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Boston, Massachusetts

Local Details

Learn more about Boston, Massachusetts using the City Guide below. Plan a trip, find local shopping centers, or just discover what makes Boston, Massachusetts so great!

Current Temperature

  • 7.4C, Scattered Clouds

City Guide

Boston is the largest city in New England, the capital of the state of Massachusetts, and one of the most historic, wealthy and influential cities in the United States of America. Its dozens of museums, 62 historical sights, nearly 2000 restaurants, and wealth of live performances all explain why the city gets 16.3 million tourists a year, making it one of the ten most popular tourist locations in the country.

Although technically not part of Boston proper, the cities of Cambridge (just across the Charles River, home to Harvard and MIT), Newton, Brookline and Somerville are in many ways an integral part of the larger city and are an essential component to any visit to Boston.

Districts

Boston is a city of diverse neighborhoods, many of which were originally towns in their own right before being assimilated into the city itself. These neighborhoods still go by their original names and people will often tell you they are from "JP" (Jamaica Plain), "Southie" (South Boston), "Dot" (Dorchester) or "Eastie" (East Boston) rather than from "Boston". Alternatively, people from the suburbs will tell you they are from Boston when in fact they live in one of the nearby (or even outlying) suburbs. If in doubt, you can look for "Resident Parking Only" signs which will tell you what neighborhood you are in.

These distinctions can cause problems when trying to send mail or when using directory assistance to search for phone numbers. When sending letters to residents, zip codes will often be valid for several different neighborhood labels. "Boston" will work, but so will "Dorchester", or even sub-neighborhoods such as "Neponset", "Uphams Corner" and "Fields Corner." Residents still use them with pride.

To this day, if you dial 411 to search for a phone number, the listing may not be found under "Boston," but in the neighborhood where the person/business is located.

Also be aware that geographic references tend to mean little. For example, South Boston is different from the South End, which is actually west of South Boston and north of Dorchester and Roxbury. Some other confusing notables: East Boston and Charlestown are further north than the North End. The West End is in the northern part of town (bordering the North End and Charles River). Dorchester Heights is located well within South Boston.

Among Boston's many neighborhoods, the historic areas of Back Bay, Bay Village, Beacon Hill, Chinatown, Downtown, the Fenway, the Financial District, Government Center, the North End, and the South End comprise the area considered "Boston Proper." It is here where most of the buildings that make up the city's skyline are located.

Boston neighborhoods (nicknames in parentheses):

  • Allston and Brighton (Allston-Brighton, All-Bright)
  • Back Bay
  • Bay Village
  • Beacon Hill
  • Charlestown
  • Chinatown
  • Dorchester (Dot)
  • Downtown
  • East Boston (Eastie)
  • Fenway-Kenmore (The Fens, Kenmore Square)
  • Hyde Park (HP)
  • Jamaica Plain (JP)
  • Mattapan
  • Mission Hill
  • North End
  • Roslindale (Rozzie)
  • Roxbury
  • South Boston (Southie)
  • South End
  • West End
  • West Roxbury (Westie, West Rox, WR)

Allston and Brighton are abutting neighborhoods. Brighton is rather suburban, large and home to the largest population of Asians in the City of Boston --even more than Chinatown in total numbers if not percentage of population. Allston is more urban than Brighton and smaller. It is closer to the City and quite close to Harvard Square in Cambridge. In fact Harvard University has recently published plans to expand "Harvard Sq." into North Allston. You will often hear them called Allston-Brighton, although they are quite distinct. They are connected to the rest of the city by a narrow neck of land between the Charles River and the town of Brookline.

East Boston is on a peninsula across Boston Harbor from the main bulk of the city. Logan Airport is in East Boston. Several underwater tunnels connect East Boston to the rest of the city.

Charlestown is across the Charles River, on the part of the mainland where Cambridge and Somerville are located. It's where you'll find the Bunker Hill Monument.

The South End, North End, South Boston, and the West End are not the neighborhoods farthest in these respective directions. They are named for their positions relative to the original penninsula of Boston, which as been landfilled to such an extent that the South End is now landlocked.

The Back Bay is one of the few neighborhoods with streets organized in a grid. It is so named because it used to be mud flats on the river, until the city filled in the bay in a land-making project ending in 1862. It is now one of the higher-rent neighborhoods in the city. The north-south streets crossing the axis of Back Bay are organized alphabetically. Starting from the east, at the Public Garden, and heading west, they are: Arlington, Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth, Exeter, Fairfield, Gloucester (pronounced 'gloster'), and Hereford. After Hereford is Massachusetts Avenue, more commonly known as Mass. Av., and then Charlesgate, which marks the western boundary of Back Bay. The alphabetical street names continue a little way into the Fenway neighborhood on the other side of Charlesgate, with Ipswich, Jersey, and Kilmarnock, but the streets are no longer arranged in a grid.

There are also several "districts" you might hear mentioned. "Districts" are generally areas of common interest located within a larger neighborhood:

  • Financial District (downtown)
  • Leather District (downtown)
  • SoWa District (South of Washington, South End)
  • Theatre District (between Chinatown and Bay Village)
  • Waterfront District (South Boston)
  • Ladder District (newer phrase for Downtown Crossing)

When to visit

As many know, the weather in New England is very unpredictable and becomes moderately cold in the winter, as well as rather humid summers. Late May through late September, you'll be comfortable with no jacket or sweater.

When the heat does start, there are miles and miles of beaches within the city -and just outside of it- that are available for swimming. (The old Standells classic "Dirty Water" doesn't really apply anymore as the water is very safe to swim in thanks to the 15-year old Boston Harbor Cleanup project.)

Early summer tends to be nice, but you don't know when that will be year to year. In that time however, the temperature will be perfect, and there will be no humidity. The remainder of summer tends to be very warm with uncomfortably high humidity. Walking around Boston in this weather can be very uncomfortable. You'll be best off taking a cab, bus, or the T (air-conditioned, unlike the London Underground).

If you opt to visit during the less busy wintertime, rest assured that the nearby Atlantic Ocean has a large moderating effect on temperatures. The average low in January is 22F, so as long as you dress appropriately, you should be fine.

Understanding

The father of American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes) once called the Boston statehouse "the hub of the solar system", but common usage has expanded to the now-current Hub of the Universe. This half-serious term is all you need to know to understand Boston's complicated self-image. Vastly important in American history, and for centuries the seat of the USA's social elite, Boston lost prominence in the early twentieth century, largely to the cities of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Over the past two decades, Boston has regained political, cultural, and economic importance. Is it the center of everything? Don't expect a straight answer from a wry Bostonian.

The city was founded in 1630 by members of the Massachusetts Bay colony, Puritan religious dissidents who had fled England to find freedom in the New World. Because of its easily-defended harbor and the fact that it is the closest harbor to Europe it rapidly assumed a leading role in the fledging New England region, with a booming economy based on trade with the Caribbean and Europe. The devastating Fire of 1760 destroyed much of the town, but within a few years the city had bounced back.

Bostonians were the instigators of the independance movement in the 18th century and the city was the center of America's revolutionary activity during the Colonial period. Several of the first Revolutionary War skirmishes were fought there, including the Boston Massacre, The Boston Tea Party, and the battles of Lexington and Concord -which were fought nearby. Boston's direct involvement in the Revolution ended after the Battle of Bunker Hill and, soon afterwards, the ending of the Siege of Boston by George Washington. The residents' ardent support of independence earned the city the nickname The Cradle of Liberty.

Throughout the 19th century, Boston continued to grow rapidly, assimilating outlying towns into the metropolitan core. Its importance in American culture was inestimable, and its economic and literary elite, the so-called Boston Brahmins assumed the mantle of aristocracy in the United States. Their patronage of the arts and progressive social ideals was unprecidented in the New World, and often conflicted with the city's Puritan foundations. They helped drive unprecedented scientific, educational and social change that would soon sweep the country. The Abolitionist movement, anesthesia and the telephone are a few examples of this.

Education was another area that was vitally important to the elites and citizenery in general. The first public school in America, Boston Latin, was founded in 1635. The oldest elementary school in America, the Mather School, opened in 1635. (Its current structure, built in 1905, is the oldest continuously-operated school building in America.) Harvard College in nearby Cambridge became, and in many ways remains, America's premier center of learning. Boston was also the first city in America to adopt a public library.

At the same time, the city's working class swelled with immigrants from Europe. The huge Irish influx made Boston one of the most important Irish cities in the world -- in or out of Ireland. Gradually the Irish laborer population climbed into city's upper class, evidenced no better than by the continued importance of the Kennedy family in national politics.

From the early twentieth century until the 1970s, Boston's importance on the national stage waned. Cities in what was once the frontier, like Chicago, San Francisco, and later Los Angeles, shifted the nation's center of gravity away from liberty's cradle. In the past two decades, Boston's importance and influence has increased, due to growth in higher education, health care, high technology, and financial services. It remains America's higher educational center; during the school year, one in five Bostonians is a university student. There are more college students per square foot in Boston than any other city in the Western Hemisphere.

Boston's nicknames include "Beantown", "The Hub" (shortened from Oliver Wendell Holmes' phrase 'The Hub of the Universe'), "The City of Higher Learning" (due to the plethora of universities and colleges in the Boston area) and - particularly in the 19th century - "The Athens of America," on account of its great cultural and intellectual influence. If you don't want to stand out as a tourist, don't refer to Boston by any of these nicknames. Locals, with the exception of the media when writing snappy headlines, generally don't use any of them.

