OT: Shipping Up to Boston

Submitted by SwitchbladeSam on March 7th, 2016 at 11:29 AM

My wife and I are going to Boston this summer for the first time.  Maybe it's from growing up watching reruns of Cheers & Wings, but I've always been fascinated with the idea of going to Boston, catching a game at Fenway and spending a couple nights  over in Nantucket. Although I'm sure it's not much different than the many other cities I've visited and I'll leave there with the sensation of a 1,000 lost sneezes, it's just something I need to cross off my list.  We picked a "random" week in July for our vacation. It just so happens that the Tigers are playing the Red Sox that week ... how convenient. I'm well aware this isn't tripadvisor.com, but I figured I'd seek advice from the greatest community in the history of human civilization:

Where should I sit in Fenway?

Which attractions in the city are must see and which should I avoid?

Nantucket doesn't seem to have many places to stay and they're pretty pricey.  Any recomondations on hotels there or should I go somewhere else in Cape Cod instead?

 

Any advice/snark/ and omg shirtless photos from your trip to Cape Cod are much appreciated. 

 

TYIA

 

 

Comments

Magnus

March 7th, 2016 at 11:32 AM ^

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michfan84

March 7th, 2016 at 11:37 AM ^

My wife and I went about 4 years ago, and we caught a Tigers-Sox game.  We sat down the first base line, foul territory in the outfield.  AWFUL seats, you gotta turn your head the entire game, and the seats are so tight that you can't really turn your body that well to see the action.  Splurge on the tickets and get them near home plate, or above the Monster!  It was cool to go there once, but I thought the stadium was kind of a dump.  I'd take Comerica any day.

y2mh

March 7th, 2016 at 12:21 PM ^

 Agreed, never found the fascination of Fenway besides it being an older stadium, old Tiger Stadium always had better seats in most part as did Wrigley. About the only aspect that rivaled it was above the wall, but left field bleachers at The Corner still was always pretty fun because of activity going on there.

Eat Your Wheatlies

March 7th, 2016 at 11:38 AM ^

I'm going to Induction Weekend in Cooperstown, NY, and then heading to Boston that same week. We're going to the DET/BOS games on both Tuesday and Wednesday. We're getting SRO tickets for the Green Monster on Tuesday night. $100 each, but I have to see a game from up there.

I'm interested to see the feedback, as I am trying to find a place to stay as well. I'm looking in an outlying area that is close to the T so we can ride that into the city every day.

DrMantisToboggan

March 7th, 2016 at 11:41 AM ^

Saw a great tigers win at Fenway last summer, you're gonna have a blast. You have to do as much historical stuff as possible, if you're even a tenth as much a history buff as I am - obviously one of the best cities in the country for that stuff. Mike's City Diner is a great spot for breakfast

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BayWolves

March 7th, 2016 at 11:41 AM ^

I would personally check out the Green Dragon Inn which is where Paul Revere and company laid revolutionary plans. Enemies of the empire made history there.

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Farmhouse Funk

March 7th, 2016 at 11:41 AM ^

As far as Fenway avoid the seats along right feild (pesky pole) the seats face directly to the Green Monster so you have a great view of Left field and if you want to watch the infeild/pitching/batting you must have your head turned to the left all game. Other then that just make sure you verify you are getting a non-abstructed view. Bleacher seats are fine.

As far as things to do in Boston there is the freedum trail I recomend starting at the Bunker Hill part and working into Boston. The USS Constition would be the second stop and it closes at 3:30, so if you time it right you would get to the North End around lunch to get some good Italian food. Then end in Cheers for some beer. Or if you have time split it up into 2 days.

I highly recomend spending a day in Salem, it is very cool. There are some great seafood resteraunts that you can eat at along the water. There are a couple fo witch museums the main one is very cool also there is one that has acts out a play of one of the trials. Probably want to see the main one if going to only 1. Also there is the house of the 7 gables which is worth the tour. You can take the comuter rail to Salem, but a little easier if you have a car.

Boston also has some cool Islands you can take a ferry to Goerges Island has a Cival War fort on it which is pretty cool.

Also pretty cool to spend some time at Harvard, they have 3 museums that you can visit that are pretty cool, and you could always end the night drinking on the beer garden at Charlies. 

