Boston Trip

<p>I have never been to Boston before and I plan on taking my son there in mid-April to visit a few colleges. We plan on seeing BU, Northeastern and Babson and taking in some sightseeing.
I need some help figuring out where to stay. I have no idea if these universities are close to each other. Am I better off staying somewhere centrally located to these schools or should I stay near one of them specifically? I don't even know if the neighborhoods around these schools are considered "safe."
I think I am going to drive but I may end up flying there. If I do fly, I want to be able to use public transportation since I am not interested in renting a car unless I really have to. Thanks so much for your help!</p>

<p>Babson is in Wellesley, a suburb of Boston. The other two schools are in the city. Suburban motels are bound to be less expensive, but if you don't have a car, that may be a bit of a pain.</p>

<p>I like to stay in Cambridge when I'm in Boston, but just because I think it's fun. We made college visits a "vacation" because with two to send to college I figured it was the only vacation I was going to have in years.</p>

<p>There are many people here who are more knowledgeable will be able to be more specific and steer you to appropriate accommodations.</p>

<p>Boston is compact and once you get the hang of it public transportation is accessible and convenient. [Anyone remember the song about Charlie on the MTA?] BU and Northeastern are centrally located and are a taxi ride (or even within walking distance) from just about anywhere that you might stay in central Boston. </p>

<p>The Sheraton, Marriott and several other mid-range chains in the city's center are good launching pads for sightseeing. Cambridge is a little further afield from the colleges you are interested in, but it is itself a charming community with lots of activities for visitors.</p>

<p>PS It sounds like Bentley would be a good addition to your son's short list.</p>

<p>The T is easy to use.. You can stay in so many places ranging from right in thr heart of Boston to Cambridge. We have stayed in several hotels..Marriotts most frequently for the deals..Doubletrees and the Parker House and Park Plaza. Don't drive , if you can avoid it, unless you just do so to the hotel and back home.
So much to see and do in Boston that your son ( and you ) will fall in love with the city...eating is very reasonable too.</p>

<p>I'm from New York City and I applied to Northeastern. (Didn't get in though.) When I went to visit Boston it was a nice change of scenery. I enjoyed the Northeastern campus. Their facilities looked so fascinating from the inside and outside. Seems like a great city for college.</p>

<p>Don't drive in Boston. I love my hometown, but jcows are not good city planners, and we have a lamentable lack of parking spaces, which is exacerbated by the confusing one-way streets and rotaries that make it impossible to actually get onto the street with the parking garage entrance.</p>

<p>As for the colleges being close to one another: Northeastern is a relatively short walk from BU (30 minutes max, I'd say), and you can always take the T (though you'd have to transfer from the Green line to the Orange line, which is a little bit out of your way, but not much).</p>

<p>Last year I discovered this terrific website that gives you directions for using public transportation in all the major cities (including Boston). It's called</p>

<p>If you plug in your starting and ending points and whether you want to use the bus, subway or walk, it will spit out some comprehensive directions for you, complete with time estimates and landmarks.</p>

<p>As ZamZam said, BU and Northeastern are fairly close, and I believe there are commuter trains that run out to Wellesley.</p>

<p>The Wellesley commuter rail stations are NOT within easy walking distance of Babson -- the closest station is Wellesley Hills.</p>

<p>Babson may have a shuttle -- presumably this info is on their web site.</p>

<p>Both BU and Northeastern are easily accesible by the T, so I would suggest staying in Boston or Cambridge (because I'm with mythmom -- it's fun!). Park your car at the hotel and take public transportation to visit these two schools, then use the car to go out to Wellesley or even rent a car for the day if you take the train or fly into Boston.</p>

<p>Cambridge is fun .... but not the best "home base" for visiting BU and Northeastern. </p>

<p>Without a car .... and if cost is not much of an issue....any of the Boston hotels....primarily those in the Back Bay...would be a good location.</p>

<p>With a might consider staying in Brookline or Newton. Can take public transport to BU and Northeastern, and can drive fairly easily to Wellesley. Definitely not as interesting as Cambridge....but you won't be spending hours in your car or on the T.</p>

<p>We lived in greater Boston several years plus have been to Boston many times to visit S1 and to look at schools for all three kids. With car, good place to stay is Doubletree Suites -- in Boston but right across river from Cambridge/Harvard. You park your own car there which is handy but because it's on one of the drives, there are many one way streets nearby; it is also near the Mass Pike which is good for driving to Waltham, Newton, etc. Without car, probably better to stay in Boston/Back Bay near MBTA but hotels probably more expensive there. We made reservations at last minute for S1's graduation; since most hotels we wanted were fully booked, we found something at new Hotel Commonwealth. It was more than we wanted to spend but was near BU and adjacent to a T stop. It's one of the nicest hotels we've stayed in and they were so nice to us.</p>

