Travel Toronto and Boston trip - advise please!

Graciella

Member
Jul 16, 2006
2,831
4
somewhere
Hi all,

This summer my BF and I will share our first holiday together. We'll be visiting Boston and Toronto, both for 5 days (10 days total, not counting travelling days) in early August. I've been to NYC before, but have never visited these two cities. My dear BF has never been to the American continent, so we might need some advice.


As for both cities, it turned out to be rather difficult to find the city centre. Where is it considered to be? If I google it for Boston, the financial district is noted as the centre, but I can hardly imagine that that is the nicest part of the city. The same pretty much goes for Toronto.

As for hotels, we're still contemplating which way to go, but for Boston we think it might be the Hotel Marlowe (http://www.hotelmarlowe.com/). It is however not in Boston proper, but in Cambridge. Is this a smart move? The hotel looks nice online, and the reviews are great, but I get the feeling it might be too far from Boston city centre, especially considering that we only spend 5 days there. Does anyone know if there are enough restaurants/breakfast facilities in the hotel area? Does anyone have any advice regarding Toronto hotels?

And then there is the shopping...of course not the main aim of the trip, but I wouldn't mind some serious bag shopping! I'm particularly interested in reputable consignment shops, as I'm after some Hermes goodies. Does anyone know where to go?

And of course any other tips on things to do/visit are welcome - TIA!
 

redney

Lovin' Life!
O.G.
Apr 21, 2006
13,769
3,487
Have you done a search for Boston and Toronto, both in the Travel subforum and in the General Shopping subforum?

There are many existing threads on both cities, with great advice on shopping, restaurants, sight-seeing, etc.

I think the consignment store thread in General Shopping lists consignment stores in Boston, don't know about Toronto.

Have fun!
 

jc631

Member
Jun 17, 2009
14
0
If you're not staying in the city, I would recommend Hotel Indigo in Newton. It is about a 10-15 minute cab ride or a short walk to the metro that will take you right into the city. It's a very nice hotel, has a gorgeous pool that they turn into a night club at night, and is much cheaper than hotels in the city.

The financial district is technically the center of Boston, but you will probably spend your time in the Back Bay/South End. The South End is filled with great restaurants! I highly recommend Mela if you like Indian food or Coda for brunch/lunch (it's american food and they do an amazing brunch!). There are a lot of restaurants in the Back Bay but they are usually a little more expensive and not quite as good as the South End. In the Back Bay there are two big shopping streets: Newbury and Boylston. Boylston has more high end shopping. They both run parallel to each other and are about ten blocks long. Boylston street is also filled with bars/lounges.

I don't know anything about Toronto but if you have any questions about Boston message me - I just moved back to NY after living there for three years and loved it!
 

jy52

Member
Jan 22, 2010
39
0
For Toronto I recommend getting a CityPass http://www.citypass.com/city/toronto.html, it's very good value and you can see the main attractions.

Some other things to check out in Toronto is:

-St.Lawrence Market, Distillery District
-Kensington Market
-Eaton Centre/Dundas square (eaton center is located in dundas square)
-China Town
-Queen Street Shopping
-Bloor Street (high end stores)/ Yorkville
To get around the TTC is quite convenient
 

sonya

Member
Feb 23, 2006
5,799
10
The best areas in Boston for tourists are the North End, the Back Bay, the South End.
 

beantownSugar

J. lee
Feb 27, 2010
742
173
Boston
I've never been to that hotel but from the website it looks close to the subway/the red line so the location is fine even though it isn't in Boston proper (to get "downtown" you'd really just need to take the subway 2 stops - plus while you're in Cambridge you also have the Harvard Square area). The hotel is also near MIT so there are plenty of food places near by, I wouldn't worry about that.

Consignment shops ... there are a few on Newbury Street in Boston but I've personally never been into any. They always look kind of busy so you might have luck!
 

MissLianne

PhD in shopping
O.G.
Dec 27, 2008
1,005
18
Born and raised here in Toronto... Soo I can def help you out.

First off do your shopping in Boston. We have all the American and designer stores (we have a Hermes too) BUT it tends to be more expensive here in Toronto then in the US. We also have 13% taxes on everything!

August is a great time to visit..... Some hotel suggestions:
Westin Harbor Castle (great lakeview hotel)
Radisson Admiral Inn (also lakeview)
Sheraton Centre Toronto (prime downtown location)
Marriott Bloor Yorkville (also good location in a very upscale downtowm area called "yorkville" with ALL the designer boutiques and great cafes and restaurants)
Hyatt Toronto on King St (also good downtown location near nightlife)

Not really into consignment stores. So can't help you there.

