Butterfly Garden: Get Back to Nature in Winter

Have the cold, inclement weather and shorter wintry days customary in the East right now put you in a seasonal funk? If you’re among the many people who suffer from the blahs at about this time of the year — yours truly included — I suggest taking advantage of an oasis of warmth and summertime beauty graciously offered to the public by Boston’s Museum of Science (Science Park, Boston, 617-723-2500).

The museum’s Butterfly Garden overlooking the Charles River is unlike any other exhibit and as such, it provides a true respite for visitors seeking some natural relief from the artificial climates we’re subjected to while staying indoors so much. A 1,000-square-foot conservatory featuring 400 free-flying butterflies and moths, the tropical garden filled with exotic plants allows visitors to leisurely experience one of the few species of insects that many individuals actually like due to their colorful beauty and eye-catching forms.

The Butterfly Garden houses butterflies and moths native to New England and other regions worldwide. Various displays permit a firsthand view of butterfly and moth behavior at different stages of their development. For instance, the emergence box contains hanging chrysalids — protective coverings or cocoons that enclose butterflies during their earliest developmental stage — that lucky and observant viewers may be able to see transform into adult butterflies.

Additional displays spotlight the insects’ special ability to protect themselves in the wild through the unique color properties of their wings. And, others clarify the four stages of development that butterflies go through in a life cycle as they advance from an egg to a caterpillar to a chrysalis and finally to an adult.

Although tickets are required for the Butterfly Garden, the exhibit is one of the most well-priced activities available at the Museum of Science. Full-price admission for non-members to the garden alone (and not the other museum exhibits) is just $4.00 for adults, $3.50 for seniors, and $3.00 for children. If you’re a member, subtract two dollars from the full price that applies.

The Butterfly Garden is open during normal museum hours, with entry granted for 25-minute sessions every 15 minutes from opening to closing time. Take a look at a PDF copy of the Butterfly Garden Take-Home Guide to learn more about what the exhibit entails.

Note: The Museum of Science recommends advance reservations for the Butterfly Garden, and strollers are not permitted inside the exhibit.

Museum of Science

You want fascinating? Boston’s got it — in the form of the ever-popular Museum of Science, a Boston landmark and member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that is home to the Charles Hayden Planetarium, the Mugar Omni IMAX Theater, and dozens of animals. The museum is situated steps from the Boston-East Cambridge border, right at the Science Park stop on the Green Line subway.

With a stated mission “to stimulate interest in and further understanding of science and technology and their importance for individuals and for society,” the museum hosts a number of intriguing interactive exhibits each year, ranging from IMAX movies to displays of live insects and animals to instructional sessions on diverse science-related topics. It even offers a series of virtual exhibits available to everyone, free of charge and around the clock, conveniently via their computer.

The current Museum of Science began as the Boston Society of Natural History in 1830 and later became the New England Museum of Natural History in 1864 after a move to Back Bay. The land was purchased at what is now called Science Park in 1948, and three years later the museum reopened at its new address as the Museum of Science.

The museum’s lengthy list of longtime draws includes the aforementioned Charles Hayden Planetarium and Mugar Omni IMAX Theater, the Theater of Electricity, the Science Live! Stage, Mathematica, and the Children’s Discovery Center. Present exhibits are equally impressive, such as Beyond the X-ray, Dinosaurs: Modeling the Mesozoic, Earth: Inside Out, and the Live Animal Exhibit.

Take a quick video tour of the Museum of Science after the jump and visit the museum’s official website to learn more about its offerings and prices.

Tourist Attractions: Newbury Street

Let’s take a quick trip to Back Bay’s Newbury Street, one of the most popular shopping, eating, and people-watching destinations in Boston for locals and tourists alike.

Located in the Back Bay area of Boston the 25 feet Newbury Street is a favorite visiting spot of the tourists and the residents of Boston for its decorated shops, famous restaurants, and exotic boutiques. Newbury Street, Boston is regarded as one of the most expensive shopping areas in the globe. With it is associated with the famous battle of Newbury

Newbury Street is an eight-block, mixed-use thoroughfare, lined on both sides by many dozens of retail and restaurant businesses housed in gorgeous, historic, renovated 19th-century brownstones. The intricate architecture alone is enough to make one stop and stare before taking scores of pictures and then moving on to the numerous additional stores and businesses on surrounding streets.

Bound on one side by the Boston Public Garden (Arlington T Station) and by Massachusetts Avenue (Hynes T Station) on the opposite side, Newbury Street has a distinct hierarchy of shops. The closer you get to Mass Avenue, as we call the state-named street for short, the quirkier and less expensive the stores become. As a result, the shopping district can accommodate just about anyone, whether a person has upscale or downscale tastes.

