Spring has arrived! Trees are starting to bloom, birds are on the wing, and we are excited to spend more time outdoors and explore fun cultural activities. Springtime in Boston for conference attendees—it just doesn’t get better! The city is alive and there is so much to do in and around Boston. Here are the 12 largest attractions in Massachusetts according to the Boston Business Journal:
1) Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Located in Downtown Boston, steps away from the waterfront, Faneuil’s Hall Marketplace’s roots date back to 1742. The marketplace is actually four places in one location all set around a cobblestone promenade where jugglers, magicians and musicians entertain the passers-by. Over 40 food vendors serve local specialties in the marketplace and you can enjoy the nearby restaurants or shop for Boston souvenirs. faneuilhallmarketplace.com
2) The Freedom Trail
Put your walking shoes on! The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile red-brick walking trail that leads to 16 nationally significant historic sites including museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, ships, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond. The red brick line connects the sites on the Trail and serves as a guide. thefreedomtrail.org
3) New England Aquarium
The 200,000-gallon Giant Ocean Tank is the centerpiece of the Aquarium. Enjoy sea lions, penguins, sea turtles, seals, seadragons, giant octopuses, moon jellies, and much more. In addition to the main aquarium building, go on a whale watch cruise or enjoy a 3D movie at the IMAX theater. Founded in 1969, the New England Aquarium is a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation. neaq.org
4) Minute Man National Historical Park
Travel back in time! At Minute Man National Historical Park, the Battles of Lexington and Concord are brought to life through the preservation, restoration and interpretation of significant sites from April 19, 1775, when Colonists took up arms in defense of liberty and touched off the American Revolution. Along a five-mile trail, retrace the steps of the British through a restored colonial landscape and stop for a drink at the 18th century Hartwell Tavern. nps.gov
5) Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Museum of Fine Arts Boston is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world. The collection encompasses nearly 450,000 works of art. It welcomes more than one million visitors each year to experience art from ancient Egyptian to contemporary, special exhibitions, and innovative educational programs. The museum is affiliated with an art academy, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and a sister museum, the Nagoya Museum of Fine Arts in Japan. mfa.org
6) Cheers Boston
Cheers to you! Cheers Boston is the inspiration for the setting of the TV series Cheers with two Boston locations. The first one is the pub known internationally as the exterior of the bar and is on Beacon Hill, one of the most historical and beautiful neighborhood in Boston. The second pub is at Faneuil Hall Marketplace and was built with a replica of the TV show set. The NBC television sitcom ran from 1982 to 1993. cheersboston.com
Stay put for Part 2 and visit the Boston Attractions section of our website for more information.
The Freedom Trail
The Museum of Fine Art
Minute Man National Historical Park
Your attendees will never be bored in Boston. There are so many things to see and do in Boston and its surroundings, even for those on a tight budget! Check out the following free attractions and stay put for more.
Climb Bunker Hill Monument
Climb the 294 steps to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument for unparalleled views of the Boston skyline. The Bunker Hill Monument was built to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill. The 221 foot (67 m) granite obelisk erected between 1827 and 1843 in Charleston.
Soak up the energy of Harvard Square
Harvard Square is not only home to the esteemed Harvard University, but also to more than 300 registered street performers. Also check out the Author Event Series, lectures, and signings at the Harvard Book Store.
Walk along the Freedom Trail
Get a real taste of history by taking a self-guided tour along all or part of the 2.5 mile trail. Just follow the red-brick or red-painted line from the Visitor Information Center on the Boston Common and enjoy the 16 historic stops along the way, including Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere's house, and the Old North Church.
Blink! At Faneuil Hall
Blink! featuring the music of the Holiday Pops, is a state-of-the-art light and sound extravaganza that has transformed every inch of America's first open marketplace. This magical new tradition uses over 350,000 LED lights to illuminate Boston’s skyline. This is a summer event only.
Tour the USS Constitution
The USS Constitution, also known as "Old Ironsides," cruises Boston Harbor. Take a tour of the Navy yard, exhibit hall, and oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.
Work out on the Esplanade
Take a sunset yoga class, a zumba class or join the run club on the Esplanade. If walking is your exercise then join a power walk through the beautiful park. The Esplanade extends for three miles along the Boston shore of the Charles River. This program is only offered in the summer.
Take a stroll along the Harbor
The Boston Harborwalk is a broad public walkway that has been highlighted by cafes, artwork, parks, museums and water taxis. You can take a self-guided tour of any part of the 40-mile path, which stretches from Charlestown to South Boston, by downloading an audio guide onto your MP3 player.
