Another fun place to visit, that's relatively unknown among visitors, are the Boston Harbor Islands. The ferries leave from the Long Wharf North, or from the from the Hewitt's Cove Shipyard in Hingham (in the summer). http://www.bostonharborislands.org/
Family-Friendly Destinations: Next Stop Boston!
Looking for a family-friendly fall destination? According to Jen Bauer of Adventurous Moms, you need to add Beantown to your list. We caught up with Jen to get an insider's guide to exploring The Walking City with kids:
Amtrak: Cities can be expensive. What is your favorite budget-friendly activity for a family exploring Boston?
Jen: There are so many wonderful budget-friendly activities in Boston. We love walking the Freedom Trail, and seeing the sites that capture the rich history of Boston’s revolutionary past. Kids love Boston Common - there’s a great playground, and just across the street is the public garden with the infamous ducklings as in Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings. Either place is a great spot for a picnic lunch! Though you can pay for a guided tour of the Freedom Trail, it’s just as easy to download a map. With free admission to the major sites, it is a great, budget-friendly way to explore Boston.
Amtrak: Is there a restaurant or restaurants that you recommend an entire family can enjoy to get a true Boston food experience?
Jen: Boston, like most of New England, is famous for seafood. You can head to the No-Name Restaurant on Fish Pier in South Boston for great food right on the Atlantic. Another option is Durgin Park next to Fanueil Hall. This 200 year old restaurant serves up great seafood, as well as Boston Baked Beans, another local favorite! We also love Legal Seafoods - though it’s a chain now, it started small and serves up great food.
Amtrak: How about a favorite spot to get a sweet treat?
Jen: Sweet treats are best found in the North End at one of the many great Italian pastry shops, such as Mike’s or Maria’s Pastry. The cannolis, biscottis, and gelato are well worth the lines!
Amtrak: Is there one historic landmark or destination families must visit when they explore Boston for the first time?
Jen: Make sure to visit the Common and public gardens. Quincy Market and Fanueil Hall are also fun places for the kid. With lots of shops, vendors, food, and street performers, it’s easy to keep the little ones entertained. If you can, head to Fenway Park and catch a Red Sox game. They are the heart of our city, and the nostalgia is palpable as you eat a Fenway frank and gaze up on the Green Monster.
Amtrak: When traveling with small children what is your recommendation for getting around Boston?
Jen: Getting around Boston is fairly easy, even with kids. A lot of things are walking distance, and for those sites a bit further away, we have a small subway system, affectionately known as “The T.” Tour buses are a great way to get the layout of the land. For a really fun adventure, take a duck tour, which not only hits the major landmarks, but also takes you on a ride on the Charles River!
Amtrak: How many days do you recommend a family plan for exploring all that Boston has to offer?
Jen: To really get the most out of Boston, you should stay for five or six days. However, you can pack a lot into a weekend in the city!
Ready to start planning your weekend in Boston? Don't forget that up to two children, ages 2-12, can receive a 50% discount on the lowest available adult fare and kids under the age of two ride FREE! Planning on taking the Northeast Regional? Be sure to book 14 days in advance to save big!
What are your favorite Boston hot spots? Let us know in the comment below!