Get in

By plane

  • Logan International Airport (IATA: BOS), Toll free: +1 800-23-LOGAN (56426), radio: AM 1650.

Boston Logan International Airport is the main gateway to Boston and New England. It is located in East Boston a few kilometers from downtown. All major U.S. carriers serve Boston Logan with extensive flights to major cities across the country. Many European carriers also fly to Boston from their hubs including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic (London), Air France (Paris), Alitalia (Milan, Rome), Lufthansa (Frankfurt, Munich), Aer Lingus (Dublin, Shannon), Swiss (Zurich), Icelandair (Reykjavik) Iberia (Madrid) and NWA/KLM (Amsterdam). Getting to Boston from Asia will require at least a one stop connection.

From all terminals, free Massport shuttle buses provide connectivity to subway, water transit, and parking.

The MBTA Blue line is convenient and inexpensive provided that you are not carrying much luggage. For the bus to Airport station, look for the blue and white Massport shuttle bus with the electronic sign that says "SUBWAY" or "ROUTE 22". Subway fare is $1.70, or 2.00 w/o Charliecard, and exact change is not needed. The last Blue Line train leaves Airport station shortly after about 12:30 AM.

The 'Airport station was completely rebuilt in 2004. Change at Government Center for Green Line trains and at State Street for Orange Line trains. If you need a Red Line train, you could take a Green Line train from Government Center to Park Street, but the Silver Line (see below) is a better bet.

The Silver Line began service to Logan airport in June 2005. The large, low-floor articulated bus stops at each terminal roughly every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 15 minutes on weekends. From the airport the bus travels through the occasionally-clogged Ted Williams Tunnel, and then through a dedicated bus tunnel to an underground stop at South Station. Convenient transfers are available to the Red Line, westbound/southbound commuter rail trains, and Amtrak trains. The fare is $1.70, or $2.00 w/o Charliecard, exact change only.

Taxis are more expensive than in many other cities. Fortunately, the airport is very near the city so the fare is not extremely expensive. It would be about $25 for fares to Boston, and less if you are staying downtown in the financial district.

Airporter, Phone: +1 781-899-6161, toll free: +1 877-899-6161, reservations@theairporter.com. Between Logan and the suburbs, door to door.

Driving to Logan from the north, take the Callahan Tunnel; from the south or the west, take the Ted Williams Tunnel. Routes are well marked, and there is no toll in this direction. Driving from the airport to downtown Boston or to points north, including Interstate 93 northbound, take the Sumner Tunnel; for points south and west, including Interstate 93 southbound & Interstate 90, take the Ted Williams Tunnel. There is a $3 toll for either tunnel. Routes are well marked, but the airport road system is complex... read the signs carefully and be sure you're in the correct lane, or you may be forced to swerve across several lanes of traffic to catch an unexpected off-ramp.

Alternative airports

Due to congestion at Logan, two regional airports have been designated as alternatives to Logan Airport. Flying into one of these airports may be an option for travelers visiting points north or south of Boston or those who wish to fly Southwest (which flies into both of these airports, but does not serve Logan). Unless one of those conditions applies, it is recommended that you just fly into Logan, as both airports are some distance from Boston and not well served by public transportation.

  • Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (IATA: MHT) is located in Manchester, NH, approximately 50 miles north of Boston. A shuttle bus is available from the airport to the Sullivan Square T stop in Charlestown, with a stop at the Anderson Regional Transit Center in Woburn for connections to the commuter rail. The shuttle began in November 2006, and will run for 6 months, after which it will be evaluated to see if it will continue after the 6-month trial period. So check first before booking your flight: if the shuttle is not running, the only ways to get into Boston aside from renting a car are a bus that runs every few hours or a very expensive cab ride. Note that this airport should not be confused with Manchester International Airport in Manchester, England (yes, it has happened).
  • T.F. Green Airport (IATA: PVD) is located in Warwick, RI, approximately 60 miles south of Boston. For the moment, the best way to get into Boston by public transportation is to take a local bus or taxi to the train station downtown, and board a MBTA commuter train to Boston. If you do this, make sure to check the bus and train schedules in advance of your visit, as service can be very limited at times (especially on weekends and late at night). There are plans to build a new commuter rail station at the airport, but this is not expected to be completed until 2009.

General Aviation traffic is mostly served by Hanscom Field (ICAO: KBED) off Route 128/I-95 near Lexington and Burlington.

By train

Amtrak arrives at South Station, which intersects with the MBTA's Red Line and the waterfront branches of the Silver Line. You can take the Amtrak Northeast Corridor or Acela Express from South Station all the way to Washington D.C. and beyond. Average Acela time from Boston to New York City is 3 1/2 hours, while a trip to Philadelphia takes about 5 hours. Another popular Amtrak train is the Lake Shore Limited service between Boston and Chicago (requiring a layover in Albany). This isn't as high quality or high speed as the Acela, but at around $75, the price is right (note that in order to get the low-low fare, you have to purchase your ticket a few weeks in advance). All trains to South Station also stop at Back Bay Station, which is much smaller, but more convenient to Back Bay, Beacon Hill and the South End. It is on the Orange Line on the subway and most of the Commuter Rail lines that terminate at South Station.

Amtrak also uses North Station at the TD Banknorth Garden (previously called the Fleet Center) for their Downeaster service to Haverhill, Peabody, and Maine.

Remember, Boston's North and South stations are not linked, and are over a mile from one another. In order to travel in between, hop on the Red Line subway at South Station and switch to the Orange Line to North Station. You could always take a cab, but the subway (known locally as the "T") is significantly cheaper. Your best option is to go between North Station and Back Bay station, since they are directly linked by the Orange Line.

If you have a first class Acela ticket, you may use the Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge in the historic, renovated South Station. There is no lounge at Back Bay Station. You may use Quik Track machines to buy your ticket without standing in line, or to pick up tickets you have reserved online.

Arriving by train has the advantage of putting you within easy reach of most downtown destinations by public transit.

By bus

  • Boston Deluxe, 175 Huntington Av., Phone: +1 917-662-7552, connecting Boston with New York and Hartford.
  • Fung Wah Transportation, 700 Atlantic Av. (South Station), Phone: +1 617-338-8308, E-mail: general@fungwahbus.com, connecting Boston's Chinatown neighboorhood with New York's Chinatown (139 Canal St).
  • Greyhound Bus Lines, 700 Atlantic Av. (South Station), Phone: +1 617-526-1800.
  • LimoLiner luxury bus transportation offering professionals business services between New York City and Boston.
  • Lucky Star Bus, 700 Atlantic Av. (South Station) Phone: +1 617-734-1268. between Boston's South Station and New York's Chinatown
  • Peter Pan Bus Lines, 700 Atlantic Av. (South Station), Phone: +1 800-343-9999.

Greyhound and Peter Pan Bus serve many cities from South Station but are generally much more expensive than the Chinatown buses, with Greyhound and PPB averaging $30 to New York. However, eSaver fares available online make the Greyhound fare between Boston & NYC as low as $15 each way. The Chinatown buses (AKA Dragon Buses) now use South Station also and serve Hartford, Connecticut and New York City. Fares are competitive, but not as low as they once were (for example, Fung Wah was $10 each way and is now $15). Some significantly lower quality Chinatown buses average $12.50 one way.

It should be noted that Fung Wah Transportation has recently been in the headlines for several accidents involving its buses.

By car

If you are driving in, you may seriously want to consider dropping your car at a lot and taking the "T" in. If you're heading downtown for the touristy sites, you will consider having a car a curse rather than a blessing. Parking at MBTA commuter rail and terminal subway locations is dirt cheap. In particular, the Riverside (Grove Street) stop at the end of the Green D line is right off I-95, and is $3.75 to park ALL DAY. You can even park overnight for something like a dollar more. Commuter rail stations are even cheaper. See the Public Transit section in the "Get around" section below.

Boston has two major highways entering it, I-93 and I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike, or "Mass Pike", or "Pike"; locals do not call it "I-90"). I-93 enters the city from the north and the south; the section running from Boston southward is referred to as the "Southeast Expressway" but the northern section is just "93 North." The Pike enters Boston from the west. The Mass Pike is a toll road - expect to pay $1.00 to enter the city via the Pike, in addition to the tolls charged when arriving at the I-90 / I-95 interchange in Weston, just outside the city (variable based on distance travelled, max price is $3.60 if you drive all the way from the automatic ticket machines near the New York border). Also, if you enter The Pike in East Boston (at Logan Airport) the toll is $3.00. There are minor roads, of course, that enter Boston as well, including Route 9 (Old Worcester Turnpike), Route 2, and US 1. Another major highway, I-95 (also known as Route 128) encircles the Boston area.

There are many car rental places around Boston, but one of the most unique is Zipcar, an hourly car rental service. If you don't plan to do much driving, this may be an economical alternative to owning a car. If you want to use Zipcar, you should try signing up in advance (students of universities in Boston may be able to get a discount). It is not instantaneous. Rental fees and taxes differ between Boston and Cambridge, but the rental agencies at Logan Airport (in East Boston) are still usually less expensive and have a greater fleet of cars available.

In addition to the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), the Sumner Tunnel is a toll road (coming from the airport only), along with the Ted Williams Tunnel (from airport only), and the Tobin Bridge (southbound/from the North Shore only).

