By Cliff Calderwood
A Boston vacation is a mesmerizing trip through the nationís
past and a celebration of its future and center of learning.
Here in one city you can experience the start of the
revolutionary war, see a coral reef, take a bus on a river,
experience the campuses of MIT and Harvard - and all before
Youíll find Boston vacations a refreshing mixture of historic
and modern buildings. And whatís even better is you can see it
all - or most - by foot. Thatís right the ole soft shoe
shuffle. Youíll save time and see more by walking the streets
But before you do that I highly recommend an orientation tour
THE FAMOUS DUCK TOUR
One of the best and most unique tours is the Duck Tour ride.
This is a popular 80-minute tour for first-time Boston
visitors. But be warned, during the summer tours are usually
sold out by lunchtime - so make reservations in advance. You
can pick-up and buy tickets for the tour at two places: The
Museum of Science, and The Prudential Center in Bostonís Back
The tour is done in a renovated World War II amphibious
vehicle. You get to not only experience Boston from the
of the city, but also from the Charles River... and without
Thatís right, during the tour, the bus youíre on will become a
boat, and youíll see the beautiful Boston skyline from the
river that separates Boston from Cambridge.
Itís a great tour and youíd have to be "quackers" not to do
Sorry couldnít resist it.
THE FREEDOM TRAIL
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile easy-to-follow red brick line
that links 16 historical sites together around the streets of
Boston... and itís free. It starts from Boston Common and
its way through Boston landmarks such as the State House,
Massacre Site, Paul Revereís House, USS Constitution, before
ending up at the Bunker Hill monument in Charlestown.
If you do the whole walk, plan on at least 2-3 hours for
distractions - nice ones though - or better still take the
The trail also takes you through Bostonís famed North End,
where youíll be sure to return during your Boston vacation to
sample the superb Italian restaurants or stroll around this
little corner of Italy.
THE NEW ENGLAND AQUARIUM
As San Diego has its world famous zoo, then Boston has the New
New England and its coastline have a history of fishing and
whaling. But today instead of harpooning whales, New
spend most of their time saving them. And the aquarium is a
vital link in the areaís ocean preservation movement.
The centerpiece of the aquarium is the giant tank. The floors
of the aquarium run around the tank and up four levels. At the
top you get to peer down into a coral reef and listen as the
staff explains about the tank and the fish that live in it.
Youíll get the answer to questions such as: "Why donít the big
shark fish eat the little tasty fish?" or "How old are those
huge sea turtles swimming around down there?"
Your ticket will include a visit to the Discovery next to the
main building, where you can see and learn about sea lions
during an amazing show. A few years ago the Aquarium opened an
IMAX theater that shows a mixture of sea-related and general
A word of warning - this is a favorite Boston vacations
attraction for families so it can get crowded. But youíll
always get in, even when the ticket line seems to stretch for
Beacon Hill is a popular walk for people on a Boston vacation.
Here just off Boston Common you can stroll around Louisburg
Square and admire the picturesque block of perfectly preserved
This quiet and bewitching area is full of alleys and narrow
brick cobbled streets, where time has stood still for the last
century. Itís a sheer delight to walk. Youíll find walled
gardens and an authentic 19th century neighborhood feel. Even
the original gas lights remain on streets lined with ancient
While many tour buses and trolleys drive through Beacon Hill,
the only real way of experiencing it, is by foot. So put on
some comfy shoes, take out your camera and breathe in the
scenery... its fine.
THE CENTER OF LEARNING
Boston has a strong tradition in universities. With MIT and
Harvard perhaps the best known worldwide, but with other great
colleges such as Tufts, BU, Boston College, and of course
MIT and Harvard are just a short train ride across the river.
Take the Red Line to Harvard Square and hang-out in the
campus and stroll the grounds, and if everything seems
to you, it probably is. Many movies - including Love Story -
where filmed here.
And come back and visit at night when on a summerís evening
street performers are everywhere and you donít have to pay a
nickel for some of the best entertainment on your Boston
AND THERE'S MORE...
Other places to visit on your Boston vacation are THE J.F.K
Library and Museum at Columbia Point in South Boston - and the
Boston Harbor Islands, tours to the islands leave from Long
Wharf and Rowes Wharf, both located near the aquarium.
Boston has tons of things to do and see, and Iíve really just
started to scratch the surface for you. The rest is yours to
discover and for more ideas check out my website at
About The Author: For more details on these and other Boston
vacation attractions and to pick up your free travel reports
to Cliff Calderwood's Guide to New England Vacation site at: