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Signature Vacations


Women Tell Other Women About Boston


Music, music, music...

I grew up in Boston and thought that this would be a good tip for women travellers going to Boston. World Music sponsors cultural arts events around town, typically in some beautiful old theaters. Their concerts and educational programs strive to foster an atmosphere of cultural discovery and exploration of music and dance from all corners of the globe. It's worth checking out their schedule at:
Jan, New Hampshire, USA

Welcome to my hometown. There are lots of free concerts in local churches -- try Fridays at 12:15 at Trinity Church in Copley Square (or come to the 11:15 service on Sundays and hear the choirs and the brass ensemble).
Marilyn, Boston, USA

I want to suggest Ryles on Hampshire street in Cambridge -- a comfortable place to hear Brazilian music, a place where a woman on her own would not feel out of place. There are two levels to Ryles, the lower level usually providing meals and jazz and the upper level Brazilian music and a dance floor.
Teresa, Cambridge, USA

She goes to Harvard...

Harvard Square is a nice stop to roam around in the afternoon. Cambridge in general has lots of opportunities for unique shops, people watching and exploring the museums connected with Harvard University. I consider the main squares in Cambridge fairly safe, I go there all the time alone at night. Taking the 'T' is your best bet. If you are driving, Harvard square can be difficult to find reasonable parking. Park on the side of the street in Porter Square, and take the 'T' one stop, or park in the parking garage at Alewife, if you are coming from the North.

Finding public restrooms is a problem in this area. I'd like to offer women travellers two suggestions. There are restrooms in the Harvard Coop bookstore (1256 Massachusettes Ave), although they are usually not very clean. Both are on the third floor, one in the annex and one in the main bookstore area. Another option is to go downstairs in the Science Building of Harvard. This building is just outside the square, a concrete, three story building which houses a library and small cafeteria.
Jan, I live in New Hampshire but grew up around Boston, USA

Relentlessly cheerful students lead free tours of Harvard campus from Holyoke Center, 1350 Massachusetts Ave. Many tours are held during the summer but only 1-2 a day, September - May. (Mini Rough Guide to Boston)

There is a wonderful travel bookstore called The Globe Bookstore in Harvard Square on 28 Church Street. Definitely worth a look and browse for the travelling person.

If you like foreign films, check out Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge, metro stop Kendall, near MIT. Movies from all over the world are shown there. Great place to meet other cinephiles.
Theresa, Cambridge, USA

Ed. note: If there are JourneyToddlers you are shopping for, stop in at August Company, 1320 Massachusetts, Cambridge and pick up a tiny Harvard T-shirt or sweatshirt. Kiddies might not fully appreciate them but their adult family will find them great fun. Little T-shirts under $15.00.

Salem is a day trip from Boston...

If you have the time, try and take in a day trip to Salem -- one of the most beautiful and historical cities on the East Coast -- people there are wonderfully nice. It's really not difficult to get there, you can take the T-line commuter train out. If you're interested in the occult, there are a wide array of shops, including Laurie Cabot's shop and Pyramid Books, both of which have excellent selections. The town common is large and beautiful. For literary folks, you can visit Nathaniel Hawthorne's House of Seven Gables.

There is an inn right off the common, but my favorite place to stay is right next to that inn, The Susannah Flint House on 98 Essex St. It has four wonderful, individually decorated rooms, and supplies coffee and enormous muffins for breakfast.

P.S. A post September 11th note to all JourneyWomen. Let's continue to band together and look after each other so that we can travel safely and happily in the future.
Eva Schegulla, New York suburb, USA

Another Journeywoman adds: I'm a travel journalist that just returned from Boston -- it's a marvellous city. I just wanted to mention Salem to your readers. Besides the witches, it's got a walking tour around some beautiful old homes. And if you're flying down, there is a commuter rail service from Boston that leaves every hour from its North Station. It takes 1/2 hr. and costs $3.00 (I think). The pamphlet I picked up is not perfectly clear. You can get it online through
Mary Ann, Vanier, Canada

Recommended reading...

The Boston Globe publishes a special supplement each Thursday, called the Calendar - where you can find information about local events, for the coming week as well as restaurant listings etc. For even more extensive information, pick up a copy of the weekly Boston Phoenix.
Yael, Ramat Gan, Israel

Another Journeywoman adds: Or log on to and look for the online version of Calendar -- an events tabloid that comes with the Boston Globe newspaper on Thursdays -- listings for everything going on in town.
Marilyn, Boston, USA

Whenever I'm in a new city, I check to see if they publish, WHERE Magazine which I always find extremely helpful (they bill themselves as 'the best source for shopping, dining, entertainment & maps'). I was pleased to find Where Boston at my hotel -- it's free, informative and the information was right up to the minute. Bear in mind that this is an advertisement-driven publication so read the restaurant and boutique reviews with eyes wide open. I always benefit most from browsing through their section called, 'What's On in Boston.' Excellent! (P.S. Looking for greeting cards at 50% off. 'Where Boston' directs you to a spot called Boston Sweets and 1/2 off cards in Copley Square. They say you always pay half for wrapping paper and cards, here. 545 Boylston Street (617.266.6882)
Evelyn Hannon, JW Editor

The Mini Rough Guide to Boston (Fagundes and Grant) is small enough to fit into your bag and is an ideal guide for a mini holiday in the city. I used this pocket handbook when I visited Boston and also referred to it when researching this article. Don't expect long write-ups on any one subject but you definitely get the basics you need to get you started.
Evelyn Hannon, JW Editor

If you stop at any information center or at South Station (train station), you can find brochures on all kinds of activities, tours (walking, bus and water) and events. Enjoy!
Phyllis, Charlton, USA

I have lived in the suburbs of Boston all my life - more than 50 years. For restaurants I use Zagats' little red book with ratings and reviews, also available on-line - so many fabulous ethnic restaurants in Boston and over the river in Cambridge for all price ranges and food preferences.
Susan, Boston, USA

From the U.K. to Boston with love...

I e-mailed Journeywoman from the U.K. to express sympathy with all in the United States after the Sept. 11 disaster. I said that we were still planning to travel to Boston despite the fact that so many people all over the world had cancelled their plans. I was thrilled to  get a speedy reply from Editor, Evelyn Hannon - makes Journeywoman seem so much more personal. Now, my 15 year old daughter and I have just returned from Boston and had such a great time. We are so pleased we did not cancel. We felt safe - no bomb scares. Well done Boston, we will be back!
Sue Dennis, United Kingdom  




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