This list is a good complement to our older post “10 top Things to Do in the Boston Area in the Spring and Summer”
that you should check out if you are planning a summer event in Boston
Every year, Boston adds new venues and attractions to its long lists of things to see and do. Last year, we featured the reopening of the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. Here are 5 new things that your attendees will have fun doing:
Experience the Coolest Bar in Boston
Frost Ice Bar will be the first ice bar in New England and the largest in the world! It’s scheduled to open in early July at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. The entire surroundings from the walls and bar to the furniture and drink glasses will be made of ice. Also featuring attractions such as ice sculptures, Frost Ice Bar will provide a unique, multi-sensory, and constantly changing experience.
Laugh on the Waterfront
Laugh Boston is a new 297-seat comedy venue scheduled to open this summer at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in South Boston. Laugh Boston will specialize in stand-up comedy on a grand scale and showcase both local and national acts, as well as offer unique corporate training opportunities. This is a great venue for group outings and is next door to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
Capture the Eternal Warrior Spirit
The Samourai Armor exhibit is at the Museum of Fine Art! Go back in time and discover remarkable objects that illuminate the life, culture, and pageantry of the Japanese Samourais from one of the best and largest collections in the world. The exhibition illustrates the evolution of the distinctive appearance and equipment of the Samurai warrior from the 12th through 19th centuries and examines their history.
Travel Back in Time
The Harvard Museum of Natural History recently renovated their Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery. The gallery displays thousands of rare minerals and gemstones in both rough and cut forms. The exhibits highlight new research and offer an overview of the dynamic processes and events that formed our planet and that have shaped its evolution. Visitors can touch specimens that date back to the beginning of our solar system.
Explore Further by Boat
Bay State Cruises is introducing the Provincetown IV that was under construction since September 2012. The new ship will be sailing between Boston and Provincetown by early July. Go explore the sandy shores of Cape Cod, its beauty, beaches and fun. Provincetown is also one of the oldest artist colonies in America and has produced a large number of galleries, cutting edge theatre and unique shops.
Harvard Museum of Natural History Museum
Frost Bar Boston
Samourai Armor at the Museum of Fine Art
The city of Cambridge launched its new website, www.cambridgeusa.org, where you will find everything you need to know when visiting this lively and historic city. The website features maps, directions, hotels, restaurants, stores, museums, performing arts, ongoing events, historic sites, tours and more.
Thousands of national and international visitors attend conferences at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and at the Hynes Convention Center each year. Cambridge is a prime example of what Boston’s surroundings have to offer to visitors.
Cambridge, often referred to as “Boston’s Left Bank”, has an atmosphere of its own. It’s the spirited side of Boston just a bridge away on the other side of the Charles River. Cambridge offers beautiful architecture, majestic college buildings, museums and art galleries showing an impressive range. Explore quaint passages set around the historic areas to find street performers, community festivals, independent bookstores, and international cafes. Catch a student theatrical production or enjoy all kinds of live music from internationally acclaimed orchestras to choirs and pub gigs.
Cambridge is also one of the hubs of education and technology in the Boston metro area. It hosts two world premier educational institutions: Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Kendall Square is the center for high tech and biotech industries and for cutting-edge innovations such as artificial intelligence and developing new drugs and treatments that save lives. Kendall Square has right now 2.5 million square feet of new life sciences buildings in the works. Big pharma companies and smaller biotechs are feeding off the innovation produced by the universities. Universities such as MIT are leading the edge of the next generation of robotics. Check out the latest robots at the MIT museum. They have a mind of their own and they are flying, swimming and scaling the walls. The toughest go to war, others can dance, and a few talk!
Make sure your attendees get to experience all of the excitement Cambridge has to offer and don’t forget to tell them to stop by the statue of John Harvard and rub his foot for good luck!
Coming to Boston for a conference or tradeshow during the holiday season? Lucky for you, you’re in the right spot! There is so much to do and see in our upbeat and busy metropolitan city of Boston.
Boston has it all and we have made it easy for you by listing the “Top 5” things to do and see while staying here during the most wonderful time of the year.
GO SKATING ON BOSTON’S FAMOUS FROG POND
Boston’s Frog Pond is located right in the center of Boston Common Park. Boston Common Park is one of the oldest and most prized public parks in all of America. The Frog Pond transforms into an ice rink in the winter where you can enjoy a day of skating. When you are done, don’t forget to grab your hot cocoa at the Frog Pond Café!
