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Old Feb 6, 08, 5:00 pm   #1
 
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5 Hour Layover in Boston - What to Do?

My 9 year old son and I arrive at Boston airport at 4:30 pm and depart at 9:30 pm. Is there a train station at the airport? How long does it take to get downtown. Is it worth going downtown? What is there to do?
Thanks for any help... Ed
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Old Feb 6, 08, 5:36 pm   #2
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Moving thread to FT New England Forum
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Old Feb 6, 08, 6:40 pm   #3
 
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I guess the big question is when, as that will dictate what to do. Downtown is about a half hour bus ride (I am figuring in time to wait for the Silverline here, which can be a long wit, as well as all the airport stops). It's not a train, it's BRT - bus around the terminals and in the tunnel to South Boston, along it's own tunnel to south Station where you can pick up the red line. It's a pretty slow ride for getting to downtown, which is very much right across the water.

Also, what about your luggage, any idea what you are going to do with that? Not trying to be discouraging here - there's tons you can do in that amount of time, just trying to figure out exactly how much time you have to work with.
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Old Feb 6, 08, 6:43 pm   #4
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There's a blue line station at the airport but it requires a (free) shuttle bus to get there. You could take it to Aquarium (2 stops?) and go to see that and/or Fanueil Hall. It'd take some 12 minutes in travel time + time waiting for the shuttle bus and train, buying tickets, etc.
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Old Feb 6, 08, 7:15 pm   #5
 
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Not sure if you are flying one airline for both segments, but you could inquire about checking your luggage all the way through to your destination which would eliminate the luggage issue.

From there, I would suggest taking the water shuttle from the airport to the Boston Harbor Hotel. It is a great way to take in the skyline and see parts of the city. From there you could get off the water shuttle and walk over Atlantic Avenue to Faneuil Hall Marketplace and see Faneuil Hall. There are good casual eating places or sit at the raw bar at the Union Oyster House, next to the Marketplace. From there you could walk through Haymarket, over to the North End and see the Old North Church and Paul Revere's House. From the North End, walk back up Atlantic Avenue towards the Aquarium and see the seals. Take the "T" from the Aquarium station back to the airport or continue up the street back to the Boston Harbor Hotel and get back on the water shuttle back to the airport. When you are on the water shuttle make sure you look over towards the Bunker Hill Monument and you will see the U.S. Constitution ("Old Ironsides"). You will need to take the Massport shuttle bus, which stops at every terminal to get to the water shuttle and the same for the return trip. Another option is to take the Silver Line to South Station and do the same walk up Atlantic Avenue past the Federal Reserve Bank, it is just a bit longer, but fine if the weather is nice. If you do that, make sure you stop by James Hook Lobster and visit the lobster tanks. They have one tank that has the jumbo lobster, which my son always loved.
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Old Feb 6, 08, 7:16 pm   #6
 
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Not sure if you are flying one airline for both segments, but you could inquire about checking your luggage all the way through to your destination which would eliminate the luggage issue.

From there, I would suggest taking the water shuttle from the airport to the Boston Harbor Hotel. It is a great way to take in the skyline and see parts of the city. From there you could get off the water shuttle and walk over Atlantic Avenue to Faneuil Hall Marketplace and see Faneuil Hall. There are good casual eating places or sit at the raw bar at the Union Oyster House, next to the Marketplace. From there you could walk through Haymarket, over to the North End and see the Old North Church and Paul Revere's House. If you have time you can go over to Commercial Street and see the burial ground and you can look over to Charlestown. The North End is known for its pizza and Italian pastries. From the North End, walk back up Atlantic Avenue towards the Aquarium and see the seals. Take the "T" from the Aquarium station back to the airport or continue up the street back to the Boston Harbor Hotel and get back on the water shuttle back to the airport. When you are on the water shuttle make sure you look over towards the Bunker Hill Monument and you will see the U.S. Constitution ("Old Ironsides"). You will need to take the Massport shuttle bus, which stops at every terminal to get to the water shuttle and the same for the return trip. Another option is to take the Silver Line to South Station and do the same walk up Atlantic Avenue past the Federal Reserve Bank, it is just a bit longer, but fine if the weather is nice. If you do that, make sure you stop by James Hook Lobster and visit the lobster tanks. They have one tank that has the jumbo lobsters, which my son always loved.
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Old Feb 6, 08, 7:23 pm   #7
 
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I will second what cacic said. There is enough time to do those things and not feel too rushed I think.
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Old Feb 6, 08, 7:32 pm   #8
 
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Wait a minute. The aquarium will be closed at 5p or 6p at night - depending on the day of te week. Also, if you are connecting to an international flight you will need to be back at the airport by 630 - 7p. Not enough time to go downtown.
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Old Feb 6, 08, 8:45 pm   #9
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We need more info. If you have your boarding passes you don't need to be there 2 hours before your international flight.

