While You're Here...Some fun activities and places to visit while you're in Boston!
Click on the links (blue section headers) for more information on each attraction.
THE HEAD OF THE CHARLES
While some of our guests and perhaps even the groom think there will be games at Fenway
during the weekend of October 19th, most of us know that this is quite unlikely. The big event that weekend (aside from the wedding, of course) is the Head of the Charles.
The Head Of The Charles Regatta, the world's largest two-day rowing event, was first held on October 16, 1965. The race was established by the
Cambridge Boat Club members D'Arcy MacMahon, Howard McIntyre, and Jack Vincent, with the audience of Harvard University sculling instructor Ernest
Arlett. Arlett proposed that a "head of the river" race similar in tradition to races held in his native England, be held on the Charles River.
"Head" races, a class of regattas, are generally three miles long-boats race against each other and the clock, starting sequentially approximately
fifteen seconds apart. Winners of each race receive the honorary title of "Head of the River" or, in this case, "Head Of The Charles."
You'll be able to watch races, eat food from local vendors, and be part of an amazing tradition on Saturday, October 18th.
THE FREEDOM TRAIL
Follow the red line on the sidewalk through Boston and see most of the city's historic sites! The trail begins at the Visitor Center in Boston Common, near the Park Street T station on the Red and Green lines. Among the highlights included in this history lesson are the Boston Common, the State House, Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, King's Chapel, the Old State House, the site of the Boston Massacre, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere's House, Old North Church, Copp's Hill Burying Ground, Bunker Hill Monument and the USS Constitution.
DREAMS OF FREEDOM
Dreams of Freedom: Boston's Immigration Museum is located at One Milk Street in downtown Boston, just steps off the Freedom Trail! You may find familiar stories of immigrants and refugees who have crossed oceans and continents to reach Boston. Relive your ancestors' journey by touring our multimedia exhibits and interactive stations. See their heirlooms and travel chests, take a US citizenship test, or add your own family saga to the Archives! You'll discover poignant, tragic and triumphant stories, the stories of America.
NEW ENGLAND AQUARIUM
The New England Aquarium is a great spot to relax, see the harbor, and watch some penguins! The Aquarium houses the largest enclosed ocean tank in the world (20-feet deep, 40 feet in diameter, 200,000-gallon volume). Swimming in the center of the building is a shark, sea turtle (Myrtle is 45 years old!), moray eels, tropical fish, coral, sponges, and stingrays. Don't forget to check out the sea lions outside, FREE near the entrance. You can even watch a show in the IMAX theater. The Aquarium is near the Aquarium T station on the Blue line.
MUSEUM OF SCIENCE
Take the Green line to Science Park and visit the Museum of Science. The Museum straddles the Charles River Dam and offers more than 400 interactive exhibits to upward of 1.6 million visitors each year. Displays run the gamut from retro (dioramas of animal habitats and dinosaur battles) to radical (a 1,700-square-foot Virtual Fish Tank, allowing visitors to invent and interact with computer-generated sea creatures), and programs cater to everyone from novices to NASA members. They even have laser light shows in the planetarium!
SAM ADAMS BREWERY TOUR
You'll learn about history...and then drink it. Learn all about Samuel Adams, brewer and patriot. Experience the entire brewing process, from start to finish. Taste the special malts used to brew Samuel Adams and smell the Hallertau and Tettnang hops. Enjoy the great new styles of Samuel Adams.
BOSTON DUCK TOUR
The fun begins as soon as you board a "DUCK", an authentic, renovated World War II amphibious landing vehicle. First, you'll be greeted by one of the legendary tour ConDUCKtors, who'll be narrating your tour. Then you're off on a journey like you've never had before. You'll cruise by all the places that make Boston the birthplace of freedom and a city of firsts, from the golden-domed State House to Bunker Hill and the Fleet Center, Boston Common and Copley Square to the Big Dig, Government Center to fashionable Newbury Street, Quincy Market to the Prudential Tower, and more. And, as the best of Boston unfolds before your eyes, your ConDUCKtor will be giving you lots of little known facts and interesting insights about our unique and wonderful city. Duck tours depart from the Museum of Science and The Prudential Center.
