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Old 08-12-2013, 01:10 PM
 
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Hi. I'll be making my first trip to Boston in Sept. Any advice about bad/good hotels, especially in the South End/around Fenway Park is welcome.

Also, I'd much appreciate any info/opinions about iffy neighborhoods around Fenway Park.

I also plan to walk around during my 2-3 days in Boston. So info/opinions about iffy neighborhoods in terms of walking would be welcome, too.

I'm not particularly interested in the trendy. I really want to get as solid a sense of Boston as I can from a trip that I'm sure will be years too brief. Boston seems a city that you can explore and savor for a lifetime. So any quirkily-Boston neighborhoods, places, etc., that come to mind I'd appreciate hearing about.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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the Pine Street Inn
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Needham, MA
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My advice would be to stay in one of the major hotels in Copley Square. It's an extremely safe area and a location which will give you easy access to the rest of the city. Plus, there are tons of great shops & restaurants within walking distance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 495neighbor View Post
the Pine Street Inn
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Quincy, Mass. (near Boston)
2,050 posts, read 3,464,370 times
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We don't really have such hotels in the areas you're likely to visit. Certain hotels are not fancy, but they're too $$$ nowadays to be infested with low lifes or drugs -- from what I know.

Just walk or take buses around South Boston and the decent parts of Dorchester. That's as real Boston as any trendy part the tourists flocks to. Maybe start in Southie at Broadway T station and follow Dorchester Ave. from the 100 block to the 2100 block or more. It's more than three miles. You'll cover parts of Southie and parts of "Dot." All of it should be safe in the daytime. It will take you to the end of town on the Milton, MA line. Most of the stretch is not too interesting but real. Same with Roslindale and West Roxbury, also far out from downtown. Just go to a farmers' market on Sat. in Roslindale Village via bus or commuter rail, then walk around. Finish in Jamaica Plain along Centre St. and get a JP (Jamaica Plain) Licks ice cream at their awesome firehouse local. Then stroll around Jamaica Pond or the Arnold Arboretum.

Perhap check bostonbyfoot's website for any interesting narrated walks. It costs money but may be fun.

Last edited by bostonguy1960; 08-12-2013 at 04:50 PM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:33 PM
 
2,079 posts, read 3,237,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 58Belvedere View Post
Hi. I'll be making my first trip to Boston in Sept. Any advice about bad/good hotels, especially in the South End/around Fenway Park is welcome.

Also, I'd much appreciate any info/opinions about iffy neighborhoods around Fenway Park.

I also plan to walk around during my 2-3 days in Boston. So info/opinions about iffy neighborhoods in terms of walking would be welcome, too.

I'm not particularly interested in the trendy. I really want to get as solid a sense of Boston as I can from a trip that I'm sure will be years too brief. Boston seems a city that you can explore and savor for a lifetime. So any quirkily-Boston neighborhoods, places, etc., that come to mind I'd appreciate hearing about.

Thanks in advance.

