Tourists of all ages from the world are drawn to Boston' cobblestone streets to see the site of the world's famous Tea Party, historic buildings such as the first Federal Reserve, museums packed with portraits of America's founding fathers, and Newbury Street's trendy shops. Add to this the beaches of Cape Cod -- sunny and crowded in season and quiet and serene off season -- and you have one of the nation's most diverse and rich tourist destinations.
Midwest Airlines Vacations (tel. 888/235-4693; www.midwestairlinesvations.com) has air and hotel combination deals to Boston with accommodations inside the city and in neighboring historic and beach towns. A four-day trip in January (you can pick your own travel dates) from Milwaukee starts at $983 per traveling duo. Lodging is at the Boston Marriott Copley Place (tel. 617/236-5800; marriott.com) in the Back Bay neighborhood. This large business-oriented hotel has a fitness center, sports bar, full wireless Internet access and an indoor pool.
If you're looking to take long winter walks on the beach, Midwest Vacations offers a similar trip with air and hotel to stay at the Clarion Hotel Nantasket Beach (tel. 781/925-4500; www.nantasketbeachhotel.com/home.htm) on Cape Cod for $840 per couple. This trip is also priced out of Milwaukee with other Midwest departure cities available. The hotel is a fully-equipped beachfront conference-oriented hotel located near Fort Revere, the U.S. Naval Shipbuilding Museum, the birthplace of John Quincy Adams, and the public Widows Walk (tel. 781/544-7777; www.widowswalkgolf.com), one of Golf Digest's best new golf courses in 1998. Plymouth Rock (tel. 508/746-1620; www.pilgrimhall.org/Rock.htm), the landing spot of the pilgrims, is a good day-trip from the hotel.
Back in Boston, travelers looking for savings on the many histories sites can get discounts with a Go Boston Card (tel. 800/887-9103; www.gobostoncard.com). The multi-attraction pass provides free admission or discounts at sights such as Boston Duck Tours, Boston Harbor Cruise, New England Aquarium, The Samuel Adams Brewery, the JFK Museum Library and Museum, the Boston Museum of Science, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Paul Revere House and the Salem Witch Museum. For a full list go to www.gobostoncard.com/freeadmissions.html. There's even a current sale on buying the card if you act fast and purchase a three, five or seven day card before November 16, 2006. A three day card costs $92 for people over 13 (down from $109) and $41 for children under 13 (down from $49). A five day card has similar savings at $118 for adults and $50 for children. The one-day pass costs $49 for adults and $29 for children. The sale is only good if you purchase online. As a bonus, Go Card buyers receive a guide book with coupons good for savings at local restaurants and shops.
The Boston Go Card website also offers package deals that come with a Boston Go Card included in the price. A one-night stay at the Omni Parker House (tel. 800/809-OMNI; www.omnihotels.com) and two Go Cards costs just $179 per night. Travel is good through December 31, 2006. Other hotels participating in similar Go Card deals include Hampton Inn Peabody ($189 per night), that has a free shuttle to downtown Boston, and the Best Western Terrace Inn ($239 per night) which comes with free parking and complimentary breakfast for two.
The city's official tourist site Boston USA (tel. 888/SEE-BOST; www.bostonusa.com) has package deals offered in conjunction with events and holidays. In addition to hotel reservations, the site has an excellent fall events page where you can link to and get a rundown of the local going-ons such as a Robot exhibit at the Museum of Science and the schedule for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. A holiday package good for travel from November 19 to December 30, 2006 with accommodations at the Boston Marriott Cambridge (tel. 617/494-0036; www.marriottcambridge.com) near Harvard Square and MIT starts at $159 per night and comes with free breakfast for two adults and all children under 12. For meeting planners looking for a boutique hotel at budget prices, Hotel 140 (tel. 800/714-0149; www.hotel140.com) on the Back Bay has a deal we found at the Boston USA site for $79 per night per room when you book a function space for a holiday party or small meeting. If you don't hold a meeting, normal rates are about double for a standard room with breakfast packages that come with free admission to some sites going for $199 per night for two people.
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