Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Adventurous Business Trips: Boston

Headed to Chelmsford or Marlboro? Oh No You're Not! Think Boston!
Do you work for a company with remote offices 'near' Boston? Ever been sent to the Boston office only to find yourself in Chelmsford or Marlboro? Well, you don't have to be stuck out there! This article outlines how to get to work and back on time, on the cheap, and on the green. It also points out one excellent place to stay, (hint: 463 Beacon St.), and talks about a few of the sites you can see in town.

Getting To Work and Back
Thanks to the miracle, that is the Boston public transit system, you can stay in Boston, enjoy everything it has to offer, and still show up for work on time in the morning! And, by avoiding a car rental, you can be green and help the environment as well. You're employer won't mind not expensing a rental car either. The rides out to work can be a bit lengthy, but that's what laptops are for right? And, the rewards to be had in Boston are definitely worth the train ride out.

You'll need to get two different types of transit tickets. One for the Boston subway system, and one for the commuter rail. The commuter rail takes you to outlying areas where you work like Chelmsford and Marlboro. The Boston subway takes you to every cool and fun place in all of Boston!

Commuter rail tickets are available in multiples of 10 at a slight savings. If you're going to be in Boston for a complete business week, depending on what geographic zone your final location falls into, they're worth looking at. The smaller cities around Boston have limited taxi service, so you'll want to do one of three things.

  1. Walk to your work if it's close enough, (Go Green)!
  2. Call a taxi the night before and arrange for them to pick you up.
  3. Have someone from work pick you up at the train station.
The weekly Charlie Card pass is a complete bargain even if you're only staying for two days. It gives you the freedom to go anywhere in Boston on any subway, bus, or inner-harbor ferry for a week for only $15. If you're a planner, you can even buy your pass online ahead of time and have it mailed to you

The commuter rail map above can be seen in its entirety here. Using the route map, determine which stop is closest to your work location. If you're like me and can't determine geographic locations based on a rail map, use the Google map below that also points out all the T and commuter rail stations.

Now That You Can Get Around, Where Do You Sleep?
There are lots of great places recommended for every taste and every budget in books like the Lonely Planet guide to Boston and the Let's Go guide to Boston. But, my favorite is:

463 Beacon Street!
View Larger Map
As shown on the map above, this beautiful little hotel is located on historic Beacon Street within walking distance to a great shopping district, great places to eat, Fenway Park, (go Sox!), MIT, and... a T station on the green line! It books up pretty regularly, so book early. But even if you don't book early, try anyway. I booked late for a trip last year and they put me in one of their apartments about a block away, (again, see the map). If you're wondering, no, this isn't a sponsored ad. I don't even know how to make it a sponsored post. I just really like the hotel and the people who run it.

Now, That You're There, What is There To Do?
Once in Boston, there are any number of sites to see and things to do. As I mentioned, Fenway Park is a short walk away. Getting to see the Red Sox play in Fenway park is a phenomenal experience. There's not a bad seat. You can either book tickets through the Red Sox web site, or buy them on the sidewalk the night of the game. I had great luck on the sidewalk. Of course, I don't mind going to a game in the third inning, and your experience may vary.

The seafood, and really every other kind of food is excellent all over Boston. The older and more family-owned the place looks, generally, the better the food is. If you're there in the warmer months, get out to the bay and try a bucket of clams.

Of course you can always see the Celtics play as well. There arena is shown on the map above as well. It's important for two reasons. It's where the Celtics play, but it also sits on top of the commuter rail station you'll need to get out to work.

Be sure to check out the great architecture of the city including Trinity Church. A walk down any street in Boston can provide a wealth of unexpected beauty!

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