour or two to get to the Cape from Boston. In summer, with traffic, well.....

 

In terms of what to do in Boston, the Freedom Trail is usually good for history buffs. Since your wife is into art, the MFA and the Gardner museum are probably givens. Just check current admission policies. I also like a visit to Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market Place. However, a good number of the restaurants/stores didn't survive the pandemic. 

 

In terms of the Cape, a lot of the towns are walkable once you are there. And there are beaches. However, if your sole purpose of going to the Cape is the beach, you might have better luck finding a closer one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, 1025cruise said:

Are you staying the whole time in Boston? Or do you also have a reservation on the Cape?

 

On a good day, its an hour or two to get to the Cape from Boston. In summer, with traffic, well.....

 

In terms of what to do in Boston, the Freedom Trail is usually good for history buffs. Since your wife is into art, the MFA and the Gardner museum are probably givens. Just check current admission policies. I also like a visit to Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market Place. However, a good number of the restaurants/stores didn't survive the pandemic. 

 

In terms of the Cape, a lot of the towns are walkable once you are there. And there are beaches. However, if your sole purpose of going to the Cape is the beach, you might have better luck finding a closer one.

Yes, our hotel reservation is in Boston. We were thinking of either the ferry  or a bus. I have heard too many horror stories of driving in Boston to want to rent a car. (I am not a city person!)

 

I think she has pound things she wants to do on Cape Cod. Beaches are a real point of contention with us. She swims laps and then after slathering herself in suntan lotion (but she still has dermatologist appointments) wants to sunbather while I keep telling her my head is melting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, princeton123211 said:

You'll want to check out the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in addition to the Museum of Fine Arts-- they are very close to each other. 

 

All or some of the Freedom Trail is highly worthwhile. While some of it is touristy it gives you a great overview of the city of Boston. 

 

If they cover multiple places you plan on visiting then it might be worth it. Typically we don't use them that often when we visit cities unless there is a really compelling reason. 

 

You'll need to rent a car and you are about 1.5-2 hours from most beaches in Cape Cod. If being at the beach is that important have you considered staying a night down there? The Chatham Bars Inn is a favorite spot and is right on the water. 

Thank you for the museum recommendation.

 

We will have to carefully look at the different passes. I know in the past in Amsterdam in the Netherlands we found it very useful. A lot of times it also lets you skip lines.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just one thing to note, public transportation on the Cape doesn't really exist. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe the ferry from Boston only goes to Provincetown, so make sure what your wife wants to do is at that end. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, I will let her know. This is basically her trip. She did ask me to go over the list I found from google for Boston Museums and check off which I wanted, but this is basically her trip.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Enjoy your trip. Another thing to note, right now its high season on the Cape, so staying in Boston shouldn't be too bad. Just make sure to stay near a "T" stop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We visited Boston many times on the 4th of July sailing of the QM2. We would come in around Noon for the day and leave around 1AM after all the private boats left after the Boston Fireworks.

 

The ship offered a shuttle to Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market Place area as a drop off from the Black Falcon Pier.

 

Our line offered tours: General tour of Boston, Cambridge, President Kennedy's Museum, Harvard Yard, Freedom Trail to name a few. Some of these can be done on a personal basis.

 

We personally took a map and mapped out a walk around. Visiting Faneuil Hall, ate in the Quincy Market Food Court. Walked to the Boston Commons Public Park and listen to those at the Speakers Corner. Walked around the Fashionable Newbury Street, Boston's Madison Ave.

 

We did the tour of President Kennedy's Museum brought back memories. Of course you would want to hit a Seafood Restaurant or two. Such fresh seafood in Boston.

 

Tour of Cambridge also saw Harvard Yard. A tour also included Beacon Hill, Old Ironsides.

 

Write to the Boston Tourist Bureau for a pamphlet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Boston has a great public transportation system called the "T" (short for MBTA).  From the port you can take the Silver Line (it's a bus) to South Station. From South Station you can walk along the waterfront to the North End (Italian District, Paul Revere House, Old North Church) or hop on the Red Line at South Station (transfers are free) to Cambridge to visit Harvard Yard (best view of the city is from the Red Line going over the Charles River) or take the Red Line to Downtown Crossing and head up Winter St. to the Common to get to the Freedom Trail and the Black Heritage Trail. Walk thru the Common to the Public Garden and take a ride on the Swan Boats.  I also second the recommendation to visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  The T has an excellent website with a travel planner option. https://www.mbta.com/trip-planner

As for Cape Cod other than taking the ferry from Boston to Provincetown you will need a car. Boston has Carson Beach. While your wife sunbathes you can visit the 1812 fort at Castle Island.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, 1025cruise said:

Enjoy your trip. Another thing to note, right now its high season on the Cape, so staying in Boston shouldn't be too bad. Just make sure to stay near a "T" stop.