On Newbury Street, Boston there are world-famous stores in a row that sings with ease the anthem of economically prosperous urban sprawl. Different items ranging from garments to flowers are available here.

In the past, Newbury Street was a notable residential are. Here lived the rich people in furnished apartments. Now the street exclusive limited to the marketing zone. On Newbury Street, Boston there is the famous Museum of Natural History, now a famous garment house.

There are a lot of bookstalls on Newbury Street, with scores of rare and valuable manuscripts of famous writers. Students like this area and frequently visit in quest of a rare piece of literary creation or famous collection of stories and rare songs. The ‘Trident Booksellers’ is the notable seller of books in the latest period and still is the favorite haunt of the young students.

One of the notable landmarks of Newbury Street is the Ritz-Carlton hotel brandishing its glamour all the while. Once there was the famous cinema hall the Exeter Street Theater which has now turned into an office building.

The emergence of The Newbury Street as a posh shopping paradise to the youths came into being in the late 70s when students frequented for compact discs. On this street stands another famous building, 360 Newbury Street, which is called the most wonderful specimen of modern architecture in Boston.

Newbury Street is also home to popular attractions that are historic in their own right, such as the original branch of the music chain Newbury Comics. But keep in mind that during peak times — for instance, the warmer months, when school is out and more people are on vacation — the wide and normally comfortable sidewalks can get very crowded.

I personally only visit the location at downtimes, when I know congestion will be limited. If you enjoy experiencing the sights and sounds of thriving, active neighborhoods, however, then peak time is probably the prime time for you to go.

Take a look at a brief video tour of Newbury Street, courtesy of Travelistic, after the jump and visit the shopping district’s official website to learn more about what it offers.

Hotels Near Newbury Street

Close to Newbury Street, close to Boston’s most enchanting street! With eight blocks filled with salons, boutiques, and all the fashion shops, you just won’t get enough of them. The Boston hotels near Newbury Street ranging from budget hotels to luxury ones provide you decent accommodations and initiative services.

To choose the most satisfying hotel near Newbury Street, admire a mix of architectural styles and dine in the fabulous restaurants nearby, you really need to read our carefully collected reviews and comments from previous guests. Don’t let our kindness go in vain! Be sure to book with us soon!

Benefits of Hotels Near Newbury Street

  • Next to Boston’s most enchanting street
  • A mix of architectural styles nearby
  • Fabulous dining options
  • Various hotels with different characters
  • Especially for fashionistas hitting the best shopping

Welcome to Newbury Street, Boston’s most enchanting street filled with salons, boutiques, and specialty shops. It runs roughly east-to-west, from the Boston Public Garden to Massachusetts Avenue. A mix of renovated brownstone buildings house hundreds of shops on clothing, beauty, food & dining and etc. Everyone has something to do here. You only have to find a proper hotel nearby and indulge yourself into the next happy shopping time. There is a wide range of hotels with different characters near Newbury Street, from economical budget hotels to luxury 4-star hotels. We list two typical ones just to give you an idea.

Charlesmark Hotel is a three-star historic European-style boutique one, offering a great location and personal services. Nestled in the Back Bay neighborhood, it’s just 100 yards from Newbury Street, Copley Subway Station, The Shops at Prudential Center and Copley Place. Stay in this hotel and you will enjoy complimentary continental breakfasts, newspapers and wireless internet access. Only step away from all the fashionable boutiques and restaurants of Newbury Street, we have the luxury 4 stars Eliot Suite Hotel. Built in 1925, this hotel features 79 suites and 16 guest rooms decorated with dark-wood furnishings and French doors separate living and sleeping areas. It’s pet-friendly and kids of 18 years and under can stay free. So, bring all your family for a nice holiday here.

Hotels Near Newbury Street & Official Site Links

1. The Charlesmark Hotel
655 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116
Phone: (617) 247-1212
E-Mail: CharlesmarkHotel@AOL.com
Official Website:

2. Eliot Hotel
370 Commonwealth Ave Boston, MA 02215
Phone: (617) 267-1607, (800) 44-ELIOT
Official Website:

Boston to New York and Back Again for Cheap

I know — some people avoid traveling long distances by bus as if the vehicles were carriers of the bubonic plague. Yet, there’s really no reason to fear or loathe the mode of transportation, especially now that it’s gotten cheaper than ever.

