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  • A Ride Across the Harbor: The ferry that connects Long Wharf and the Charlestown Navy Yard is a treasure concealed in plain sight. You might notice the boat traffic on the Inner Harbor as you make your way around downtown; for just $3.50, you can be part of it.
  • An Island Excursion: The Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area is something of a hidden secret, just offshore but a world away. Magnificent views combine with natural and man-made features to create a destination so accessible and interesting that you won't believe how uncrowded it is.
  • An Interlude at a Cafe: Outdoor seating in a place with great people-watching is a good idea, right up there with fire and the wheel. A passing parade of shoppers and students (on Newbury St. and in Harvard Sq.) is more interesting than suits and ties (downtown and the rest of the Back Bay), but if the breeze and the iced cappuccino are cool, what's not to like?
  • A Free Concert: The Boston area's cultural scene has no real off-season. During the summer, many musicians and musical groups take their acts outside — to parks, plazas, and even a barge (behind the Boston Harbor Hotel). Plan well and you can enjoy music alfresco almost every night.
  • A Stroll (or Jog) Along the River: The bike path that hugs both shores of the Charles accommodates pedestrians, runners, and in-line skaters, as well as cyclists. The Esplanade (adjacent to the Back Bay) offers both people-watching and gorgeous trees and shrubs; the Cambridge side has abundant seating and fabulous views of the Boston skyline.
  • A Walk Back in Time: Head for Concord to experience nature as Henry David Thoreau did in the mid-19th century. Through a nearly magical combination of circumstances, Walden Pond looks much as it did when the author and naturalist lived there from July 1845 through September 1847.
  • A Seaside Saunter: Gorgeous Marblehead is a quintessential New England town, with crooked lanes leading down to a broad harbor jammed with yachts, sailboats, and fishing vessels. Great shopping, good food, interesting architecture, arresting scenery, and plenty of places to sit and watch the waterborne action make it one of my favorite destinations anywhere.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.