Beantown: home to the B’s, C’s, and G.O.A.T. Whether you’re headed to Boston for work, fun, or a little bit of both, here are our tips for making the most of your time there.
Where to fly in
Boston metro area is primarily served by Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), located just four miles from downtown Boston in East Boston. While Logan is the largest airport in the New England area, Boston-bound travelers can also fly into alternate airports like Manchester International Airport (MHT) in Manchester, NH and T.F. Green International Airport (PVD) in Providence, RI. To determine which airport is best to fly into, Hipmunk’s flight search design enables you to search for flights to all three airports at once. If you’re based in San Francisco, for example, you can enter ‘SFO, OAK’ in the From box and ‘BOS, MHT, PVD’ in the To box and Hipmunk will show you results that include combinations for each of those options.
Thanks to Amtrak, Boston is also easily accessible from many Northeast cities—like New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.—via train. You search for trains on Hipmunk as you would flights, entering destinations in the From: and To: fields. It’s easiest to type in the name of the station code, such as ‘BOS’ for Boston South Station, or start typing the city name, in this case ‘Boston’, and the local train station will pop up. Then, select the corresponding train stations for your journey, and search results will populate similar to when you’re booking a flight. You can then sort search results by price, agony, or whichever filter matters most to you, and book your train as you normally would a flight.
As for your ground transportation options from Logan, cabs and ride shares are available upon arrival. Alternatively, travelers can take public transportation from the airport to downtown Boston via the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, or MBTA, Blue Line Subway service or Silver Line Bus Rapid Transit. The Silver Line is free from Logan to South Station and includes a free Red Line transfer.
Where to stay
From boutique to luxury to no frills, there’s a hotel for every budget in Boston. If you’re opting for a luxury experience, look no further than the Mandarin Oriental Boston with its marble lobby and skyline views. Looking for more affordable digs? Consider an Airbnb. Vacation rentals are consistently more budget-friendly versus a hotel stay, even in the busy summer months.
Meanwhile, business travelers looking for a different set of amenities will find many hotels in Boston that meet their specific needs. Here are our picks for the best hotels to stay in during your next business trip:
- If you’re attending an event at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, you can’t beat the convenience of The Westin Boston Waterfront. After your conference, you’re just a short walk from attractions like the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art, as well as many waterfront restaurants in the Seaport District.
- If a hotel in a prime Boston location is what you’re after, look no further than the Fairmont Copley Plaza. This historic Back Bay hotel is within walking distance to the Hynes Convention Center, Newbury Street, Beacon Hill, and the Boston Public Library.
- In need of event space? The Hyatt Regency Boston has 30,000 square feet of conference and meeting room space available. Business travelers will also appreciate the in-room laptop-compatible desks and on-site business center. After hours, guests can work out in the indoor swimming pool or relax in the hotel sauna. And as an added benefit, Concur Hipmunk users receive exclusive discounts when staying at a Hyatt property.
How to get around
The MBTA Subway Line, affectionately known as the T, has four main lines—the Red Line, Orange Line, Green Line, and Blue Line—that traverse the city. Travelers can also catch the Commuter Rail and ferries for journeys outside the city limits.
One-way fares, 1-Day passes and 7-Day passes are available for all of the transit systems. Determining which one is right for you depends not only on the duration of your stay in Boston, but also which parts of the city you’ll need to travel to. The MBTA recommends a CharlieTicket for visitors as it grants access to all of the subway, bus, Commuter Rail, and ferry systems. CharlieTickets can be purchased at any subway station.
Ride shares like Uber and Lyft are also available throughout the city. If you manage your travel and expenses with Concur or Concur Hipmunk, your Uber trip receipt will automatically populate into your expense report.
Pro tip: Use TripIt’s Navigator feature to search transportation options available to you. It will show you the estimated costs and travel times for each option, so you can decide which works best. You can find Navigator within your flight, hotel and rental car details screens. Plus, if you add a restaurant reservation to your itinerary (more on where to eat below), Navigator also helps you find the best transportation options for getting to your table.
Where to eat
Start your Sunday on a high note with brunch and a view at the Top of the Hub. Not in town over the weekend? The Friendly Toast, also located in the Back Bay, serves classic breakfast dishes all week long.
Craving Italian? Our top picks are Giacomo’s Ristorante or Bricco Ristorante and Enoteca, both located in the North End.
In search of seafood? You won’t need to look far—you’re in New England, after all! Choose from sought-after spots like Atlantic Fish Co., Island Creek Oyster Bar, and Neptune Oyster. For surf and turf options, head to Abe and Louie’s, brought you to by the same restaurant group as Atlantic Fish Co. Or, experience Mooo…. in Beacon Hill for a modern take on steak.
Still undecided? There’s Gaslight in the South End for French cuisine, Ruka in Downtown Crossing for Peruvian-Japanese fusion, and Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar in the Back Bay for Mexican cuisine—just be sure to make a reservation ahead of time. Or, take the T to Cambridge and visit Oleana for small plates, big Middle Eastern flavors, and an outdoor patio you’ll never want to vacate.
What to do
If you’re a sports fan, you’ve certainly come to the right city. If you’re visiting Boston during baseball season, be sure to catch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Our advice? Opt for a seat atop the Green Monster, Fenway’s towering left field wall. Just make sure you call it the ‘Green Monstah’ if you want to blend in with the local Sox fans. Not really into baseball? Hockey fans can enjoy a Boston Bruins game at The Garden; the Celtics also play there, for those who prefer NBA basketball. Last but not least, football fans can head to the home of reigning Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots—Gillette Stadium is located about 35 minutes outside the city. On game days, you can take the Patriot Train from Boston right to the stadium.
If your family tagged along on your business trip, there are plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Boston. Both the New England Aquarium and the Boston Children’s Museum offer hours of exploration and discovery. Kids will also love touring The Freedom Trail—book a tour or download the map and explore the sights and stories of the American Revolution at your own pace. Finally, be sure to take a stroll through Boston Public Garden and snap a photo of the kids with the iconic Make Way for Ducklings before you leave.
Adults-only? Bostonians loves their breweries, and you will, too. Choose from big names like Sam Adams and Harpoon, regional breweries like Trillium Brewing Company and Night Shift Brewing, or opt for microbreweries like Idle Hands Craft Ales, Lamplighter Brewing Co., Mystic Brewery and Aeronaut Brewing Company. Tour. Taste. And thank us later.
Are you more of a shopper than a sipper? Head to Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Quincy Market for an abundance of outdoor shopping and all-ages entertainment, such as street performers, live music, and more.
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