If driving on a major highway during rush hour, do not be surprised to see cars driving in the breakdown lane on the shoulder. This is permitted in certain areas, at certain times, as indicated by signs along the road.

As a general rule, especially as a tourist unfamiliar with the city, alternatives are favored over driving - even when just getting in or out of the city. Boston is one of the densest major cities in the U.S. - perfect for walking, biking, or using the collection of mass transit systems known as the T. Driving can be confusing and dangerous with numerous one way streets, narrow roads, and continuous road construction.

By boat

  • MBTA runs ferries between Boston's Long Wharf and terminals in Hull, Quincy and Charlestown. Also between Rowe's Wharf and the Airport, Hingham, and Provincetown.
  • Cruise ships dock at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal, One Black Falcon Av., Phone: +1 617-330-1500. The MBTA Silver Line bus serves the port.

Get around

Navigating Boston's streets is very hard if you are not familiar with the area. Driving is to be avoided if possible. While other cities have their streets laid out in a grid (New York, Chicago, Indianapolis) or along a river, lake, or other geographical feature (New Orleans, Cleveland), the streets of Boston are essentially paved versions of the 17th-century cattle trails and dirt roads they replaced. There are many one-way streets, usually arranged haphazardly and poorly marked for drivers. Signage is nothing short of terrible and often you will have no clue what street you are crossing. Bostonians have adapted to this lax signage by — in many cases — completely ignoring street names outside their immediate neighborhoods. Most navigate by landmark and memory. Watch out for lots of double-parked vehicles. Boston's drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists are notorious for being aggressive. Especially avoid driving during rush hour on weekdays; streets and highways become extremely crowded (the downtown population doubles each workday). Walking, especially downtown, is the best way to go.

For most tourist destinations in Boston and Cambridge, you should leave your car behind and take the subway. You'll do a bit more walking, but that will give you a chance to see the sights. However, much of the parking in Boston and surrounding towns is limited to neighborhood residents, who have stickers identifying their cars. You should therefore check whether parking on a particular street is open to you, and consider using metered parking or public or private lots.

If you are unfamiliar with the area and don't plan on going beyond the areas covered by the subway then it is best to avoid a car. You will save yourself a lot of money and aggravation.

Parking

Parallel parking is a necessary skill in Boston. If you're not up the challenge, however, there are many garages downtown close to the sights. They include Quincy Market, the Aquarium, the new State Street Financial Center, the Theater District and the Boston Common. There are three levels of parking under the Common. The garage is very clean and its central location makes it a good starting point for a day trip in the city. To get in and out of the garage, there are four pavilions on the Common; each has stairs and an elevator. Once out of the garage, the Park Street and Boylston Street subway stops are only a two or three minute walk away.

As a rule, if you think you may be illegally parked, you probably are. Read the street signs very carefully. Watch for street cleaning, resident parking zones, and commercial parking zones - all of which will vary depending on the day and time. Parking meters are enforced heavily throughout the city. Meters in different parts of the city will turn off at different times (ie. 8PM downtown or 6PM in many other neighborhoods). A broken meter entitles you to one hour without having to pay.

Public transit

Public transit in Boston is convenient and relatively inexpensive, and can take you directly to most points of interest. A single public transit agency serves the Boston Metro area, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority ("MBTA", or "the T" for short). The MBTA is the fourth-largest transit system in the U.S. For complete schedules, maps, and other information, see their official website at http://www.mbta.com.

After decades of using tokens for fare payment, the entire MBTA system has been converted to the new CharlieCard and CharlieTicket system. Dispensing machines at all stations accept cash, credit cards, and debit cards. As with many such systems, tourists are expected to use the temporary paper CharlieTickets rather than the more permanent plastic CharlieCards, but at the cost of a slight surcharge for using the tickets. With that said, you can certainly obtain a CharlieCard as a tourist, but it will take some effort to find a vendor selling the cards: the machines at the stations only give out CharlieTickets, and most station employees don't have CharlieCards readily available. However, they can be obtained at the main office near the Downtown Crossing T stop. The office is in the part that is underground and connects both the red and orange line.

Bicycles are usually welcome on the MBTA. They are allowed on MBTA boats and ferries at any time. On commuter rail trains, they are allowed anytime except weekday rush hours, as noted on individual train line schedules. Bikes are allowed on the Blue, Red, and Orange subway lines only, and only at certain times of the day. Bikes are always allowed on MBTA buses that are equipped with bike racks. The MBTA is currently installing bike racks on many bus routes - check the MBTA website for the latest updates. Please visit the MBTA website for complete rules and regulations regarding bikes on the MBTA.

The T consists of several components: subway, bus, water shuttles, and commuter rail.

Subway (or "the T")

The subway is composed of four color-coded rail lines. The Red and Orange lines travel generally north-south; the Blue and Green lines travel generally east-west. Google Earth has the subway lines built into its map of Boston. Googlemaps has all the subway stops listed, though not what line they're on. Short of particular non-touristy spots in the suburbs, the subway can get you anywhere.

The Green Line splits into four branches going west that are known as the B, C, D and E lines. Going west on the Green Line, the E line branches off at Copley Square station, the other three split at Kenmore Square station. Just after the lines split, these lines all run above ground and become "streetcar" lines. The B line branch of the Green Line runs through Boston University and ends at Boston College; therefore, during the school year, B-line trolleys are often very crowded with students, particularly at night. The B, C, and D lines all run near Fenway Park and get heavy usage before and after Red Sox home games. The T usually does a good job at running extra trolleys to accommodate the heavy load; nevertheless, during the baseball season, visitors may want to keep in mind that they will be facing large crowds if they travel near the Kenmore and Fenway stations those days.

The Red Line splits in two directions going south that are known as the Braintree and Ashmont branches, the latter of which connects to a streetcar line to Mattapan. Going south, the Red Line splits at JFK/UMass station.

When Bostonians say they use the T, they're usually referring to the subway. While the MBTA refers to the Silver Line as a subway route (it appears on subway maps), most Bostonians consider it part of the bus system.

The subway system is slightly confusing in that directions are often marked "inbound" and "outbound", rather than with a destination. "Inbound" means "into the center of Boston", where all four lines converge at four stops: State (Blue and Orange), Park Street (Red and Green), Government Center (Blue and Green), and Downtown Crossing (Orange and Red). "Outbound" means "away from the center of Boston". Of course, once one is in the center, the lines may indicate the actual destination of the trains, because all directions are "outbound". Nevertheless, note that the four stations listed above surround the center; for example, travel from Park Street to Government Center on the Green Line would be Inbound, but further travel on the same train would be Outbound. One of the better ways to determine which way to go is to note the last stop of the train (usually denoted on the subway platform maps).

Note that subway and light rail service generally stops between midnight and 2AM. Each line (green, blue, etc.) has a "last train" time, starting at one end of the line and going to the other. For example, Alewife, the north end of the red line, has a last train leaving at 1:15AM, which means it'll most likely arrive at Park St. going south between 1:35AM and 2AM, depending on the number of people using the T that night. Therefore, make sure to check with a T employee (usually someone is available by the turnstiles) or with a bus driver to get the "last train" time for the subway or bus line you want to take.

Unlimited-ride subway and bus passes are available from the T. If you're going to be riding a lot around town, these are worth investigating. See http://www.mbta.com/fares_and_passes/ for complete fare information on passes. A Visitor's Pass costs $7.50 for 1 day, $18 for 3 days, and $35 for 7 days (or, instead, locals use their 1-Day LinkPass for $9 or 7-Day LinkPass for $15). The 7-Day LinkPass is valid for 7 days from the date and time of purchase. The LinkPass gives you unlimited travel on Subway, Local Bus, Inner Harbor Ferry, and Commuter Rail Zone 1A.

The cost of a one-way ride on the MBTA Subway is $1.70 plus FREE subway and local bus transfers (if done on a CharlieCard), or $2.00 if done on a Charlie Ticket or paying by cash. This will get you to most destinations. Parking at the Alewife station on the Red line is ample but will cost you $5 no matter when you come and go (for each 24 hour period). The Grove Street/Riverside Station just off I95 has plentiful parking for $3.75 for ALL DAY.

Bus

Unlike the subway, buses tend to run circumferential routes rather than through the center of the city, e.g. from Brighton to Cambridge. Bus service is variable in performance, and buses can fill up rather quickly. Bus fares on the CharlieCard (plastic) are $1.25 plus FREE bus transfers, $2.80 Inner Express, and $4.00 Outer Express and then on the Charlie Ticket or by using cash costs $1.50, $3.50 Inner Express, and $5.00 Outer Express.

Water shuttle

The MBTA runs a number of water shuttles, but the most useful for tourists is the shuttle from Long Wharf to Navy Yard, which costs $1.70. This provides a convenient connection between the USS Constitution Museum and the area around Faneuil Hall and the New England Aquarium. There's also a shuttle from Long Wharf to Logan Airport, but it runs relatively infrequently, so the subway is your best bet for getting between these two destinations.

There are also public ferries available from several ports, notably the Aquarium and Long Wharf. Some may be through private companies, so be sure to check the fares at the companies' websites.

Commuter rail

Commuter rail in Boston is primarily used for traveling to towns outside of the city. Due to its limited frequency compared to the subway, it's not recommended for travel within the city itself. Commuter rail fares range from $1.70 to $7.75, depending on the distance traveled. Tickets can be bought on board trains, but at a slight surcharge.

