Boston is best explored on foot. On-street city parking is very limited and highly regulated. Meters vary with regard to rates and hours and the city’s meter maids are vigilant. I literally lucked out during my recent stay in Boston and I am pleased to share this find with you. In terms economic downtown lodging, the MidTown Hotel (http://www.midtownhotel.com) fits the bill handsomely. Conveniently located on downtown Huntington Avenue, it is recognized as Boston’s affordable alternative. For the traveler on a budget, for a business or tour group, it offers a blend of spaciousness, economy, and comfort in the city’s historic Back Bay. There is an outdoor pool in season, the Table of Contents Café and get this —free indoor parking. A relative of mine, staying near by and one of the big hotels was shocked and jealous when he learned about this. “I’m paying $32 a night for parking,” he said. As for his room in this so-called posh hotel, it was smaller than my accommodations at the MidTown where kids stay free. There’s also an outdoor pool during the summer. You can call toll free for more information at 1-800-343-1177.
We left our car in the MidTown garage from the time we arrived. The people at the front desk were quite insistent that we take the «T. » That stands for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. This brings me to the New England Aquarium (www.neaq.org). Located on the city’s waterfront at Central Wharf, it was a mere 15 minute subway ride at $1 a person. Compare that with a 40 minute crawl by car and $30 for parking. The Aquarium displays more than 24,000 specimens representing more than 550 species of fish and aquatic animals, ranging from piranhas to penguins. The mission of the Aquarium is to increase understanding of aquatic life and environments, to enable people to act to conserve the world of water, and to provide leadership for the preservation and sustainable use of aquatic resources. Exhibits showcase the diversity, importance and beauty of aquatic life and habitats, and highlight critical aquatic conservation issues. A 200,000 gallon tank is the centerpiece of the Aquarium, and it is one of the region’s most popular underwater exhibits. This reef accommodates not only sharks, sea turtles, barracuda and moray, but also hundreds of smaller exotic tropical fishes, and it is one of the most detailed and scientifically accurate recreations of its kind.
For the past two years, the Aquarium has also been the home of a large IMAX Theater. The Aquarium Medical Center is a live working animal hospital, where veterinarians and staff care for Aquarium animals and sick and stranded animals that were rescued from local beaches. It is the first exhibit of its kind to put real staff and medical treatments on public exhibit for all visitors to see. The kids will be fascinated. I was highly impressed with the magnificent Matthew and Marcia Simons IMAX Theatre. The $19 million complex has been open for about two years and it presents large format technology with 3D capabilities on a flat screen.
My only regret is this: we did not get to see so many of the other excellent sites in Boston. Oh well, that has provided us with an appetite to return.?
For more information on Boston go to http://www.boston.com/travel