General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Boston, for the non-runner spouse? Rss Feed  
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2012-10-30 9:54 PM

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Subject: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?

Thinking of staying somewhere cheap for a few extra days before the race as we've never been anywhere on the east coast. 

Aside from Harvard square are there any "you cannot miss" things to see? Also, to earn me extra brownie points, is there a decent outlet mall there? I've googled but they seem to be just scattered stores.

We've got a $$$ place booked in Brookline for the Sat/Sun/Mon but can stay further out for 1/3 the money for a few days prior. 



2012-10-30 10:02 PM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?

I would recommend you Walk the Freedom Trail.  Free, takes a couple hours, takes you by many of the historical Boston sites.  North Church (Paul Revere 1 if by land) Old Ironsides, the Boston Massacre site, Bunker Hill Monument.

A couple of easy quick stops:

A tour of Fenway was cool also if you are a baseball fan. 

The Cheers tavern if you were a fan of the series (its really small)

 

2012-10-30 10:13 PM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?

Tour the Sam Adams brewery too. Get tickets to the Sox game the Sunday before the marathon, it is a good way to spend the day off of your feet the day before the marathon.

If you want Italian food the day before make reservations at Tresca's soon, the phone # is 617-742-8240. They have the best bolognese sauce I have had. But most any restaraunt in the North end has good italion food but they book up quick for that weekendso make reservation soon.

Get a "t" pass for the week, they are cheap and it is real easy to get around the city. Plus Boston is small enough that you can walk to many places if you are staying downtown.

 

Enjoy the marathon it is a great time, I ran it this year.

2012-10-30 10:40 PM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?
Second the Sam Adam's Brewery tour - I think I've been 5 or 6 times - it's pretty awesome! I like walking around the North End, the USS Constitution, and the Old North Church. If you have time - consider a day trip up to Salem or down to Plymouth. Don't forget Boston Common - take a ride in the Swan boats, and Newbury St has some decent shopping/dining.  
2012-10-31 4:40 AM
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Uxbridge
Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?
Wrentham Outlet Mall...about 45 minutes outside of Boston. Intersection of I 95/495.
2012-10-31 7:26 AM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?

Near Wrentham there are a few nice stores in Foxboro near the Pats stadium too.

Day trip to Newport, RI?  It's a 75 minute drive from Cambridge.

Lowell NP is nice if you like industrial revolution history or if your wife like textile history (weaving, etc)

Whaling Museum in New Bedford is cool, it's just about the same distance from Boston as Newport is.



Edited by scorpio516 2012-10-31 7:27 AM


2012-10-31 7:44 AM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?

+1 to the Freedom trail. I actually printed out the wikipedia articles that went along with the sites. 

I've heard good things about the Sam Adams brewery tour, never been on it though. I've heard even better things about Harpoon Brewery, which is accessible by public transit (silver line). I have been to Harpoon and the nice thing about them is that it is a working brewery. I've also been to the Anheuser Busch brewery in NH and that was excellent. 

Wrentham outlets, I believe are the closes ones, though I've never been there. 

Of course the North End for Italian food. 

There are a lot of good cafes and restaurants up near Inman square in Cambridge (which is just North of Central Square and East of Harvard Square). I recommend City Girl Cafe, East Side Grill, Tupelo, Clover Food Lab, The Druid and DO NOT MISS Christina's Ice Cream. Also Darwin's has really good sandwiches. All of these are walking distance (1-1.5 miles) from Harvard square. 

I also liked Plymouth and Sturbridge village is nice, though a bit of a drive. 

The common and the botanical gardens are lovely. 

I like walking along Memorial Drive and over the Longfellow bridge to cross into Boston, then walking through the Esplanade. 

There's also the Institute of Contemporary Art. 

Hope this helps!

2012-10-31 7:48 AM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?
FYI- make reservations for Harpoon Brewery if you are going on a weekend. If she wants shopping, hit up Newbury St. Or head over to Copley Place which is near where you find the ducks tours and behind the finish line. http://m.simon.com/default.aspx?id=784Allgood recs listed. I would also add Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. Lots of history, food and shopping. Try Durgin Park for traditional New Englnd fare and waitresses with attitude. Or the Union Oyster House which is the oldest restaurant in Boston.
2012-10-31 8:38 AM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?

