Weekend Getaway to Boston for the Solo Traveler

Solo travelers will find Boston an excellent city to visit. Not only is it safe, clean and easy to get around by public transportation, it is also steeped in history, art and culture. Boston is very pedestrian friendly, so pack some comfortable walking shoes. You can avoid the pricey hotels in Boston proper, and select the Marriott Hotel in Kendall Square, Cambridge as your lodging choice. It is conveniently located on the Red Line T (subway or MBTA) station Kendall/MIT, just across the Charles River from Boston.

Here is an itinerary you can use as a guide for your weekend getaway to Boston:

Day 1 (Friday)
Once you get off the plane at Logan Airport, you can hop on the T to get to your hotel. No car or taxi necessary. After checking in, your first order of business is to get to Downtown Crossing on the red line to buy a T-Pass for unlimited travels on the subway. After that, walk over to the Boston Common on Park Street to begin your tour of Boston. The Boston Common is the oldest public park in the United States. On the one side of the Boston Common sits the golden domed Massachusetts State House, perched atop Beacon Hill, on the other is Park Street Church. Next to the church lies the Old Granary Burying Ground, where Paul Revere, John Hancock and Samuel Adams were buried. Wander several blocks to see the Old State House and Faneuil Hall Marketplace. The latter is a favorite gathering place for locals and tourists alike. On the weekends, street entertainers attract huge crowds. You can sample local food at the food court. Or enjoy a decent American bar fare at the vibrant Ames Plow Tavern.

These are some of the historical sites on the Freedom Trail. If you want to see all 16 locations, but can’t not walk the whole 2.5 miles, take the Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley tour. Your driver will entertain you with historical facts and stories.

Day 2 (Saturday)
If you are traveling in the summertime, and you like boats, ocean and wildlife, why not embark on a Whale Watching trip? A high-speed catamaran whisks you away on an exhilarating ride to Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary, the whales’ feeding ground. There are naturalists on board to educate you about these majestic creatures. Whale sightings and seeing these magnificent mammals breaching are very exciting!

Another option is to take it easy, and hang out at the Public Garden (T Station: Green Line/Arlington), followed by a visit to a local market. The Boston Public Garden is beautifully landscaped with flowers and walking paths. At the northeast corner of the park is a sculpture of the ducklings (from the children’s story Make Way for Ducklings). Boston is beautiful in the summer, and this is a wonderful place to relax and soak up some sun. Your next stop – Haymarket (T Station: Green Line/Govt Center) — is more frenetic. You’ll see pushcart vendors aggressively hawking fruits and vegetables. A little advice — see but do not touch, even if you are planning to buy.

For lunch, trek over to the North End. There are many mom and pop restaurants that serve a fabulous Italian meal. For something light and quick, grab a bite at Il Panino’s. If you like seafood, consider splurging at Neptune Oyster, where you can indulge in some superb seafood – littlenecks, raw oysters, fried clams, and of course, lobsters and lobster rolls.

Walk off your lunch with a tour of the Old North Church, one of the most fascinating stops on the Freedom Trail. It was in this church steeple where two lanterns were held to signal Paul Revere’s warning that the British were headed to Concord and Lexington by sea and not by land. This fateful moment changed American history forever.

Heading back to Cambridge, you have the opportunity to take a break at your hotel before venturing out to Harvard Square. Check out the shops and restaurants that lined Harvard Square and explore Harvard Yard, the university campus. For dinner, choose Shays Pub & Wine Bar, a local watering hole that is laid back and not filled with tourists.

Day 3 (Sunday)
After breakfast at your hotel or a café in the neighborhood, take a leisurely walk around the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) campus and the scenic Charles River, a couple of blocks away.

If you have time, take the T over to historic Beacon Hill (T Station: Red Line/Charles-MGH) for a lovely stroll around the neighborhood to see 19 th -century row houses. Antique lovers will be delighted with the shops on Charles Street.

If you miss the opportunity to eat at Legal Seafood, don’t worry. Legal also has a seafood bar at Logan Airport Terminal B. This is your last chance to grab a bowl of their creamy, delicious clam chowda before you fly home.

Getting around
The subway, also known as the T or MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority)
Get a T-Pass (unlimited travels) at these stations: Back Bay, Downtown Crossing, Harvard, North and South Station.
http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/subway/

Where to stay
Marriott Hotel
2 Cambridge Center – Broadway & 3rd Street
Cambridge , MA 02142
(617) 494-6600
T Station: Red Line/Kendall-MIT
http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/boscb-boston-marriott-cambridge/

What to see or do
Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Mon — Sat: 10:00 am — 9 pm
Sun: Noon — 6:00 pm
T Station: Green Line/ Government Center
http://www.faneuilhallmarketplace.com/

Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour
Book online or call 702-233-1627 or 1866-753-4746
Board and stop at 18 locations.
Complimentary admission to the Old State House
http://www.allbostontours.com/city-tours-attractions/trolley-tours/sbc-2712

Whale Watching (offered by the New England Aquarium)
1 Central Wharf
Boston, MA 02110
Trips run from April to October
Jul — Aug: 9:30 am and 1:30 pm Mon — Fri, 10:00 am, 2 pm and 6 pm Sat and Sun
Sep — Oct: 9:30 am and 1:30 pm Mon — Fri, 10:00 am, 2 pm and 5:30 pm Sat and Sun
Check the website for all other schedule
617-973-5200
T Station: Blue Line/Aquarium
http://www.neaq.org/visit_planning/whale_watch/index.php

Boston Public Garden
4 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02116
(617) 635-4505
T Station: Green Line/Arlington
http://www.boston-discovery-guide.com/boston-public-garden.html

Haymarket

Marshall and Blackstone Streets
Friday and Saturday from 7 am — mid-afternoon
T Station: Green Line/ Government Center

Old North Church
195 Salem Street
Boston, MA 02113
Jan — Feb: 10 am — 4 pm, Tues — Sun, Closed Mon
Mar — May: 9 am — 5 pm, daily
Jun — Oct: 9 am — 6 pm, daily
Nov — Dec: 10 am — 5 pm, daily
(617) 523-6676
T Station: Green Line/ Haymarket
www.oldnorth.com

Where to eat

Neptune Oyster
63 Salem Street
Boston, MA 02113
Mon -Sun: 9:30 am — 10:30 pm
Sat -Sun: 10:30 am — 11:30 pm
(617) 742-3474
T Station: Green Line/ Haymarket
www.neptuneoyster.com

Trattoria Il Panino Express
227 Hanover Street
Boston, Ma 02113
Mon — Sun: 11 am — 11 pm
(617)720-5720
http://www.depasqualeventures.com/express.html

Ames Plow Tavern
294 Faneuil Hall Market Place
Ma 02109
Mon — Sat: 11:00 am — 1:00 am
Sun: Noon — 1:00 am
(617) 523-8928
T Station: Green Line/Government Center

Legal Seafood
5 Cambridge Center
Cambridge, MA 02142
Mon — Thurs: 11 am — 10 pm
Fri — Sat: 11 am — 11 pm
Sun: Noon — 10 pm
(617) 864-3400
T Station: Red Line/Kendall-MIT
http://www.legalseafoods.com/restaurants/cambridge-kendall-square

Shays Pub & Wine Bar
Cambridge, MA 02138
Mon — Sat: 11:00 am — 1:00 am
Sun: Noon — 1:00 am
(617) 864-9161
T Station: Red Line/Harvard
www.shayspubandwinebar.com

Sources:
Personal experiences
http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/subway/
http://www.oldnorth.com/history
http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/