Seniors Travel to Boston

Feb 11th, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Welcome to Boston! The City of Boston hosts over 12 million annual visitors from across the country and around the globe. This vibrant, thriving city is renowned for its cultural facilities, world-class educational institutions, champion sports franchises, as well as its place at the very forefront of American history. Tourism is one of New England’s largest industries; as the region’s social and commercial “hub”, Boston is willing to accommodate and entertain you as few other cities can. It is is a one-of-a-kind American city that offers visitors opportunities to relive history, immerse themselves in the arts, cheer for hometown sports teams, explore museums, discover “hidden” harbor islands and imbibe at a famous brewery or an even more famous bar.

I knew when I started this blog that it would hard to stop as Boston is such a fascinating city and full of historical sites. Boston is regarded as the unofficial “Capital of New England” for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. Boston had a 2009 estimated population of 645,169, making it the 20th largest city in the US. Boston teams with history. During the late 18th century, Boston was the location of several major events during the American Revolution, including the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. Several early battles of the American Revolution, such as the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Siege of Boston, occurred within the city and surrounding areas.
 
It seems like Boston is famous for everything from the Red Sox and Paul Revere to Cheers and clam “chowdah;” Boston is a popular destination for seniors for so many reasons. Part history lesson, part modern metropolis, the Hub offers attractions to suit every taste and interest. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to get around, either on foot or by the user-friendly public transportation system, called the T. Hop on the Freedom Trail that is a four-kilometer redbrick line commemorating the American Revolution wanders from the Boston Common to Beacon Hill, the North End and the Bunker Hill Monument across the river and is a well-preserved pedestrian path that weaves in and out of historic neighborhoods.

We enjoyed the age-old cemetery in the heart of the city with such name on the gravestones as Downtown Boston is littered with old colonial cemeteries a.k.a. burying grounds, but what perhaps stands out is Old Granary Burying Ground on Tremont Street – a very prime real estate. Buried here are “prime” names indeed – Boston’s patriotic sons like John Hancock, Paul Revere, John Hancock, Peter Faneuil and Robert Treat Paine(1731-1814), signer of the Declaration of Independence. One of America’s most important historical landmarks, the Old State House is today a museum dedicated to the American Revolution. Take time to stop by the sound and light show on the Boston Massacre for a better appreciation of the most critical points in American history.  Prominently displayed in the Burying Ground is an obelisk erected in 1827 to the parents and relatives of Benjamin Franklin who was born in Boston and is buried in Philadelphia.
 
There are a few prerequisites when considering a trip to Boston. First, don’t go in February. This may seem obvious, but it bears repeating, not only because the winters are indeed so miserable, but because the other seasons are so immensely enjoyable. Spring and Fall are gloriously verdant and the summers are breezy and temperate.Visit Boston and enjoy the many sightseeing day tours and attractions that they have to offer. A most popular tour is the Beantown Trolley. It makes 20 stops, and you can hop on and hop off, giving you the opportunity to spend more time and get an up-close look at the sights of most interest to you. Old Town Trolley Tours shows you the best of Boston on their 100-minute, fully narrated tour. As the official tour of the Boston Red Sox, guests will enjoy 17 stops. Faneuil Hall is a must for shoppers and for dining. It is also known as Quincy Market and is a well-known tourist-oriented mall. It remains one of Boston’s most visited tourist attractions and is popular with those who work in the area as a great place for a quick but tasty lunch. It definitely is a “must see” and “must do” site in Boston.
 
Seventeen restaurants and pubs can be found at the marketplace, including a few upscale restaurants and plenty of fast food. For over 250 years, the marketplace has played an integral role in the life of Boston’s residents. Legal Seafoods is on 255 State Street and will be one of your most memorable dining experiences. Super seafood of all kinds and in and it  couldn’t be more convenient to the Financial District, Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall and waterfront hotels.
 
Seniors, you haven’t been to Boston if you have not been to Filene’s Basement. Mr. Filene developed a revolutionary way to price merchandise called the “Automatic Mark Down System.”  The price tag on each item was marked with the date it hit the selling floor. The longer an item remained unsold, the more the price would automatically be reduced, first 25%, then 50% and finally 75%. What was not sold was given to charity. It is where “bargains are born“.  I had read that folks try on new duds in the aisles right in front of you. I had to check that out.  It’s true.
 
Of course we can skip HarvardBU and Boston College. Frank Lloyd Wright once said that Harvard takes plums and “make prunes out of them.”  I did not find that.  My short summer school experience there was marvelous. What I know best is the so called Red Line as my family and I lived in South Weymouth.  There are several other major lines that connect the entire city.
 
And museums.  Boston abounds in them.  A “don’t miss” from my experience is the JF Kennedy Presidential Museum.  The Nation’s official memorial to John F. Kennedy. In 25 dramatic exhibits, including three theaters and period settings, visitors are inspired by the stirring eloquence of John F. Kennedy, and by the grace and elegance of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. I.M. Pei’s magnificent architectural achievement on ten acres of oceanfront park, guests enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Boston Harbor and the city’s skyline.  A magnificent structure that will capture your interest and attention.  Cape Cod is not all that far away and I highly recommend a visit and a whale watch will fill your day with amazement as well as  Massachusetts, one of the top-ten whale-watching spots in the world, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
 
I’ll finish blogging about Boston on Monday.  There’s just so much to talk about!!   jeb



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