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So my wife and I have not gone to vacation for 2 whole years and we've purchased the plane tickets to Boston, thinking it's a nice place to visit around 7/4. I know there's lots of Boston locals on this forum so I'm going to ask, where to go and what to do? I have 6.5 days and will rent a car so I can drive up to say 4 hours out to seek stuff to do on one or two days. I want to visit some museums (not necessarily science since it's supposed to be a vacation), beaches, shops, have some seafood, visit China Town (for food), etc. But that's not 6.5 days. I need suggestions of where else to go, shop and what places or shows to see, any events during Independence Day? We're both cheap so we'll have to pass most luxury but will prefer some nice places to dine in for once or twice smiley

BTW, any surplus electronics store that I got to go?  smiley-mr-green

Thanks in advance!
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You'll be surprised how little you can do in those 6.5 days, have fun all the same (I have no idea what's in boston, never been)
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Go see Harvard, beautiful campus, then MIT (ugly campus, except for Stata building but lots of neat stuff). Museum of Science is incredible. Walk the Freedom Trail downtown and stop in all the historical places. For your "nice place" eating, make sure you go to North Boston and eat at a real Italian restaurant (I know how to walk to my favorite but don't know its name). Also go to Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market for lunch -- some of the best fast food I've had. While you're downtown visit the Aquarium -- not the best ever but still very attractive.

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Don't forget to have a beer at Cheers!
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So:

Museum of Science
Freedom Trail
Harvard
MIT
North Boston Italian restaurant
Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market
Aquarium
Cheers

Any more suggestions?
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USS Consititution.
If you walk the Freedom Trail, I think at the end you can get a water ferry ride back to near the beginning. Paul Revere house is on the trail.

Museum of Fine Arts
DeCordova Museum is a little outside of Boston.

Walden Pond, same vicinity as DeCordova Museum.
Also Minuteman National Park.

Maybe a whale watch ride?
If you plan ahead, maybe catch a Blue Man Group show.

Don't know if Lord Stanley Cup will be around then.

There's Fireworks & Boston Pops & howitzer/cannon/1812 Overture at the Esplanade if you are actually here on 7/4. Enjoy crowds?

I am taking that week off as well. PM me to exchange cell #s, maybe we can do dinner one evening. I'm 20-25 west, 30-40 minutes depending on traffic.
Or if you're  heading west, can have lunch at Wayside Inn in east Marlborough, stop  see my fencing club and collection of wirewrapped  fencing machines with epxressPCB-made LED boards.

You-do-it Electronics in Needham - will seem overpriced compared to dipmicro tho.
If we have any surplus electronics supply outside of computer places, I don't know about them.

Drive 4 hours out - you can be in Albany, NY! Its not that big a state.
Can drive out to Provincetown on the end of the cape. Stop in Hyannis for lunch.
Down to RI and catch a ferry out to Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard (have not done myself, only flew out in my plane on a nice day).
4 hrs north can put you well up on NH or Maine as well, get some fresh Maine lobster smiley-cool

Get a map and a compass, draw an arc 50 miles, 100 miles, you can be a lot of places in 2 hours (depending on where you are staying & rush hour traffic).

You know that 1-eyed glass blowing guy that's on PBS often? I think he  has a display going on now too.
There's no straight roads here, make sure you have a GPS with an up to date map!

Durgin Park in Fanuel Hall has good seafood too. And there's several microbreweries in the same area.
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...
DeCordova Museum is a little outside of Boston.
Part of it is an outdoor sculpture park, lovely if the weather is cooperative. Nice place for a picnic -- grab some sandwiches from some sub shop ahead of time, if that works for you.

Quote
There's Fireworks & Boston Pops & howitzer/cannon/1812 Overture at the Esplanade if you are actually here on 7/4. Enjoy crowds?
Highly recommended if you enjoy fireworks and the weather is reasonable. It's possible to spend all day there. If you want seating up close, you have to go quite early. The Esplanade is on the Boston side of the Charles river. The fireworks themselves are shot from barges on the river, and so are visible from the Cambridge side as well. On the Cambridge side, Memorial Drive follows the river, and the two directions are separated by a wide grassy island, which also makes for great viewing of the fireworks. I don't know if they do it every year, but I've seen in the past that they have at least on occasion set up viewing screens and speakers on the Cambridge side so you can see and hear the concert. Note: if you're right by the Hatch Shell for the Pops, it's not necessarily the best viewing spot for the fireworks. Anyway, weather permitting, it's possible to spend the entire day there, and have a nice relaxed day. If, as CrossRoads said, you don't mind crowds, because it does get very crowded.

Quote
You-do-it Electronics in Needham - will seem overpriced compared to dipmicro tho.
If we have any surplus electronics supply outside of computer places, I don't know about them.
I certainly enjoy You-Do-It, but if you're used to ordering over the web, it won't seem anything special. There are the occasional deals. It's just that there's not much else around, retail-wise.

Do you remember Eli Heffron in Cambridge?? I don't understand why they went out of business. Probably just high real estate costs there. But I miss it, even though I only visited a handful of times.

I recommend using the subway if you're moving around in the city, as it's pretty convenient. Parking can be a hassle, and quite expensive, unless you know some good secret spots. I don't, or I'd share. I live about 2 miles away from the end of one of the subway lines, and I would never drive into the city. Buses aren't bad either, for getting out of town, the system is pretty extensive, but parking isn't so tough to find or expensive out in the burbs. So it's possible to fly in and use public transportation the whole time, if you want to keep it inexpensive. There are visitor's passes for public transit, too. There is a subway station at the airport (accessible via a shuttle bus), which isn't too hard to deal with depending on how lightly you pack. Or course, with public transit, you are at the mercy of someone else's schedule, and you will have to walk more than you otherwise would. But if those constraints don't bother you too much, it's worth considering.

Hope you enjoy Boston!
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Have fun visiting Boston.
So far other people have nailed what to visit.
If you are up for a 2 1/2- 3 hour car ride I would visit Portland Maine.
You can walk along the water, great places to eat seafood, go for a boatride etc..
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Gloucester would be another (closer) sea port if you're up for ranging a bit far and wide... Similar attractions to Portland...
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Though Billy Joel wrote about it, the Combat Zone is long gone.. The Naked Eye and the porn theaters got bulldozed almost a decade ago.. it's upscale retail now.  Not sure if that's a good thing smiley-wink

Much of it really depends upon "what you are into", particularly as you are hitting Boston right in the best of the summer season.  The Cape (Cape Cod) is awesome this time of year, but for that reason it's also a nightmare to drive to, get a room, etc.  That being said, a Cape Cod sunrise isn't a bad thing.

If you want to hit a beach near Boston to get your feet wet in salt water, I'd probably suggest "Singing Beach", which is actually a bit north of the city.  Horseneck beach is beautiful, but the black flies this time of the season are BAD.  Revere Beach (which is kinda sorta part of Boston) is a great place to watch the Boston answer to New Jersey.  Be sure to sanitize the sand before you sit in it.

I'm personally of the belief that EVERY American should visit Walden and sit for ten minutes in the shade on the shore, and read "On Civil Disobedience" (http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Literature/Thoreau/CivilDisobedience.html).. for the history side, it's Freedom Trail, especially Post Office Square.

What kind of things you looking for?
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 03:18:53 pm by focalist » Logged

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Thanks focalist, we're just trying to relax and brush up on some American history. We'll definitely go to some beaches and restaurants.
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