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What to do if you only have a 1/2 day?

Portland
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What to do if you only have a 1/2 day?

I will have free time to myself for about a half day in Boston. Any suggestions on what is a "must see" and easy to get to?

Quincy...
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for Boston
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1. Re: What to do if you only have a 1/2 day?

For a half day, I'd take a walk down Newbury St. and check out the galleries and shopping. If that doesn't take up enough time, you can walk over to the Prudential center and go to the observatory at the top, to get a nice birds-eye view of the area.

Another idea is a duck tour. I think they only take about 90 minutes, so you can fit one in.

New Orleans...
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2. Re: What to do if you only have a 1/2 day?

You could easily walk the Freedom Trail - at least to Faneuil Hall, where you can shop. That puts you in the proximity of the North End for fantastic Italian cooking.

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: What to do if you only have a 1/2 day?

I have to agree with Freedom Trail. You can pick up a guide at the Visitor Center near where the "red line" begins in the Boston Common, and kind of follow along with what went on in these historic buildings and sites, even though you may not have time to go inside.

If it's your first time to Boston, you really must stop in at Quincy Market and have an appetizer like a cup of New England clam chowder (on the way to the North End for Italian lunch or dinner) or something sweet, on the way back. Not stopping at Quincy Market would be like visiting Seattle and not going to Pike Place Market!

Newbury Street is a cool place to shop, but no cooler than the Pearl District, Pioneer Place or NW 23rd in Portland.

The Duck Tour would give a good overview too. My hubby's from Cape Cod, and we've walked the Freedom Trail many times with different groups of people from all over. I don't really tire of it. You could probably do both in a longer part of a half day.

Boston
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4. Re: What to do if you only have a 1/2 day?

From a local's perspective Quincy Market is mostly a gross toursit trap with bad food. Shopping is (now anyway) mostly the same as any mall in America. Only a few decent restaurants - Kingfish Hall, Mcormick & Schmik, Plaza III. North End is way better for food and maybe 5 - 10 min walk, also on the Freedom Trail. Aside from the food, Faneuil Hall is interesting (historically), maybe Quincy Market too.

Cambridge, MA
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5. Re: What to do if you only have a 1/2 day?

Beacon Hill is another nice area to wander aimlessly in. It's right next to downtown, and is anchored by the Public Garden and Boston Common. Charles St is lined with upscale-leaning stores and restaurants, while the surrounding neighborhood is full of historic townhouses. A short "hoofing" uphill from Charles St on Mt Vernon will take you to Louisburg Square, the poshest section of this posh neighborhood. Theresa Heinz and her second husband have a home there. Atop the hill is the Massachusetts State House, which you're free to go inside and look around. A more "pedestrian" landmark is the Bull & Finch on Beacon St just west of Charles, better known as the inspiration for "Cheers."

You can't do better than the Freedom Trail for taking in lots of interesting and historical locations, though.

If you're a "run girl" in the literal sense, the riverfront Esplanade is an easy, flat, and paved route from the Science Museum out past Boston University. You can cross the river at several points and double back on the other side. Stop by the Bill Rodgers Running Center in Quincy Market, or Marathon Sports in the Back Bay, for more tips.

Pacifica, CA
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6. Re: What to do if you only have a 1/2 day?

I second the duck tour if you're interested in a fun overview of the sights of Boston. I would try to get tickets in advance.

The National Park Service has a wonderful free walking tour of the Freedom Trail which would also be good.