Trains heading north of the city leave from North Station, while those heading south or west leave from South Station. Both stations have connections to the subway: North Station is on the Green and Orange Lines, and South Station is on the Red and Silver Lines.

As noted above, the two stations are not directly connected: you cannot board a train north of the city and take it to a point south of the city. Such a journey will require a subway ride in between train trips to make the connection. There has been talk of building an underground tunnel to connect the two stations, but this is not expected to happen for decades, if ever.

Taxi

Your current alternative to late-night public transit is a taxi. Taxis can be hailed at any significant street corner, such as Kenmore Square or Copley Square. Expect to spend at least $5 and possibly up to $30 in the immediate surroundings (this includes the initial fare, a small tip for the driver, small one-way streets, bad traffic, construction, tolls for bridges, tolls for tunnels, tolls for the Mass Pike, and any wait time). To get further out of Boston, expect to spend much more (for example, from the airport to Wellesley, a Boston suburb, would be around $80, which includes the actual driving and tolls along the way).

By foot

Boston's downtown core is very compact and easily walkable. Most major tourist attractions can be visited on foot, although visiting some neighborhoods will require rail and/or bus connections. The climate is rather cold from December to April, and the city, contrary to another city's slogan, is actually the most windy in America. Snow can also be an obstacle.

If, late at night, you feel you can deal neither with the cost of a taxi nor the wait involved with the MBTA, consider that Boston is a relatively small and safe city (the recent crime wave notwithstanding: it is mostly confined to neighborhoods most travelers would be unlikely to visit) and thus walking is always an option. Just remember to use the same common sense you would in any city.

See

Museums

  • Boston Children's Museum, 300 Congress Street, Daily 10AM-5PM, (F until 9PM). Adults $9, Ages 2-15 $7, Age 1 $2.
  • Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave (Museum of Fine Arts station, Green Line, E Train), Phone: +1 617 267-9300. (Free for ages 7-17 after 3PM weekdays, all weekend, and public school holidays; entrance fees are optional on Wednesdays from 4-9:45PM). Boston's mini-version of the Met, and also one of the pricier museums in the US. It is known for its impressive collection of French Impressionist paintings, with the largest collection of Monet paintings outside of Paris. Also it has a world-reknowned collection of Japanese art.
  • The Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, 1 Oxford St, Cambridge, Phone: 617-495-2779. T stop: Red Line to "Harvard Square". M-F, 11AM-4PM. Free and open to the public. Closed on University Holidays. Has over 20,000 objects dating from 1400 to present day.
  • Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge (Harvard Square Station, Red Line), Phone: +1 617-495-9400. M-Sa 10AM-5PM; Su 1PM-5PM, except school holidays.
  • Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, Phone: +1 617-495-3045. T stop: Red Line to "Harvard Square". 9AM-5PM daily. Its amazing "Glass Flowers" collection has been a major tourist attraction for nearly 100 years.
  • Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave. (Courthouse Station, Silver Line), +1 617 478-3100. The much-anticipated new building designed by starchitects Diller+Scofidio, the ICA is located on Fan Pier on the South Boston Waterfront.
  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 280 The Fenway (MFA Station, Green E Line), Phone: +1 617-566-1401. The villa-turned-museum of an eccentric Bostonian figure. The Gardner features an eclectic collection of European objects, beautiful floral displays, and was the site of a spectacular painting heist in 1990.
  • John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Dorchester (JFK/UMass Station, Any Red Line), Phone: +1 617-514-1600. Daily 9AM-5PM. Adm. $10/$7.
  • MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge. (Red Line to either "Central Square Station" or "Kendall Square/MIT"), Daily 9AM–8PM until June 30, 2007. "The MIT Museum is a place that explores invention, ideas, and innovation. Home to renowned collections in science and technology, holography, architecture and design, nautical engineering and history, the Museum features changing and ongoing exhibitions, unique hands-on activities, and engaging public programs."
  • Museum of Science, Science Park (Science Park Station, Lechmere-bound Green Line trains), Phone: +1 617-723-2500. Daily 9AM-5PM (Summer until 7PM). Admission $13-$16 plus a la carte menu of attractions.
  • New England Aquarium, Central Wharf, (Blue Line to Aquarium), +1 617-973-5200. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa-Su 9AM-6PM. Great fun for kids of all ages. Whale watching tours available, too. Adults $18, Students $16, Ages 3-11 $10.
  • Mapparium, 175 Huntington Avenue (Green Line to the Prudential, Symphony, or Hynes/ICA stop). The Mary Baker Eddy Library at the world headquarters of the Christian Science Church houses a three story globe room where visitors can view a stained-glass map of the world from inside the center. Tu-Su 10AM-4PM. The $6 admission covers most of the museum and library.
  • Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge (Red Line to "Harvard Square"), Phone: +1 496-1027. Daily 9AM-5PM. One of the oldest museums in the world devoted to anthropology and houses one of the most comprehensive records of human cultural history in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Semitic Museum, 6 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, (T stop: Red Line to "Harvard Square"), Phone: +1 617-495-4631. M-F 10AM-4PM, Su 1PM-4PM. See a collection of over 40,000 artifacts from the Near East across multiple ancient civilizations.
  • USS Constitution Museum, Charlestown Navy Yard, Phone: +1 617-426-1812. Apr-Oct Tu-Su 10AM-6PM. Nov-Mar Th-Su 10AM-3:50PM. Tour famous Old Ironsides, enjoy all-ages hands-on exhibits on sailing skills and crafts. Freewill donation.
  • Warren Anatomical Museum, 10 Shattuck St. (T stop: "Longwood" on Green D line), Phone: +1 617-432-6196. See an extensive collection of distinct and pathological examples in anatomy including the actual skull of Phineas Gage. M-F 9AM-5PM, except Harvard University holidays.

Events

  • March: St. Patrick's Day. The Sunday after March 17th is the day of the parade. March 17th is not celebrated officially as St. Patrick's Day, but rather as Evacuation Day, a local holiday marking the expulsion of British troops from the city on March 17, 1776. But Boston has one of the highest Irish populations outside of Ireland, and Irish pride reigns on this day. Don't forget to wear green, drink a beer, and buy something that says "Kiss Me I'm Irish!" (regardless of your nationality).
  • Third Monday in April: Boston Marathon/Patriot's Day . The oldest marathon in the the world, the race started in 1897 and is always run on the holiday that commemorates Paul Revere's ride in 1775 and the ensuing battles at Lexington and Concord (suburbs of Boston) that started the Revolution. The race runs from Hopkinton to the finish line in Copley Square. The halfway point is the wealthy suburb of Wellesley, where students from Wellesley College (America's leading institute for all-women's education) form the "Scream Tunnel" to cheer on runners (who are in turn encouraged to "Kiss a Wellesley Girl for good luck!"). Parts of Commonwealth Avenue outbound from there and surrounding streets are closed for the race. Elsewhere, Paul Revere's ride and the battles are re-enacted each year in front of thousands of people. Arrive early to get a good spot. Finally, the Red Sox always have a home game on this date, which starts at 11:00 AM to accomodate the crowds who watch the Marathon as it goes by Fenway Park. This is the only Major Leage baseball game that starts before noon local time during the season. Other than St. Patrick's/Evacuation Day this is the only time that you will find huge crowds at bars early in the morning.
  • Summer: The Cow Parade. Local artists produce life-size painted cows such as "A Street Cow Named Desire" or "Cal-i-cow" which will be displayed around the city and later herded together in October to be sold at auction to benefit Boston's favorite charity, The Jimmy Fund.
  • June: Boston Pride. The second-largest event in the city after the Fourth of July. Boston's LBGT community - and everyone else - comes out for a fabulous parade from Copley Square, through the South End, to Boston Common. Many other social events are scheduled around this weekend.
  • The Fourth of July: Independence Day. A host of events occur throughout the day that culminate with the Boston Pops concert on the Esplenade along the Charles river - the oldest and largest public celebration of the 4th in the country. The concerts were started in 1929 by conductor Arthur Fiedler and were enhanced with fireworks by philanthropist David Mugar during the bi-centenial celebrations in 1976. Sometimes sparsely attended in the begining, it is televised nationally and has become the country's premier 4th of July event with hundreds of thousands squeezing along both sides of the Charles each year. This event also holds the world Record for the largest crowd to ever attend a classical concert. Seats closest to the stage go to folks who show up before dawn to wait in line but there are speakers and huge TV screens posted all along the river so everybody can see the show. Parts of Storrow Drive in Boston, Memorial Drive in Cambridge, and Massachusetts Avenue on and near the Mass. Ave. bridge are closed due to extremely heavy pedestrian traffic. Note that the roads and public transit are heavily congested after the fireworks display. There are other celebrations during the day, starting with a flag-raising ceremony at City hall at 9:00 AM. This is followed by a parade to the Granary Burial Ground which is led by the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, Boston's militia, which is the 3rd-oldest military unit in the world. Honors are given at the graves of each of the signers of the Declaration of Independance who are interred there, as well as the victims of the Boston Massacre and Peter Fanuiel. The parade then moves on to the Old State House where the Declaration is read in it's entirety from the main balcony (which overlooks the site of the Massacre) to the crowd, just as it has been every year since 1776.
  • Late August: The Feast of St. Anthony. The biggest of several Feasts in the North End. This one includes lots of food vendors, games, music, and a parade on Hanover Street and environs. (If I'm not mistaken, they have also had fireworks on the waterfront in the past.)
  • October: The Head of the Charles Regatta. Over 8,000 rowers from around the globe compete in this regatta, one of the world's largest two-day rowing event. It often attracts up to 300,000 spectators along the banks of the Charles River.
  • December 31/January 1: First Night. Boston's New Year's Eve celebration, it is the oldest public New Year's Eve party in America and has been copied by cities all around the world. It is a city-wide, family-friendly arts and culture festival which starts in the late morning with child-centric events and continues with dozens of music, dance, poetry and other exhibitions through midnight, culminating in fireworks on the waterfront. Dress warmly.
  • Last Friday of every month: "Critical Mass.". Join hundreds of Bostonians on a bike ride throughout Boston. The event begins at 5:30PM, Copley Square.

