In addition to its many cultural and historic landmarks, this destination hosts a number of outstanding festivals and events that may coincide with your visit.
Boston bases many of its annual celebrations on past events that shaped the character of the city as well as the nation. St. Patrick's Day on March 17 celebrates not only Boston's Irish heritage but also Evacuation Day, when the British troops left the city in 1776. Held the Sunday closest to the holiday, Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at the Broadway “T” station in South Boston and passes many popular travel sites in the city. Patriots' Day in Boston , the third Monday in April, celebrates the American Revolution's beginning with the hanging of lanterns in Old North Church and a re-enactment of Paul Revere's midnight ride to Concord.
The Battle of Bunker Hill Day Parade is held in mid-June in Charlestown to honor the June 17, 1775, battle. Boston Harborfest , a weeklong Fourth of July celebration, commemorates the birth of the nation with more than 200 activities, including boat rides, concerts, re-enactments, tours and one of the nation's top fireworks displays. It's something you shouldn't miss if your vacation falls in the summer. During the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular , a Boston Pops Orchestra concert at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade is complemented by a rousing July 4 fireworks display. Other Independence Day Commemoration events around town include the opening ceremonies at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, an Independence Day oration and parade, and a chowder fest on City Hall Plaza. In mid-December, costumed patriots convene at the Old South Meeting House for the Boston Tea Party Reenactment . The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum and the Old South Meeting House team-up to host this annual reenactment, one of the largest theatrical performances in the United States and an opportunity for the public to experience one of America's most iconic public protests live where more than 100 re-enactors from across New England bring to life the story of The Boston Tea Party and theatrically recreate the evening of December 16, 1773.
Boston also is a destination known for sports competitions of impressive proportions. The Boston Marathon , the city's signature event, attracts top long-distance runners (and wheelchair participants) from around the world. Held the third Monday in April, the race begins in the town of Hopkinton and ends before thousands of spectators at Copley Square. Female runners pound the pavement around downtown Boston during the Reebok Boston 10K for Women on Columbus Day. Head of the Charles Regatta , an internationally contested sculling event in Cambridge, draws hundreds of thousands of spectators to the banks of the Charles River on the third weekend in October. You could be one of them if your trip brings you to the city this time of year.
The Boston area salutes its ethnic heritage in June with the Boston Dragon Boat Festival , said to be the largest Asian American celebration in New England. While races featuring Hong Kong-style dragon boats can be viewed from both sides of the Charles River, you'll find places to eat, drum and martial arts performances, and arts and crafts demonstrations on the Cambridge side near Harvard Square.
Every weekend from June to mid-September a procession of Italian Feast Days takes place in the North End neighborhood, making it one of the most fun places to go in the city. Sponsored by the St. Agrippina, St. Anthony, St. Rocco and St. Joseph societies, these lively fetes include solemn religious services but also high-stepping brass bands, dancing and games. Don't worry about where to eat because there is also plenty of Italian food to be had.
The Boston Common Tree Lighting rings in the yuletide season in traditional style with the lighting of a Christmas tree in the heart of downtown. If you travel here during this season get ready for First Night Boston , which ushers in the new year with parades, ice sculpting, and indoor and outdoor concerts, capped off by a spectacular explosion of fireworks over the harbor at midnight.
See all the AAA recommended events for this destination.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
The state sales tax in Massachusetts is 6.25 percent. Combined city and state taxes on hotel occupancy in Boston is 15.50 percent. There is a 7 percent tax on prepared food.
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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, (617) 667-7000; Boston Medical Center, (617) 638-8000; Massachusetts General Hospital, (617) 726-2000; Tufts Medical Center, (617) 636-5000.
2 Copley Place, Suite 105 Boston, MA 02116. Phone:(617)536-4100 or (888)733-2678
Logan International Airport (BOS) is just 3 miles east of downtown across Boston Inner Harbor.
Boston is served by most major rental car agencies. Hertz provides discounts to AAA members; phone (617) 568-5200 or (800) 654-3131.
Amtrak offers service to and from New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., out of Boston's South Station at Atlantic Avenue and Summer Street. Connections to all points in the national Amtrak system can be made at the Back Bay Station, 145 Dartmouth St.; phone (800) 872-7245 for reservations and information. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operates commuter rail service; phone (617) 222-3200.
Greyhound Lines Inc., (800) 231-2222, and Peter Pan Bus Lines, (800) 343-9999, operate from South Station.
Cruiseport Boston’s Black Falcon Cruise Terminal is at 1 Black Falcon Ave. in South Boston.
Cabs in Boston are metered, with the fare $2.60 for the first 1/7 mile or less and 40c for every 1/7 mile thereafter. Phoning for a pickup or going to a hotel taxi stand is easier than hailing a cab on the street. Local companies include the Independent Taxi Operators Association, (617) 268-1313. Limousine service is available throughout the Boston area for about $80 an hour, normally with a 4-hour minimum.
Transportation by trolley, bus, boat and subway is available in Boston.