July 27, 2010

Tuesday’s Travel Tips – Boston

This week’s Travel Tips take us to Beantown, Boston, MA that is. This BlueCity is one of our most heavily trafficked and one in which we are working to grow even more. There are a plethora of points packed into this New England city and our BOS Crewmembers share some of their secret spots below.

Manager Station Operations Duty Ray points out that Boston Logan International Airport opened in 1919, and is one of the oldest airports in continual use in the world! Ray also suggests you do the Freedom Trail; you can do it on foot and he’s never heard a traveler say they didn’t get something out of it. Don’t waste time on Cheers, he says!

Boston is famous as one of the twin birthplaces of the United States. Although the

Image courtesy of mituldesai on Flickr

Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia, the Minutemen, Paul Revere, John Adams and many of the other founding fathers were from Boston. The original shots of the Revolution were fired here, and a good deal of the stubborn independence that has come to be part and parcel of the American character were endemic to New England and specifically Boston over a hundred years before we became a nation.

Boston combines the hipness of NYC at a scale that a person can manage without feeling overwhelmed, Ray relates. The city has world class orchestras, bands, museums, universities, parks, and more in an area that’s only 30 minutes from the rolling New England countryside. It’s no wonder travelers come from all over Europe and Asia to access America through the lens of Boston, a timeless, hip, cultured place that you can actually get your brain around (and manage your wallet at the same time!) in just a couple of days. Don’t miss the Duck Tours (Quack, Quack)!

First Officer Joseph says for those who are interested in sailing or a tour of the Boston waterfront, you should check out the sailing ship Liberty Clipper.  She departs at the Aquarium dock three times daily for a two-hour cruises around the harbor.  The dock is easily reachable from the T, just get off at the Aquarium stop.  It’s a great way to see the city from a different angle.  And for those aviation enthusiasts (Joseph knows there are a few), it’s a great way to see Logan airport.

First Officer Scott says that without a doubt, Santarpios Pizza in East Boston and Mike’s

Image courtesy of the-o on Flickr

Pastries in the North End are easy to get to and unforgettable experiences. Not surprisingly, the pizza at Santarpios is to die for! With thin crust,  lots of garlic and Durgin Park style ‘in your face’ service, everything is great as long as you want pepperoni or sausage toppings (tip: don’t expect Hawaiian pizza!). No need to pay for transportation, Scott offers, just take the airport bus from Terminal C to the airport T (Blue Line station) and walk through the
park to Chelsea street. Best of all, both of these spots are within 20 minutes of the airport if your timing is good (caution: the crowds can be HUGE at both shops — go early).

Inflight Crewmember Patty recommends the North End for some of the best Italian food and pastries. Also, a walk on the Boston waterfront is a must do! Patty posits that Boston is a great walking city with lots of good music, food and culture.

Airport Operations Crewmember Desiree points out that in Copley Square, the 50th floor of the Prudential Tower, has a great view of the city. You can grab drinks or a meal on the 52nd floor at the Top of the Hub restaurant. Museums worth visiting include the Isabella Gardner, Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Science.

Ray says the Union Oyster House is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, eating

Ok, so this isn't a place to visit in Boston, but these little guys were first created in Boston by mixing the English Bulldog with the English Terrier

establishments in the country, and is a great authentic New England restaurant. Most people think of Legal Sea Foods, and it’s a good chain, but it’s a chain. Union is a quaint, single building establishment in the same place it has been for nearly 200 years (it opened as a restaurant in 1826 — the building has been in use since 1704 as far as researchers can determine). It’s just a block from another tourist attraction Quincy Market, near Government Center and convenient to both the Green, Blue, and Red lines of the MBTA.

The Atlantic Fish Co on Boylston Street near the Prudential Center is a terrific, and very Bostonian, restaurant without being outrageously priced or requiring formal attire. Symphony Hall at Mass and Huntington Avenues is home to one of the country’s best orchestras. Right down the street are the New England Conservatory of Music, where Jordan Hall features nightly recitals, and the Berklee College of Music, a hotbed of upcoming jazz musicians and home to concerts and recitals by the country’s best and hottest musicians. The Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library in the Christian Science Center on Mass Ave is an absolute treasure. You’d have to see it to understand, Ray says, but it’s an amazing exhibit of a globe from the inside.

The Gardiner Museum in “the Fens” is a wonderful museum similar to the Frick Collection by

Image courtesy of alaig on Flickr

New York’s Fifth Avenue, showcasing incredible works of art in a garden setting. If you like jazz, Scullers is a club in the Doubletree Guest Suites in Brighton and gets some of the top acts in Jazz including Branford Marsalis, Manhattan Transfer and more — you can put it together with a dinner and a room package that make a great night. Across the river at the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square is the Regattabar, with great internationally famous acts night after night. Finally, in downtown Cambridge is Ryles, another world class Jazz club. The TD Boston Garden will get the great pop acts, and a couple of times a year, historic Fenway Park will get a group like the Stones (last year’s big concert) or Paul McCartney; Fenway has a local baseball team too, but NYC doesn’t acknowledge its existence, Ray comments. Bank of America Pavilion on the Fan Pier near the site of the Boston Tea Party has nightly big time pop and rock concerts in a beautiful ambiance, covered by a tent, where you still get the outdoor feeling and some magical nights.

Inflight Crewmember Laura points out a little known fact, that one of our very own Boston flight attendant’s actually runs a walking tour in Boston.  It begins with a water taxi from Boston and traces a path through East Boston visiting restaurants for samples of food.  It’s off-the-beaten-path, fun, and a great way to learn a little history. Plus it makes your stomach happy! Feel free to offer the discount code “Jetblue” valid for $10 dollars off up to two tickets!

Do you have any great Boston travel tips to share? Leave them in the comments below, or Tweet them using the hashtag #TTBOS.

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