Just about everyone who travels in the East has probably heard about the ridiculously low $1 fares some companies, such as Bolt Bus and Mega Bus here in Boston, charge for a one-way trip to a major destination, most often New York City. Compared to what that old standby Greyhound charges — currently $30–$57 one way — the new kids on the block might as well be letting people ride for free.

After I first starting traveling between New York City and Boston on a regular basis years ago, my original mode of transportation was the Delta Shuttle out of LaGuardia and Logan airports. When getting home from the airports became a major hassle, I moved on to Amtrak, which remains my favorite way to commute between the two cities, despite the company’s numerous ongoing problems.

Greyhound entered the picture when my trips between New York and Boston became more frequent, even as Amtrak simultaneously grew increasingly less reliable and more costly, destroying its status as a worthwhile expense. If the company ever manages to reclaim its value, however, I’ll return in an instant. But back when I first switched, Greyhound was the fastest yet least expensive game in town for travelers seeking a familiar brand name they could trust.

At the moment, those who are naturally thrifty, short on cash, willing to try something new, or born bus lovers are in luck if they need to get from Boston to New York City fairly quickly. The three companies below will not only do the job for a negligible amount of money, but each will provide a little something extra, too … at no additional charge, of course. Just keep in mind that when you opt for the convenience of purchasing a ticket via the Internet, all three charge a 50¢ online booking fee on top of the fare.

Bolt Bus

  • One-Way Fare: $1–$20
  • Route: South Station Bus Terminal, Gate 21 (Boston) to West 34th Street and 8th Avenue, across the street from Pennsylvania Station (New York)
  • Website: www.boltbus.com
  • Extra: Free WiFi and power outlets

Lucky Star Bus

  • One-Way Fare: $1–$15
  • Route: South Station Bus Terminal, Gate 13 (Boston) to 59 Chrystie Street in Chinatown (New York)
  • Website: www.luckystarbus.com
  • Extra: Rewards from a free frequent-rider program; a $25 2 am bus departing Boston

Mega Bus

  • One-Way Fare: $1–$14
  • Route: South Station Bus Terminal, Gate 12 (Boston) to West 31st Street and 8th Avenue, outside Pennsylvania Station (New York)
  • Website: www.megabus.com
  • Extra: Free WiFi (but no power outlets)

Cheap Boston Flights

Just because of travel tourism and other industries, the city of Boston has a busy airport. That is why coming and going from Boston can be a dicey affair at times in terms of expensive flight tickets. The passengers can find cheap air tickets for Boston by some basic ways.

One of the key means of getting cheap airfare for Boston is by avoiding the festival times of the city. For example, Boston International Film Festival attracts tourists from around the world, so venturing in these times might be expensive. Therefore, the trick is to avoid it, if it can be avoided or reach the city well before the festival to get the best prices.

Booking flights to Boston during the springtime is highly recommended.
Spring usually signals the ball game season, during which many airlines lets out special offers. However, the best time to book flights tickets to Boston is during the winter months because of the snow cover and bitter cold. You can also get best deals if you plan your trip ahead of the summer months. Some of the cities you can get flights from to Boston are – Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and almost 40 other cities national and international.

The tourists are advised to check Boston websites for special offers. They are also encouraged to get in touch with the Boston travel agents during the spring or the winter months for best deals. Planning and before the festival may save you valuable dollars. Try the Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau for authentic information relating to hotels and cheap airfares. Checking with the airlines is also not a bad idea.

Sleep Cheap(er) in Boston During Your Visit

If you’ve ever traveled to Boston from out of town and lacked the ability to stay with friends or family, then you probably already know — Boston is just one of those places where a good, safe night’s sleep costs a pretty penny … or much more.

What can you do, then, when you don’t have a lot of money to spend on hotel accommodations? One option that travelers to the city have been taking advantage of for ages is a reservation at a local hostel.

Although most commonly identified with young people wandering from place to place on extended group vacations, hostels are actually for adults — and sometimes children accompanied by adult guardians — of any age.

Two excellent hostel options for the budget-conscious right here in Boston are managed by the well-known non-profit organization Hostelling International (HI). Travelers can select from either the Back Bay or the Fenway location, both of which offer private rooms, in addition to the traditional shared rooms, at a higher but still bargain price.

As of this writing, members of HI who stay at the Back Bay hostel can reserve a single bed in a six-bedroom for $27.99–$44.99 per night, while HI members who choose the Fenway hostel can reserve a single bed in a three-bedroom for $36–$45 per night.