Take the Red Line to Ashmont and then take the light rail trolly to Dorchester Lower Mills. Walk up to the Cedar Grove Cemetery and stand there looking out to the marsh land. Historic and pretty and interesting.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Possibly you could find an Ashmont or Jamaica Plain mansion for an extended stay on Airbnb or a bed and breakfast in one of those areas.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:02 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
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The Buckminster Hotel in Kenmore Square has never shaken its sketchy vibe and gets wildly mixed reviews (mostly negative) on the sites set up for such things. Back in the day it was a favored flophouse for people at the benign levels of the underground economy - street-level drug dealers, practitioners of the oldest profession. Any time it was a decent place to hang one's hat probably predates WWII. Nowadays it has a lobby with cheesy wall covering - plastic "tile" - and a cheap "brass" chandelier. Sharing the building most prominently is a large Uno's right at the intersection of Beacon St and Brookline Ave, then next door to that you have a Popeye's. Cooking smells wafting upwards...street noise until "all hours"...that hardly enhances any positive appeal it might possess.
OTOH I heartily recommend the Beacon Guest House, on the street of the same name and a mere block across the Brookline border. The owners have nicely - not "fussily" - renovated a non-adjacent pair of 4-story row houses into a B & B. Its rates compete easily with those of the chain hotels closer to the ballpark. Not infrequently have I fallen into conversation with people dining at the large Chinese restaurant across the way only to find they're staying there. Without exception they've raved about it. Yes - there's a Chinese restaurant close at hand that's several notches above your typical take-out spot. And among other things you'd have a Dunkin' Donuts and a tapas place "right there," not to mention the first ground-level stop along the "C" branch of the Green Line trolley. Take the streetcar or a pleasant tree-shaded walk about a mile west and you'll be at Coolidge Corner, Brookline's "downtown" with an unseemly large number of sushi restaurants and a great Art Deco era movie theater. In the other direction you'll land in the Audubon Circle neighborhood with Fenway Park just beyond.
My favorite nook of Boston itself is the Savin Hill section of Dorchester, specifically the part called "OTB" (Over the Bridge) in real estate listings. Its western portion is bisected by the aforementioned "Dot Ave" and is slowly gentrifying while holding onto a lot of its grit - auto-parts stores and fast-food joints and grimy "ethnic" grocers bump up against yuppie hangouts. OTB is a neighborhood unto itself. The bridge of its name is the Savin Hill Ave overpass that takes you past I-93. Cross that bridge and you're in a sleepy enclave of Boston's classic "3-decka" apartment buildings and cute little "gingerbread" houses. (Shut your eyes while going by the generic townhouse clusters and the large complex of unattractive brick cubes which front on the expressway.) It's one of those places where you can "forget you're in the city" - next to no traffic, birds singing, serene as can be. Savin Hill Ave makes a big loop around the namesake park of the neighborhood, a prime urban oasis which has been left undeveloped save for lawn mowing. Clamber up the glacial drumlin and feast your eyes on the sweeping vista of the harbor below. More often than not you don't even have to share the bliss. And to build up or replenish carbs there's the incomparable McKenna's just east of the Red Line station for "breakfast all day" (they close at 3 in the afternoon.) Good eats, good crew, a neighborhood feel, and an amazing mix of clientele which would've been unimaginable not too long ago in the ugly school-busing controversy days.
The South End is vastly overrated. Aggressive gentrification during the '70s and '80s turned a vibrant and diverse community into a sterile and unfriendly area of yuppies. It's also Boston's premier "gayborhood" ("Not that there's anything wrong with that." Just expect to see a large number of fashion victimized men with gym-enhanced bodies rudely passing by, unless you're a male between 18 and 30 and their withering scrutiny finds you "at-TRACK-tive." ) Well worth visiting there, however, are the Franklin Café and, on Mass. Ave between the Orange Line and Tremont St, the venerable Wally's for jazz.
Jamaica Plain is also fun and pleasant to knock around. Amble through the main commercial district along Centre St, poke along the side streets leading from there toward Jamaica Pond, devote an afternoon to circumnavigating said pond and also the scenic and tranquil Arnold Arboreturm.
Most importantly, ENJOY YOURSELF! September is a prime month to be in town, as long as you dodge Move-in Day on the first.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:27 AM
 
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I'm really not positive about the sort of Boston you'de like to see. Does "not trendy" mean not touristy? Using your very little time to walk around Dorchester and such? I think that misses the mark - that would be boring.

We have fun places to go that are also drenched in American History. Yes, they are touristy but that is what makes a visit to a place most fun for most people, especially those who are here for only a few days. Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, Minute Man Park (if you want to get out of the city), one of the hop on hop off buses is good, a harbor tour, etc. If you want to have fun and see some of the important landmarks of Boston of what the tourbooks say.

I mean you aren't going to get a flavor for how we live here and when I want to have fun, I sometimes go to touristy places (as many Bostonians do). So in that sense, even touristy places are where the locals go.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:40 AM
 
Location: East Coast
865 posts, read 2,246,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-fused View Post
I'm really not positive about the sort of Boston you'de like to see. Does "not trendy" mean not touristy? Using your very little time to walk around Dorchester and such? I think that misses the mark - that would be boring.

We have fun places to go that are also drenched in American History. Yes, they are touristy but that is what makes a visit to a place most fun for most people, especially those who are here for only a few days. Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, Minute Man Park (if you want to get out of the city), one of the hop on hop off buses is good, a harbor tour, etc. If you want to have fun and see some of the important landmarks of Boston of what the tourbooks say.

I mean you aren't going to get a flavor for how we live here and when I want to have fun, I sometimes go to touristy places (as many Bostonians do). So in that sense, even touristy places are where the locals go.
I think I'm reading it the same way as you. I think the OP just meant that he wasn't interested in the hottest restaurants or newest nightclubs.

I also recommend staying around Copley Square or Back Bay. From there, you can easily get to Fenway Park, Boston Common, and anywhere downtown. Forget about touring Dorchester or Ashmont.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:24 AM
 
Location: JP, MA
116 posts, read 259,126 times
Reputation: 73
Homeaway.com
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