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HappyColor 09-10-2010 09:39 PM

Many discussions said the Freedom Trail in Boston is a big circle. It doesn't appear so on this map: It is more like one-way trail to me. I estimate we can start walking the trail around 10:30am and we have a reservation at Union Oyster House for 12:30pm. Can someone suggest where we should start the trail so we can be at the restaurant about the time of the reservation? Thanks!

LisaP 09-11-2010 06:27 AM

Guilty... I've been calling it a loop for years, as it's possible to start anywhere along the trail, see it all, and end up back where you started.

The ship's shuttles generally (but not always) drop off pax in the area of Quincy Market, roughly in the area near Exit 24B on the map in the link you provided. That's also just a few minutes' walk from the Union Oyster House.

The length of time the trail will take will depend upon whether you go inside the buildings along the way. (Some are free, some have a modest charge.) IMO, Faneuil Hall, the Old State House, and the Old South Meeting House are well worth an interior visit given their ties to the Revolution and their sheer beauty. So is the USS Constitution, if you have time, as is the African Meeting House on the Black Freedom Trail.

Are there any sites in particular at which you'd like to make extended visits along the way? The first three sites I mentioned could easily take two hours combined... then, after lunch, you could continue in any direction.

MCPayne 09-11-2010 07:05 AM

Hi Happy Color!

As Lisa stated, not sure if you were planning on just walking the freedom trail, or going inside any of the buildings.

Also, the Union Oyster House is a great restaurant! I've been there for dinner on non-cruise trips up to Boston, since my sister did her undergrad at BU.

HappyColor 09-11-2010 04:38 PM

Hi, Lisa,

It probably wasn't just you calling it 'a loop'. No worry. If you start the walk on one side of the street and return on the other side, you will make it a circle. Is my theory correct?

Your suggestion sound great. The information re: 2-hour is very helpful. We may not have the energy nor time to walk the entire trail so it becomes important for us to pick the starting point and the point of turn-around. Can I ask a few more questions?

1. We are more interested in architectures (interior and exterior) and just some in history. With that, what about other placed marked in red on the map should we visit?

2. How long will it take to walk between USS Constitution and Union Oyster House? Will taxi take us for such a short distance? (If some of us are too tire to walk. )

3. How much will it cost for a taxi to go between the pier and Faneiul Hall?

4. Is the Boston Duck Tour something worth considering?

Lisa - It is so nice of you to answer so many people's question with great details. To me, you are like a database when it comes to travel advises. I cannot say enough thanks, but again....Thank you.

MCPayne 09-11-2010 07:38 PM

Happy Color

I think the Boston Duck Tour is worth considering. Again, having been to Boston several times, I enjoyed this. You can see their website here. Tickets are available either online, or in person. They offer two locations for purchasing tickets. The first one is at the Museum of Science, and the second, which is probably more convenient for you, is the Prudential Center shopping mall.

If I remember correctly, I think the duck tour is about an hour and a half. Not sure how much time you have in Boston, but that's something to consider when purchasing your tickets.

Sorry I can't answer your other questions. We always take the T instead of taxis. The T is their local subway system.

HappyColor 09-11-2010 08:22 PM

Hi, MCPayne,
I just took a look at their website. The tour is non-stop so you just sit in the vehicle. Good thing is that the tour shows you lots of unique places in Boston. The tour is either 80 minutes ($31 pp) or 55 minutes ($27 pp). Tickets are non-refundable. Definitely something to look into. Thank you for the information!

poormom 09-12-2010 08:46 AM

Boston is so filled with history that It's hard to limit yourself!
We like to start at the Bunker Hill monument and see the USS Constitution. Then work our way south, as traffic can get thick as the day goes on. But that part of the tour while certainly hisorical, is really not much more than a 'look' there it is!
The Fanuel Hall Quincy Market area is a nice combination of architecture and shopping.
However, I do love the 'Duck' tour, and if you have time you can go to the observatory of the Prudential Center and have a magnificent view of the city. This is one of the boarding sites for the duck tour.
You can also do the trolley tour and get off and on the trolley all day for one rate. Here's the link for that. Just make sure you have fun, and be glad that you don't have to try to park here! The cost of an all day trolley is about the cost of a few hours for your car to sit!

MCPayne 09-12-2010 09:56 AM

Happy Color

In looking at the Boston Duck Tours website, the abbreviated tours start at 3:00 pm. Normal tours start earlier. This may be something to consider when taking into account if you want to do this. Not sure how long you are in Boston.

You can find the in person tickets locations here, and it is the first or second FAQ listed.

LisaP 09-12-2010 04:46 PM

Hi again, HappyColor. You've gotten some great advice above. And, thank you for your very kind comments. I've worked in Boston for many years, so I know the city well.

I second poormom's recommendation of the Prudential Center Observatory, if you have time. Its official link is here. A joke among the locals is that "the Pru" offers the best view of the city as it's the only view that does not include the Prudential Center Tower.

As to your questions...

1. Definitely include an interior visit to the main hall within Faneuil Hall. This is on the second floor... a Park Ranger can direct you. You might also find the Paul Revere House of interest, as it is the oldest residence in Boston (although no longer used as such). The Old Corner Bookstore is beautiful architecturally, yet this is certainly visible from the outside. I love its windows.

2. The walk between the USS Constitution and Union Oyster House isn't as easy as it looks on the map. I highly recommend a taxi between the two places. Yes, they'll take you.

3. Taxi between pier and Faneuil Hall will be around $10-$12. (I've done this a few times...) Make sure the driver turns on the meter. They are not permitted to charge a flat rate within the city of Boston. (Same goes for the trip in #2.)

Saving the best for last:
4. Yes to the Duck Tour. This will take you through several Boston neighborhoods, not just the historical ones. And, the portion on the Charles River will give you extraordinary views of our city and our sister city Cambridge... and also a great way to see the fall foliage. You can book this yourself (and take a taxi from the pier to the Prudential Center for around $20-$25) or through the ship (with pick-up at the pier). It's too bad the tour closest to the cruise shuttle drop-off point doesn't leave until 3:00 pm.

What time does your ship arrive and depart Boston?

HappyColor 09-12-2010 11:17 PM

Poormom, MCPayne, and Lisa -

Wow,you guys are so helpful! Now I just need to pick one between Boston Duck Tour and Old Town Trolley. Personally, I like the Trolley's flexibility of going off and on. It can also provide the transportation from Union Oyster House to USS Constitution. (Lisa - Thanks for pointing it out re: not easy to go between these two places.)

The fair for Old Town Trolley is $38 (or $34.20 if booked online) and it also includes admissions to Old State House and 45 minute harbor sightseeing cruise.

Question - So will you choose Old Town Trolley over Boston Duck Tour? By the way, the ship will be in Boston 10AM - 7PM.

If Old Town Trolley was selected, my plan would be as follow. (To see their rout, click Boston Map on this link

* Get off at Stop #1 & take 45-min harbor sightseeing cruise. I'm guessing the boat is near New England Aquarium. Not sure....
* Walk to Faneuil Hall and stay for 1 hour
* Walk to Union Oyster House (reserved for 12:30pm)
* Walk to Paul Revere House and Old North Church
* Hop on at Stop #2
* Hop off at Stop #3 to visit USS Constitution & Bunker Hill Monument
* Get off at Stop #5 to visit Old State House, Old Corner Book Store, Old South Meeting House.
* After Stop #6, we'll just see what the group wants to see.

Sorry to bore you guys with so much info. As you can guess, I am seeking validation and would welcome any 'criticism'. Anyone?

Thanks a bunch!

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