Vacuous Truth

March 7th, 2016 at 1:20 PM ^

Been living in Boston for two years. Basically concur with everything above.

1. Do not sit down the 1st base line anywhere from the start of the outfield to Pesky's pole. You'll have to look almost 90 degrees to your right to see the plate. Just about anywhere else is fine. Don't worry about being too close to the field - park is so small you're close enough in any seat besides dead center.

2. Freedom Trail is a must if you like US History. If you dont want to do it all i'd focus on the North End stops - Paul Revere House & Old North Church - and combine that w/ an Italian food meal.

3. Cape Cod/Nantucket - you'd be very smart to do this part mid-week, Tuesday-Thursday. Weekend traffic is horrendous, particularly getting on to the Cape on Friday afternoon and leaving Sunday at any time. I would stay in the middle of the Cape then take the Hyannis ferry over to Nantucket in the morning, come back in the evening. You wont need more than a day trip to see the highlights. I would take the bus tour of the island, btw.

4. Never been to Salem but if you're looking for a New-Englandy scene, check out Portland, ME (<2 hours), or even Dover or Portsmouth, NH (1 hr).

Enjoy!

 

quigley.blue

March 7th, 2016 at 11:44 AM ^

Go early, enjoy BP (and beers) from the roof deck in right field.  Get seats in fair territory down the right field line or behind home between the bases.

littlebrownjug

March 7th, 2016 at 11:46 AM ^

You cannot leave Boston without seeing at least a little of the Freedom Trail.

Also, plan on getting to Fenway early and taking in the scenery outside of the park. It reminds me of Wrigley (it is so alive before and after a game). I always like the standing room on the Monster or the Budweiser Porch in right. If you are going the seat route, the Bleachers are a great place to have a true Fenway experience (Esp. if you are in RF behind the opposing team's bullpen). Make sure that you are in your seat in the middle of the 8th for Sweet Caroline (it is pretty neat to be a part of).

Enjoy and Go Blue!

michfan84

March 7th, 2016 at 11:48 AM ^

We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in Braintree, about a 25 minute ride on the T, not too bad.  The ride back after the game was horrendous, super crowded and had to wait a long time to get on.  I realize I'm sounding pretty bitter about the trip so far, maybe because the Tigers lost that game.  I would recommend strolling through Harvard's campus.  Also, we did a duck boat tour that was pretty good.  Try to find a locals bar and drink with the people.

Blue_by_U

March 7th, 2016 at 11:51 AM ^

Boston is a great place to visit

Fenway- must do, historic ballpark

Freedom trail is cool, Boston Harbor, The Old State House, Bull and Finch if you are a Cheers fan is a must stop just to do it. Personally liked Salem Mass just up the coast, nothing like fresh lobster right  off the ocean, and the tie to the witch trials was cool as a history teacher at the time.

Boston is a SUPER vibrant city with a lot of activity all summer long. Have a great time, research and try your best to have some sort of plan. Just so much to see. The Old North Church, lots of cemetaries, as creepy as that sounds, the dates and history of the first settlers and some tombstones dating to the 1600s makes me appreciate the history of that city. Went to Bedford Mass where the revolution started, all sorts of historic markers. Plan on parking your car and taking the 'L' everywhere or simply walking...have a great time. We are planning to go over the 4th of July one year just to take it in. Had family from the area and want to visit again.

goblueram

March 7th, 2016 at 11:51 AM ^

I travel to Boston about once a month.  Given that you'll be there in the summer when it's nice out, absolutely walk the Freedom trail.  Take a stroll through the Common.  Get a lobster roll at the Seaport.  It's a very small city, completely walkable if that's your style.  I have to also recommend Sam Adams which is a GREAT brewery tour (plus a free glass if you go to Doyle's pub on the trolley after).  Also the Harpoon Brewery Beer Hall is an awesome place to drink beer and eat pretzels. 

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

March 7th, 2016 at 11:52 AM ^

There's a neat little historical walking tour they do, if you're into the history of cities you visit.  I seem to remember buying the tickets at Faneuil Hall.  Takes a couple hours, leaves you plenty of other time in the day, and it just goes from Faneuil Hall to Boston Common so it's not too strenuous.