Do

  • Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Phone: +1 617-524-1718. T stop: Orange Line or commuter rail to "Forest Hills" (last stop on the Orange Line). Come see the oldest public arboretum in North America and one of the world's leading centers for the study of plants. A park with beautiful landscaping and specimens.
  • Boston Harbor Islands State Park, Phone: +1 617-727-5290. Take a Ferry (Long Wharf: Blue line to Aquarium), Phone: +1 617-223-8666. out to Georges Island and tour Fort Warren. See why Boston was the most defensable city in the New World. Shuttles leave from there to other islands in Boston Harbor. Ranger-led activities, events, narrations, or just swim, picnic, camp or fish. This is a hidden jewel that is off the beaten path.
  • Newbury Street Eight blocks of high-end boutiques, hair salons, and galleries. Makes for a fabulous day of shopping and dining. Accessible on the Green Line from the Arlington, Copley, and Hynes/ICA stations.
  • Boston Common and Public Garden A must-see for all visitors during the warmer months. The oldest public park in America. Ride the famous Swan Boats, walk across the world's shortest suspension bridge and generally enjoy the park with its shady trees, fountains, statues, sidewalk vendors, and greenery. Visit the "Cheers" bar across Beacon St. A great starting point for visitors interested in local historical sights, or on your way to Downtown Crossing or the Back Bay. Very nice foliage in the fall. The area east of Charles St. is the Common, which is more open and less manicured. The area west of Charles St. is the Public Garden, which consists of many walking paths amid an impressive variety of well-maintained folliage. Accessible on the Green Line from Park Street, Boylston and Arlington stations, on the Red Line from Park Street station, and a short walk from any other downtown station.
  • Community Boating For kids between ages 10 and 18, membership is only $1 for the entire summer. Membership includes all sorts of sailing lessons (sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, etc.) along with other benefits. Each class takes a couple of days. Accessible on the Red Line from Charles/MGH station.
  • Freedom Trail A 2.5 mi. (4 km) walking tour of 16 historic sites that begins at Boston Common, goes through downtown Boston, the North End and Charlestown, ending at the USS Constitution. Sites include the old State House, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere's House, and the Old North Church. The Freedom Trail connects to the Boston Harbor Walk. The Freedom Trail is marked by a line of red paint or red brick in the sidewalk. The beginning of the trail is accessible on the Green Line or the Red Line from Park St. station. However, all the lines are convenient at various points along the way, via several downtown stations.
  • Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, downtown Boston. Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, two of Boston's oldest marketplaces, contain a great set of mainly tourist-oriented shops and eateries. Since Faneuil Hall Marketplace is private property, the street performers must audition and thus are consistently entertaining. Faneuil Hall also has a historic meeting hall in its upper levels, and is just down the street from the Old State House. Accessible on the Blue Line at State St., Government Center, and Aquarium stations, on the Orange Line at State St. station, and on the Green Line at Government Center station.
  • Boston By Foot, 77 North Washington St., +1617-367-2345. Guided walking tours highlighting the architecture and history of Boston.
  • Urban Interactive, +1800-930-7517. Part Amazing Race, part interactive theater, and part treasure hunt, Urban Interactive creates adventures that immerse tourists in the history and culture of Boston.
  • Copley Square. Take a Duck Tour, +1 617-267-DUCK, enjoy the fountains, visit the top of the nearby Prudential building, see the Boston Public Library, visit the beautiful Trinity Church, or go shopping along Newbury Street. Accessible on the Green Line at Copley station, or on the Orange Line at Back Bay station.
  • Boston Pops Orchestra, Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Av., +1 617-266-1492, CustomerService@bso.org. The Pops perform programs of both classical and popular music, consistently pleasing audiences. Tickets can be had inexpensively. Accessible on the E branch of the Green Line at Symphony station.
  • Theater District, Washington St., Tremont St. Broadway is the undisputed center of the theater world, but Boston's Theater District is where most Broadway shows will preview and is usually he first stop on a show's touring run. Resident shows also run.
  • Bicycling, 20 Park Plaza (Suite 528), +1 617-542-2453. The Minuteman Bikeway is one of the most heavily used rail trails in the United States. This eleven mile paved path is popular with walkers, cyclists, and in-line skaters. The route closely follows that taken at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Accessible on the Red Line at Davis and Alewife stations.
  • Prudential Center Skywalk Observatory, Prudential Center, +1 617-859-0648. Tickets: Adults $11.00, Seniors $9.00, Children under 12 $7.50, Student with college ID $9.00. Look around Boston from the second tallest skyscraper. Open daily. Winter (Nov thru Feb) 10AM-8PM; Summer (Mar thru Oct) 10AM-10PM (last elevator leaves at 9:30PM).
  • Urban Adventure Bike Tours, +1 617-233-7595, Fax: +1 617-812-0452.
  • Boston Gondolas, +1 800-979-3370. Gondola rides on the Charles River. From $99. 155/155 successful marriage proposals have occurred on the Gondolas according to their site.
  • Sam Adams Brewery Tour, +1 617-368-5080. Take a tour of the Sam Adams brewery located in Jamaica Plan. Free samples of beer at the end.

Sports

Boston is a sports town, and its professional teams are much-loved. These include the Red Sox (baseball), Celtics (basketball), Bruins (hockey), New England Patriots (football), and New England Revolution (soccer).

  • Fenway Park, 4 Yawkey Way. The home of the Boston Red Sox. The oldest baseball stadium still in use by the major leagues, this brick and stone structure is named after and located in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, which itself takes its name from the fens, or marshes along the nearby Muddy River. Accessible on the B, C, and D branches of the Green Line at Kenmore station, or on the D branch of the Green Line at Fenway station. Visitors arriving via the T will need to walk a short distance from the station to the ballpark, but the crowds on a game day will serve to lead the way. Its worth taking the T to the game because parking is very limited and you get to experience the excitment of a crowded train car full of fans heading to the game. Yawkey Way is now closed off during games, and those in the stadium can walk outside to enjoy the additional refreshment stands and open area, and then return to the game. With sold-out crowds every game, getting tickets is nearly impossible, however, visitors can take a worthwhile Fenway Park tour on non-game days (leaves from the souvenir store on Yawkey Way).
  • Gillette Stadium The home of the New England Patriots football team and the New England Revolution soccer team is located in the town of Foxborough, about 25 miles southwest of Boston. The Revolution play during the summer, and the Patriots during the fall.
  • TD Banknorth Garden, Causeway St. The home of the Boston Celtics basketball team and Boston Bruins hockey team. The site was previously occupied by the Boston Garden, a smaller venue, and the existing structure was previously called the Fleet Center. The arena may be called by any of these names. Accessible on the Green Line or Orange Line at North Station, which is underneath the Garden.

Buy

The biggest shopping areas in the inner Metro are the Back Bay and Downtown Crossing. In addition, there are two large malls in and near the center of the city.

  • The Cambridgeside Galleria This shopping mall includes department stores, a Best Buy, clothing stores, bookstores, a food court, and a Cheesecake Factory restaurant, all at mainstream retail prices. Accessible on the Green Line at Lechmere station, or the Red Line at Kendall/MIT station via a free shuttle van ("The Wave").
  • Copley Place and Prudential Center These malls are connected via pedestrian walkway over Huntington Av. They house department stores, clothing stores, bookstores, upscale shopping, a food court, many restaurants, and connect to several large hotels. Accessible on the Green Line at Copley, Hynes/ICA, and Prudential stations, and on the Orange Line at Back Bay station.

