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Parking & Blue Man Group

Bangor, ME
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34 posts
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Parking & Blue Man Group

My husband and I are going to Boston for our Anniversary 03/31 thru 04/02. We live in Maine so we will be driving into the city and will need to park our car somewhere. I haven't made hotel reservations yet, I am hoping that Travelzoo may have another good special this week. I would really like to stay in the Back Bay or Theater District area.

I have been reading a lot of the older postings and I have seen mentioned a parking lot called "PI" where you can park for $8.00 a day, can you park there and leave your car for 2 days, and will it be ok when you get back? Please remember I am from the woods and the city just baffles me! We were in Boston 12 years ago for a weekend and spent most of the time figuring out the T and at Quincy Market. I want to make sure that we see a lot more this time.

Should I buy tickets for Blue Man Group before we go? Is their show in the Theater District? Do they sell tickets to this show at the 1/2 price place? Should I prebuy tickets for the Duck Tours? Sorry there are so many questions at once I just want to make sure this trip is better than the last one. Thanks for any info you can give me.

Quincy...
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for Boston
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1. Re: Parking & Blue Man Group

Hi Robron,

I think I was the one who mentioned the Pi Alley parking garage $8.00 parking. But, that's only a night rate, for arriving after 5pm, and it's not for overnight.

Generally speaking, if you want to stay at a nice hotel right in downtown boston, figure on another $20-$30 per night to park your car at the hotel. If you get a good deal through travelzoo, maybe it won't be that bad overall.

Your only options to avoid this would be not to drive into Boston, or stay outside the city and take the T in. Is there any train service from Bangor to Boston? Really, once you arrive at your hotel, you won't be needing your car again until you leave.

One option I've seen mentioned here more and more is the John Jeffries House, which is a B&B near Mass General Hospital. It looks quite nice, and the rooms are very reasonable (<$150/night). Their website says they have discounted parking at the Charles St. Garage nearby, so it might be a good idea to call them. The location is good, as it's on Beacon Hill, and you can walk to many of the tourist areas, or hop the Red Line at Charles St.

http://www.johnjeffrieshouse.com/

As for Blue Man Group, the tickets are USUALLY available at the Bostix day-of-performance half-price kiosks at Quincy Market and Copley Sq. However, that's never guaranteed. If you have your heart set on seeing it, and you'd be really disappointed if you couldn't get tickets, here's another idea. The same group that runs Bostix has a website where you can order tickets in advance, for a discount (not half price, though). The show is in the theater district, at the Charles Playhouse, which is a small theater, so the discounted seats will be fine.

http://www.artsboston.org

As for the Duck Tours, they are opening for the season on March 27th, so you are in luck. Again, they probably will have seating available, because it's not the height of the tourist season yet. However, I'd recommend that you reserve in advance. Here is their information:

http://www.bostonducktours.com

Finally, you should definitely visit the Boston Convention and Visitor's Bureau Visitor Center on Boston Common, near Park St. T station. It's the start of the Freedom Trail, for one thing, and you should definitely plan to cover at least part of the FT on your trip. It's the best way to see the city and the historical sites. Also, they have tons of information on what's going on in the city that weekend, and ideas for what you might like to do.

Have fun!

Maine
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857 posts
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2. Re: Parking & Blue Man Group

Hi,

Definitely stay in the backbay area if you can. It's central to everything and you can walk just about anywhere if you're in reasonably good shape. Regarding hotels; here are some in the area that are reputable: Lenox (my favorite and most centrally located right on the corner of Exeter and Boylston), Westin, Marriott, Sheraton, and Hilton. I would bet since you're going in the off season, that you might be able to find good rates.

Have you thought of taking the Downeaster out of Portland, into the city? Haven't take it myself, but I've heard wonderful things about it. Then you wouldn't have to deal with the parking situation. Parking at the train station in Portland is only $2 a day and very safe!

If you still want to drive into the city, the best way to go is 95 south through Maine, N.H. and into MA. Once you're in MA its called both 95 and 128 South. Take to MASS Pike exit #25 towards Boston/East. Follow till you see Copley/Prudential Center exit (#22 I think); stay to right and go towards towards Copely Sq. Then get in left lane and follow signs to Dartmouth St. That'll put you right in the heart of Copely Square. I travel in/out of Boston alot and this is truly the most pain free way to go! And if you time it so you arrive before 3pm, you won't hit much traffic.

If you can't find a cheap place to park at hotel, break down and park at Dankler and Donahue on Newbury St. between Hereford and Mass Ave. It's valet parking and $30 a day, cash. They will not take credit cards or checks. This is a nice garage and the attendents are polite and you won't have to worry about safety or anything.

Re: Blue Man Group. My son and his friends (college age) just saw them at Christmas and loved the show! Yes, it's located in the theatre district. You could walk there from backbay or take the T. You can get 1/2 price tickets the day of show at Bostix in Copley Sq. How good the seats will be, I don't know. You take your chances.