Never been to the Cheers bar but I never did hear good things about it.  When I lived in New England, anyone who ever mentioned it said it was worth going to just to say you'd been and little else.  The Bell in Hand claims to be the oldest tavern in the country and it actually is worth going to.

Mattinboots

March 7th, 2016 at 11:55 AM ^

Hop on hop off trolley tours are a good deal for one day of sight seeing much of city. Sam Adams brewery tour is fun. For Fenway, if you can afford top of monster tickets, do it. Otherwise right field box by Pesky's pole is best bargain.

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Sports

March 7th, 2016 at 11:57 AM ^

We went to Marblehead last summer and it was great. Check out the Marblehead Inn. B&B run by a guy named Jeffrey. Absolutely top notch and Marblehead is beautiful in the summer.

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rpm881

March 7th, 2016 at 3:46 PM ^

Brother in law parents live in Wayland (western suburbs) Older brother lives in Marblehead. Fort Sewell is a nice park to stroll or just watch the sail boats.come into and leave Marblehead Harbor. The painting of The Spirit of '76 is in Abbott Hall. Which you can see anywhere in Marblehead. Old town is really cool. You can see all the old houses and who built them and when they were built. If you make it to Marblehead. I recommend eating at The Barnicle. Great Seafood right on the harbor. Check out Marblehead Neck and Castle rock. If you are lucky you can catch a fire and muster. It's the very old handtub that fireman used to put out fires back in the day.They have contest every weekend to see who can shoot the farthest water. Salem is right next door. Check out The Witch Museum, House.of.Seven Gables, and Laura Cabot' s shop. She is the official witch of Salem.

Marblehead is on the North Shore 17 miles from Boston. Drive partway to Boston, park at Wonderland park, Get on the T. Get off at the aquarium, and hop on the red trolley. It takes you all over Boston, you can get on and off anywhere. I do not recommend driving it Boston it is hell. Also, go see JFK Library/Muesem. It is very cool! 

blueinbeantown

March 7th, 2016 at 12:02 PM ^

Based on the log in, I live in Boston.  Fenway is an old dump, but much better than it used to be.  Like Wrigley, bucket list place to visit.  Once in a lifetime, you can't beat saying you sat in the Monster Seats.  State Street Pavilion are very nice.  True Boston experience, Bleachers.  Worst place is down the right field line, seats face center field.  Best bet, call the Sox box office the day of the game, I always get great seats that way, website is awful for getting tix, especially in  advance. Fenway Tour, even on game days is excellent, tremendous way to see the entire park.   Couple of fun pre-game stops, The Cask n Flagon or Baseball Tavern.  No lack of places to go near Fenway.  Great and fun way to see the city, Boston Duck Tour.  North End has some of the best Italian food in the country.  Back Bay, Newbury St and Boylston St are great areas to walk around. Faneuil Hall is still a fun place to visit.  Boston is an excellent walking city, very easy to get around.  Traffic sucks. 

Cape can be a nighmare coming and going, especially on the weekend.  I prefer the Vineyard to Nantucket, much more fun.  Easy to take the Ferry over there.  Edgartown and Oak Bluffs are where most of the action takes place.  Have to visit South Beach and the Jaws bridge.  If going to the Cape, Hyannis if you're into Kennedy history.  During the summer, check out a Cape Cod league game, tremendous way to watch a baseball game.  

Enjoy Boston!  

 

m1jjb00

March 7th, 2016 at 12:04 PM ^

1.  Down the right field line is fine, but right field is really far away, as are the center field bleachers.  Also try to avoid sitting too far back on the first deck.  It gets calustrophobic and too far back you'll have poles in your field of vision.  If you can splurge consider paying up to get either reasonably close to the infield or the piece that creases out on the left field line.  Buy an Italian sausage from the vendors outside of the stadium for the full experience.

2.  Early evening in Harvard Square is fun.  Wander around, getting to Brattle Square as well to see what street performers is there.  A long time ago, I saw a guy whose act was balancing things.  I saw him balance a shopping cart on his nose.  Wander into the Yahd and take a picture by the statue of three lies.  Mr. Bartleys is the gourmet burger joint.  I like the Boarder Cafe for cheap mexican and fresh tortilla chips if you're tired of seafood and want downscale and marguerittas.  The Coop is a place anyone can shop for Harvard/MIT gear, even if you're not a member.