The Freedom Trail will take you through Fanieul Hall.  Shoppers/eaters heaven!  I would second Durgin Park.  Awesome NE Clam Chowder, Fred Flintstone style rib-in prime rib and "Hey hon, pass the wahtah down".  Love it.

While in NE, I'd drive up to Kittery Maine along the rocky seacoast 1A.  Kittery is loaded with Outlets.

Then over to the Mtns of New Hampshire and Drive the Kangamungus Hwy (Scenic Mountains) with a stop in Conway (Outlets).

Don't miss the North End for amazing italian food.

I also like Plymouth, Salem and Sturbridge for their historic (tourist) villages.



Edited by pga_mike 2012-10-31 8:40 AM
2012-10-31 10:00 AM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?

As a "MA-hole" (another term for "native"), I actually have to say something like x4 for the freedom trail.  Even though I grew up here, I never walked it until I took the whole family last year - it was actually awesome!  If you do the whole thing, you'll cover the Public Garden/Common and get to Newbury Street (great shopping, but NOT outlet type shopping!).

Cannoli at Mike's in the North End (Hannover St) is a must if you like things that taste good.    You can pair it with a day of walking the shop there - lot's of Italian goods (food, clothing, etc.) and little restaurants, plus some great history.  We usually park at the Aquarium, spend a couple hours there (again, with the kids...) and then walk the North End and finish splitting some cannoli (they are NOT small...).

x2 for Kittery.  While I'm told Wrentham outlets are good, it's way prettier driving up the coast than to Wrentham (you could even head as far as LL Bean - and meander the coast...).  Gives a good look at the rugged northern NE coast, as opposed to the long, white sand beaches to the south of Boston (also nice, though).

I'd skip the Cape that time of year - still a bit desolate.

Harpoon is the brewery I'd visit, but that's all preference (I like great beer). 

Harvard Square is a good 1/2 day.

Museums are great.  MFA is newly expanded - more than a full day there for one admission.  The Gardner museum is smaller and quirky, but cool.  The science museum is ostensibly for kids, but I confess I really like it.

The duck tours are something I always railed against, until we were "forced" to take one as part of friends' pre-wedding festivities.  It was actually kinda cool - got to hear a steady stream of Boston factoids and see the city from a different view (they plunk into the Charles river and give you an amphib view after driving the streets).  If you handle being almost terminally uncool (from a traditional standpoint), they're a different kind of cool.

Concord and Lexington have all the revolutionary war sites.  We live in Concord, and I still get chills running over the North Bridge and thinking about the start of the Revolution.  Puts it all in perspective, when you look 100m across the river and imagine a cannon firing at a bunch of farmers (and the reenactments that happen on marathon day, unfortunate timing, help with that visualization - cannons are bada$$).

Peabody Essex is another whaling museum (in addition to New Beford), and you could loop that in with a Salem visit (all the witch trial stuff) - maybe a Northern day combining that with a trip up the coast.

Lots of stuff round here...  Hope you enjoy it!!

2012-10-31 11:52 AM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?
I love Boston.  It is one of my favorite places to visit.  You've already got a great list from previous posts and I think the main attractions have been mentioned.  One thing I really like is that its a great town for walking around.  If we are staying on the outskirts we just take a subway in and most of the points of interest are within walking distance.  The Freedom Trail is awesome.


2012-10-31 12:52 PM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?

Duckboats!

 

We rented an apartment in the North End for a week next year.  After doing the Boston stuff I think we're going to hop the train up to Portland for a few days.  Mmm beer.

2012-10-31 8:42 PM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?

Ha this is great, thanks all!

Too bad I'm deathly allergic to seafood - sounds like that's one of the great points. The wife loves it so a few more points for me.

2012-10-31 9:41 PM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?

kziemer - 2012-10-31 7:48 AM FYI- make reservations for Harpoon Brewery if you are going on a weekend.  

I :heart: the harpoon brewery!!!

I second everyone's suggestions.  Especially the Freedom Trail.

Take a walk over the Harvard bridge and check out the Smoots.  The Harvard Bridge goes to MIT.  Killian Court is worth taking a peak at and the infinite corridor (off Mass ave in the MIT buildings).

Just walking around Boston is fun.  You'll pass by plenty of yummy restaurants and bars just walking that trail.  There's a good bar right across the street from the Park St subway station.

Boston Commons is pretty cool to walk around in too.