GET ALL YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING DONE
Boston is your one stop spot for all of your holiday shopping! Enjoy an all-weather shopping experience at The Copley Place Shopping Galleries and The Shops at Prudential Center located in the heart of Boston’s historic Back Bay. They offer more than 175 elegant stores and restaurants and are connected to the Hynes Convention Center. Boston's Newbury Street offers everything from high-end retailers to local boutiques in a unique outdoor setting that captures the neighborhood spirit of Boston. Also check out the Downtown Crossing Holiday Market where you will find over 30 vendors selling crafts, jewelry, housewares, and more.
GO SEE A HOLIDAY SHOW
This is the season to go enjoy many of Broadway’s favorite classics. The Nutcracker is back in Boston with all new sets and costumes. Considered Boston’s #1 Holiday Tradition, Boston Ballet will put on a performance you will never forget.
EXPERIENCE A TOUR OR TWO IN THE CITY
In the winter, the famous Freedom Trail Tour is transformed into a historic holiday classic that will bring you back into the Charles Dickens times. Understand how Christmas and the holidays evolved in Boston. At the end of the tour, try the famous Boston Cream Pie. History is all over Boston, and also at the Sam Adam’s Brewery Tour. Experience the entire brewing process along with samples of the many different flavors of the famous Sam Adam’s beers.
ENJOY THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is another must see. During the holidays, historic Symphony Hall is transformed to one of the most magical theatres in all of Boston. The Boston Holiday Pops is a show that Bostonians wait all year to see. If world class performing music is your thing, then purchase your tickets now!
The thrill and excitement of Boston’s attractions do not stop there. There are limitless activities all around the city. Visit our website to find out more options. Boston is one of the best cities to explore; we can guarantee you will want to come back for more!
Frog Pond on Boston Common Park
The Freedom Trail
| Boston Symphony Orchestra
The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
, which was struck by lighting and destroyed in 2001, has been renovated and has even been expanded! The grand opening will be this coming Monday (June 26).
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, which owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center, has been the major contributor to the renovation project.
This new floating museum will tell the story of the Boston Tea Party with a combination of state-of-the art interactive technology and live historical performance with actors. The renovated museum is two and a half times larger than the original one and has two ships, the Eleanor and the Beaver. A third one, the Dartmouth, will be added in 2014. These replicas will represent the full complement of the ships that took part in the original Boston Tea Party event on December 16, 1773. In addition to the historically restored ships, visitors will be able to experience their tea chests, which include the Robinson Half-Chest, one of the two remaining tea chests from the original event.
Visitors will be able to enjoy the multi-sensory documentary “Let it Begin Here” in the museum’s theater. The Abigail’s Tea Room will offer the five types of tea that were thrown from the ships. The museum also includes a reconstructed 18th century tavern serving delicious fare characteristic of the period. Best of all, at the end of the tour, guests will get to recreate that historic night by throwing the tea crates overboard onto the same harbor as 239 years ago!
The museum, with its 360-degree views of the Boston Harbor and the surrounding cityscape, is also a unique venue for your events. It accommodates 125 people for a sit-down dinner and 300 for a cocktail reception.
Help your attendees travel back in time and experience the most important event that lead up to the American Revolution! It’s an educational, entertaining and enlightening experience that they will remember. Find other Boston attractions on our website.
Summertime in Boston for conference attendees—it just doesn’t get any better! The city is alive with museum exhibits, outdoor concerts and performances, al fresco dining, walking tours, ethnic festivals and harbor cruises. From the hip to the historic, Boston has it all and there is so much to do. To make it easy for you, we narrowed it down to 10 top things to do and see:
See Boston Landmarks and Dive into the Charles River
Taking a Boston Duck Tour is a fun way to see highlights of Boston in 80 minutes. The "DUCK" is an authentic, renovated World War II amphibious landing vehicle. After seeing the main Boston’s landmarks, the DUCK goes right into the Charles River for a breathtaking view of the Boston and Cambridge skylines, the kind of view you won't get anywhere else!
Take a Cultural and Historical Walk
Put your walking shoes on! The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile red-brick walking trail that leads to 16 nationally significant historic sites including museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, ships, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond. Another great stroll is the Boston Harborwalk, a 38 miles long continuous walkway along the waterfront, which passes by museums, parks, restaurants, cafes, and more. It’s a beautiful walk with scenic harbor views.