3.  Take the T.  The Green line, especially at Park Street is like nothing else (as is the smell).  Cover your ears as you take the red line into Harvard Square.  Various museums are very accessible.

4.  The north end is the place with mom & pop Italian.  Take the cannoli.  I don't have a specific place to recommend; you probably should do a little checking around.

5.  Obviously, you'll want the seafood experience.  Touristy places like the original Legals or Anthony's Pier 4 in Southie were fine the time I went 20+ years ago, though once again it's probalby worth doing some checking around.

6.  There's no reason to go to Faneuil Hall.

7.  I've never been to the USS Constitution/Charleston part of the Freedom trail but the piece in Boston proper is great.  Do wander the graveyards.  Do a tiny bit of research to see who's in the graveyards there.

8.  I don't think there's any reason to go check out BC, BU or MIT campuses.

9.  I've never done whale tours, the duckboat tours or trolleys.  

10.  Weather can be really goofy.  I've been there when it was 100 with pictures of my kids on the swan boats with bright red faces.  I've also been there in late July when the wrong preesure system was in the wrong place and it was in the mid 50s.

11.  It wouldn't be what I'd do, but Singing Beach is like 1/2 mile walk from the train station at Manchester by the Sea.  Note that the beach is pebbly and the water is freezing.

12.  Avoid driving.  Boston is not like other places.  One wrong turn, and you may never be able to fight your way back.

Artie

March 7th, 2016 at 12:22 PM ^

I can vouch for 12. My wife and I drove into Boston (first time) relying on our gps (in its infancy). GPS died IN the city and we had to find our way back without it. What a godawful nightmare. I also got turned around after a Pearl Jam concert at the United Center pre-GPS days. What an experience that was.

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Farmhouse Funk

March 7th, 2016 at 2:38 PM ^

Black Rose is good, though the best Irish bar in Boston is Mr Dooleys. Everytime I end up at Dooley's I stay till close and have the best times. Plus they are one of the only places in Boston that has Murphy's on tap.

The Mad Hatter

March 7th, 2016 at 12:06 PM ^

better than Nantucket.  Rent a jeep for the day and drive around the island.

Also, if you're driving up the Cape, make sure you stop in Provincetown.  It's the gayest city in the entire universe.  I remember going there when I was a kid (like 10) and no one batted an eye when I walked into a bondage store and started looking around.

 

Eye of the Tiger

March 7th, 2016 at 12:07 PM ^

Nantucket is great, though it is pricey. You should rent bikes when you are there--it's the best/most fun way to get around the island. Martha's Vineyard is also nice, if you are looking for options, though I prefer Nantucket.

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borninAnnArbor

March 7th, 2016 at 12:09 PM ^

In addition to what other people have mentioned, I would highly recommend a whale watching trip. Not sure if there are places around Boston, but my wife and I met working at a Camp in Cape Cod and one of our first dates was whale watching that set out from Provincetown. Even if you don't see a lot of whales the ocean trip itself is worth going. Amazing sunsets up there too.

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Wenham Wolverine

March 7th, 2016 at 12:11 PM ^

Fenway is the best park in America. It doesn't have all the creature comforts of the modern stadiums, but it's incredibly special, and the current ownership group has made great renovations and restorations. Get there early, enjoy the atmosphere around the stadium, and take enough time to walk around the inside and appreciate it all. I most enjoy the grandstand seats behind home, but the monster is a pretty unique experience, and the outfield bleachers are a great value. Just don't get too far over into center with the triangle/Monster, you might have your view partially obstructed.

Boston is small and very walkable. Freedom Trail is great if you're into that stuff, the common is beautiful, the swan boats are fun. A Duck Boat tour could be good if you don't want to do the walking tour thing. Tons of great museums based on your interests, the aquarium is great but a bit pricey to my mind. So much great food of all varieties. Sam, Harpoon, and Mystic breweries are all great, along with some smaller cider and spirit manufactuers-- Downeast, Bantam, Far From the Tree up in Salem, Bully Boy Distillery.

