BOSTON

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Boston travel guide

Happy Hour has been banned in Boston since 1984, to prevent drunken driving accidents.

Boston runs on Eastern Standard Time (EST), it is 3 hours ahead of Los Angeles, 1 hour ahead of Chicago, 5 hours behind London, and 12 hours behind Hong Kong.

The United States offers a Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) that allows visitors from certain countries to stay for up to 90-days. Click here to apply for the ESTA Visa. The process takes 10 minutes and is a good option for those seeking to work or study in the U.S.

For tourism, all countries are allowed entry into the United States except for the following:

  • Eritrea
  • Iran
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Libya
  • Myanmar
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Somalia 
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tanzania
  • Yemen 

For visits that are less than 90-days, there are options for leisure and work. 

The B-1 Business Visa is specifically for coming to the States for meetings and/or conferences that are not for immediate employment in the U.S for a U.S company. 

The B-S Tourism Visa is for leisure tourism for a stay of less than 90-days. 

The DS-160 form must be completed to apply for these visas, and an interview with the U.S Embassy or consulate must be done. After the documents are submitted, and the interview is reviewed, the embassy or consulate will notify the submitter of whether or not their visa was accepted. 

The only airport in Boston that also predominantly serves most of New England is Boston Logan International Airport. Locally known as “Logan,” the airport supports both domestic and international travel.

The airport offers extensive parking options, from extended to temporary starting at $29 a day. Transportation options to and from the airport are also vast and range from public busses, ubers and lyfts, the T (MBTA, Boston’s metro), and many others.

The MBTA is Boston’s underground subway, locals call it “the T” and it features many color coded ‘lines’ that access different parts of the city. There are several T stations across Boston, some of the most famous and popular are South Station and Back Bay. In order to ride the T you can purchase one time tickets at the station kiosk, on the MBTA app, or purchase a “Charlie Card,” which is the reusable ticket card most Bostonians carry around.

The commuter rail is another extension of the MBTA system and consists of trains that transport passengers in and out of Boston throughout the day; there are many commuter rail stops across Massachusetts and even some in Rhode Island.

Most of Boston is safe to navigate as a solo female traveler if you use common sense and don’t put yourself in less than ideal situations. Blue Hill Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue (locally known as the Methadone Mile) are two of the more known dangerous spots that are better to avoid when alone. At night, walking in a group or taking an Uber or Lyft is the safest way to get around.

Depending on the time of year you travel, Boston weather can vary immensely. From late September to late March it can get really frigid, at its coldest in the dead of winter it can get down to around -10゜F or -23゜C and in the Summer around July and August it can reach around 90゜F or 32゜C. The most ideal weather for exploring the city occurs from May to early October where the temperature is around 45゜ F or 7゜C.

Fall is arguably  the most beautiful time in New England, the foliage on the trees turn to bright shades of oranges, reds, and yellows, tourists who come to Boston to see this occur are known locally as “leaf peepers.”

The primary language spoken in Boston is English. However, according to the New Bostonian Demographic Report, only 66% of Boston residents speak only English. Languages widely spoken include Spanish, Hatian Creole, Portuguese, Vietnamese, and French.

New England is notorious for being rude- people in traffic will cut you off, people on the streets will act like you don’t even exist, it’s just the way life operates. Bostonians are the most unfiltered and intense population of the surrounding regions, however, under the cold exterior Bostonians hold a huge sense of community and take pride in their city. They are very caring towards those who enjoy and appreciate their city’s beauty. If you need help or want to make friends, you may have to go out of your way or be more forward, but once you break the ice you will see how cool and unique New Englanders are.

The United States currency is the US Dollar ($ USD,) nothing else is accepted in D.C. businesses. Luckily, currency conversion is available in multiple locations within the city. From banks to private currency exchange businesses, it will not be difficult for you to find somewhere to convert to USD. 

Tipping. Is. Essential! If you do not leave at least a 10% tip after your meal, it would be seen as a lack of respect towards the waitstaff. It is considered improper to not tip when eating out and try to tip at least 20%. Also, it is customary to tip your taxi/Uber/Lyft driver when taking one.

Boston’s standard voltage is 120 volts, with a two or three-pronged plug. For those traveling internationally, you should be prepared to bring an adapter. Here is what yours should look like:

Travel Adaptor for USA | Electrical Safety First

Boston is a very old city and a lot of it’s infrastructure and buildings date back over hundreds years. For this reason, pipe quality can vary. Depending upon the type of building you find yourself in, it may be best to make sure your water is filtered before you drink it straight from the tap.

Boston has many cafes, bookstores, and restaurants that offer free WiFi and seating for anyone looking to do some public work or just browse the internet. The city is very technologically advanced and for this reason finding free internet should not be a difficult task at all, if you have a smart phone with cellular data, you will also be able to receive service and access the mobile web in any part of Boston.

The most common way to get around Boston is via the T, but if you would rather take a taxi, the two most popular apps are Lyft and Uber. Both of these services are available via a downloadable app on a smartphone, if you do use these methods of travel, be sure to tip your driver before you get out or via the app itself.

There are also some cab and taxi companies still lingering around from the days before apps were widely used. If you like to ride around the city in the old fashioned way you can give them a call or wave them down if you happen to spot a cab on the street.

Massachusetts is a very politically progressive state and the same goes for Boston, it is perfectly acceptable to openly be a member of the LGBTAQIA+ community. Although, it’s worth noting that stone cold New-Englanders tend to avoid PDA in all circumstances and sexualities- usually the most you’ll see day to day is hand holding and hugging.

Boston hosts an annual Pride Parade every year in June, where people come together to march the streets dressed in shades of rainbow and celebrating love. Boston also boasts a number of Gay bars, some notable ones include: The Alley, Cathedral Station, and Club Cafe.

As far as shopping goes, there are many thrift, consignment, and vintage stores in Boston. One of the most famous is The Garment District, a large department store dedicated to preloved and vintage clothing. There are also a number of sustainable and eco-friendly stores and restaurants located throughout Boston, which you can find via a simple Google search. As far as eco-travel goes, there are a number of ferries located throughout the city to take you around the harbor, although they are primarily for tourist reasons as opposed to transport. 

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HOTEL WE LOVE:

Stay in Downtown if you'd like to be close to major landmarks (Freedom Trail, Boston Harbor.) Stay in the North End for a Little Italy vibe.

FOR THE PLANNERS

Stay in Downtown if you'd like to be close to major landmarks (Freedom Trail, Boston Harbor.) Stay in the North End for a Little Italy vibe.