Take Advantage of our Maritime Heritage
Cape Cod Maritime Days (May 13-June 10) and the Salem Maritime Festival (Aug 3-2) are celebrations of Massachusetts rich maritime history. The annual celebrations feature events and activities including lighthouse and walking tours, free harbor cruises, live music, traditional craft demonstrations, nautical art exhibits, outdoor theatres, lectures, boat-building exhibits and kayaking excursions.
Mix in with the Jugglers, Clowns, Magicians, and Musicians
Faneuil Hall Marketplace is the seat of American history and the site of one of America's most famous shopping and dining experiences. Walk through the marketplace and people watch, grab a bite and take in the beautiful architecture that surrounds the area. The street performers are entertaining and the place is as lively by night as it is by day. Don’t forget to go inside Faneuil Hall itself. The hall is impressive and historically significant. There is a lot to see and do within a 5 minute walk in any direction.
Enjoy Boston by Bicycle
The Hubway bike-sharing program allows residents and visitors to use bikes throughout the city for short term rentals. Most of the 61 docking stations are concentrated in the historic downtown areas and near the convention centers and hotels. They are close to each other so users can easily drop off their bike at any other location. Fun guided sightseeing bike tours are also available with Urban Adventours.
Watch a Movie under the Stars
The Intrigue Café, located on the water side of the Boston Harbor Hotel, hosts a summer movie series called Movies by Moonlight. Customers and pedestrians can watch movies on a large outdoor screen set up on the side of the gazebo. With a location right along the harbor, the atmosphere is upscale and nautical. This year’s programming includes classic movies like Pink Panther and An Affair to Remember.
Take a Summer Cruise
Boston offers a variety of cruises during the summer. Music cruises have 3 floors of entertainment with live bands, DJ, and large top deck for dancing under the stars. There is even a Summer Harbor Salsa Cruise Series for Latino music lovers. Elegant dinner cruises in the Boston Harbor or on the Charles River deliver a delightful combination of dining, entertainment and spectacular views. Or board a whale watching high-speed catamaran to find the biggest creatures of the ocean.
Check Out the New Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
The new museum (opens on June 25) tells the story of The Boston Tea Party with a combination of interactive exhibits and live historical performance. Visitors will be able to experience three historically restored ships and their tea chests, watch a film, and sample the five types of tea thrown from the ships while learning about the proper brewing technique. The museum also includes a reconstructed 18th century tavern serving delicious fare characteristic of the period.
Enjoy Outdoor Performing Arts
Shakespeare on the Common (July 25-August 12) is a Boston tradition. Watch a free play by the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company on the Boston Common, the oldest park in the country. Listen to the Boston Pops at the Hatch Shell (July 3-4). The Hatch Shell is a bowl-style outdoor stage located on the Esplanade, which is the park that extends for 3 miles along the Boston shore of the Charles River.
Cheer for our Legendary Boston Red Sox
How about laying back, enjoying the sun, a beer and a hot dog? Even better, go see a Red Sox game in the majestic Fenway Park! Generations of cheering, bonding, heartbreak, and triumph are part of every brick and beam of this ballpark, which is one of the best-known sports venues in the world. Baseball season runs from April to early October.
Find Art on the Beach
The Sand Sculpting Festival in Revere Beach (July 13 & July 17) is an annual contest that attracts famous sculptors from all over the world. The artists must follow strict rules during the contest. Each sculptor is given 10 tons of sand and is assigned an 18’ x 18’ square exhibit area. The sand sculptures are evaluated using four categories: degree of difficulty, originality and creativity, quality of sculpting, and overall visual impact.
Last Tuesday, the plaza in front of the Boston Public Library was packed with bicycling advocates and riders as Mayor Menino kicked off the second season of New Balance Hubway bike-sharing program with an inaugural speech. It was a beautiful spring day and all I could see around me were smiling faces. People seemed so excited to ride their Hubway bike again.
“The first season for New Balance Hubway was a great success, and we expect season two to be even better,” Mayor Menino said. “As warm weather returns and more residents and visitors are spending time outside, it’s great to see so many people eager to explore our great city through Hubway. It’s a pleasure to be able to say that we are well on our way to being a world class cycling city.”
The 61 docking stations across the city include new locations such as the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Seaport Hotel. Most docking stations are still concentrated in the historic downtown areas and are close to each other so users can easily drop off their bike at any other location. Downtown stations can be found within walking distance from the Hynes Convention Center and major convention hotels.
Boston--already known as “America’s Walking City”—is ideal for cycling and has now 50 miles of bike lanes. It is a compact city with easy access to restaurants, shops and landmarks. There is a rich variety of things to do and see without having to travel great distances.
