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majormomma

Recommendations for Sightseeing in Boston Needed

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Anyone have a recommendation for sightseeing bus/trolley in Boston?  My daughter and I are cruising on the Zuiderdam leaving Sep 3, so we are arriving for the Labor Day weekend.  We are accustomed to walking 3 to 5 KM (2-3 miles) with minimal rest stops.  But we would like to get an overview before walking to the more interesting sites.  Also we are wondering if the Go Boston pass for multiple attractions in Boston is worth the cost.

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If you don't mind walking, Boston has the Freedom Trail which takes you to most of the major sites in town literally by following a line in the sidewalk. There are plenty of hop on/hop off, bus tours etc, but if you don't mind walking the Freedom Trail is free, and it's very easy. 

 

Would suggest Ubering over to the USS Constitution if you are pressed for time as that walk is the biggest time suck of the whole trail with not a whole lot along it. 

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5 hours ago, princeton123211 said:

If you don't mind walking, Boston has the Freedom Trail which takes you to most of the major sites in town literally by following a line in the sidewalk. There are plenty of hop on/hop off, bus tours etc, but if you don't mind walking the Freedom Trail is free, and it's very easy. 

 

Would suggest Ubering over to the USS Constitution if you are pressed for time as that walk is the biggest time suck of the whole trail with not a whole lot along it. 

Similar to this, is to take the Uber or cab to Charlestown for the Constitution/Bunker Hill first (avoids crowds), then take the water taxi back to Long Wharf, then walk through the Columbus park to the North End and re-start the trail there, following it backwards to the Common.

 

The hop on, hop off buses/trolleys, especially on busy weekends can be a pain.  If they are currently full, they will drive right past the stop where you are waiting, and the next one may be full as well.  Wait times can get frustrating.

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Where are you staying in Boston?  Exactly how much time do you have before your cruise?

 

A second vote here for ubering to the Constitution to start.  The museum opens at 9 am and the ship at 10.  You will miss any crowds and lines if you do this first.  Then take the MBTA water taxi from Charlestown to Long Wharf for $3.70. https://www.mbta.com/fares/ferry?origin=Boat-Charlestown&destination=Boat-Long-South#destination. This will give you a mini cruise of the upper harbor.

 

Walk along the Waterfront into the North End to see the Freedom Trail sites there and follow the trail backwards to Faneuil Hall and on to the Boston Common.  https://www.boston.com/images/FreedomTrail/FreedomTrail.pdf

 

IMO one of the problems with the trolleys is that, due to the narrow streets in old Boston, they don’t actually stop or pass by many of the historic sites nestled in among the more modern buildings.  The stops are close by, but you have to walk a bit to find what you’re looking for.  In addition there are reports of trolleys being full and unable to pick up additional passengers at busy times. 

 

Don’t know about the Go Boston Pass.  It sounds like it could be a good value if you actually have the energy to run all over to make use of it.  You need to identify what you want to do in the amount of time you have to figure out if the pass is cost effective.

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5 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Similar to this, is to take the Uber or cab to Charlestown for the Constitution/Bunker Hill first (avoids crowds), then take the water taxi back to Long Wharf, then walk through the Columbus park to the North End and re-start the trail there, following it backwards to the Common.

 

 

Don't go on Monday to see the Constitution. The museum is open but not the ship. Discovered that a few weeks ago.

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On 7/9/2019 at 12:37 AM, princeton123211 said:

If you don't mind walking, Boston has the Freedom Trail which takes you to most of the major sites in town literally by following a line in the sidewalk. There are plenty of hop on/hop off, bus tours etc, but if you don't mind walking the Freedom Trail is free, and it's very easy. 

 

Would suggest Ubering over to the USS Constitution if you are pressed for time as that walk is the biggest time suck of the whole trail with not a whole lot along it. 

 

Even if you are not pressed for time getting a ride to the USS Constitution as the walk saps energy no matter how much you are used to walking in a day.  And yes,, the "time suck" comment is correct.

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, mskaufman said:

 

Even if you are not pressed for time getting a ride to the USS Constitution as the walk saps energy no matter how much you are used to walking in a day.  And yes,, the "time suck" comment is correct.

 

I walked it a few weeks ago all the way to Bunker Hill. Unfortunately the Constitution is closed on Monday’s but there is a lot of sites on the trail.  No problem for me as I walk 2 to 4 miles a day at home for exercise. There is a lot to see walking along the way. I think it would be a problem for those who are not walkers but I do think people used to walking should do it at least one way. I even walked back as I went all the way to Bunker Hill and then circled back to the Constitution. Also I wanted to walk thru the Italian neighborhood again. I but probably taking the water taxi back that was mentioned or taking an Uber back are a good options. I think there is a lot to see walking the whole Freedom trail. I did the north end first, starting at Faneuil Hall, picking up a map there, and when I got back there I had time left so I then did the south end. 

 

On on the way back to the ship I stopped at the Harpoon Brewery which is a few minutes walk from the port. Take an Uber back from Quincy Market and get dropped off at the brewery. They have tasting flights and if you like beer that was a pretty good end of the day. 

 

 

Edited by Charles4515

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I just remember that we were all "dragging" by the time we got to the Constitution.  Wound up skipping Bunker HIll and taking the water taxi back to the city.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, mskaufman said:

I just remember that we were all "dragging" by the time we got to the Constitution.  Wound up skipping Bunker HIll and taking the water taxi back to the city.

