Avoid 9 of Boston’s Biggest Tourist Traps with These Alternatives

A current view of Faneuil Hall, taken from our very own office window.

Tourist traps: An all too familiar sight Bostonians work tirelessly to avoid. One accidental step onto the Freedom Trail and suddenly, “Say ‘bar.’ You pronounce it ‘bah,’ right? How ‘bout ‘chowdah?’” A woman from Wyoming widens her eyes, perplexed after you correct her. She watched “Good Will Hunting”; jotted down notes. “Wicked smaht” she repeated, tagging at the zipper on her fanny pack, practicing. After all, that’s how she wanted to sound.

Little did she know, those accents are fading fast.

With every September 1 comes just another flock of folks who will soon call themselves “Bostonians,” despite having spent the majority of their life living two doors down from that same woman in Wyoming. Over time, they started learning which attractions were worth visiting, and which ones they never wanted to wind up at ever again. They learned, of course, by mistakenly thinking a Friday night in Faneuil wouldn’t be packed, or that Cheers was a place everyone would know their name.

If you’re new to the city, and don’t want to fall prey to tourist traps this weekend by having to learn the hard way, test out a few of the alternatives below. You’ll know you’re a real Bostonian when you’ve successfully darted the Freedom Trail.

Instead of the Freedom Trail… If you want to take an educational stroll, opt for the Black Heritage Trail. Start in the Boston Common and end at the African Meeting House—the same place William Lloyd Garrison founded the New England Anti-Slavery Society in 1832 and Frederick Douglass delivered an anti-slavery speech in 1860.

Instead of Faneuil Hall… Head to the South End. Just as pretty as the North End, without the close cries of the jugglers who stand outside Quincy Market. If you’re in dire need of shopping, flock to Flock, Uniform or SoWa on Sundays. For the foodies, Myers + Chang, Toro and Gaslight are only three of dozens of delicious options.

Instead of Union Oyster House… If you didn’t heed our advice and walked through Faneuil Hall anyway, do know there are more seafood options out there than the Union Oyster House. Albeit Boston’s oldest restaurant, you can snag a seat at Neptune Oyster and talk about how old, uh, historic Boston is instead.

Instead of Mike’s Pastry… While we’re talking North End food, now is the time to tell you Mike’s isn’t all that and a bag of cannolis. Modern Pastry is just across the street, and certainly rivals in taste. The dining area is smaller, but benches line the Rose Kennedy Greenway mere steps away.

Instead of the Old State House Museum… Visit the Boston Tea Party Museum. Equally as cliche, but at least there, there are holograms and you can throw tea overboard. Or, you can just drink the stuff instead at Abigail’s Tea Room.

Instead of the Museum of Science… Trust me, I love a big ole extinct dinosaur as much as the next person, but the MIT Museum is just as cool and way less crowded. Plus, who doesn’t love robots?

Instead of the Museum of Fine Arts… Take a spin around the Museum of Bad Art. With locations in Somerville and Brookline, the MOBA celebrates those with an appreciation for things that suck. Feast your eyes on art that’s just “too bad to be ignored.”

Instead of the Public Garden… Visit the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain. With fall fast approaching, you can thank me now for the color-changing views.

Instead of Cheers… Go anywhere else. Even the Union Oyster House.