As for attractions:
-Royal Ontario Museum.... & Art Gallery of Ontario
- The CN Tower
- take the ferry over to the "toronto islands" (pretty views and beach areas)
- Yorkville (an area of upscale shopping & designer shopping)
- Eaton Centre (a large multi story mall)
- toronto has lots of shows..... Broadway type things.
- Queen Street West (I know has funky clothing shops.... You may find consignment stores there....doubt you'd find Hermes stuff)
- Canada's Wonderland (if you like amusement parks and great rollercoasters...GO! They also have a waterpark included. Its in north toronto but there are many buses that go directly there from downtown)

Dining:
- St Lawrence Market (during the day) for a cheap but great lunch. Its a food terminal with lots of great vendors.
- Dimmi's (Italian)
- Captain Jack's Crabhouse (seafoood....its on a boat)
- look up "Queen's Quay" its a downtown area by the lake with some great views
- Jack Astor's in Dundas Square (inexpensive north american food). Yet its in a great location and has nice patio with great views of the skyline.
- One (Yorkville)
- Hemingway's (cheap food in Yorkville)
- Remy's (Yorkville)
- Sotto Sotto (upscale italian food)
- the 360 (restaurant at the top of the cn tower..very romantic!)
^if your into Indian, Japanese and Chinese food.... You have endless options.

Nightlife.... Nightclubs and bars:
- Century Room (good on Friday and Sat nights...its a night club)
- The Bier Market (a bar.... With over 500 types of beer...there's two locations)
- Panorama (on the 60th story of a building... Great patio and great views)
- The Drake Hotel (a fun nightclub and bar....you can also have dinner here)
- The Guverment (a huge nightclub... Over 3000 people...great rooftop patio)
- Muzik (another great nightclub...open only on Saturday nts)
^dress up for the nightclubs. They open at 10pm and close around 3am. Cover is around $10-$20 a person)

....Don't worry about taking the TTC (the subways and streetcars are very safe). A unlimited day pass is $9 per person. Cabs around the downtown area are easy to get and aren't too bad since everything downtown is very close.

If you have any more questions please message me! I'd be happy to help! I've lived here my whole life!
 

Graciella

Member
Jul 16, 2006
2,831
4
somewhere
WOW! You guys are the best! Thank you all so much! I'll talk it over with my boyfriend and will get back here if I have more questions :biggrin:
 

Babestaaa

Member
Jan 15, 2006
861
0
34
New Jersey
I went to boston last summer and can only speak highly of the OMNI Parker House. It is sooooo centrally located, whenever we went somewhere else, we'd stop there to change. PERFECT location and afforable, they were having some deals. I also highly recommend you have the boston creme pie from there, AMAZING! I stayed in Cambridge area too at the Hyatt and really missed being at the omni parker, whereas everything was walking location and the hyatt wasn't, although it was just across the river. The quincy market wasn't far from the omni parker so we went there daily, for food, shopping, and just relaxing by the pier. We went Whale watching which was fun, we saw them too! The aquarium was nice, nothing WOW compared to what I've seen but nice. Any questions I can answer, please PM me :smile:

Have fun!
 

nauticalstar

Member
Jun 18, 2007
2,740
0
I had so much fun in Boston the few times I went! I second the back bay location- my brother lives there and the shopping and dining was pretty great. We didn't actually go IN the aquarium, but it was fun to see the sea lions just outside it. My friend and I toured the library- she is in school to be a librarian- and caught a ballet. There are tons of things to do- what kind of stuff are you looking for?
 

bubbleloba

In LaLa Land
Authenticator
O.G.
Sep 9, 2006
4,322
14
San Francisco
For Boston, I would recommend the Omni Parker House as well. It's where bf and I stayed last year and the hotel is nice (it's where Boston cream pie was invented) and in a central location. The subway is near by, and it's within walking distance to Faneuil Hall Marketplace (original Cheers bar) for fresh seafood and shipping.

If you are a foodie, I highly recommend taking 1/2 day on the Boston North End walking tour - http://www.northendmarkettours.com/html/markettours/markettours.html. The North End is Boston's Italian District and the tour covers lots of neighborhood gems (best pastry shop, where to find properly aged balsamic vinegar, etc.) instead of the tourist traps. :biggrin: Check out Maria's Pastries for the best cookies.