<p>Mid April? Beware of Patriot's Day: the date of the Boston Marathon. The city is booked up and traffic can be a nightmare. The original date is April 19th, but it is one of those holidays that is now moved to a convenient Monday.</p>

<p>I would recommend staying in the Back Bay area and taking the T. You can rent a car for a day to visit Babson (and Bentley, if you decide to take a look at it).</p>

<p>Make sure you walk around the Common and Garden, hit at least part of the Freedom Trail, etc. The MFA and the Gardner museums are in the same general area as Northeastern, if you like art.</p>

<p>Great thread! I'm listening, too, since it looks we will be going to Boston about the same time. Boston Marathon is on Monday the 21st this year, as I was told by my qualified friend. Wellesley College has its spring preview for admitted students on Thurs. and Fri (17 and 18th of April), and we will be in Boston on those days. I agree, driving in Boston is not for novices :). I survived it last time we visited, but I'm well-trained in one-way street driving thanks to our downtown layout. If you do decide to drive, get the smallest car available, since space is really tight.</p>

<p>Just a note that parts of Northeastern are in so-so neighborhoods. Use your common sense, or take an organized tour rather than just wandering around.</p>

<p>Another note, when I stay in Boston, I usually stay in the Government Center area, because it is close to all of the T lines. Plus it's walking distance to some 'fun' stuff, like Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market, the aquarium, etc.</p>

<p>For Parents Weekend at Tufts we stayed in Cambridge, thinking it would be interesting and close. What we didn't realize was that Cambridge covers a very large area. The old, bustling, crowded part Cambridge near Harvard is nothing like the Cambridge near MIT (where we stayed). While both are city, the area around MIT is more spare-looking, with a much more cementy feel-- full of modern buildlings, and very quiet at night. The people at the Marriott there said it would take us 10 minutes to get to Medford/Somerville. Ha! Try 30-plus. The traffic was horrendous, and we quickly learned the T was the way to go. Being near a subway stop is a huge plus, no matter where you're going in Boston. Now we know better!</p>

<p>I echo Consolation, if you're visiting BU & Northeastern I suggest staying in the Back Bay. Also nice easy, scenic walks to the Common and other tourist-worthy sites. I live near Boston and do my best to avoid driving in the city. Much more confusing than driving in NYC, for example, and the drivers are awful. But I'm not sure the best way to get to from Boston to Babson without a car though, you might want to call the college and ask them (tell them you're staying in Back Bay or wherever). My hubby confirms that Babson is not near the train station in Wellesley.</p>

<p>Wow, thanks so much for all this info! It's great. But showing my ignorance here- what or where is Back Bay??? My son would prefer to fly but driving is only about 6 hours and I was thinking that would work out better. From all these comments, I think I will plan on flying and and then figure out some way to get to Babson. I am really looking forward to this trip. The city of Boston has always been on my list of places-I-want-to-visit.
We are planning on going the week of April 14 so we should miss all those Patriot Day crowds.
I will have to look into Bentley. My son is interested in business. Do they have a business program too?</p>

<p>Back Bay is a neighborhood in Boston. We are visiting BU and staying at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge. It is close to the BU bridge. I absolutely positively echo the admonition--do not drive in Boston. It is confusing, crowded and the chance of finding a parking space rivals the chance of winning lotto. </p>

<p>BU is right on the Green Line of the T. Absolutely the way to go. If you fly you can take the T from Logan to the city. Sorry, I don't know anything about Northeastern or Babson.</p>

<p>You will love Boston. Grab a copy of Zagats and find some fun restaurants. Enjoy!</p>

<p>Hopefully....the attached is a simple map that shows some of the areas contributors to this thread have referenced:</p>

<p>Map</a> of Boston - Lonely Planet</p>

<p>Neighborhoods are in brown....and both Northeastern and BU are shown in black italics.</p>

<p>And here is a "T" map, which is somewhat laid on top of a map of the Boston area.....but the scale isn't great:</p>

<p>MBTA</a> Subway 'The 'T' > Maps, Schedules, and Fare Information for the Boston Area Subway System</p>

<p>mom2boys -</p>

<p>I grew up in Boston and currently live in a town adjacent to the city. If you live in NYC, I'd suggest you take the LimoLiner up to Boston. It'll drop you off at the Hilton near the Prudential Center in Back Bay. One place to stay in Boston is the Holiday Inn on Beacon Street in Brookline. It's a walk down St. Paul Street to BU and right on the "C" arm of the Green Line. There's an Enterprise Rent-a-car on the BU campus (Comm. Ave.). PM me if you'd like other suggestions!</p>