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


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4 hours ago, ontheweb said:

Basically worked perfectly. We did need help finding where we could get the Silver Line. And the funny thing is the bag was easier to handle on the Green Line. The others had the place to put bags, but they were full and I just had to keep the suitcase by me. On the Green Line, it was so empty, I just put it on a seat.

Glad this worked! Enjoy your trip. Next few days will be sunny but humid. We haven't seen the sun in a while so you must have brought it with you!  Do try to ride the Swan Boats in the Public Garden.  It is one of 2 things I try to do each year (the other is to go to a Red Sox game).  Only in Boston will you be able to take a ride on a human-powered boat in a lagoon in the middle of a city. And after the ride (or before) stop to see the Make Way for Ducklings statutes (near the corner of Charles and Beacon St) sometimes they are dressed up in capes or cute hats and always good for a photo op.

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20 hours ago, Traveling Library said:

Glad this worked! Enjoy your trip. Next few days will be sunny but humid. We haven't seen the sun in a while so you must have brought it with you!  Do try to ride the Swan Boats in the Public Garden.  It is one of 2 things I try to do each year (the other is to go to a Red Sox game).  Only in Boston will you be able to take a ride on a human-powered boat in a lagoon in the middle of a city. And after the ride (or before) stop to see the Make Way for Ducklings statutes (near the corner of Charles and Beacon St) sometimes they are dressed up in capes or cute hats and always good for a photo op.

Were basically done, leaving tomorrow morning early. (I'm at the library now with time running out.) First day we did the Freedom Trail, and eventually got a guide. Tuesday despite the bad weather we went to Cape Cod since DW had booked the museums WEdnesday and Thursday despite them being close together. She swam for 40 minutes hoping the sun would come out, but it was actually moisture in the air when she git out of the water. Wednesday was the Museum of Fine Arts for 3+ hours. It wiped her out as well as me. I think we did something else, but at the moment my brain is not working so well. Today we did the Isabella Gardner Museum, a Fenway Park tour, and back to the Freedom Trail to the Paul Revere House. Only a shower and water when we got back to the hotel has me functioning. 

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I have a question for Travelling Library or anyone else from Mass. Are microwave ovens outlawed in hotel rooms? I don't remember another room without one. I did find out there was one we could use behind the counter where you checked in. 

 

We used it the day we went to Cape Cod as we bought dinner there and brought it back.

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Just a few random observations.

 

I guess it was a good omen that our suitcase was the first one off the plane onto the carousel. A bad omen would be a bag not showing up. That happened to us once flying from Paris to Amsterdam (and it was the only one of the 3 flights that we were actually charged for bags.) And later we almost did not make our flight home from Amsterdam as it was the only night we did not get up early and did not get our wake up call as the hotel phone in our room was not working.

 

One of my early post asked if $40 was reasonable roundtrip that we could book ahead on Lyft. Thanks to great directions we got there free, but did not want to risk getting to the airport late so took a taxi. At the hotel when I asked I was told the fare should be in the $25-35 range. It ended up $25 + a little bit of change, $30 after I left a tip. So $40 (+ I assume you are expected to tip) for a round trip would have been pretty reasonable.

 

The Museum of Fine Arts and the Gardner Museum are very near, but DW was right booking them on separate days. She had said with timed tickets, she would not have known when to book the second. (Both were booked for the opening times.) Also three plus, almost 3 1/2 hours at the Museum of Fine Arts had us pretty much wiped out.

 

I don't remember if anyone specifically recommended touring Fenway Park, but that was something we did and thoroughly enjoyed.

 

And thanks to everyone who shared ideas, especially Travelling Library.

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On 7/7/2021 at 9:17 PM, markeb said:

 

I wish you hadn't posted that! No way we'll be in Boston during that exhibit, but quite possibly my favorite, at least of the impressionists. 

 

In 2018, we were in England for business with an add on to Stratford-upon-Avon and took the train into London from Birmingham. We weren't jetlagged, and had a good afternoon waiting on the room at our hotel. Unknown to us, the National Gallery had an Monet and Architecture exhibit. The most Monets we'd ever seen in one place, and some very unique ones! Actually bought the catalog and lugged it back to Virginia! 

 

Enjoy!

We truly enjoyed the Monet exhibit, though I wish it had been somewhat bigger.

 

In addition to Monet paintings there were some Japanese paintings that inspired him followed by a painting by Monet of his wife in a kimono. There were also paintings by an artist Millet who influenced him. And finally sculptures by Rodin. Monet and Rodin were friends and sometimes exhibited together. They were contemporaries born only 4 days apart. 

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On 7/20/2021 at 5:38 AM, Nitemare said:

We've stayed in Courtyards in Mass that had microwaves in the room

Thanks, I wonder why the Boston Back Bay Hilton had a coffee maker, but not a microwave in the room. And if I had not asked, I would not have known about the one available behind the checkin place.

