what to do in boston this weekend?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by fan, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. fan

    fan Well-Known Member

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    i just booked a last minute trip to see friends in boston this weekend. squeal! so excited. so what is there to do? we're 3 late 20's fun lovers - but not partiers. We all love walking around new cities, people watching, art museums (modern and earlier, not contemporary), good food, shopping, and culture.

    Would love your ideas people!

    Thanks!
     
  2. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

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    My husband and I had dinner here over Christmas break:

    http://www.ticoboston.com/

    It was really yummy and a fun, young atmosphere (we felt a bit old :p).
     
  3. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    If you love art museums, your life will be incomplete without seeing the Museum of Fine Arts and/or the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum - which are within a few blocks of each other at the Museum T stop (trolley/public transit).
     
  4. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    Duck boat tour!! I loved it.
     
  5. Stormy

    Stormy Well-Known Member

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    Duck boats unfortunately don't run during the wintertime...they start again in March. But I second the museums, and the Prudential Center for people watching and shopping. Walk up and down Newbury Street for lots more good shopping.
     
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  6. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    For museums, try the Fan Pier/JFK loop and do the Institute of Contemporary Art and the JFK museum. There are many good places to eat, and if the weather's nice, you could walk to the new convention center. The Auto Show is there this weekend.

    eta, I know you said you didn't like contemporary art, but the attraction at ICA is the building itself and the view of the harbor.
     
  7. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    If the weather's good, get a copy of Robert McCloskey's "Make Way for Ducklings" and follow the route the ducks take from the Charles River to the staues in the Public Garden.

    Or walk the Freedom Trail around all the historic sites of the American Revolution.
     
  8. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

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    Definitely take a walk in Boston Common and on Newbury Street. The latter is the upscale shopping street of Boston but a lot of the buildings are historical brownstones and it's very pleasant to walk through. Tons of people watching there!

    I wouldn't do the Freedom Trail unless you have a particular interest in American history. But do walk through Beacon Hill (the main drag is Charles St but all the side streets are beautiful as well) which is the oldest area of Boston with gorgeously-preserved buildings. Once you're done in Beacon Hill you can also go for a walk by the Charles River on the Esplanade.

    Harvard University has free student-run campus tours which are a lot of fun. The students give you tons of insider info about the school and you get to see inside buildings that are not open to public. I recommend this to all Boston visitors but I heard somewhere that the Occupy protest in Harvard has caused the tours to be shut down. You might want to check first.

    Have dinner at the Eastern Standard: http://easternstandardboston.com/
    Amazing food all the time and the cocktails are fantastic as well. Might be good to have a reservation.

    I have tons of restaurant recommendations, if you can tell me what kind of you like then I can try to give you a few more :)
     
  9. fan

    fan Well-Known Member

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    i love all types of food, but only eat vegetarian/fish (or kosher meat in kosher restaurants). love asian, italian, mexican (which we dont have really in toronto)...
     
  10. znachki

    znachki Active Member

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  11. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm... There's a very good Asian restaurant called the Island Hopper, it's near the intersection of Mass Ave & Commonwealth Ave in Boston. A good Mexican restaurant, if you don't mind taking the subway red line to Davis Square, is Tu y Yo. Very authentic and tons of delicious food. Border Cafe in Harvard is Tex Mex and always crowded but has a super fun atmosphere. If you want seafood, you can't go wrong with the Legal Sea Foods chain of restaurants, they have them all over Boston. Yes they're a bit touristy but they're popular for a reason: the food is excellent and I think worth the price.

    znachki, Drink is definitely amazing.

    Links:
    http://www.islandhopperboston.com/
    http://tuyyo2.com/somerville.htm
    http://www.bordercafe.com/
     
  12. znachki

    znachki Active Member

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    It used to be that I looked for the best/nearest coffee places whenever I went anywhere - or Starbucks if nothing else. Now it's cocktails.
     
  13. fan

    fan Well-Known Member

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    thanks everyone! keep em coming...
     
  14. skamper23

    skamper23 New Member

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    If you like Italian Food head to Hanover st. in Boston's North End! I've tried about 4 different places on that street and haven't been disappointed yet. They a have wonderful bakery .... Mike's Pastry shop! Hanover st. is a quick walk from Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market area. Union Bay Oyster House is always good too!
     
  15. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

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    All of those are super touristy though, they will have huuuuge lines on weekends.
     
  16. Bonita

    Bonita Active Member

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    Do you skate? The Boston Common Frog Pond is awesome (outdoor ice rink but it's man-made ice).
     
  17. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

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    I was going to recommend Mooo, but based on the above, that's a scratch. the North End as pointed out above has some great food.
     
  18. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    Bring extra layers. Windchill on Sunday will be extreme. Cover your face and hands!
     
  19. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

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    Native Bostonian here - seconding a lot of the recommendations above. :) If you have lots of free time and don't mind lots of walking (Boston is a very compact city so walking is even faster than the subway in the core downtown areas), consider weaving them into the following walking itinerary, which will take an entire day (including stops along the way to browse or shop), so start early in the morning.