More local color can be experienced outdoors at any of several popular commercial areas:

  • Newbury Street This shopping street runs the length of the Back Bay neighborhood. Often called "the Rodeo Drive of the East," Newbury St. is a wonderfully dense avenue colored by historic brownstones and lots of shops and restaurants. Extremely expensive near Boston Common, but gradually becoming more affordable as you move toward Massachusetts Avenue. One block north from Boylston St., which is similar but less so. Vehicular traffic can be very slow on Newbury St. itself; take parallel streets unless you have time to see the sights from your car. Accessible on the Green Line from Arlington, Copley, and Hynes/ICA stations.
  • Downtown Crossing, Washington St. at Winter St. area. This shopping district is in Downtown Boston, just steps from Boston Common. It is obligatory to visit the world-famous Filene's Basement. Unlike most other stores of the same name, this flagship outlet is actually underground. Bargain Alley has the distinctive feature of the Automatic Markdown plan - every week, the items in this area get 25% cheaper, until they are either sold or donated to charity. Many excellent deals can be found on merchandise floating down from the larger department store upstairs. The aisles here are narrow, and the store is usually busy, so avoid bringing lots of shopping bags in by stopping here first. The rest of Downtown Crossing features large Macy's and Borders, music stores, souvenirs, general retail, and lots of street vendors and quick food. Accessible on the Red and Orange Lines at Downtown Crossing station, and with a brief walk, from the Red and Green Lines at Park St. station.
  • Harvard Square This historic and always-active square is located across the river in the city of Cambridge. Take a tour of Harvard University and the Yard, visit the historic cemetery, shop around. Several excellent bookstores, plenty of restaurants and cafes. See the famous chess tables outside Au Bon Pain where a scene in Good Will Hunting was filmed. Walk past the offices of Dewey, Cheatem & Howe, and say hello to the punks. A short walk down to the scenic Charles River. Street musicians often play near the famous Out of Town News. For a good burger stop in a Bartley's, a Harvard landmark. For a fantastic margarita and cheap Mexican food, be sure to hit up the Border Cafe. The nonprofit Brattle theater shows classic and independent films. Accessible on the Red Line at Harvard station.
  • Coolidge Corner, Harvard St. at Beacton St, Brookline. This shopping area is located in the neighboring town of Brookline. A little less urban, more like your local village shops and restaurants. The Coolidge Corner Theater is known for showing interesting independent and art house films. Beacon Street has interesting shops along much of its length, generally concentrated near areas such as St. Mary's, Washington Sq., etc. One can also walk north from Coolidge Corner along Harvard St. (which becomes Harvard Av.) towards Allston-Brighton (and the B branch of the Green Line) for additional shopping and dining. Accessible on the C branch of the Green Line at the Coolidge Corner stop.
  • Charles St., from Beacon St. to Cambridge St. One of the more quaint shopping neighborhoods in Boston, starting just north of Boston Common. The mix of shops lends itself to window-shopping as well as ticking items off a shopping list. Multiple options for lunch or coffee make this a pleasant place to stroll for a couple hours. Accessible from the Charles St./Mass. General Hospital station on the Red Line.

Eat

Boston has excellent seafood from the nearby New England coast. Local specialties include baked beans, cod, and clam chowder. For dessert you'll have no trouble finding good ice cream. Boston (and New England as a whole) are one of the top per-capita ice cream consuming regions.

A variety of excellent ethnic restaurants can be found in neighborhoods such as the North End, Chinatown, or Coolidge Corner.

The best sit-down restaurants can be quite crowded in the evenings on weekends. Unless you have a reservation, be prepared to wait anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, depending on how refined your tastes are.

If you are indecisive, visit one of the outdoor commercial areas listed in the previous section and walk around until you find something that sounds tasty and in your price range.

Italian

The North End is full of Italian eateries, and it's certain that you'll find something here to your liking. Take the Green or Orange Lines to the Haymarket station, follow the pedestrian passageway through the Big Dig, and then follow the signs to Hanover Street, the main commercial thoroughfare. Most of the good restaurants are on this street or on side streets.

  • Terramia Ristorante, 98 Salem St, +1 617-5233112, Behind Terramia's pane-windowed storefront on Salem Street is a busy 39-seat trattoria decked out in linens, candlelight and paintings of the Italian countryside. Like the cuisine here, the atmosphere is elegant yet understated. Since opening in 1993, Terramia has aimed to convince North End diners that there was always more to Italian food than red sauce. Over the Years, the inventive and beloved restaurant has done a great deal of convincing. You'll find creative interpretations of seasonally-based classics here. But come early because you won't be alone.
  • Marliave, 10 Bosworth St, +1 617-423-6340, A 124 year old restaurant in the heart of historic Boston. Excellent food. Has a roof garden area overlooking the streets of Boston. Very friendly management and excellent service and food. A hidden gem that hasn't changed the decor in at least 100 years. Just the way Bostonians like it. MBTA: Downtown Crossing (Red/Orange) *Phone line no longer in service, this restaurant may be closed.*
  • Maurizio's, 364 Hanover St, +1 617-367-1123. Maurizio's, top rated in the Zagat Guide and three time winner of Boston Magazine's Best of Boston Award, has been part of the North End dining experience for over twelve years. Chef Maurizio Loddo hails from the Italian Island of Sardinia and brings a wealth of additional cooking experience from France, Germany and Spain. Wines from Maurizio's exciting list are selected to complement the food. You will find exceptional and affordable picks from all over the globe. MBTA: Haymarket (Orange/Green)
  • Mike's Pastry, 300 Hanover St, +1 617-742-3050. Wherever you eat in the North End, do not order dessert. Instead, hop on down to Mike's for the Western Hemisphere's best cannoli. (Cannoli are an Italian pastry dessert filled with a wonderful sweet cheese.) There's also a rich selection of other desserts available, and a small number of tables for sit-down service. Mike's can get quite busy, especially at night on the weekends. MBTA: Haymarket (Orange/Green)
  • Modern Pastry, 257 Hanover St, +1 617-523-3783. Best known for their cannoli and cheesecake, both made on site for 70 years. Open late Friday and Saturday. MBTA: Haymarket (Orange/Green)
  • Galleria Umberto, 289 Hanover St, +1 617-227-5709, Open only for lunch (Mon-Sat 11AM-2PM, or whenever the food runs out), this often-overlooked North End spot not only serves up fantastic Sicilian specialties, it's one of the CHEAPEST places to eat lunch in the whole city, with (for example) calzones from $2-3 and square Sicilian pizza slices under a dollar. Locals in the know form a queue in front of the counter that can spill out the front door. Be warned though: this place is strictly counter service, and the focus is completely on the food. You'll have to eat on your feet, or (here's a tip) walk north down Hanover and sit on a stump overlooking the harbor and the Coast Guard station. MBTA: Haymarket (Orange/Green)
  • Al Dente Ristorante, 109 Salem St, +1 617-523-0990. M-Th 11:30AM-10PM, (F-Sa until 11:00PM) Su Noon-10PM. This Italian gem has an amazing selection. Choose from about a dozen pasta types and sauce types. For a truly excellent combo, try one of their homemade pastas with a the tangy vodka sauce. Lap the extra sauce down with the fresh bread and clear your pallet with some nice cold Peroni beer. MBTA: Haymarket (Orange/Green)
  • Osteria Rustico, 85 Canal St, +1 617-742-8770. Lunch M-F 11AM-5PM, Dinner Th-Sa 5PM-10PM. There are only 6 tables and the menu is not very extensive, however the exceptional food makes up for this. For lunch, be sure to try the Casalinga with grilled chicken and for dinner, the seafood pasta is out of this world. MBTA: Haymarket (Orange/Green)
  • Pizzeria Regina, 11 1/2 Thatcher St, +1 617-227-0765. Where the locals go to get their pizza. Expect to wait outside in line duting peak hours. Cash only. There are also fast-food style locations around town, though it's not quite the same quality as the main location. MBTA: Haymarket (Orange/Green)
  • Woody's Grill and Tap, 58 Hemenway St, +1 617-375-9663. For a great pizza experience, staff, and food quality, try Woody's. MBTA: Hynes (Green B, C, or D), Symphony (Green E), Northeastern (Green E)

Budget

  • Bob's Southern Bistro (formerly Bob the Chef's), 604 Columbus Ave, +1 617-536-6204. Moderately priced Southern/Cajun food in the South End. Very friendly, large portions, live jazz Th-Su. Used to be a real steal but is now a bit pricier than it once was. MBTA: Mass. Ave. (Orange)
  • Eagles Deli, 1918 Beacon St, +1 617-731-3232. Voted by the Travel Channel as #2 on their "Top 10 Places To Pig Out". This deli, located near Cleveland Circle, boasts the "Eagles Challenge Burger", which for a mere $50.00, you can get a cheeseburger featuring 5 POUNDS of beef, 20 slices of cheese, 20 pieces of bacon, 5 POUNDS of french fries, a pickle and a fountain soda, and it MUST be served to one person! Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. MBTA: Cleveland Circle (Green C)
  • South Street Diner, 178 Kneeland St, (near South Station), +1 617-350-0028. A great 50s-style, 24-hour diner. In fact, owing perhaps to Boston's Puritan past, this is the ONLY 24-hour restaurant in Boston proper (save the new Miel Brasserie Provencale at the Intercontinental, and that's not exactly cheap...), and one of only four or five in city limits (one of which is just a bakery). MBTA: South Station (Red)
  • Durgin-Park, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, +1 617-227-2038. Famous for their service with attitude. Wholesome New England fare, especially prime rib, lobster. This place does have highly-rated meals, but can range from about $8 for a burger, to up to $25-40 for bigger meals (steak/lobster). Expect to pay at least $20 per person for dinner. MBTA: State (Blue/Orange)
  • Silvertone Bar and Brill, 69 Bromfield St., +1 617-338-7887. A hip afterwork hangout with very good "new American" food and the best macaroni and cheese in town, right near Boston Common. MBTA: Park Street (Red/Green)
  • Charlie's Kitchen, 10 Eliot St., Cambridge, MA, (near the Harvard Sq. T-stop), +1 617-492-9646. A cheap restaurant/bar located in Harvard Square. Great burgers, a good beer selection, great atmosphere, and a vegetarian friendly menu. MBTA: Harvard (Red)
  • Fire and Ice, 205 Berkeley St., +1 617-482-FIRE(3473), You get to pick your own food and sauces, and they cook it right in front of you on a large communal grill. $16.95, all you can eat. MBTA: Arlington (Green)
  • Haymarket Pizza, 106 Blackstone St., (in Boston's historic Haymarket). The atmosphere is like eating (standing) at a work bench in a garage, but the pizza is inexpensive and among of the best in Boston. In nice weather, tables are set up outside facing the space newly opended up when Route 93 was put underground. MBTA: Haymarket (Orange/Green)
  • Pour House, 907 Boylston St. (across the street from Hynn's Convention Center and The Prudential Center), Specific Day Specials. Cheap eats. Check it out. Oh and its seat yourself. MBTA: Hynes Convention Center/ICA (Green)

