Boston Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- No cars allowed Well, tourists are allowed to drive cars in Boston, but why would you want to? Traffic, one-way and narrow roads, along with pricey parking, makes driving nightmarish. Take the "T" or hit the streets walking.
- Begin at Boston Common The 2.5-mile Freedom Trail is a must-do for first-time travelers, but it doesn’t loop. To sightsee efficiently, you’ll need to start at one end (Boston Common) or the other (Monument Square).
- You’re in Red Sox territory If you're a Yankees fan, we’d keep it quiet … just saying.
Puritans settled here, revolutionaries chased freedom here and intellectuals founded Harvard not here -- but in nearby Cambridge. Boston is also home to the first public library, the first subway system, the first public school and the first public park. To say it’s historic would be an understatement, but this city isn’t stuck in the past either. A lively population of youngish professionals catches up in Euro-type cafés, dines amid a burgeoning restaurant scene and enjoys the finer things of life, such as the symphony, the arts and we can’t forget, the Red Sox. So, yes, come first for the history, but return for the unmistakable Beantown flavor.
How To Save Money in Boston
- Visit in the winter Pack the parka and visit in winter. Hotel rates are at their lowest between the months of January and March.
- Glide on a swan These notorious swan-shaped boat rides are also very affordable. (Less than $3 for adults and less than $2 for kids).
- Invest in a CityPASS Purchasing a Boston CityPASS will save you big bucks on some of the city's top attractions. CityPASS costs $46 for adults and $29 for kids.
Boston Culture & Customs
One of the most distinct parts of Boston is what is sometimes referred to as "Boston English," a dialect heard in countless movies and TV shows. The "r" sound is often dropped from words, so "car" becomes "cah" and "Harvard" becomes "Hah-vahd".
Boston is also a well-known sports city, as the home of the Boston Red Sox (it would be best to avoid wearing any Yankees paraphernalia here), the New England Patriots and the Boston Celtics. While you're in the city, be sure to indulge in this culture by catching a game or at least taking a tour of Fenway Park.
Beantown also takes pride in its intellectual and academic roots with around 100 colleges and universities, including some of the most prestigious, situated here. After the Revolution, the city's leaders were determined to make Boston the world's new Cradle of Civilization. They invested money and brought in scholars to create a city of educated citizens that studied at Harvard University, Boston University, Boston College, Emerson College, Tufts University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to name a few. Today, this impressive collection of schools also keeps the area young and forward-thinking, as Boston has one of the largest student populations in the country.
Bostonian cuisine is heavy on seafood, which is not surprising considering the city's proximity to the water. In particular, lobster is a Boston mainstay and chefs cook it in a variety of ways in establishments across the city. To get a taste of the day's catch, travelers recommend the Atlantic Fish Company downtown.
A recent influx of immigrants into the area has changed the food scene overall. Cobblestone streets are now increasingly lined with Thai and Ethiopian restaurants. Check out the North End for delicious Italian dishes and Cambridge for everything from French dishes to sushi rolls. Despite this gastronomical revolution, Bostonians tend to fall back to their traditional chowders and baked beans in local eateries. Just about any baker offers the official dessert, Boston cream pie, but travelers really like Mike's Pastry in the North End near the Paul Revere House.