What's Going On?
Out-of-town guests love Boston Duck Tours. A Duck is an authentic World War II amphibious landing vehicle. Tours depart from the Prudential Center and go around the Back Bay and Charles River. Purchase tickets in advance. Afterwards, have a drink at the Top of the Hub in the Prudential Tower for a spectacular view of the city.
Boston's Museum of Fine Arts has an impressive permanent collection, especially its Impressionist and Egyptian rooms. Check the schedule for upcoming exhibitions. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, housed in a 15th century-style Italian palazzo, features works by Italian, French, German, and Dutch masters. It also boasts a stunning courtyard garden. The Museum of Science is more for children than adults, but check the program for IMAX films. The JFK Library and Museum, overlooking the ocean, is definitely worth a visit.
Walking & Shopping
The Back Bay near the Boston Park Plaza Hotel is a wonderful area for outdoor shopping. Be sure to stroll down charming Newbury Street. Have a nibble at TeaLuxe, Pho Pasteur, Armani Caf˘, Tapeo, or Sonsie. For indoor shopping, the Copley and Prudential malls are both nearby.
Stately Beacon Hill is another fun area to explore. Brick-lined Charles Street is home to caf˘s, antiques, and specialty stores. The Cheers bar is on Beacon Street, near Charles. Warning: The "real" Cheers doesn't look anything like the one on TV! Don't miss the Public Gardens, which border both Beacon Hill and the Back Bay.
Harvard Square in Cambridge is a noisy hub of students, street musicians, and the occasional fire-eater. Wander into Out-of-Town News for foreign magazines and newspapers.
The North End has dozens of Italian restaurants and caf˘s. Do not miss Mike's Pastry (where Bill Clinton once stopped for a cannoli) and Caffe Vittoria.
See Zagat's for reviews and locations of Boston-area restaurants. Boston locals are partial to Elephant Walk (French/Cambodian); Pho Pasteur (Vietnamese); Shilla and Kaya (Korean/Japanese); Ginza (Japanese); Bombay Caf˘ (Indian); Brown Sugar (Thai); Dali and Tapeo (Spanish); East Coast Grill and Daily Catch (seafood); Rialto (upscale Italian); and Evoo (eclectic).
Loaded with beaches, antiques, history, and charm, the Cape is the quintessential New England retreat. Although it swarms with tourists in the summer, it's still worth a visit to this very special place. Visit Capelinks for a listing of bed & breakfasts and inns. If you've got time, consider taking the ferry to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket.