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The Best Apps to Download Before Your Trip to Boston

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Your mobile phone will quickly become your most essential travel tool on your next trip to Boston with these travel focused apps.

Skiplagged

Flying in? Boston’s Logan Airport is a major airport, meaning flights pass through every day. If being sure you’re getting the absolute cheapest fare is your priority, Skiplagged can help unlock secret deals on air travel.

Transit App or ProximiT

Boston’s transit can be a super convenient and affordable way to get around the city. Know which subway train to take and when it’s coming with these two convenient public transportation apps.

Tour Boston’s Freedom Trail

Even at $2.99 for Apple devices, it’s far cheaper than some of the other traditional guided tours in the city. Navigate the Freedom trail with ease and learn about the historical significance of stops along the 2.5-mile route.

ParkWhiz or ParkBoston

Driving? No sweat! ParkWhiz app will help you find parking deals all over the city and even lets you book them instantly on your phone. ParkBoston is connected to the city’s metered parking spots and conveniently lets you pay your meter fare from your mobile device, then tracks your time so you can avoid pesky parking tickets.

Weather Underground

One of the highest rated weather apps gives you an advantage over the ever changing New England forecasts. Get hour by hour interactive radar and forecast updates to make sure you stay ready for fun.

Weekend Essentials: What to Pack for a Boston Getaway

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The only thing predictable about New England weather is the unpredictability. That’s why many tourists often panic when planning a trip to Boston. So what do you pack when traveling to a new city, especially when the weather may change at any moment? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

1. A good rain jacket

We’re not just talking about something with a hood here, but a layer that’s truly waterproof. Trust us, you’ll be glad you brought it when it starts down pouring during the second inning of your Red Sox game.

2. Comfortable walking shoes

Unless you plan on taking a cab everywhere, you’re going to do a lot of walking. This fact, combined with the many cobblestone streets, makes high heels impractical (and dangerous) for even the most experienced fashionista. Traveling during the winter months? Definitely pack some warm winter boots. The slush-filled streets will ruin sneakers in no time.

3. Nicer evening attire

Planning on checking out an opera, ballet or musical while you’re in town? Be sure to pack something that’s a step up from your tourist gear. For the ladies, we recommend some cotton slacks that travel well (and will require little ironing once you get to your hotel) to keep your legs warm if the weather suddenly turns chilly.

4. Jeans

Known for it’s comfortable style, Boston is a city that lives for jeans. Pair them with a slinkier top or a button down dress shirt and they will instantly take you from Fenway Park to happy hour. Packing one pair will often take you through several outfits during your trip and they may even be rolled or cuffed if the weather turns warm.

5. Great pajamas

Whether you’re traveling to Boston for business or pleasure, comfortable pajamas are essential to ensure you’ll get a great night’s sleep. Packing stylish PJs will also mean you’re presentable enough to walk downstairs to grab your breakfast in the morning.

What not to pack? Your Yankees gear, of course! Sports are a religion in Boston, and while the people are friendly, we don’t necessarily make fast friends with the enemy. What item always makes it into your suitcase when you travel to Boston? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Beyond the City Limits: 5 Places to Visit Just Outside of Boston

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If you’re traveling to Boston, but feel as though you’ve already experienced all that the city has to offer, you don’t have to drive very far to reach some other cities and towns that are totally worth visiting. Check out our list of our top five places to visit just beyond Boston’s borders.

1. Salem — Rich in history, thanks to the famous Salem Witch Trials of 1692, Salem is loaded with interesting museums and attractions. Stop by the Salem Witch Museum, or the Witch Dungeon Museum for the low down on the city’s dark past. Or, for a change of pace check out the House of Seven Gables, a 1668 colonial mansion on the coast that has been transformed into a museum.

2. Manchester by The Sea — Located at the southerly end of Cape Ann, Manchester by theSea is a quintessential New England town with a quaint downtown and stunning harbor. Though lacking in the big “touristy” attractions, the town more than makes up for it in charm. Visit the picturesque “Singing Beach” (so named due to the sound the sand makes when dry) for a quiet afternoon in the sun.

3. Brookline — Though part of Greater Boston, Brookline was incorporated as a separate town in 1705. This means you’re sure to experience an eclectic mix of urban and suburban amenities here. Be sure to check out Allendale Farm, one of the nation’s oldest privately held family farms, for some bountiful veggies and colorful flowers. If you need a place to crash, check out our Inn for tasteful accommodations in a restored Victorian brownstone.

4. Cambridge — Despite its location right across the bridge from Boston’s bustling downtown, Cambridge is often overlooked by the tourist crowd — making it great for the travelers looking for something a little different without having to go very far. Boasting a vibrant arts scene, visitors have the option of checking out a show at the theater or browsing the Harvard Art Museums.

5. Newburyport — The furthest location on our list, about 45 minutes north of Boston, Newburyport is definitely worth the trip. From great shopping and dining to views of sailboats coming into port, this is a destination worth visiting. For lunch, stop by Michael’s Harborside for an amazing deck with a view and indulge in the lazy man lobster pie.

Have you visited any of these cities and towns? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

10 Reasons to Stay in a Boston Bed and Breakfast

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While many may have preconceived notions about what a stay at bed and breakfast entails — including outdated furnishings and overbearing hosts — the truth is, many BNBs and inns alike have modern amenities and stellar service to rival even the poshest urban resort. Read on for our top reasons why a local bed and breakfast should be on your list when planning your next destination.

1. The value. Smaller in scale and smaller in price, at many bed and breakfasts you will find killer deals for accommodations that are on par, or better, than the big-name corporate hotels.

2. The service. Let’s face it, a large corporate hotel just doesn’t have the time to cater to your every whim. Not so at an intimate bed and breakfast. Have specific dietary needs? Or want to surprise your honey with some flowers and chocolates upon arrival? Chances are the innkeepers will be happy to go out of their way to make sure your stay is top notch.

3. The details. You won’t be surrounded by cookie-cutter oak hotel furniture or Ikea artwork here. Instead, you’re likely to find fireplaces, turn of the century antiques, or even a ridiculously comfortable four poster bed.

4. The history. Forget the freshly built skyscrapers, instead opt for accommodations with a nod to the past. When you stay at a bed and breakfast, you’ll have the option to stay in a piece or history, including a restored Victorian brownstone in Boston, the site of a civil war battle in Mississippi or even the same suite as a past president in Virginia.

5. The people. Staying at a bed and breakfast can often be much like staying in the home of a beloved relative, or at least a well-liked aunt. You’ll get to know the innkeepers who will likely have some great advice on things to do in your destination city and you’ll even have a chance to mingle with your fellow guests on the front porch or over breakfast in the morning.

6. The location. One of the biggest benefits of bed and breakfasts are their inconspicuous locations. Often, you’ll get to experience the city like a local by staying in the area’s residential neighborhoods, rather than being confined to the commercial centers. This way, you’ll get a much more authentic view of the city.

7. The flexibility. Don’t bother asking the front desk at Corporate Hotel Chain if you can check in bit early or stay a few hours late — rules are rules, after all. Fortunately, bed and breakfasts are much more accommodating when you need to bend them a bit in order to fit your tight schedule.

8. The security. Let’s face it, even with a doorman, huge corporate hotels don’t always have the best security. The smaller scale of a bed and breakfast or inn means fewer people and potentially safer accommodations.

9. The quiet. Fewer guests often means a quieter night’s stay, too. So, you can finally leave the earplugs at home.

10. The availability. From major metropolitan areas, like right next to Boston’s Fenway Park, to a quaint retreat in the mountains, chances are there’s a bed and breakfast located in just about any of your future destinations.

What are your reasons for booking a Boston bed and breakfast? Let us know in the comments below!