The program allows residents and tourists to use bikes throughout the city for short term rentals. In addition to annual memberships, the program offers casual 24-hour and 3-day memberships, which are perfect for visitors.
Bikers can locate stations near them by visiting Hubway’s website. The interactive map tells them how many bikes are at a particular station and how many remain for use at any given time. A free Spotcycle mobile app that helps users navigate the system in real time is also available.
Promote the program to your attendees! They will enjoy the green and fun option of hopping on a bike after their conference to go back to their hotel and explore the historic districts of Boston.
Mayor Menino's inaugural speech in front of the Boston Public Library
The Hynes Convention Center welcomed its second restaurant last fall when The Capital Grille opened on Boylston Street. The restaurant moved from Newbury Street to its new site, which is nearly double the size of the old location.
“The Capital Grille is an icon of the Boston restaurant scene, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome it to the Hynes,” said James E. Rooney, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. The Capital Grille is a fine-dining restaurant known for its dry-aged, hand-carved beef selections, fresh seafood, award-winning collection of 350 wines, and professional service. Waiters in tan jackets, bow ties, and white bistro aprons warmly welcome you and expertly anticipate your every need.
The décor is upscale and elegant using mahogany, brass, and dark reds and greens giving the space both a romantic and masculine vibe. The main dining room features paintings of hunting parties and beautiful Art Deco light fixtures.
Routinely recognized by Wine Spectator Magazine, the restaurant also recently received the America Culinary Federation’s “Achievement of Excellence Award” and was a guest favorite on Open Table’s “2010 Best American Cuisine Winners – Top 50 Restaurant List.”
The Capital Grille introduced a “Plates” menu from which you pick a soup or salad, a sandwich and a side for $18, including items like porcini bisque, mini tenderloin sandwiches, and truffle fries. This is a great option for convention attendees looking to enjoy their lunch in an upscale and sophisticated atmosphere without breaking the bank. They also have a well priced mid-day wine list if you are in the mood for it!
Features include patio seating, five private dining rooms, and a more spacious bar and lounge. For private functions, the restaurant can accommodate up to 60 people for a sit-down dinner and up to 80 people for a cocktail reception.
The Hynes has two restaurant spaces on Boylston Street, one on each corner of the building. The Capital Grille shares this prime location with the trendy Towne, Stove and Spirits restaurant, which opened in 2010. In addition, Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood offers numerous restaurants with a variety of cuisines and private function rooms to support your event.
Find more information about dining options at the Hynes on our website.
Boston's food trucks offer both delicious and healthy on-the-go meals. The program was launched last summer and has since then exploded in popularity. Mayor Thomas M. Menino had announced back in July that the new food trucks would serve “wicked good food” and they have delivered!
Boston has dedicated 17 sites in the city where food trucks can be found on a rotation basis. They are concentrated in the historic downtown areas and are conveniently located near the Hynes Convention Center, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, and downtown hotels.
As part of the Mayor’s Healthy Food Initiative, food trucks participating in the program must include at least one healthy menu option that does not include fried foods, trans-fats or high fructose corn syrup. The healthy menu option also has to include at least three of the following: fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and grilled or broiled lean meats. Mayor Thomas M. Menino said: “Food trucks are fun, fresh way for people to enjoy a variety of food, much of it healthy and locally produced.”
For convention attendees new to the food truck scene, here are five to try out, recommended by Eric Wilbur of about.com:
Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese
A participant in Food Network’s "Great Food Truck Race," this popular grilled cheese outfit serves up specialty grilled cheese options like the Green Muenster Melt (including homemade guacamole and applewood bacon), hand cut truffle fries, and a grilled cheesecake for dessert.
The highly-regarded Somerville barbecue restaurant offers both lunch and dinner options. Dining options include St. Louis ribs, pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, and an $8 daily special.
These delectable treats include the Green Monster (a chocolate cupcake with a beer ganache center topped with Sam Adams Cream Stout frosting), cookie dough, and the mojito.
This seafood truck offers a rotating list of tantalizing specials updated each week.
This gourmet truck serves up Vietnamese-inspired food including noodle salad, sandwiches, and rice bowls.
The trucks serve a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner foods from 6PM to 11PM. A specific truck can be found on any given day by checking the schedule on the City of Boston website. Users can filter through trucks based on day, time, and neighborhood.
Boston’s Food Truck Program is a good reflection of the Boston dining scene, which is marked by exceptional diversity, ethnic variety, and proximity to the convention centers and hotels. Find out more about Boston Dining.