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Old 02-20-2009, 08:12 AM
BRH BRH started this thread
 
Location: East TN.
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Hi, everyone, I was just wondering if I could get some information on visiting Boston. It will be my first trip to Boston, so I'm unfamiliar with the area, but would like some info on a good location to stay while in town.

I am planning on using the subway (T) and would like to find an affordable hotel that is as close to a subway station as possible. (I visit NYC a couple of times a year and have used their subway system extensively, so I'm looking forward to trying Boston's T as well). I will be traveling with two children (15 and 7), so I would like to be sure that I'm in an area that is safe as well.

So far I've found two hotels that sound like they would work, and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas or info on them. They would be The Holiday Inn Express at 69 Boston St., Boston (near the Andrew Station stop on the Red Line), and the Holiday Inn at 1200 Beacon St., Brookline (near the Kent St. station on the Green C Line). Which of these would be a better choice for my stay? Is one closer to the subway or in a better or worse neighborhood? Both seem to be about .2 (or a 5 min. walk) to the subway station, so are both areas safe to walk in? Also, as far as service goes, is there any advantage to being on the Red Line vs. the Green C Line? Or are there any other hotels in this price range that would be convenient to a T stop that I may have overlooked? Thanks in advance for any info or suggestions anyone has about these two hotels.

Also, I'd love to hear any suggestions on great activities for an adult and two kids. What are the "must see's"? I will be in town for 2 or 3 days in late March. (I know it will still be pretty cold, but I usually visit NYC in the winter, so I'm used to that. Hopefully, we might catch a few nice days though where we can walk and explore). Thanks again for any info or any suggestions you may provide.
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Bangor Maine
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I can't give you any help with the hotels but there are a few things that the kids might enjoy. The Science Museum - allow 3 or 4 hours for that. Also the Aquarium and I do believe there are "DUCK" boat tours that are good too. These go on land and in the harbor. If you are into history you might check out the Patriot trail. Boston is rich in history. Do a bit of research on line and it will give you some great ideas.
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:59 AM
 
Location: a bar
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Without a doubt, stay in Brookline. You'll be closer to the Fenway/Kenmore/Back Bay areas and it's a much nicer neighborbood.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Metrowest, MA
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I suggest the Brookline MA hotel for 3 reasons.
1. The subway stop is only 1 block from the hotel (5min vs 15 min)
2. It is on local road (vs next to a highway).
3. I think the neighborhood is much nicer.

Here's the subway website to figure out travel time
MBTA.com > Official Website for Greater Boston's Public Transportation System

As to what to do.... I prefer sight seeing of historical stuff rather than going to a science museum (dolphin is a dolphin). Unless you are interested in arts, I suggest visiting neighborhoods like Cambridge (Harvard/MIT), Backbay(Shoping), Chinatown, North End(Italian; Paul Revere, ....), .... take a duck or trolley tour (as it brings you to all the important tourist points.)

Here's the website. You can determine what suits you....
Boston
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:09 AM
 
Location: East Boston, MA
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As far as the hotels go, out of the two you mentioned, I'd certainly be inclined to stay at the Holiday Inn in Brookline. It's a more enjoyable area (not that Andrew is terrible) and one that's a bit more pedestrian friendly. There are some more restaurants over there (particularly a few blocks over in Coolidge Corner) and some neighborhoods you may enjoy walking around.

Also, it's worth noting (in case you didn't know) that the Green Line is more of a Tram or Street Car that goes underground in the center of the city while the Red Line is more of your prototypical subway. The Green Line from where you'll be staying (Kent Street) is an above ground stop (actually, it's in the median of Beacon Street) which will give you good access to almost everything in town you'll want to visit.

As far as service goes, you'd probably have more frequent trains at the Andrew stop, but like I said, The C (Green Line) would give you more direct access to more of the areas of the city you'd want to visit. If you had to take the Red Line from Andrew, you'd more likely have to make more transfers to other lines to get where you want to go.

While in town, The Museum of Science (Museum of Science, Boston | Home) and the Aquarium are fun and safe bets. I'd talk a walk around Fanueil Hall (easily accessible from the Government Center stop on the Green Line) and probably do lunch there (Durgin Park is a common tourist stop, but Dick's and the Black Rose are fun too). If you enjoy baseball, see if you can do a Fenway Park tour (take the C a few stops down to Kenmore Square to do this), check redsox.com for more info on that. Also, the Museum of Fine Arts is fun, even with younger children. They have mummies and other cool things for all ages.

I'd also suggest going over to Cambridge (take the Greenline Inbound to Park Street and switch to the Red) and checking out Harvard Square. Harvard has an interesting Museum of Natural History which you and the kids may enjoy.

ABSOLUTELY take a walk through the North End and see Paul Revere's house, the Paul Revere Mall and the Old North Church. While you're there, get some Italian desserts and maybe lunch or dinner. You can get to the North End via the Haymarket stop on the Green Line (The Orange Line also stops here). If you're real history buffs, you can walk the Freedom Trail (which is long) and see the Granary Burying Ground (Paul Revere and others lie here), Bunker Hill Monument, and other landmarks including the ones in the North End I mentioned. The U.S.S. Constitution is fun too (it's sister ship, the Constellation is in Baltimore's Inner Harbor).

Check out the Boston Common and Public Garden (depending on when you're there in March, things may be starting to bloom) and also take a walk down Newbury Street in the Back Bay. It's fun to walk through Chinatown (closest Green Stop is Boylston, you can walk from there) and if you have time, check out the SkyWalk at Prudential Center ( Skywalk Observatory - The Shops at Prudential Center ). Certainly do a duck tour: http://www.bostonducktours.com/

There's plenty to do, and I hope you enjoy your stay.

Again, out of the two you recommended, I'd go with the Holiday Inn in Brookline. It wouldn't hurt to look at hotels near the Airport which can put you literally one Subway stop away from downtown and tend to be cheaper than Downtown hotels. Boston's freakish in that it's airport is so close to the core of the city. Good luck!
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:11 AM
BRH BRH started this thread
 
Location: East TN.
99 posts, read 329,313 times
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Thanks for the great info so far. One other hotel choice that I found near a subway station that I wanted to ask about as well. It's Hotel Indigo at 399 Grove St. Newton, Ma. (near Riverside Station on the Green D Line). How would this compare to the Brookline Holiday Inn? Thanks again.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Well, Newton is one of the safest places in MA as well as in the nation (ranked in the top ten safest cities in America by CQ Press) so you can't go wrong with that. Riverside Station is at the far end of the longest Green Line branch however (the "D" Line) and so the commute into town will be longer. Perhaps the best idea to research the quality of both hotels as best as you could before making a choice so that you can enjoy your stay in comfort.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:51 AM
 
Location: East Boston, MA
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I'd still take the Brookline Holiday Inn for convenience purposes. The Newton stop, while safe, will certainly be a looooong trek back and forth everyday.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:46 AM
 
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That is quite a long trek...though a simple one. And Newton is nice. But the Brookine Holiday Inn is right down the street from Coolidge Corner...a terrific area that has all the conveniences you would want nearby and is a great place to come home to after spending all day in the city.

For a vacation I would take the Holiday Inn.

Brookline, to me at least, is quintessental Boston so you will pick up a lot more with regards to the 'flavor' of the city. Even the riding of the C line will offer more for the tourist than the D.

Last edited by BubbyBu; 02-20-2009 at 11:06 AM..
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Metrowest, MA
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My impression... Hotel Indigo... is a much nicer fancier hotel.

However, it will take an hour (via D line due to # of stops) to get into downtown Boston. Brookline is more like 20 minutes max to downtown.
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