Don't know about the Duck Tours, but any of the trolley tours are fun. Have taken them myself! They give you an excellent overview of the city; you can get on/off whenever you want; and they're guided so you learn something about each location.

A great site to check out stuff in Boston is www.bostoncitylinks.com. They have info on accomodations; siteseeing; restaurants; maps; events; theatre; etc. Have a fun trip :).

Cozyharbor

Bangor, ME
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3. Re: Parking & Blue Man Group

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. You brought up something that I hadn't thought of....taking a train into Boston. Amtrak goes to Boston out of Portland. I just checked Amtrak's website and found that by the time I buy the train tickets and pay a cab to get us to the hotel I have spent more than if I just pay for the parking in the first place. Oh well, it was worth a try!

I have looked into the John Jeffries and it looks like a great place but my husband smokes so we can't go there, we are looking for a relaxing weekend not a nicotine fit brought on by my picking a non smoking place to stay :).

I think I will buy my Blue Man Group tickets early just to be sure that we get in and maybe take our chances on the Duck Tour.

Thanks so much for your help.

Bangor, ME
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34 posts
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4. Re: Parking & Blue Man Group

Thanks for the input CozyHarbor. I really appreciate the directions, I have printed them off and will surely be using them when we go.

I think I am just going to have to break down and pay more for the parking and enjoy the fact that I will be staying right in the heart of Boston instead of on the outskirts. I think it will be worth it in the end. We will just have to eat cheap instead :).

Quincy...
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for Boston
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5. Re: Parking & Blue Man Group

Robron,

Have you tried Priceline? If it's just the two of you and you need one room, you might get a great deal on a downtown hotel, because you aren't travelling during peak tourist times.

Regarding hotels to try, you might want to consider the Clarion Bullfinch Hotel. It's in the North Station area, in very convenient walking distance to the North End and Quincy Market areas, and very close to the T at North Station, which will easily get you to Back Bay. This hotel is highly regarded, from the reviews I see, and it's somewhat less expensive than some of the big "name" hotels in Back Bay.

As far as "cheap eats", if you like Asian food, you can get REALLY cheap eats at Pho Pasteur, on Washington St. in Chinatown. Two people can eat (and I have) for $20, including tip. Pho is Noodle soup, either beef or chicken. A giant bowl of it costs $5.00, and it's a meal all by itself.

For other cheap eats, Chinatown again has lots of great, cheap food. Peach Farm is one of the best places. To eat cheaply, a GENERAL rule is to go away from the more touristy places, such as Back Bay or the South End, and go where the students go. Allston/Brighton is full of fantastic little places where the food is interesting and cheap.

If you like Italian, Giacomo's on Hanover St. in the North End, is not expensive, and very tasty. Or, you can have some of the best pizza you've ever tried, at the original Pizzera Regina's on Thatcher St. in the North End (you have to go to the original; ignore the other locations).

One other idea, especially for tourists, is Durgin Park. I say that, because it is the ultimate Boston experience. The food is very good, and it's very reasonable. The portions are huge, so you can get away without an appetizer, or dessert, to save more cash (though, you probably want to try their Indian pudding for dessert..share it).

Have fun!

Boston...
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6. Re: Parking & Blue Man Group

For cheap dining, one of my favorites is Anchovie's on Columbus Ave (between Dartmouth & West Newton Sts.) in the South End. (Don't be afraid of the name... I don't know where it came from... you have to really look hard to find the critters anywhere on the menu) The menu is simple Italian, ranging from pizza to baked dishes, priced no higher than $12-13. The garlic butter steamed mussels are a fantastic appetizer.

Also in the South End, but a bit more expensive (but still reasonable) is the Franklin Cafe on Shawmut Ave. This place is my favorite restaurant in Boston. Entrees run in the mid-teens to low twenties, and are a relative bargain... dinners like this sell for at least 10 bucks more in more upscale places. The menu changes frequently, and there are nightly specials that are usually amazing. Check out bostonchefs.com/clients/…index.html. Bear in mind that this place is small, popular with locals, in a residential neighborhood, and tends to get crowded. Though reservations are not taken, service and turnover is fairly quick... the Boston location doesn't offer dessert, and diners don't linger over after-dinner cocktails (which are also great). The bar opens at 5, the kitchen at 5:30. On weekends, you can walk in and get seated lmost immediately until 6:30 or 7, but after that, the place fills up 2-3 deep at the bar.

Southern New...
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7. Re: Parking & Blue Man Group

Hi,

I'm from NH and hate driving in Boston too. I drive to the Alewife T Station in Cambridge and can park there for $5 per day. Have never had a problem with the car and would not heesitate to leave it for a week. The station is right off Rt 2 off Rt 128/95 and VERY easy to get in an out of.

Have been to BMG in past. Get tix from www.ticketmaster.com . I am taking family soon and just got tix for April 1st so get them NOW.

Good luck!!!