    • Beacon Hill. Quaint, preppy sidewalk scene along Charles Street (MBTA Red Line: Charles/MGH) and along the side streets as mentioned before. Home to the Boston Brahmin elite. Many historic figures and well-known current figures (including Sen. Kerry at 19 Louisburg Square) have lived here; see the above Wiki link for their addresses. From Charles Street, walk down towards...
    • Boston Common / Public Garden. Find the "make way for ducklings" statues as mentioned before (honoring a mandatory, much beloved children's story in Boston) and walk across the lagoon bridge. The swan boats aren't running in the winter, but the bridge itself is a beautiful oasis with the city skyline wrapped around it. Many tourists and newly engaged locals have their pictures taken here all year long. The George Washington statue at the west end of the Public Garden leads to...
    • Commonwealth Avenue / Newbury Street. Comm Ave is a long, tree-lined boulevard home to more of Boston's elite. Tom Brady also lives nearby on Beacon Street. Parallel to Comm Ave is Newbury Street, where, as mentioned, are Boston's most upscale boutiques and galleries. Great sidewalk scene/window shopping even if none of it is in your budget. If you want to take a detour, head to...
    • Copley Square and the Boston Public Library. The old building, with its classical architecture, has a beautiful main reading room and a lovely courtyard. If more shopping is on your agenda, behind the BPL is the Westin hotel, which is linked by skybridge after skybridge to the Copley Place (high-end) and Prudential Center (mainstream) indoor malls. Head back up to Newbury Street and finish your westwards walk by heading onto Massachusetts Avenue northwards towards Cambridge. You will cross the Charles River at the...
    • Harvard Bridge. As the folklore goes, built by MIT engineers but named after Harvard after they realized how flawed the bridge was going to be. This story is false, though, because it's technically named after the Rev. John Harvard (also the university's namesake) and because MIT didn't move there until after the bridge was built. Count the number of Smoots along the way as you soak in a breathtaking view of the Boston skyline, the Charles River, and Cambridge. At the other end of the bridge is the...
    • MIT campus. Walk down the entire length of the Infinite Corridor, where the sun's rays shine all the way down at a certain time each year, soak in the geeky atmosphere, and peruse the student bulletin boards and museum-like displays on the first floor memorializing MIT's accomplishments and innovation. Find the newly built MIT Stata Center on the campus as well.
    • Sweet tooth! If you aren't exhausted from all the walking, eat back all the calories you burned - and then some - by heading north on Mass. Ave. to a new branch of the Flour Cafe, famous for their sticky buns, and to Toscanini's, once named the "world's best ice cream." Say hi to owner Gus Rancatore for me. You'll probably be exhausted from all the walking at this point, but if you're up for more (or just a good bite to eat), head up to...
    • Harvard Square. Go up Mass. Ave. either on foot or on the #1 bus (runs every 10 minutes). It's a touristy scene at night with lots of sidewalk performers and plenty of pubs, including John Harvard's Brew House and Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage.
    • Harvard University. If you have Foursquare, follow Harvard University, tour the campus, check in to all the buildings, and try earning the Harvard badge. Plenty of historical tips and tidbits will pop up as you check in. Harvard's 4sq presence also offers pop-up tips on Harvard Square restaurants.
    • Glass Flowers. By the time you get to Harvard, this will probably be closed, so you'll probably have to come back the next day, but one must-see thing on the Harvard campus is the glass flowers - tourists from the world over make a special detour here and never leave disappointed.

    Enjoy! And don't forget to laugh out loud for me whenever you hear the Boston accent. ;)
     
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  20. kittyjake5

    kittyjake5 Well-Known Member

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    If you are a football fan the New England Patriots will be hosting the Denver Broncos for the big playoff game tonight at Gillette Stadium in Foxoboro. I am sure the tickets are sold out but a lot of clubs and restaurants will have the "Big" game on big screen T.V.

    If you are not a footbal fan and are looking for a peaceful quiet place to have dinner or a drink that very well may be impossible. Boston will be in football mode tonight. lol
     
  21. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I had never even heard of these, but I will definitely go see them the next time I visit. Thanks for the tip!
     
  22. icecat

    icecat Active Member

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    Aw gee..no one suggested coming over to SCOB ( The Skating Club of Boston)
    We have a dandy little museum upstairs with classic skating art and posters, cups and medals from the Owens family ( Maribel Vinson, Lawrence, etc) Tenley Albright etc. and we're right down the road from Harvard.
     
  23. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    You just did. :)
     
  24. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for mentioning the Harvard U. museums - my late father built a lot of the cabinets there in the 60's, 70's and early 80's!

    What accent?
     
  25. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    The cabinets are actually something of note. They're are very nicely done. I went to this museum some time in my teen years, and I actually remember the cabinets, that's how nice they are.
     
  26. Stormy

    Stormy Well-Known Member

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    It has to do with pahkin ya cah in Havahd Yahd. The lack of the letter R in conversation. I have to admit, I am glad I don't have the Boston accent. :)
     
  27. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    Actually, to be correct, that would be "Pahkin ya cahrin Hahvahd Yahd." When you have an R before a vowel sound, it is pronounced, and the words are often joined, thus "car in" becomes "cahrin", not "cah in". ;)
     
  28. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

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    That's no accent - that's how nawmul people talk. You oughta heah me say:

    Clahk the aahdvahk drinks Cutty Sahk in the Dahk

    (once spoken by a Boston cop on David Letterman's list of top 10 things to say with a Boston accent - except it's no accent. The rest of you all have an accent.)
     
  29. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

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    I for one am glad that I do! :) (except it's not an accent - see post above)
     
  30. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    I am happy that I have a Boston accent. It sets me off nicely from all these folks from New Joisey that I work with. How YOU doin'? You from Jersey? I'm from Jersey! Which exit? ;)

    Actually, I love accents of all types, and we all have one. It's one of the things that make language more interesting.