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Boston

I will be in Boston for several days (Tuesday through Friday) in June. Mainly we will be seeing art museums and staying close to Fenway. Are there any other activities for 2 senior women you could recommend? Evenings are free so far. I have been to Boston on college visits but it has been 8 years since I have been there. Thank you

Posted by
3460 posts

Boston Public Library , beautiful murals by Puvis De Chavannes and a stunning building by McKim , Mead , and White - HH Richardson's Trinity Church , Copley Square Hotel - all on Copley Square , not far from the Gardner and MFA . See if The Boston Symphony is playing - June ? probably Pops at that time . Any performance at Symphony Hall ( One of the world's greatest concert halls , modeled on the Vienna Musikverein ) . The Common , Faneuil Hall , Quincy Market , I could go on forever . If you like history , take the T to Quincy , and visit the Adams National Historic site - The birthplace homes of the two Adams Presidents , John and Abigail Adams home " Peacefield " and the presidential tombs , have a great time !

Posted by
1749 posts

I highly recommend Old town Trolley Tours which are hop on hop off and hit all the major historical sights including Old Ironsides which has a fantastic tour. The Massachusetts State House has a good tour. The Boston Aquarium is a fun museum as well as the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Museum of Art. Touring Beacon Hill is fun. Ride the swan boats. There is so much to see and do in Boston that you'll be spoiled for choice. Have a great time!

Posted by
21083 posts

I assume you have been to the MFA before and are aware of how large it is. I loved it, but I could have used about two days in that building! I did take advantage of the fact that the entry ticket allows a second visit (within one week, I believe).

When I was in Boston a month ago, they were doing some work in the Gardner Museum. One of the floors of the old wing was closed, but many of the artworks had been temporarily relocated elsewhere in the complex. I spent so much time in those two museums that I really didn't have time to branch out, but there are many cultural events listed on the ArtsBoston website.

Posted by
2353 posts

The North End for dinner & a visit to the Old North Church. Take the T to Haymarket and walk across the park to the North End. Check out the few small streets - Marshall St) across from Haymarket - this is what all of Boston looked like back in the day. Stay away from tourist trap restaurants on Hanover St - do a little research for the dishes you love. Mike's NOT Modern for pastry, Maria's if you like marzipan.

Boston is one of my favorite cities - small, cozy, walkable. Have a great time!

The MFA in Boston is fab - we were members when we lived on the Cape.

Posted by
11288 posts

In addition to all the ideas above, the JFK library is very interesting.

Posted by
339 posts

Thank you all for these great ideas.

Posted by
2914 posts

Hi, If you are coming for the art museums, I'll assume you already know about the Museum of Fine Arts, I S Gardner Museum and the ICA. I also suggest you walk down Newbury Street and visit the various art galleries there. If you are interested in the decorative arts, check out the Nichols House Museum and the Garrison Gray Otis House, besides the MFA's fantastic collection.

As one poster mentioned, Quincy has some nice historical sites in a calmer atmosphere. Quincy's Adams Historical Park has free trolleys that will bring you to the birthplaces of John and John Quincy Adams (saltboxes) and Peacefield (the 'mansion' Abigail purchased while John was in France (I think then), as well as their crypts in the UFPC and the old cemetery across the street. The Dorothy Quincy house is just down the street and very near where John Hancock grew up. The National Park is easy and car free from the Quincy Center T stop. There is a good Indian Restaurant on Hancock Street near the T, if you notice when you walk by, Sher A Punjab.

Depending upon what is being exhibited, the JFK Library is interesting and a lovely spot for a picnic. You can get there from the JFK stop...by bus or taxi, or a short, but not pleasant walk.

However, if you only have evenings free, take one in the North End. I have to respectfully disagree with Christi, neither Mike's nor the Modern is the place to go. For my entire adult life, 40 years, the non-tourists go to a different bakery, Bova's Bakery, 134 Salem Street. Here are are the directions: Walk past Mike's, Mikes should be on your left. Take a left turn at the end of the block, walk to the next corner of the block and the small bakery is kitty corner across Salem Street. You must have at least one dinner in the North End. I've never had a bad meal in the North End, but I usually choose from one of the small restaurants on Salem Street as too many people don't bother to move off of Hanover Street so they are too crowded and not as pleasant an experience, IMO.

Boston is a great, walkable and interesting city. Make sure you walk through the Back Bay and Beacon Hill. Charles Street has some interesting antique stores. The public garden is lovely in bloom, and the Four Seasons Hotel has high tea, if you are interested in a more elegant rest. Don't miss the waterfront and Quincy Market. And walk along the Greenway as well, particularly from the North End to Quincy Market/Christopher Columbus Park. And check out the new Boston Market as well. And if all else fails, there is the Freedom Trail, but that could wait for another visit.

And if you want to eat somewhere outside the MFA and Gardner museum with a different atmosphere walk a few blocks west on Huntington Avenue to the Squealing Pig, an Irish pub, hidden just slightly down a side street. Good food.