But you pass by all of that on the Freedom Trail.  So, do that first then decide what to go back to!

There are actually some really good restaurants and bars in the Allston/Brighton area too.

I guess if I had to say "don't miss"...Freedom Trail, Harpoon Brewery and Sam Adams Brewery (two different breweries), Boston Commons, insert name of any bar here, MIT, Harvard, and the Duck Tours.

2012-10-31 9:53 PM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?
All good options.  I did most of them.  Don't forget, depending on your race goals, you might want to take it easy too.  You wouldn't want to ruin your tape and run :39 minutes slower than your goal.  Of course, I'm not bitter.  I blame the 'Norester I ran it in.  
2012-10-31 10:04 PM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?

I love Boston, for non-running reasons. I'm heading there with the wife tomorrow, in fact - can't wait.

In addition to all of the other common themes, I agree with the poster who recommended a trip out to the North Shore. Not just Salem, but Marblehead, and Cape Ann/Rockport/Gloucester - all charming towns on the water, often with fishing (you don't have to eat fish). I also second the recommendation on Lowell NP - again, if you're into that kind of thing. I love industrial revolution history, and it's a really neat restoration of old mills etc.

I love to run around the Charles River Basin, but it's a great place for a stroll with the wife, too.

Cape Cod is indeed likely to be windswept at that time of year - but that's when I like it best. You can take a walk on the beach and have the place all to yourselves.

Concord is highly recommended. Not only for its revolutionary past, but also its literary past.



2013-03-08 8:07 AM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?
I tell people all the time that there is no better way to experience Boston for the first time than walking the Freedom Trail. You will learn so much about the history of Massachusetts! And even though it’s fairly far from Boston, the town of Wrentham has the best outlets around. Enjoy your stay! Other than the Freedom Trail I'd suggest a walk through the Public Garden or the North End.
2013-03-08 9:08 AM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?
Totally "non-runner", or just doesn't run your race pace?  If the latter, you might still be able to register for the Sunday 5k.  I found it a nice quick tour of the sights I would not remember on Monday.  My wife and I did that, I used it as a very light workout, and then went on to BQ the next day.
2013-03-08 9:10 AM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?
prudential center area shopping, Faneil Hall area, North end for dinner, freedom trail,  we like staying near faneil hall or long wharf seems to be a good location and short T rides elsewhere........I love everything about Boston except the Red Sox!
2013-03-08 1:01 PM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?
Boston's not that big so you can probably walk most of the city in about 2 days. The only real shopping in Boston is the Copley/Prudential Mall and Newbury St. (bit swanky, not outlet). If you have a car you can go to Wrentham Outlets or head north on the coast to Kittery, ME.

Everyone has mentioned the "must see" historical places. I guess it depends on what you are into.
2013-03-08 1:23 PM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?

A lot of great ideas on here. Def check out Faniul, big tourist area, lots of fun.

North End, Hit up Mikes Pastrys and get canolis. Im not a fan of Sam Adams,

Check out Harpoon, more beer included...also they just added a beer garden where you can hang out and drink some beers, or just hang. There will be one outside soon, hopefully it will be nice check that out.

one thing you MUST DO is go to the top of the hub (Pudential Building) dinner is very expensive, but the drinks are reasonable. I suggest getting a drink there and getting dinner else where.

Newbury street has a ton of shops, real nice to walk up and down there, check out georgetown cupcakes. excellent desserts.

Of course do the Freedom trail, always a good time, must do.



2013-03-08 1:31 PM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?
Forgot to add:  Mike's Pastrys if you are a chocolic, we stop there every time we are in Boston.  Address:  300 Hanover St  Boston, MA
2013-03-08 6:04 PM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?

Not sure if they are doing it again this year, but last year at Sam Adams Boston runners got a pretty sweet liter mug with their new 26.2 Brew logo on it.  The tour guide we had was absolutely hilarious.

Mike's Pastry.  Do it.  Modern Pastry was ok, but Mike's was outta this world!

I used to live in Newport, RI, so I second that as a great day trip.  The Breakers mansion, Marble House, and the Cliff Walk are just gorgeous.

2013-03-08 6:28 PM
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Subject: RE: Boston, for the non-runner spouse?
We did most of the stuff mentioned already. Not going to lie, although it was all worth it, I spent too much time in my feet sat and sun. Even with the Sox game. I paid for it on Monday.
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