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22 hours ago, ontheweb said:

Thanks, I wonder why the Boston Back Bay Hilton had a coffee maker, but not a microwave in the room. And if I had not asked, I would not have known about the one available behind the checkin place.

I can rarely recall microwaves at the more "upscale" chains like Hilton and Marriott and Sheraton.  More common in the lower brands, especially at any of the extended stay type places

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1 hour ago, Nitemare said:

I can rarely recall microwaves at the more "upscale" chains like Hilton and Marriott and Sheraton.  More common in the lower brands, especially at any of the extended stay type places

Thanks, I did not know that. I guess we have not spent enough time in "upscale" chains.

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On 7/3/2021 at 10:53 AM, ontheweb said:

Hilton Boston Back Bay ... pool requirement is by DW. She has gone whole summers without missing a day swimming.

 

We just came back yesterday from a 5 days road trip to Newport, RI and greater Boston, MA area - the hotel pool in both were closed, whereas the fitness center were open.  I assumed that you've called and/or email the hotel directly (not the 800 # or central reservations) to confirm the hours & that the pool for guest use are open.  

 

Boston's historic Chinatown on Beach Street is more lively than a few years ago with a new wave of more upscale & fusion restaurants that cater to the changing demographics.  Ditto on some of the retail stores and food places not surviving the pandemic, and others with modified/shortened or reduced hours - check & reconfirm those on your bucket list, call ahead.  Enjoy your visit. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, mking8288 said:

 

We just came back yesterday from a 5 days road trip to Newport, RI and greater Boston, MA area - the hotel pool in both were closed, whereas the fitness center were open.  I assumed that you've called and/or email the hotel directly (not the 800 # or central reservations) to confirm the hours & that the pool for guest use are open.  

 

Boston's historic Chinatown on Beach Street is more lively than a few years ago with a new wave of more upscale & fusion restaurants that cater to the changing demographics.  Ditto on some of the retail stores and food places not surviving the pandemic, and others with modified/shortened or reduced hours - check & reconfirm those on your bucket list, call ahead.  Enjoy your visit. 

 

 

We enjoyed the visit, thank you.

 

The pool was open and DW used it everyday except when we went to Cape Cod (Hyannis).

 

We have one more very short road trip where we are going to Amish country to Sight and Sound Theater. Just a day trip, but too long to drive there and back in one day. DW again picked a place with a pool, but I see on their website that the pool is closed.😢

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On 7/1/2021 at 9:51 AM, ontheweb said:

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.)

The first time we were there was in 1973 and we toured the historical areas of the city and went to some really great Italian restaurants.The second time we were there was in 2011.We went with 2 other couples for a weekend. My friend Tony for a reason unknown to the rest of us including his wife decided to wear his Yankees jacket .We could not convince him not to wear it and expected that it would be a problem but it was not.

 

 

 

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DW reminded me last night that we had previously rode on the Silver Line going from Logan Airport to the cruise terminal.

 

I also asked her if she had previously been in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts since I had the impression that she had been. She told me that in college they had made a bus trip there to see the museum. It was all in one day so it was 8 hours (4 each way) on a bus to see just one museum.

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Glad we went to Hyannis by bus instead of Provincetown by ferry. We were advised by our tour guide for the Freedom Trail to take the ferry for Cape Cod because it was quicker. We decided on the bus instead because DW said the beach was free in Hyannis while there was a fee in Provincetown. Also the JFK Museum was in Hyannis.

 

And now I see this, and I am very glad we avoided Provincetown.

 

Provincetown issues new COVID-19 advisory amid uptick in cases, with ‘vast majority’ detected in vaccinated people - The Boston Globe

 

 

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3 hours ago, ontheweb said:

Glad we went to Hyannis by bus instead of Provincetown by ferry. We were advised by our tour guide for the Freedom Trail to take the ferry for Cape Cod because it was quicker. We decided on the bus instead because DW said the beach was free in Hyannis while there was a fee in Provincetown. Also the JFK Museum was in Hyannis.

 

And now I see this, and I am very glad we avoided Provincetown.

 

Provincetown issues new COVID-19 advisory amid uptick in cases, with ‘vast majority’ detected in vaccinated people - The Boston Globe

 

 

Rainy weekend, bars were crowded, etc., and this past weekend P' town hosted a family weekend. I'm sure that within a few days the positivity numbers will go up in the community and in those towns from which the visitors hailed. The cluster jumped from 256 to 430, doubling in three days. The majority lived outside of P'town, and all visitors are urged to get tested.

 

Next rip to Boston, think about the Cape Flyer - rail from South Station , with stops along the route to the Cape gateway,  Wareham Village, Buzzards Bay, Bourne and Hyannis. It runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day, weekends. You can leave South Station on Friday afternoon and arrive in Hyannis about 2 hours later. Maybe check into a hotel for a night or two. Return on Sunday night to South Station  as late as 8:30 pm. Seniors with a charlie card can get half price tickets, children under 11 ride free. The rail trip is a good option if you want to connect to the high speed ferry to the Vineyard or Nantucket.