 

From Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a mostly flat 1.4 mile walk to the Bunker Hill Monument. It is a  0.4 mile distance from there to the Constitution. Another 10 minutes walk. Anyone who is a walker should be able to do that without much sweat. Then for most people taking the water taxi back rather than walking back makes sense. Have lunch and then maybe walk the south end of the Freedom Trail which is 0.7 mile to Boston Common. 

Edited by Charles4515

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10 minutes ago, Charles4515 said:

 

From Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a mostly flat 1.4 mile walk to the Bunker Hill Monument. It is a  0.4 mile distance from there to the Constitution. Another 10 minutes walk. Anyone who is a walker should be able to do that without much sweat. Then for most people taking the water taxi back rather than walking back makes sense. Have lunch and then maybe walk the south end of the Freedom Trail which is 0.7 mile to Boston Common. 

IMO it’s a question of balancing how much time it takes to walk against the amount of time you want to spend at the various sites.  There’s nothing sacred about walking every inch of the Freedom Trail itself.  It’s just a route created for tourists to find all the historical sites in old Boston without getting lost.  Starting at Bunker Hill or the Constitution gives you a jump start on the day.  Taking the water taxi avoids the least appealing stretch of the trail and gives you a walk through the waterfront Columbus Park into the North End to pick up the trail in reverse.  If you want to walk more, spend time at the end walking in the Boston Common and Public Garden.

 

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I'd still recommend Uber to Charlestown, catch the Constitution early, Bunker Hill, water taxi to Long Wharf, walk the North End of Freedom Trail, have lunch just about anywhere in the North End, cross the greenway to Quincy Market/Faneuil Hall (I'm a history nut, so the museum in Faneuil Hall of the Ancient and Honorable Company of Artillery of Mass, the oldest military unit in the western hemisphere is great).  Farmer's market (both indoors and outdoors), and a stop at the Bell in Hand tavern for a Sam Adams Boston Red Brick (red ale only available within the confines of Boston), and then suitably fortified, carry on to the Common.  Uber from there back to the ship.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks everyone.  DD and I have enjoyed reading your ideas.  We have looked at the Freedom Trail map and have a better understanding of the distances involved.  Combined with your insights, we are better prepared.  I have been to Boston for a weekend thirty + years ago but DD has never been there, so we have a long list of places to see and things to do in our 3 1/2 days before boarding the ship.  We will use your recommendations with the maps to plan to bunch clusters of things to maximize efficiency.  As several of you mentioned Uber and Lyft are also options, since the HoHo trolleys can be problematic on a holiday weekend.

Edited by majormomma
typos and unclear sentence.

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On 7/9/2019 at 7:33 AM, Charles4515 said:

 

Don't go on Monday to see the Constitution. The museum is open but not the ship. Discovered that a few weeks ago.

OPEN from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The USS CONSTITUTION MUSEUM, located next to USS CONSTITUTION,
is OPEN MONDAY - SUNDAY from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Holiday Schedule

 

USS CONSTITUTION is OPEN to the public on the following holidays:
Washington's Birthday (Presidents Day) | Patriots' Day | Memorial Day | Independence Day | Labor Day | Columbus Day | Veterans Day

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36 minutes ago, baltic17 said:

OPEN from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The USS CONSTITUTION MUSEUM, located next to USS CONSTITUTION,
is OPEN MONDAY - SUNDAY from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Holiday Schedule

 

USS CONSTITUTION is OPEN to the public on the following holidays:
Washington's Birthday (Presidents Day) | Patriots' Day | Memorial Day | Independence Day | Labor Day | Columbus Day | Veterans Day

 

Those are the hours for the museum. The ship itself is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

 

 

PUBLIC VISITATION HOURS

 

 

 

 

USS CONSTITUTION is OPEN for public visitation, verbal presentations will be given on the ship and will kick off every 15 minutes:

MONDAY THROUGH TUESDAY - CLOSED

WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY - OPEN from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The USS CONSTITUTION MUSEUM, located next to USS CONSTITUTION,
is OPEN MONDAY - SUNDAY from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

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30 minutes ago, Charles4515 said:

 

Those are the hours for the museum. The ship itself is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

 

 

PUBLIC VISITATION HOURS

 

 

 

 

USS CONSTITUTION (the ship) is OPEN for public visitation, verbal presentations will be given on the ship and will kick off every 15 minutes:

MONDAY THROUGH TUESDAY - CLOSED

WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY - OPEN from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The USS CONSTITUTION MUSEUM, located next to USS CONSTITUTION,
is OPEN MONDAY - SUNDAY from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

https://www.navy.mil/local/constitution/visitor%20information.asp

 

This is the url for the ship which is run by the Navy and says they are open on Labor Day for those of us sailing 3 September from Boston.

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14 minutes ago, baltic17 said:

https://www.navy.mil/local/constitution/visitor%20information.asp

 

This is the url for the ship which is run by the Navy and says they are open on Labor Day for those of us sailing 3 September from Boston.

 

Lucky for you that you will be there on a Monday that is the Labor Day holiday and it will be open. Unfortunately I was there on a regular weekday Monday and it was closed. When I was there the guard mentioned it was closed Mondays. He didn’t mention it was closed Tuesdays too. Or that it was open some holiday Monday’s. 

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