Pros: Historic and scenic
Cons: The ROADS!
This summer, our family went to Boston for our annual vacation. We had made the majority of our plans in advance, and knew pretty much where we wanted to go when we arrived. Below are listed some reviews of the areas and items we contacted in Boston.
1) Freedom Trail - Starting at the Boston Commons and curling through 2.5 miles of rambling streets, this is a must for anyone at all interested in the founding of our country. It passes by the Old North Church (one if by land...), Paul Revere's home, Faneuil Hall, the old South Meeting House, Bunker Hill, and the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides). The trail is marked with a red line or bricks all the way, and therefore is nearly impossible to get lost along. We walked the trail on our own, but tours are available.
2) Fenway Park - Excellent ballpark! See my review on the park.
3) The subway system vs Boston roads - Don't drive anywhere unless you have to! Boston is a city still in the middle of the big dig, and is nearly impossible to navigate unless you know exactly what you are doing. On the other hand, the subway is cheap ($11 for a 3-day pass) and easy to use, and is uncrowded most of the time. Get a map at one of the subway stations and make the most of it. If you do drive, be prepared for incredibly impatient drivers with completely new vocabularies to teach you.
4) Logan Airport - Though not very familiar with airports in general, this one seemed calm enough. Of course, I was picking someone up at 1:00 am, so traffic was light. Getting there was worse than anything else, as I had to weave through a jungle of road construction and ill-placed signs to get through the tunnel from downtown Boston. Warning - although there is no toll on the tunnel to Logan, the return tunnel costs $3.00 toll. Parking at the airport is adequate, and terminals are easy to find, even for an inexperienced soul like myself.
5) Boston suburbs - Again, don't drive! No road goes more than three blocks without curving, and almost every street seems to change names after about four blocks.
6) Cheers bar - Not completely recoginizable from the outside, the bar used as the model for the Cheers television show is easy to find. Take the subway to Boston Commons, cross the commons to Beacon, take a left and walk a few blocks. Can't miss it! Although we were too early in the day to go inside, it was a cheap thrill to say we had been to Cheers. Then we went to the mall by Faneuil Hall where the show replica is located. Much more of the interior is visible, but again, it was too early to go inside. We stood outside, gazing at the photos of show stars hanging on the wall by the doors.
7) Boston and surrounding hotels - Expensive! We found even the cheapest hotels (other than rattletraps) at $150+ per day.
8) The Boston tea party - What a bust! We walked several miles to find it, having taken a wrong direction, and what do we find? A sign stating that the exhibit/tour was closed indefinitely. Just an old boat sitting in a scruddy inlet of green water. Don't bother with this one unless you know for sure it is open.
In review, Boston is a city that needs more than 2.5 days to be seen adequately. Take the subway for your sanity's sake. And be sure you have relatively deep pockets.