If it is the winter I don't know about doing the whole water taxi thing. I'd probably take a cab/T to Quincy Market, walk around a bit, have a proper dinner, and then head back.
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Old Feb 7, 08, 11:29 am   #10
 
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The second part of the flight is at 9:30 p.m. The first thing I would do is see if they let you check-in early. That gives you approximately 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. or later to do some things. The seals are OUTSIDE the aquarium. Boys like that stuff and it only takes a few minutes to see them. I am not proposing entering the aquarium at that hour. I suggested more casual dining at Faneuil Hall because it won't take as long as a sitdown dinner. The other option could be Pizzeria Regina in the North End for dinner. If all else fails you could take a taxi from the Airport to Santarpio's Pizza (5 mins) in East Boston and have some really good pizza and kebabs in less than 1 hour. Prepare yourself that it is a very old school kind of pizza place .

The boat may be pointless if it is dark when you get out of the airport. Sorry I didn't notice that before. It will be rush hour so I guess I would try the "T" from the airport station to aquarium and begin the walk from there. If you can post your flight info it might be helpful.

Last edited by cacic; Feb 7, 08 at 11:35 am.
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Old Feb 7, 08, 11:58 am   #11
 
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I don't understand why anyone would think about the water taxi or taking a cab... The "T" is pretty convenient. Take the shuttle from the terminal to the airport "T" station, and go to State station. Go outside, visit Faneuil hall, visit the Holocaust monument, grab some food, a beer or two, and take the same route back to the airport.

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Old Feb 7, 08, 3:43 pm   #12
 
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I suppose the Blue line might be a better idea, as it brings you right to Faniuel Hall. I was just thinking the complications of figuring out which bus to take to the blue line station. How I wish they would find a way to move that closer.

I am assuming that this is still going to be fairly cool out, and in the evening. So I am not going to recommend the boat. That takes a lot of waiting, too, although that could be part of the fun if you are doing it in the summer. Quincy Market/Fanieul Hall would be great for a 9 year old - it's a big food court and shops that are not all chains. The Aquarium is across the street, and a 9 year old would love to look at all the boats parked there (I know I still do!). If you have a little more time you can do the IMax theater there, go to the North End and get a cannolli at one of the pastry shops, or walk over a few streets to Washington Street to absorb the big city environment (it's a very safe area - lots of businesses). Or you can walk over to Rowes Warf, where they often have some interesting sailing ships parked there.

I wouldn't worry about time - two hours is more than enough to get over, grab something to eat, walk around a bit and get back.
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Old Feb 7, 08, 3:52 pm   #13
 
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Great Replies

Thanks for all the great feedback. Will be in Boston tommorow and if weather permits will follow your excellent suggestions.

Thanks again, Ed
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Old Feb 8, 08, 6:57 am   #14
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To maximize your time I would still bypass the T. You have to wait outside in the cold for a bus to go to the train station and then you need to wait (outside) for a train. If you have the means, just pay for a cab, which will be about a 10 minute ride to Quincy Market.
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Old Feb 8, 08, 8:43 am   #15
 
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The only problem with a cab is that you're at the mercy of traffic, and you're not saving all that much time to begin with. The "T" is probably as reliable as it gets. Especially for airport to Faneuil Hall @ 4:30pm. At 9:30p, the traffic will have eased up.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by magiciansampras View Post
To maximize your time I would still bypass the T. You have to wait outside in the cold for a bus to go to the train station and then you need to wait (outside) for a train. If you have the means, just pay for a cab, which will be about a 10 minute ride to Quincy Market.

Last edited by HereAndThereSC; Feb 8, 08 at 8:49 am.
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