Seafood

  • Legal Sea Foods, multiple locations, Legal Seafood is a Boston original - well, technically Cambridge, since it started as a fish market in Inman Square, Cambridge. Legal Seafood is known for its overpriced, overcooked fish, New England Clam Chowder, and curt, abrupt service. Expect to pay between $25-$30/person at dinner.
  • Barking Crab, 88 Sleeper St., +1 617-426-CRAB, MBTA: Red line to South Station. Excellent seafood and American cuisine. Outdoor dining in a clam shack atmosphere, overlooks Boston Harbor and view of downtown. Kid friendly. Live music daily. $20.
  • Union Oyster House, 41 Union Street, +1 617-227-2750, MBTA: Green or Blue Line to Government center. Oldest continually operating restaurant in the US. Comfortable atmosphere. Raw bar. $30-50 (less expensive in bar section).
  • Summer Shack Restaurant, 50 Dalton St, (in the Back Bay, across from the Hynes Auditorium), +1 617-867-9955, Wonderful selections of seafood which change on a daily basis. The Summer Shack has a rotating selection of oysters and clams, and always have fresh lobsters for boiling or grilling on a wood flame. In addition, their fried seafood is great. Try their raspberry mojitos. $15-$40.

Thai

  • Rod Dee, 94 Peterborough St, +1 617-859-0969, Amazing Thai food, amazing value. Walking by it, you might not be impressed, but when you eat there you will know why there are so many Zagat stickers on the door.
  • Noodle St., 627 Commonwealth Ave (near BU East T), +1 617-536-3100. 11:30AM-10:30PM. This newer establishment has been a hit with the student crowd with its complex menu of create-it-yourself Thai fusion at reasonable, if not quite insanely cheap prices. Try the special buckwheat noodles or the Noodle St. soup.
  • Nud Pob, 708 Commonwealth Ave, +1 617-536-8676. M-F 11:30AM-11:00PM, S+S 12:00PM-10:30PM. A student favorite for years, this little thai jewel is cheap and delicious. Tucked away below street level this place is easy to miss but worth searching for. The food is fast, cheap, and some of the best in Boston. Their pad thai is perfect and their yellow and green curry dishes are to die for.

Asian

  • Apollo Grille, 84 Harrison Ave, +1 617-423-3888, open until 4AM. Located in Chinatown, stop by for some Korean and/or Japanese cuisine. The sushi selection is vast, and they're all great. Comfortable environment, open late, friendly service, and relatively inexpensive.
  • Buk Kyung 151 Brighton Ave, Allston, +1 617-254-2775. $20 will put a LOT of food on your table. Definitely worth a trip. Get the scallion pancake. Delish and the kimchi.
  • China Pearl, 9 Tyler St (Chinatown), +1 617-426-4338. Daily 8:30AM-10:30PM. Great food, great value, has many loyal patrons.
  • East Ocean City, 25 Beach St (Chinatown), +1 617-542-2504. Su-Th 11AM-3AM, Fri-Sat 11AM-4AM. Authentic. Chefs will make a custom dish from something you select from the live tank.
  • Jumbo Seafood, 7 Hudson St. (Chinatown), +1 617-542-2823. Su-W 11AM-1AM, Th-Sa 11AM-2AM. Freshest seafood.
  • Victoria's Seafood, 1029 Commonwealth Ave, (Babcock St. off Green(B) line), +1 617-783-5111. Excellent for large parties, authentic and traditional, Cantonese style cuisine.
  • Moon Villa, 24 Edinboro St. Not a notable culinary destination, but it's open until 4am, and for the past few decades has had an open secret: after 2am, when the bars have all stopped serving in observance of local liquor laws, ask your server for "cold tea" (*nudge nudge*, *wink wink*...)

Vegetarian

  • Buddha's Delight, 5 Beach St, (Chinatown), +1 617-451-2395, Fax: +1 617-451-2395, M-Th 11AM-9PM, F-Sa 11AM-10:30PM, Su 11AM-9PM. Serves Vietnamese food with tofu, fake chicken, fake beef, fake duck -- it's actually all quite good. Spring rolls and taro also very good. A complete vegan restaurant. Another location at Coolidge Corner, Brookline.
  • Grasshopper in Union Square in Allston - another strictly vegan Asian restaurant with a definite Vietnamese influence. Very delicious and (arguably) better than Buddha's Delight. Awesome vegan cheesecake. Lunch specials under $6, dinner between $7 - $14 for entrees.
  • Spike's Junkyard Dogs, 108 Brighton Ave, Allston, +1 617-254-7700. Offers vegetarian hot dogs and tasty poodle fries on the cheap.
  • B. Good, 131 Dartmouth St., +1 617-424-5252, M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9PM. Offers health-conscious veggie burgers with great fixings, like salsa and guacamole, and sides of tasty steamed veggies. The fries are air-baked and taste like real potatoes!
  • VeganBoston.com is a great resource for those looking to find vegetarian or vegan eats in the Boston Area.

Splurge

  • Abe and Louie's, 793 Boylston Street, +1 617 536-6300. Su-Th 11:30AM-11PM, Fr-Sa 11:30AM-12PM. A happening steakhouse with some of the best cuts in town. Make sure to get reservations or come in on off hours, however.
  • Top of the Hub, Prudential Center, +1 617-859-0648. Dine in luxury at the top of the Prudential Building, the second tallest building in the city. Light jazz, good food, and high prices accompany a view of the city and everything around. On a clear day, you can see Maine and Cape Cod. $40/person, $60-80 with drinks at dinner.
  • Elephant Walk, 900 Beacon St, +1 617-247-1500. For a slightly different menu combination, The Elephant Walk has a combined French and Cambodian menu. The setting is elegant enough for a special occasion, but intimate enough for a date. $30-40 per person before drinks.
  • Grill 23 & Bar, 161 Berkeley St, +1 617-542-2255. Certainly a contender for the best steaks in Boston. Also serves excellent seafood entrees. Private dining rooms available. Make sure to make weekend reservations at least a week in advance.
  • Morton's Steakhouse, 699 Boylston St (at Exeter St), +1 617-266-5858, Located near the Hynes Convention Center and Newbury Street. A conservative dinner for two without drinks will run you about $150, not including tax and gratuity.
  • Troquet, 140 Boylston St (at Boston Common), Its a wine bar serving a variety of half and full glasses along with bottles of wine paired with its french menu. The food is fabulous as its its atmosphere. Expect dinner for two people will run $100-200+.
  • Aquitaine, 569 Tremont St, +1 617-424-8577, A french bistro with great dinner and weekend brunch. Dinner will run about $120 with tax and tip. Brunch is a very affordable $15 a person. Small and slightly cramped, they do take reservations for dinner and brunch. Saturday brunch is prix fixe at $9.95.
  • Sorriso Italian Trattoria, 107 South St, +1 617-259-1560, A great Italian dinner trattoria with great rissoto and dessert.
  • Locke-Ober, 3 Winter Place (Downtown Crossing), +1 617-542-1340, An historic Boston restaurant featuring rich continental cuisine. Formerly frequented by John F. Kennedy.
  • Joe's American Bar & Grill, 100 Atlantic Ave (Waterfront), +1 617-367-8700, Right on the water at Christopher Columbus Park, with both inside and al fresco dining.

Drink

With a large Irish population, Boston has a number of very good Irish pubs. Many tourists look for an authentic "Boston Irish Pub". A good rule of thumb is if the establishment has a neon shamrock in the window, it is not an authentic Irish pub. For nightlife and club listings look for "Stuff @ Night" or "The Weekly Dig" in the free boxes on the street.

Bostonbarmap.com has a map with virtually every bar in Boston. Places densest in bars can be seen to be the North End (just south of TD BankNorth Garden), Faneuil Hall, the area just south of Boston Common, Landsdowne Street and Fenway area, and Harvard Ave in Allston.

  • Matt Murphy's Pub, 14 Harvard St, Brookline, +1 (617) 232-0188. Consistently rated as "Best Irish Pub" by several local publications, this Brookline spot (ride to Brookline Village on the 'D' Branch of the Green Line - about 20 minutes from downtown) boasts fantastic Irish food miles removed from standard pub fare and bartenders and waitstaff with genuine brogues, as well as live music.
  • Doyle's Cafe, Washington St (Jamaica Plain). An Irish pub.
  • J.J. Foley's, Downtown Crossing. Hard-drinking Irish bar for the downtown crowd.
  • Kitty O'Shea's Irish Pub and Bistro, 131 State St, +1 617-725-0100, Email: kittyosheas@rcn.com. 11:30AM-2AM. Decor includes 200 year old floorboards from and Irish church and stain glass windows depicting scenes from around Ireland.
  • The Black Rose, Fanueil Hall Marketplace. Despite its proximity to Faneuil Hall, tourists overlook this location regularly. Excellent deals on lobster too.
  • Fire and Ice, 205 Berkeley St, +1 617-482-FIRE(3473). A great place to have fancy blended drinks and appetizers, or you go upstairs and have some delicious grill. Very touristy.
  • Pink, 13 Lansdowne St, +1 617-417-0186. One of the biggest women's bar and club in Boston with DJ, Dancing, VIP Lounge and more....for women. (LGBT friendly)
  • The Green Dragon Tavern, 11 Marshall St, +1 617-367-0055. A nice relaxing place to stop in after work or whilst walking the freedom trail. Opened in 1657 in the historic Blackstone section of Boston, this tavern was the meeting place for the Sons of Liberty as they discussed and planned political revolution. British officers also frequented the pub and were spied upon by American patriots. The Green Dragon Tavern the “Headquarters of the Revolution” was rebuilt after a major fire. Featuring lively entertainment and lovely food in an Irish pub atmosphere. Very reasonable prices. Two with drink is about $25-$30.
  • Rumor, 100 Warrenton St (in the Theatre District), +1 617-422-0045. Easily the city's trendiest night club, with a more cosmopolitan air and well-heeled and attractive clientele than the somewhat seedier Landsdowne Street clubs. Drinks are relatively expensive; cover charge on the weekends is $20. Dress well.