JFK LIBRARY AND MUSEUM
The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum is dedicated to the memory of our nation's thirty-fifth president and to all those who through the art of politics seek a new and better world. The Museum's purpose is to advance the study and understanding of President Kennedy's life and career and the times in which he lived; and to promote a greater appreciation of America's political and cultural heritage, the process of governing and the importance of public service. Take the Red Line to JFK/UMASS Station. At the station, take a free shuttle bus to the library. Buses run every 20 minutes between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Buses are marked JFK.
HARBOR CRUISES & WHALE WATCHING
A harbor cruise is a great way to see the waterfront sites and relax for a few hours. Many companies offer harbor cruise, most notably, Boston Harbor Cruises and the New England Aquarium. Both places also offer Whale Watching tours.
The boats will take you out to the Atlantic Ocean on the hunt for whales. They can last from 3 and 1/2 hours to 5 hours. Both companies are at the Aquarium T station on the Blue Line at Long Warf.
MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
The biggest, oldest and most famous of Boston's art institutions, the Museum of Fine Arts draws more than 1 million visitors every year. The mammoth museum boasts a world-class collection of artifacts (more than 1 million objects, in total), with holdings ranging from Asian ceramics to American Colonial portraits to abstract expressionism. The permanent collection is extensive enough to warrant a full-day visit -- the ancient Egyptian artifacts and European impressionism paintings alone are worth the price of admission -- but it's the mega- marketed blockbuster exhibits that really bring the crowds. The MFA is located at the Museum of Fine Arts T stop on the E line of the Green line.
ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM
Located behind the Museum of Fine Arts, is a beautiful museum. What is interesting about the Gardner, in contrast to other Boston-area museums, are its origins as the creation of one woman's private collection -- Isabella Stewart Gardner built the structure that houses the museum. (She enjoyed the space so much that she lived on the building's fourth floor.) The museum is housed around a central courtyard filled with plants following a Mediterranean theme, in conjunction with the earliest scheme designed by Gardner. The design itself is based on a 15th-century Venetian palace, with three main galleries open to a central courtyard that is always filled with plants. The Monks Garden and the South Garden, also designed along with the building in about 1900, provide outdoor floral spaces in addition to the famous interior courtyard. About 2,500 objects, including sculpture, painting, textiles, furniture, drawings, prints, ceramics, glass and other objects make up the permanent collection, which is especially strong in paints of both the Italian renaissance and Northern European countries (Titian, Rembrandt, and Raphael).
THE GREEN MONSTER
Fenway Park, home to the Red Sox, is best described as: old (oldest in the majors, built in 1912), small (smallest in the majors, seating fewer than 34,000) and expensive (priciest in the majors). Normally these traits would trigger a negative impression, but they make this Boston ballpark legendary. The Green Monster, the 37-foot-tall wall in left field is as much a symbol of this city as the Boston Marathon or 'Cheers', and it is a Major League Baseball icon. Built in the same year that the Titanic sunk (consider Boston's bad luck in the stadium), the Sox still proudly dig into the same batters box that greats like Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and Carlton Fisk graced. The dimensions of the park are also small by today's standards -- just 302 feet down the right field line -- and the wall is full of angles and curves, including the only ladder in play in the majors. Take any Green line train (except "E") to Kenmore station and follow the signs.
HARVARD SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE
Brian and Karen call this home. Last year they lived right in the Square and this year they've moved a short mile away. It's also the home of Harvard University, great architecture, shopping, restaurants, and street performers. Take the Red line to (you guessed it) Harvard Square.
OTHER BOSTON HOT SPOTS
Newbury Street - THE shopping street in Boston
Boston Common & Public Gardens - Relax and watch the ducks and or take a ride on the swan boats.
Cheers (a.k.a Bull and Finch Pub) - located behind the gardens, on Beacon Street
North End - Boston's Little Italy
Coolidge Corner (in Brookline!) - Within walking distance from the Marriott, a great town center with tons of shops. Check out the latest independent movie at the Coolidge Theater.