 

Darcy

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On 7/3/2021 at 6:38 PM, WatchHill said:

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

 

Just been rereading this thread (and all the wonderful helpful comments😊). One thing I want to say is I don't think it took as anywhere near an hour to get from the airport to the hotel using the directions Travelling Library gave. And it would have taken even less time if we had found right away where to catch the Silver line.

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On 7/4/2021 at 2:36 PM, Traveling Library said:

I don't know what a taxi would cost but $80 seems high. I'm sure if you call the Hilton they can give you a ballpark figure.  As for the T as long as you start at the airport on the Silver Line and make the transfers as noted there is no charge for the trip and transfers for the trolley system are free.  If you decide to use the T after you get to the hotel you can either buy a day pass or just pay for each fare as you go.  No more tokens on the T. Payment is by Charlie Ticket/Charlie Card.

Note that on the T the only portion of the trip that will have a place for your luggage is the Silver Line. The rest of the trip (Red and Green lines) will be regular trolley cars.  If you can handle your luggage then go for it! 

Once you get settled I highly recommend a ride on the Swan Boats in the Public Garden. This is also near Cheers and the Make Way for Ducklings statues.  Also the Boston Public Library has wonderful John Singer Sargent murals (these are in the old McKim Building) and a really nice take-out cafe in the library's Johnson Building. You can take your take-out and sit in the library courtyard if you wish.  If you like baseball, and I don't know if the Sox will be in town, you can take a tour of Fenway Park. And the Duck Tour leaves from the Prudential aka "The Pru" is fun because part of it is on the Charles River.

Food:  My two favorite places for seafood are Jasper White's Summer Shack which is just next door to your hotel, and The Barking Crab on the Ft. Point Channel. Also near the hotel (and other locations) is Joanne Chang's WONDERFUL bakery Flour. 

What ever you do. Have fun!

Again as I said rereading the thread.

 

I'm sorry we didn't do the duck boats. If we get back one day, that will be on the todo list.

 

I saw that restaurant next door. I kept looking at places for menus outside, and they just had all their awards posted instead. Oh well, we were happy with our food choices, so I guess no big deal missing it. 

 

Normally at restaurants we ended up taking part of our dinner home (especially DW who eats so little that she loses weight almost every cruise). That is a problem when we are eating out not at home. We ate one night at the hotel, and they allowed us to order one dinner for both of us which we totally finished except maybe for a piece or two of celery. We brought home seafood from Cape Cod, and it was also available for lunches. And our Wednesday take home dinner was good for both Wednesday and Thursday.

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We were in NY City yesterday and went to Immersive Van Gogh. (Remember DW is an art teacher.) I want to say you people in Boston should be so thankful for your subway system compared to the NY City subway station. And yours is also less expensive to use.

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13 hours ago, ontheweb said:

We were in NY City yesterday and went to Immersive Van Gogh. (Remember DW is an art teacher.) I want to say you people in Boston should be so thankful for your subway system compared to the NY City subway station. And yours is also less expensive to use.

Tell that to "Charlie", the "man who never returned", from the Kingston Trio song.  Also the namesake of the "Charlie Card" monthly pass on the MBTA.

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3 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

Tell that to "Charlie", the "man who never returned", from the Kingston Trio song.  Also the namesake of the "Charlie Card" monthly pass on the MBTA.

Several times while we were riding the MBTA that song was running through my mind.

 

I did not make the connection to the Kingston Trio song and the Charlie card. Seems obvious now that you mentioned it.

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I remember when they announced the Charlie card, I was LMAO with the connection to the old song.

And for the record, the Kingston Trio didn't write it. It was used as a campaign song years earlier. The Kingston Trio redid it and made it popular.

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1 hour ago, 1025cruise said:

I remember when they announced the Charlie card, I was LMAO with the connection to the old song.

And for the record, the Kingston Trio didn't write it. It was used as a campaign song years earlier. The Kingston Trio redid it and made it popular.

That made me curious as to who had actually wrote the song. Using google as my friend I found Walter O'Brien.

 

Walter O’Brien: The Man Who Never Returned (jacobinmag.com)

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6 hours ago, 1025cruise said:

I remember when they announced the Charlie card, I was LMAO with the connection to the old song.

And for the record, the Kingston Trio didn't write it. It was used as a campaign song years earlier. The Kingston Trio redid it and made it popular.

So I asked DW if she knew why they called it a Charlie card. Her answer "the Charles River?" I said no, and asked her if she was familiar with the Kingston Trio (as though a senior citizen, she is younger than me). She said she has heard of them, but was not familiar with their music. So I explained about "Poor old Charlie. He may read forever 'neath the streets of Boston. He's the man who never returned."

 

BTW, thank you for that piece of information; I would not have made that connection. And NY's subway does not have the same sense of humor.

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