I've lived here for 8 years and I still haven't made it out to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket, so I can't give advice there, but there are plenty of reasonable accomodations on the Cape. Alternatively Cape Ann and the North Shore are a bit more accessible by public transit (commuter rail) and are a closer, shorter drive, so if that has any appeal to you (and Cape traffic really can be horrendous at times), Salem, Newburyport, and Gloucester/Rockport are very solid options outside of the city.

HarBooYa

March 7th, 2016 at 12:14 PM ^

Is cool and all but the cities up and down the cape are just as a great. If you really want an adventure drive out to the end of the cape. Great national parks and shoreline. Vineyards all over the place. Crazy awesome drive In movies and fried clam rolls.

We go up every year from NYC and just drive to get lost on the cape. Always find something new every year. We actually take the famous back road high ways on purpose just to explore. Sounds a little driving ma daisy but it's worth it.

twohooks

March 7th, 2016 at 12:14 PM ^

Doing the Freedom Trail and Downtown Historical Boston stuff in July I would look for accomocations in the Financial District, pretty nice accomodtions for a fair rate. We stayed in Club Quarters and it was pefecrt for everything I mentioned and close walk to the "T" to go catch a Sox game. We link our Boston Trip with a road trip to Bar Harbor, best vacations we have had and cant wait to do it again.

username

March 7th, 2016 at 12:30 PM ^

I've been to Nantucket a few times.  It's one of those places that is truely unique, so it's worth a visit.  I've never been to Martha's Vineyard, but my guess is you get a similar experience if going for only a day or two.

Hotel accommodations on Nantucket can be tough.  I'd try to find a small condo or 1BR house on AirBNB or VRBO to rent in town (where the ferries come in).  As another posted, rent bikes.  If you're in town, you can walk to everything you need for shopping, drinks, food, but bikes get you to a number of smaller towns and beaches.  There are great bike paths that keep it safe and easy. 

If you can time your trip to Nantucket mid-week, you'll avoid crazy traffic getting to the Cape where the ferries depart as well as actually be able to get a reservation or table at restaurants. The Cape and Nantucket during summer weekends are packed.

funkifyfl

March 7th, 2016 at 12:42 PM ^

A few comments:

 

  • Sit behind homeplate or CF at Fenway. Fist base line and RF like people said face the Monster and not homeplate - definitely gets annoying. Honestly can't remember if the same can be said for 3rd base line, but I think those are OK. Monster Seats and RF Porch seats are unique, but will definitely cost you.
  • A great way to see a lot of the city and get some history is a Duck Tour. Totally tourist thing to do, but I've brought foreign family and girlfriends on it and it's legit.
  • I live in Florida, so I don't think much of beaches in the northeast, including the Cape and Nantucket. If you want to go for lighthouses and the old timey northeast beachtown thing go for it, but if you're actually looking to use the beach, I say pass.
  • Spend some time near the Boston Common and the Boston Public Gardens. Boylston Street and Newbury Street are both great places to walk around and grab a bite.
  • The Financial District over by Rowes Wharf is awesome. You can walk between Quincy Market, Faneuil Hall, the Greenway, and the water pretty easily.
  • The North End is a bit isolated, but pretty cool. Mike's Pastry Shop is famous.
  • I definitely recommend heading over to Harvard Square in Cambidge. Walk around MIT and Harvard, it's beautiful.
  • If you're still looking for things to do after that, you can always take the C, D, or E green line into Allston (where BU is) or Coolidge Corner, which is a nice quaint part of town with lots of good food.

m1jjb00

March 7th, 2016 at 12:45 PM ^

Spent a week on MVI renting a house.  My wife loved it.  I thought it was ok.  Beaches were crowded, boring/no waves, or windy.  If you go there do get out to sunset at Aquinnah.  The various towns were fun to just walk around.  My daughter bought so much Vineyard Vines stuff her midwest college friends think she's obsessed with whales.  I really enjoyed the 2 hour or so sailing tour (large ship) out of Vineyard Haven (I think?).  You'll pay up for restaurants.  One word: "Reservations".

I always heard of the disaster that's cape traffic but driving from Woods Hole to PTown, while long was no problem midday, midweek.

PTown is like no other place. I liked the small Pirate Museum on one of the piers, as well as the Pilgrim Monument and museum.