Posted by
339 posts

I would love to see a ballgame but no home games while we are there. My husband and I always look for some baseball when traveling.

Posted by
3933 posts

We are heading back to Boston for a few nights near the end of the month. This will be our...(calculating in my head)...6-7th time there since 2001 (I honestly can't rem!). We really enjoy walking around the Commons/Public Gardens, have been to the Aquarium twice, wandering past the shops on Newbury St, walking along the waterfront.

One trip we did the Harvard Natural history museum and the glass flower exhibit (which looks like it has been renovated and is reopening May 21). Old Ironsides was fun.

We've hit pretty much all the museums that have interested us, so this time, we are (finally) going to do the Freedom trail walk if the weather is nice. Otherwise, we always like to hit Mike's or Modern Pastry (tho I may take notes on the 'local's' spot offered above) and Quincy Market area. Most likely you've seen most of this, but maybe something here will be different...

Posted by
338 posts

Have you visited the State House? Explored Beacon Hill? You can attend evening concerts at the Isabella Steward Gardner museum. The MFA also has music or films in the evenings. The Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University is also great.

Posted by
339 posts

Thanks so much for such great ideas. I just wish we were staying longer!

Posted by
2353 posts

"However, if you only have evenings free, take one in the North End. I have to respectfully disagree with Christi, neither Mike's nor the Modern is the place to go. For my entire adult life, 40 years, the non-tourists go to a different bakery, Bova's Bakery, 134 Salem Street. "

Can't believe I forgot Bova's! We loved to eat dinner at Al Dente on Salem & Parmenter then walk up the street. Have not been back in too many years but we are stopping there in 2017 on the way back from Europe.

Posted by
3933 posts

I pinned Bova's on my Boston map on my ipad - gonna check it out for sure - especially since the line-ups at the other two are crazy every time we've gone!

Posted by
2353 posts

Bova's cannoli are wonderful - they have several flavors - all pretty wonderful AND - they are open 24/7! The fruit tarts are tasty & beautiful too.

Posted by
2353 posts

You never know when you might have that 3am craving for a cannoli!

Posted by
379 posts

Hate to make life difficult for you.

ONLY stop by Bova's AFTER you have the best Italian sub in Boston at Monica's next door. That is if you still have room.

For an evening, this cruise will give you a view of Boston missed by most visitors.

https://ticketing.bostonharborcruises.com/WebStore/shop/ViewItems.aspx?CG=EXCR&C=SS

For daytime, JFK's birthplace can easily be reached from Fenway. A couple of T stops will take you to Brookline's Coolidge Corner. Walk a few blocks passing a great bookstore, a historic theatre, a handful of kosher eateries to reach the birthplace.

https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/presidents/john_f_kennedy_birthplace.html

Posted by
2353 posts

While you see them called subs all over (even in New England) you won't see them called grinders outside of New England.

Posted by
3460 posts

... "While you see them called subs all over (even in New England) " ... Particularly in New England ! Arguably , the term sub or submarine sandwich originated at a sandwich joint just near the US Navy Submarine base in Groton CT . It's down the street from the base ( and submarine museum ) a short distance from Electric Boat Company , where they build them - the boats , not the sandwiches ;--)

Posted by
3460 posts

And , as long as food hit the menu ( pun intended ) , a short ride on the Blue line T , go north to the last stop ( Wonderland ) and a short walk along Revere Beach Blvd , takes you to Kelly's , where you will find the best clam chowder in all of New England !!! http://www.kellysroastbeef.com/

Posted by
2353 posts

.. "While you see them called subs all over (even in New England) " ... Particularly in New England ! Arguably , the term sub or submarine sandwich originated at a sandwich joint just near the US Navy Submarine base in Groton CT . It's down the street from the base ( and submarine museum ) a short distance from Electric Boat Company , where they build them - the boats , not the sandwiches ;--)

That is one story. BTW - Father, two brothers and a sister "built them boats" there.

Posted by
3460 posts

Wow ! I guess you're a true Connecticut Yankee ?

Posted by
2353 posts

For the most part yes except that I was born so far upstate New York that if mom had been facing the other direction I'd be Canadian!

Posted by
339 posts

Thanks again for all your help and great suggestions.

Posted by
2353 posts

Yes - not everyone calls them subs but with over 23,000 Subway's in all 50 states & 10,000 more in 92 other countries - I think it is safe to say they are called subs all over.

Posted by
339 posts

Thanks again for all your help and great suggestions.

Posted by
351 posts

In general, grinders are hot, subs are cold. That's not a 100% fixed rule, but it generally holds true.

Just be thankful they no longer call them spuckies.

Posted by
339 posts

In the mid 60's, we had grinders in Southern California. And they were hot or cold. We had just moved from Pennsylvania and had never heard of grinders. All this time I thought it was a So Cal thing.