13 Rooftop Bars That Aren’t Cheers



    [{“url”:”http://wp.streetwise.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/The-Rattlesnake.jpg”,”title”:”The Rattlesnake”,”content”:”pMargaritas on a roofdeck. Need I say more? At a href=”http://www.rattlesnakebar.com/”The Rattlesnake/a, you can enjoy all that, plus Chef Brian Poe’s delicious tasting menu, which features favorites like lamb tip tacos and jalapeno clam chowder./pnpPhoto via The Rattlesnakeu2019s Facebook page/pn”,”type”:”image”,”width”:400,”height”:300},{“url”:”http://wp.streetwise.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/The-Baseball-Tavern.png”,”title”:”The Baseball Tavern”,”content”:”pIf the real Fenway Park isnu2019t your thing, head over to a href=”http://www.thebaseballtavern.com/”The Baseball Tavern/a. The bar features an exact replica of the Green Monster, plus plenty of beers served up fresh to you on the roofdeck./pnpPhoto via The Baseball Tavern/pn”,”type”:”image”,”width”:403,”height”:300},{“url”:”http://wp.streetwise.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Legal-Harborside.png”,”title”:”Legal Harborside”,”content”:”pa href=”http://www.legalseafoods.com/restaurants/boston-legal-harborside-floor-3″Legal Harborside/au00a0is celebrating its third summer on the Harbor, with gorgeous ocean backdrop. Head up to the third floor roofdeck for oysters, sushi and other small bites, but be sure to arrive early u2013 the line to get upstairs is often long on nice days. If you do have to wait, itu2019s definitely worth it./pnpPhoto via Legal Harborside/pn”,”type”:”image”,”width”:377,”height”:300},{“url”:”http://wp.streetwise.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Revere-Hotel-Roofdeck_800x6001.jpg”,”title”:”Rooftop @ Revere”,”content”:”pThe just-opened a href=”http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2013/05/20/revere-hotel-rooftop-pool-photos/”Rooftop @ Revere/a at the Revere Hotel is a 16,000 square foot lounge located seven stories above the ground. Sip drinks like the Hibiscus Rum Punchu00a0and nosh on mini lobster rolls with 360-degree views of the Boston skyline. Oh, and thereu2019s a pool if you need to take a quick dip to cool off./pn”,”type”:”image”,”width”:400,”height”:300},{“url”:”http://wp.streetwise.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Atlantic-Beer-Garden.png”,”title”:”Atlantic Beer Garden”,”content”:”pReferred to by the cool kids as “ABG,”u00a0a href=”http://www.atlanticbeergarden.com/”Atlantic Beer Gardenu2019s/a roofdeck offers stunning harbor views as well as 12 different draught beers, 20 bottled domestic beers and 25 bottled imports to keep you cool and buzzed in the summer sun./pnpPhoto via Atlantic Beer Garden/pn”,”type”:”image”,”width”:388,”height”:300},{“url”:”http://wp.streetwise.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/The-Whiskey-Priest.png”,”title”:”The Whiskey Priest”,”content”:”pLocated next door to Atlantic Beer Garden, a href=”http://www.whiskey-priest.com/”The Whiskey Priest/au00a0boasts a huge selection of u2013 what else? u2013 whiskey. There are over 100 for you to sample, but we donu2019t suggest doing that all in one sitting./pnpPhoto via Yelp/pn”,”type”:”image”,”width”:401,”height”:300},{“url”:”http://wp.streetwise.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Ristorante-Fiore.png”,”title”:”Ristorante Fiore”,”content”:”pFeel like youu2019re in Italy without ever stepping foot on an airplane. a href=”http://www.ristorantefiore.com/”Ristorante Fiore/a on Hanover Street in the North End has a cozyu00a0roofdeck and a menu full of homemade pastas and crisp vino to complete your European staycation./pnpPhoto via Ristorante Fiore/pn”,”type”:”image”,”width”:481,”height”:300},{“url”:”http://wp.streetwise.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Market.jpg”,”title”:”Market”,”content”:”pa href=”http://www.mktboston.com/”Market/a, located in the Financial District near Faneuil Hall,u00a0has a rooftop lounge, plus multiple other levels for you to get your drink on. Be aware that thereu2019s a dress code, so donu2019t show up in your summer flip flops./pnpPhoto via Marketu2019s Facebook page/pn”,”type”:”image”,”width”:300,”height”:300},{“url”:”http://wp.streetwise.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Jerry-Remys-in-Fenway.jpg”,”title”:”Jerry Remys in Fenway”,”content”:”pOne of my personal favorite roofdecks in Boston, a href=”http://jerryremys.com/fenway/”Jerry Remyu2019s/a in Fenway is great for pre- or post- Sox game lounging. Or, if you donu2019t have tickets, the roofdeck has TVs for mid-game lounging. Sure beats a cramped seat at Fenway Park if you ask me!/pnpImage via Jerry Remyu2019s Facebook/pn”,”type”:”image”,”width”:402,”height”:300},{“url”:”http://wp.streetwise.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Daedalus.png”,”title”:”Daedalus”,”content”:”pLocated high above Harvard Square, the roofdeck at a href=”http://www.daedalusharvardsquare.com/”Daedalus/a offers a quiet place to enjoy brunch in the sunshine. Daedalus also offers extensive dinner, dessert and drinks menus for noshing on warm summer evenings./pnpPhoto via Daedalus/pn”,”type”:”image”,”width”:508,”height”:230},{“url”:”http://wp.streetwise.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Colonnade-Hotel.png”,”title”:”Colonnade Hotel”,”content”:”pThe Colonnade Hotelu2019s rooftop bar charges quite the hefty entrance fee compared to most bars, but thatu2019s probably because most bars donu2019t have a pool attached. Theu00a0a href=”http://www.colonnadehotel.com/”Colonnade Hotel’s rooftop pool/au00a0is open to the public beginning Friday, May 24, and non-hotel guests can access the pool for a fee of $50 for a full day, or $25 from 3 p.m. until close./pnpPhoto viau00a0Colonnade Hotel/pn”,”type”:”image”,”width”:508,”height”:193},{“url”:”http://wp.streetwise.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/The-Sinclair.jpg”,”title”:”The Sinclair”,”content”:”pNew to Harvard Square, a href=”http://www.sinclaircambridge.com/”The Sinclair/a has a sick rooftop patio for summer sipping. Thereu2019s no physical bar up here, but you can order drinks from their cocktail menu, as well as appetizers to share. Or, enjoy a full brunch, lunch or dinner under the shade of the umbrellas./pnpImage via The Sinclair/pn”,”type”:”image”,”width”:440,”height”:300},{“url”:”http://wp.streetwise.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Cityside.jpg”,”title”:”Cityside”,”content”:”pFor those of you located a bit further out of the city, Cleveland Circleu2019s a href=”http://www.citysidebar.com/”CitySide Bar amp; Grill/a is a great roofdeck for grabbing a burger and a beer and watching the game on their many TVs./pnpPhoto via CitySide Bar amp; Grill/pn”,”type”:”image”,”width”:201,”height”:300},{“type”:”related”,”related”:[{“url”:”http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2013/08/26/not-your-average-soup-salad-5-of-the-best-lunch-menus-for-restaurant-week/”,”image”:”http://wp.streetwise.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Upstairs-on-the-Square-66×66.jpg”,”title”:”Not Your Average Soup amp; Salad: 5 of the Best Lunch Menus for Restaurant Week”},{“url”:”http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2013/08/20/10-best-bets-for-restaurant-week-by-neighborhood/”,”image”:”http://wp.streetwise.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Cambridge-Harvest-66×66.jpg”,”title”:”10 Best Bets for Restaurant Week By Neighborhood”},{“url”:”http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2013/08/07/7-boxed-wines-to-try-before-summer-ends/”,”image”:”http://wp.streetwise.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Screen-shot-2013-08-07-at-11.21.06-AM-66×66.png”,”title”:”7 Boxed Wines To Try Before Summer Ends”}]}]

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