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Exploring Boston’s Accessible Treasures

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Boston, Massachusetts, USA Sean Pavone from Getty Images

Boston, Massachusetts is one of my absolute favorite places to visit.  I’ve been traveling to Boston on business and for pleasure for more than 20 years, by car, by train, and by plane. It’s such a great city with so many things to see and do.  It’s an historic city, a lively city, and a fun city. 

And, much of the city is accessible.  When I arrive in Boston or by plane, I have never had trouble finding an accessible taxi and there are many options for accessible accommodations. Some of the streets are steep and you may need assistance on steep sidewalks.  Attractions, parks, and more have really made great progress to be accessible to everyone.  I look forward to getting back to Boston very soon. 

Here are some of my recommendations for a safe, fun, and accessible trip to Boston.

Accommodations

Boston provides a variety of accessible accommodations throughout the city and surrounding areas.  I typically stay in the Copley Place area which is right in the heart of hotels, restaurants, bars, and more. Many hotels in the city offer accessible rooms with features such as roll-in showers, grab bars, and accommodations for people who are blind or have low vision, as well as people who are deaf or hard of hearing. lowered countertops.  I love the Boston Marriott Copley Place, the Boston Sheraton Hotel, the Intercontinental, and the Boston Marriott Long Wharf

Historic Sites

Boston is rich in history and there are many sites which are accessible.  The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile trail that winds through the city and connects 16 historically significant sites. Freedom Trail Foundation-led tours are accessible, led by a guide who will navigate accessible routes and use accessible entrances for historic sites. Requests for American Sign Language interpreters should be made as far in advance of a tour as possible and with a minimum of three weeks out. 

Museums

Boston has some of the best museums in the country.  One of the most fascinating places that I visited was the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. All areas of the Museum are accessible and there are ramps, elevators, and video presentations in the Museum feature open captions. American Sign Language interpretation is available with advanced notice. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, offers accessible entrances, elevators, accessible restrooms, accommodations for people who are blind or have low vision, accommodations for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and people who are on the Autism Spectrum. The Boston Children’s Museum provides accessible ramps, elevators, parking, tactile exhibits, sensory-friendly spaces, and assistive listening devices. The Museum of Science offers accessible exhibits, including tactile models and closed captioning for multimedia presentations. Be sure to follow these links for specific accessibility information.

Parks and Gardens

When you travel to Boston you’ll find beautiful parks and gardens, many of which are accessible. I find them most beautiful in the summer and fall.  The Boston Public Garden dates back to 1839 and is the first public botanical garden in the United States.  This beautiful and serene space has accessible pathways and stunning botanical displays. The Garden is located in downtown Boston adjacent to the Boston Common, bounded by Bacon, Charles, Boylston, and Arlington Streets. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark. The Arnold Arboretum, a 281-acre park, offers accessible trails and scenic views of more than 15,000 trees and plants and is free for everyone to enjoy. These accessible outdoor spaces allow individuals with disabilities to connect with nature and enjoy the beauty of Boston’s green spaces.

Transportation

Boston’s public transportation system, known as the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), offers accessible options for getting around the city. Most subway stations are equipped with elevators or ramps, and buses are equipped with lifts or ramps to accommodate wheelchair users. The MBTA also provides The RIDE, a para-transit service that offers door-to-door transportation for people with disabilities who cannot use the regular bus or subway services.  For me, I typically use Metro Cab.  They are easy to contact and have always been reliable.  They’ll send an accessible van, (drop down ramp in the back of the van with a lowered floor), to you within 30 minutes, unless you book ahead.

Dining Experiences

Boston is a very diverse city where people from all over the world come to live and to work.  So, of course the culinary scene is as diverse as the people who live there.  And, talk about dining options and experiences!  For me, when I’m in Boston seafood is a must.  It’s always fresh and you can find a restaurant with seafood on the menu or served as its specialty just about everywhere.  My personal favorites are Atlantic Fish Company, The Barking Crab, James Hook & Company, and Row 34.. There are lots of options depending upon your tastes.  Check out this link to find accessible restaurants serving your favorite dish.

So there you have it!  Not overly comprehensive but enough to get you started on a fantastic, easy, fun, and accessible trip to Boston.  And, don’t be fooled by its geography.  Boston gets hot in the summer and yes, it does snow in Boston in the winter. Just something to keep in mind when you plan your trip.  Now it’s time to contact a reputable travel agent, such as Travel for All, plan a great itinerary, pack your bags, and have a wonderful time in Boston!

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