Dive Bars

It's hard to find a good dive bar in Boston, but you're half-way there with The Other Side on the corner of Massachusettes Avenue and Newbury Street. Less expensive than the neighboring bars with a good selection of Belgian Beers. Ask for the "Trois Pistoles" for a flavorful, tasty dark beer.

If you are in the North End or near the Banknorth Garden, go to Sullivan's Tap. Ask for the Brubaker - a $2 beer in a recycled bottle. ESPN's Sports Guy, Bill Simmons, rated it "The most depressing bar in Boston." This is highly appropriate given its proximity to the Garden and the current state of the Celtics and Bruins.

In Davis Square, Somerville you can find Sligo's Pub, a similar hole in the wall serving cheap beer in plastic cups.

Coffee

  • Flat Black Coffee Company, 50 Broad St, +1 617-951-1440. A great place to get fresh coffees from around the world. Most of their coffees are certified Organic, Shade Grown and Fair Trade.
  • Dunkin Donuts, You should be able to stand on any corner in the city and see at least two separate stores. The commercials should really be "Boston runs on Dunkin." Every Bostonian knows that "Dunks" is for coffee, not donuts - trust us.
  • Toscanini's, Central Square, 899 Main St., Cambridge MA. Exceptional coffees, local student atmosphere, and "home of the best ice cream in the world" (New York Times). They make one of a kind gourmet flavors, like the famous Burnt Caramel.

Sleep

Boston is not known for its cheap hotels. Budget internet sites are almost essential for finding an affordable and comfortable hotel downtown. Note that many urban bed and breakfast hotels are available in Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline but may require some research to find.

Budget

B&B's

  • The College Club of Boston, 44 Commonwealth Ave, +1 617-536-9510, Fax: +1 617-247-8537. Reasonably priced B&B in the Back Bay neighborhood, next to the Boston Public Gardens. Close to Copley Square, Boston Common, Prudential Center, Freedom Trail, Downtown Crossing Shops, Newbury Street and more. Small historic brownstone overlooking Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Advertised rates between $80 and $200 as of 10/2006.

Hostels

  • Hostelling International, 12 Hemenway St, and 575 Commonwealth Ave. Dorms $32-35/$35-38 members/non-members; Private doubles $70-$100 ($3 additional charge for non-members). This is expensive as far as hostels go, but perhaps the cheapest decent option you'll find in Boston. Nice location and friendly staff. The Commonwealth Ave location is open mid-May through August.
  • Beantown Hostel, 222 Friend St (near North Station and the TD BankNorth Garden). This popular spot is near lots of night spots and not too far from the North End. Watch out for the 2AM curfew.

Hotels

  • Midtown Hotel, 220 Huntington Av., Phone: +1 617 262 1000, Fax: +1 617 262 8739. Budget hotel/motel within walking distance of Symphony Hall, First Church of Christ Scientist, Prudential Mall and Copley Place Mall. Close to Fenway Park, The Museum of Fine Arts, Newbury Street, Copley Library, and Esplanade July 4th Celebration. Across the street from Prudential MBTA stop on the Green Line. Advertised rates between $89 and $239 as of 3/2006. Free parking.
  • John Jeffries House, 14 David G. Mugar Way, Phone: +1 617 367 1866, Fax: +1 617 742 0313.
  • Best Western Terrace Inn, 1650 Commonwealth Av., Phone: 617-566-6260, Fax: 617-731-3543. Budget hotel on Green B Subway line. Free parking, free continental breakfast, free wireless internet. From $89.99. Great bargain!

Mid-range

  • Courtyard by Marriott, 88 Exeter Street is an 81 room boutique hotel. The hotel offers 5 elegantly appointed Suites, 63 King, and 14 Queen Doubles guestrooms. Hotel is located in the heart of the Historic Back Bay in Boston and neighboring Beacon Hill.
  • Holiday Inn, 5 Blossom St., Phone: +1 617 742-7630. Good location overlooking the Charles River. Fine restaurants and smart shops of central Boston surround the hotel at the foot of Beacon Hill. Hotel is undergoing much-needed renovation, as it has become worn and tired. Provides free wi-fi.
  • Hilton Boston Financial District (Formerly the Wyndham Boston), 89 Broad St. Built in 1928 as Boston's first skyscraper.
  • Doubletree Guest Suites, 400 Soldiers Field Road, Phone: +1 617 783-0090, Fax: +1 617 783-0897. Free shuttle to Copley Square and the Back Bay (and Fenway Park) and about 20 minutes by public transportation.
  • AmeriSuites, 116 Riverside Avenue, NE Medford, MA 02155 Phone: +1 . (781) 395-8500. Near Logan International Airport and only four miles from downtown Boston.

Splurge

  • The Langham Hotel Boston, 250 Franklin Street., Phone: +1 617-451-1900. Originally the building of the Federal Reserve Bank, this AAA four-diamond Boston hotel is now a national architectural landmark. Ihe hotel overlooks the gardens of Post Office Square and is steps from Boston's shops, restaurants and attractions such as Faneuil Hall, Newbury Street, the Freedom Trail, and the financial district. Cafe Fleuri inside is now known as one of Boston's finest restaurants and is known for its Saturday Chocolate Bar Buffet and Sunday Jazz brunch.
  • Intercontinental Boston, 500 Atlantic Av. (On the Waterfront), Phone: +1 617-747-1000. Opening Fall 2006. The Intercontinental Boston Hotel, a new symbol of elegance and luxury on the Boston Waterfront. The 424 guest rooms & suites of this 5 star hotel will be conveniently located close to the Boston Commons, Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North End, Logan Airport, Boston Convention Center and other downtown Boston attractions.
  • Courtyard Boston Tremont Hotel, 275 Tremont St., Phone: +1 617-426-1400, Fax: +1 617-482-6730. This 4 star luxury hotel is located in the back bay area of Boston. Recently redesigned has made this hotel into a leading hotel to stay in boston. Across the street from the Wang Theatre.
  • Omni Parker House, 60 School Street, Phone: +1 (617) 227-8600. The Omni Parker House is America’s longest continuously operating luxury hotel and remains one of its most elegantly refined. Located in downtown Boston on the Freedom Trail, the venerable Omni Parker House Hotel opened its doors in 1855. Grand views of historic downtown are just outside, while inside, distinguished décor and thoughtful amenities are evident in every striking detail in each of the 551 luxurious accommodations. Walk to Beacon Hill, Quincy Market, the Financial District, shopping and more. Just 2.5 miles (10-15 minutes) from Logan International Airport.

Learn

The Greater Boston area has over one hundred colleges and universities, many of which are world-renowned.

In Boston:

  • Art Institute of Boston
  • Berklee College of Music
  • Boston Architectural Center
  • Boston Baptist College
  • Boston College
  • Boston Conservatory
  • Boston University
  • Emerson College
  • Emmanuel College
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts College of Art
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • New England Conservatory of Music
  • New England School of Law
  • Northeastern University (5 years)
  • School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Simmons College
  • Suffolk University
  • Tufts University
  • University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • Wheelock College

Stay safe

Crime and other hazards in Boston are low for a major American city.

Some neighborhoods (Roxbury, Mattapan, and parts of Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, and Charlestown - all of which are off the main tourist path) are more dangerous than average, and extra care should be taken. Avoid walking in these areas at night if possible. Also avoid public parks after dark (unless there's a special event), especially the Fens.

Dial 911 from any telephone for emergency police, medical, and fire services.

Contact

Greater Boston uses 10-digit dialing. This means you need to include the area code whenever you are making a call. The standard area code is 617, but some phone numbers, especially cell phones, use the new 857 overlay.

Get out

Boston makes an excellent starting point for any tour of New England.

  • Take a ferry from the harbor in the summer or one of several daily Cape Air flights from Logan year-round to Provincetown (also known as P-town) to see some of the best entertainment and fun on Cape Cod.
  • Drive south to Falmouth and take the ferry to either Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket for a peaceful, scenic time on these small, charming islands.
  • Drive south or take the $7 commuter rail to Providence, Rhode Island, which is home to its own share of art and culture, excellent Italian food, and a charming downtown area.
  • Also take a road trip to the North Shore, New Hampshire Seacoast and Southern Maine. All are easily accessible by car, and less than a 90 minute drive without the awful Cape Cod traffic in the summer months.

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Goods & Services in Boston, Massachusetts.

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