Shermans Travel » Blog » Boston
Take time this holiday season to stop and smell the chestnuts roasting on an open fire – literally. In cities around the country, December becomes a feast for the senses with electric light shows, warm music, and even warmer drinks. From millions of twinkling lights and festive treats to a cookie treasure hunt, here are five of our favorite holiday strolls that deliver a delightful winter escape.
Northeast destinations like New York City and Boston are great for deals in December and January, when the cold keeps many visitors at bay. But if that doesn’t convince you to visit, how about a free tour for two?
Despite chilly weather, Boston sparkles this time of year with holiday decorations, a dusting of snow, and trendy cocktail lounges and cafes to warm up at. Plus, plunging temps usually translate into plunging prices. We especially like the recent Renaissance Boston Waterfront promotion, which takes advantage of the city’s craft-beer scene, as an example of why travelers should head to Bean Town in the coming weeks.
Jenny McCarthy is a Chicago girl at heart, but now, her heart belongs to Boston-born hubby Donnie Wahlberg. And it’s no secret she loves to eat, so we had to ask what her favorite spots are back home as well as in Donnie’s hometown. Check out Jenny’s restaurant recommendations, must-shop stops, and more in our exclusive interview.
Captain’s Manor Inn isn’t a full-fledged hotel, but the label “bed and breakfast” hardly seems to do it justice. Don’t get us wrong — we’re huge fans of B&Bs, so we don’t mean it derisively by any means. The intimacy and character of an independent inn, after all, is something that big hotel chains are actually trying to emulate. But when’s the last time you stayed at a bed and breakfast with a dedicated housekeeping staff, with a regular afternoon tea hour in its “bistro” and rain showers in guest bathrooms?
Free breakfast, iPod docking stations, and coffee makers are nothing compared to some of the whacky hotel amenities we found. From vintage record players to pet psychologists, here are five quirky — and dare we say somewhat outrageous — amenities that can be found at hotel chains across the country.
Most travelers taking a weekend trip outside of Boston typically head to Cape Cod, Newport, or Provincetown. But just two hours south by car, New Bedford boasts an enthralling history for an unexpected escape. Hiding in the restored cobblestone streets of downtown — designated a national park less than ten years ago — is a trove of whaling history, a thriving art community, and an international dining scene. The diverse population is made up of 100,000 friendly locals with a strong pride in their hometown, and while they dislike the term “up-and-coming” for a city that was once one of America’s wealthiest and most progressive cities, New Bedford has all the makings of the next great weekend destination returning to its former glory.
Just a 90-minute drive from Boston, Falmouth and its neighbor Wood’s Hole are two of the most accessible destinations on Cape Cod. While Wood’s Hole is largely characterized by its ferry to Martha’s Vineyard and the academic presence of the Marine Biological Laboratory, Falmouth boasts a historic downtown area that’s laid-back but not boring. Between these towns, their endless stretches of beach and ocean, and nearby day trips, you’ll have plenty to do — whether you’re staying for a day or a week.
Ready to drive? America in fall is marvel: cooler weather and colorful foliage spread across the northeast; comfortably sunny days are the norm from Vegas to Miami; and there’s perfect hiking weather in the west. Over the past few months, we’ve highlighted dozens of destinations that are perfect for a road trip, whether you’re looking to discover a new beach in Florida, visit a winery in upstate New York, sail on Lake Tahoe, or delve into an American classic — the Grand Canyon. Here are some ideas that we hope will inspire you — and persuade you to fill up the tank and go.
We’re a fan of pay-as-you wish restaurants, both as a way to avoid marked-up prices and as a chance to give back to the destinations on our travels. Here’s how it works: nonprofit restaurants encourage customers to pay for their meal based on what they’re able to afford, and/or give free meals in exchange for volunteer work at the restaurant. For travelers who do have a meal budget, it’s nice to know that our dollars are going toward establishments that provide resources and job training for the local community, and you can always take it a step further by volunteering as well has making monetary donations if you have the time and desire (free meals are meant for those who really can’t afford to pay). A number of establishments in the U.S. have successfully adopted this model. Here are four across the country to check out the next time you hit the road.
We’re game to celebrate nearly every food- or drink-focused holiday (National Margarita Day, anyone?), so we’re excited that August is Rum Month. Rum is the elixir of both swash-buckling pirates and bleary-eyed Caribbean travelers alike. But some folks have rum misconceptions: They think only of umbrella-topped super-sweet frozen drinks or unimaginative soda mixes from their young-adult years. We’re here to open your eyes to a brave new world of this sugar cane-based liquid miracle. Beyond plain Bacardi, there are hundreds of varieties of rum — some as premium as any top-shelf cognac.
These 21 bars from coast-to-coast (and points in between) are serving up choice cocktails this month using rums you may not have heard of before. And don’t forget that Saturday, August 16 is officially National Rum Day. So raise a glass and say, “Aaar!”
In Europe, when temperatures drop, so do the prices. Traveling to Europe outside of the summer season almost always guarantees savings — but this year you can get an even earlier start by jumping on this special offer from Lufthansa. The respected airline, a member of the Star Alliance, is offering low rates starting at $532 round-trip between the United States and a number of European cities, including Istanbul, Vienna, Berlin, Warsaw, Prague, and even Moscow. Read more
With kids getting out of school for the summer, it’s a great time to book a stay at the just-opened Great Wolf Lodge New England. It’s the latest opening for the family-friendly chain of resorts and indoor water parks, located one hour from Boston. To celebrate the resort’s opening, you can save 30 percent when you stay through December 18. Nightly rates with the special offer start at $154 for a suite that sleeps up to six people, and $230 for a Grand KidCabin Suite that sleeps up to 10 people. That’s about a $50 savings on regular rates. Read more
For many visitors, Boston is all about the Freedom Trail, the diverse architecture, and the nation’s colonial beginnings. But it’s by no means a city stuck in the past – in recent years, Beantown has seen a handful of 21st century updates that make a trip there all the more worthwhile.
Among the neighborhoods on the rise, we’re currently loving the somewhat secluded Seaport, sandwiched between downtown Boston and Logan International Airport. It’s perfect for those who like to get away from the crowds, precisely because it requires a little effort to get there. Don’t let the neighborhood’s sparse appearance fool you; plenty of world-class eats, artsy diversions, and boutique hotels await.
Summer travel season is upon us … and so are all the airport delays and traffic jams that go along with it. Bypass the pain of summer travel by hopping on a train to your next destination. On Amtrak’s busy Northeast Regional service between Boston and Virginia Beach, you can save 25 percent or more on the lowest available fares when you book 14 days in advance. Plus, children between the ages of two and 12 are eligible for a 50 percent discount. Read more
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