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Travel TipsBoston's latitude leaves the city vulnerable to both polar and tropical air masses. Low-pressure storm systems frequently follow tracks that take them near Boston, while the Atlantic Ocean has a moderating influence on both summer and winter temperature extremes. The four seasons are quite distinct here.

New England winters are not for the faint-hearted and may limit the things to do while you're here. Boston experiences its fair share of snow, sleet and icy winds, and the Charles River normally freezes over. Coastal storms, or northeasters, can produce tremendous amounts of snow or rain. Summers are warm but usually not uncomfortable, although occasional heat waves send temperatures and humidity soaring.

Spring and early fall are pleasant times to visit. Although bitterly cold weather can last well into March, spring eventually arrives. May, when many of the spring flowers are in bloom, is a lovely month. Autumn visitors will be greeted with crisp, clear air and resplendent fall colors, starting in September and peaking by mid-October.

Boston's dress code ranges from the conservative attire of downtown's Old Guard establishments to the casual accoutrements worn at Cambridge's student enclaves. The most important thing to remember is that the city's variable weather requires a flexible wardrobe. In winter bring a heavy coat and a pair of sturdy boots or shoes for negotiating icy sidewalks. An umbrella will come in handy at almost any time of year.

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Boston, MA

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

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.

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Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston

138 St. James Ave. Boston, MA 02116

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Boston Park Plaza

50 Park Plaza. Boston, MA 02116

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Boston Harbor Hotel

70 Rowes Wharf. Boston, MA 02110

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Fairfield by Marriott-Amesbury

35 Clarks Rd. Amesbury, MA 01913

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Travel Information

City Population

617,594

Elevation

20 ft.

Sales Tax

The state sales tax in Massachusetts is 6.25 percent. Combined city and state taxes on hotel occupancy in Boston is 14.45 percent.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(617) 343-4500

Fire (non-emergency)

(617) 343-3550

Time and Temperature

(617) 637-1234

Hospitals

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.

Visitor Information

2 Copley Place, Suite 105 Boston, MA 02116. Phone:(617)536-4100 or (888)733-2678

Air Travel

Logan International Airport (BOS) is just 3 miles east of downtown across Boston Inner Harbor.

Rental Cars

Boston is served by most major rental car agencies. Hertz provides discounts to AAA members; phone (617) 568-5200 or (800) 654-3131.

Rail Service

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.

Buses

Greyhound Lines Inc., (800) 231-2222, and Peter Pan Bus Lines, (800) 343-9999, operate from South Station.

Cruise Ports

Cruiseport Boston’s Black Falcon Cruise Terminal is at 1 Black Falcon Ave. in South Boston.

Taxis

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.

Public Transportation

Transportation by trolley, bus, boat and subway is available in Boston.

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