Ideas for what to do on a 5-day trip to Boston

  • shoelessj

    Posts: 511

    Jun 11, 2016 10:59 PM GMT
    My husband and I will be visiting Boston over the 4th of July week and I'm looking for ideas of cool things to do, places to go, restaurants to visit, when we're there.
    We love restaurants of just about every type, from a no-frills mom and pop (or pop and pop) place to fancy 'date night' places, just about any cuisine, but especially Italian, French, sushi, Indian, and American, of course.
    We're big baseball and hockey fans and have already gotten tickets to a Red Sox game. Would be interested to know if there are any gay (or gay-friendly) sports bars where we could watch a game and get some good bar food.
    We'll be staying somewhere just south of the North End, so I expect we'll visit there - could use a couple restaurant recommendations in that area. Also like finding cool, independent coffee places, for the coffee, of course, but also to just hang out and relax at. Wonder as well, if there's any area you'd recommend to see fireworks, and does Boston do their Independence Day fireworks on the 3rd or 4th of July? (Chicago does it on the 3rd).
    We are into historic sites too, and I know they are all over Boston but are there any not so well known ones we should see? We try to visit presidential libraries whenever we're near one, so we plan to hit the JFK library, definitely.
    We'll have a car for one or two days, so we'll be able to go outside the city a bit. Thinking of a day trip to Providence. Also have booked a day trip to Martha's Vineyard, if anyone has tips on things to do there while we are on our own.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2882

    Jun 11, 2016 11:38 PM GMT
    Visit the Constitution - history comes alive when you pry around a ship that old, with that much history in it. And take half a day to follow the Freedom Trail, which takes in all the historical sites.

    The Summer Shack for great lobster!

    If you want to show people you know a thing or two, ask if any clams you eat are from Ipswich; my partner's family wouldn't think of letting me eat anything esle.
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    Jun 12, 2016 1:55 PM GMT
    The Boston aquarium is really cool and can be a lot of fun. I like the penguins haha.
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    Jun 12, 2016 4:47 PM GMT
    From a native....

    Giacomo’s Hanover St in the North End.
    Bring cash and expect to wait in line, but you'll thank me for it.

    Union Oyster House....been open continuously for 190 years. Near Fanuel Hall marketplace.

    To see/do....

    Bunker Hill Monument

    Freedom Trail

    Ferry to Provincetown - if you have a rental car, driving there with the summer/holiday traffic will take the good part of a day. The ferry takes 90 minutes.

    Red Sox game.
    Fenway Park is "The Green Monster" and over 100 years old.

    There really isn't a "gay area" per se, except the Southend, which is mixed. I've been to a couple of coffee shops in the area, and the best one is Render Coffee. Lots of good local places outside of Boston too.
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    Jun 12, 2016 6:09 PM GMT
    Since you'll have a rental car, Plymouth is not that far away if you want to see or haven't seen Plymouth Rock (quite small and underwhelming though) and a mock first settlement village. Still fun to visit if you like history. Also, Salem is a short drive away if you want to check out where the witch trials were. Both are about an hour from Boston I believe.
  • shoelessj

    Posts: 511

    Jun 13, 2016 4:07 AM GMT
    Thanks, guys - these are all great! Much appreciated.
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    Jun 14, 2016 1:23 AM GMT
    Second S2ki's recommendation of a short trip to Provincetown by Ferry - Especially if it is hot. If the ferry schedule allows, get to the beach at Long Point, or the gay beach at Herring Cove. P-Town will be very crowded on Sunday and Monday - and very gay.

    You won't be alone in Boston over the 4th weekend.

    A short trip to Quincy will take you to John Adams' tomb in the United First Parish Church. Adams' house (National park Service) is nearby, but there may be long waits for tours (open only via guided tours).

    Get a lobster roll somewhere - about 1,000 calories, but is the quintessential typical New England meal/sandwich.

    Fireworks are on Monday, July 4 - Boston Pops Concert both Sunday and Monday.

    For peace and quiet, visit Harvard's Arnold Arboretum - Forest Hills Station plus a good walk.
  • shoelessj

    Posts: 511

    Jun 16, 2016 2:04 AM GMT
    Thanks, HS!