We, or should I say, she already picked a hotel. I hope it is near a T stop. Her criterion for picking a hotel actually started with it having a swimming pool.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hesitate to even suggest it, as your trip so far would not be my trip, but if you're in Boston for any length of time, and have never been, then you should be able to arrange a tour (yeah, probably a group tour...) with your hotel concierge to Lexington and Concord. Kind of completes the historical context of the Freedom Trail (which I highly recommend).

 

Been a long time since we've been to Boston. Need to go back...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might consider the ferry from Boston to Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod. It takes about an hour and a half each way -allowing a fairly full day. Depending on interests - you could rent bicycles and get some good beach time, as well as checking out the town - interesting former fishing town, then arts colony, now resort - lots of good restaurants.  It is probably the best way to get a taste of the Cape without renting a car and spending most of your day driving to/from.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

You might consider the ferry from Boston to Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod. It takes about an hour and a half each way -allowing a fairly full day. Depending on interests - you could rent bicycles and get some good beach time, as well as checking out the town - interesting former fishing town, then arts colony, now resort - lots of good restaurants.  It is probably the best way to get a taste of the Cape without renting a car and spending most of your day driving to/from.

Thanks, probably what we will do one one of our days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, 1025cruise said:

Which hotel? Odds are you will be near the T. I've never heard of a pool being a requirement for a hotel in Boston....

Hilton Boston Back Bay, and the address is 40 Dalton Street.

 

The pool requirement is by DW. She has gone whole summers without missing a day swimming.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great location. The Back Bay Hilton is within easy walking distance of the Hynes Convention Center "T" stop on the Green line.  From here you can head in-town to Park Street and either change to the Red line to go to Cambridge or head upstairs to the Common and the beginning of the Freedom Trail.  From your hotel you can easily walk to the Mapparium at the Christian Science Mother Church, Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and in the other direction the Boston Public Library to see the John Singer Sargent murals.  Have fun!

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Traveling Library said:

Great location. The Back Bay Hilton is within easy walking distance of the Hynes Convention Center "T" stop on the Green line.  From here you can head in-town to Park Street and either change to the Red line to go to Cambridge or head upstairs to the Common and the beginning of the Freedom Trail.  From your hotel you can easily walk to the Mapparium at the Christian Science Mother Church, Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and in the other direction the Boston Public Library to see the John Singer Sargent murals.  Have fun!

Thanks, that sounds great. And DW just got home (from swimming of course), and I showed this to her.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When is this trip?  If it's this August, using the Green Line will be problematic due to month long repairs.  The E Branch will shut down from August 2 - 29, much like last year. 

 

Darcy

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, WatchHill said:

When is this trip?  If it's this August, using the Green Line will be problematic due to month long repairs.  The E Branch will shut down from August 2 - 29, much like last year. 

 

Darcy

 

It's later this month, not August. But thanks for the just in case heads up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

It's later this month, not August. But thanks for the just in case heads up.

Great!  That's the branch that runs to the MFA, towards Brigham & Women's.  You can download the MBTA APP, it's quite easy to use, maps, schedules and all the "alerts" of rail delay issues. Your hotel should have a city map of things to do while visiting ...check at the desk when you arrive. 

 

I've walked this entire area many times, often faster than trolley, bus or rail. 

 

Are you flying in, driving or coming in on rail/coach?

 

Darcy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, WatchHill said:

Great!  That's the branch that runs to the MFA, towards Brigham & Women's.  You can download the MBTA APP, it's quite easy to use, maps, schedules and all the "alerts" of rail delay issues. Your hotel should have a city map of things to do while visiting ...check at the desk when you arrive. 

 

I've walked this entire area many times, often faster than trolley, bus or rail. 

 

Are you flying in, driving or coming in on rail/coach?

 

Darcy

Good to know; we both are used to walking a lot.

 

We are flying in from Newark on an early morning flight. We are staying the night before at a motel where we can park the car and have an airport shuttle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, WatchHill said:

Great!  That's the branch that runs to the MFA, towards Brigham & Women's.  You can download the MBTA APP, it's quite easy to use, maps, schedules and all the "alerts" of rail delay issues. Your hotel should have a city map of things to do while visiting ...check at the desk when you arrive. 

 

I've walked this entire area many times, often faster than trolley, bus or rail. 

 

Are you flying in, driving or coming in on rail/coach?

 

Darcy

DW just asked me to ask you how do you get there from the airport.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just checked the trip planner menu on the MBTA APP . Silver Line from the airport is free, then the MBTA "gets you."  At one time Logan Express ran a comp coach, but stopped the service due to covid. But I am looking at the map and directions right now.....over an hour and a few changes, hauling your luggage, etc., .....not the happiest way to start a vacation. I'm guessing you come into terminal C and suggest you follow the signs to car services like Uber, etc., or take a taxi.  

 

You can play around with the MBTA App, the directions read like waze walking. Or try my favorite how to get anywhere on the planet...Rome2Rio. It's so easy to use and I really have used it throughout Europe and even in the USA. That will give you all the options and cost. 

 

Darcy

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: PONANT Cruises & Expeditions
      • Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Q&A with American Queen Voyages
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...