For those who can’t tolerate or don’t want communal sleeping arrangements, private rooms are available for HI members at a cost of $69.99–$99.99 per night at the Back Bay location and for $96–$119 per night at Fenway. Non-HI members pay just $3 more per night for both types of accommodations if they prefer not to join the organization for a very reasonable and nominal fee.

To learn more about the unique traits of HI hostels in Boston — for example, identification requirements, reservation procedures, check-in and check-out policies, limitations on visits, sharing of common areas, storage and laundry options, perks such as complimentary breakfasts included in the bed prices, and getting the most out of the travel benefits offered to guests — visit the HI Boston Hostels website.

Incidentally, on the one occasion long ago that I had to travel to Boston and secure well-priced sleeping arrangements, I used craigslist and lucked out with spectacular, cheap accommodations by subletting a room for a few weeks. It was in the two-bedroom condo of a woman I didn’t know who was never home — she had gone to work every morning when I got up and came home late each night and went straight to bed — and was about to move out after her former roommate had already left.

The arrangement didn’t bother me because Boston and surrounding areas truly comprise a college environment filled with lots of people renting and subletting housing via the craigslist website. I was traveling with someone then, however, and I also had the benefits of planning far in advance and being extremely familiar with the area beforehand.

If the absence of funds forces you to go the craigslist route, tread very, very carefully. While I’ve never heard of anything horrible happening, it never hurts to be hyper-cautious and super aware. Hostels managed by Hostelling International seem like a better, safer, more reliable, and less stressful bet.

Hang Out in Salem with Lizzie Borden

On August 4th, 1892, wealthy businessmen Andrew Borden, and his wife Abby were discovered brutally murdered. In reality, Abby was killed with nine blows of an ax and Andrew with 11. Their youngest daughter, Lizzie, stood trial for the brutal slayings and was found not guilty. The crime, however, continues to draw speculation as to Lizzie’s actual guilt or innocence, and ranks at the top of unsolved crimes: If not Lizzie, who?

“Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks, when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.”

The Borden’s Greek revival home, located in Fall River, Massachusetts, has been beautifully restored into a bed and breakfast. You can stay in Lizzie’s bedroom (in photo), explore the house, and see if you become convinced of Lizzie’s guilt or innocence. Don’t worry, the blood is all gone!

Special tours of the Borden house run daily, on the hour, from 11 am to 3 pm. Prices are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $5 for children ages 7-12. Crime scene reenactments are scheduled on occasion, as well.

The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast is located at 92 Second Street, Fall River, Massachusetts. (508) 675-7333. Fall River is approximately 25 minutes from Providence (Rhode Island) and about one hour from Boston.

The Lizzie Home is a Greek Revival House which has been a city landmark since the infamous ax murders of Andrew and his second wife Abby Borden on August 4, 1892.

Erected in 1845 the home was originally a two-family and was later made into a single-family by Andrew J. Borden.

Andrew J. Borden bought the house at 92 Second Street to be close to his bank and various downtown businesses. The Bed & Breakfast is named after Andrew J. Borden’s youngest daughter, Lizzie. Although she was tried and acquitted of the crimes she was ostracized by the community of Fall River.

Since the murders on August 4, 1892, the house has been a private residence. Now for the first time, the public is allowed not only to view the murder scene but is given an opportunity to spend a night (if you dare) in the actual house where the murders took place.

We offer two two-bedroom suites, Lizzie & Emma’s Bedrooms, and Abby & Andrew’s Bedrooms (this suite has a private bath); the John Morse Guest Room, Bridget’s Attic Room and two additional spacious attic bedrooms (the Jennings & Knowlton Rooms), each of which offer a double bed in a room with Victorian appointments.

Guests are treated to a breakfast similar to the one the Bordens ate on the morning of the murders, which includes bananas, johnnycakes, sugar cookies, and coffee in the addition to a delicious meal of breakfast staples.

The interior and exterior of the home have been restored to its original Victorian splendor, with careful attention to making it as close to the Borden home of August 1892 as is possible.

The owners of the home invite all to view their collection of both Fall River and Borden memorabilia at 92 Second Street.

Located just fifty miles south of Boston, minutes from Providence or Newport, R.I. and the gateway to Cape Cod, this landmark home is accessible from all major highways.

Tour Schedule

  • Tours Daily 11 a.m. till 3 p.m. on the hour
  • Last Tour begins promptly at 3:00 p.m.
  • Tour prices are $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for Senior Citizens,
    and $5.00 for children ages 7 to 12. Children under 6 are admitted free.
  • Photos are allowed in the house.
  • Closed major holidays.

Special arrangements can be made for group tours of 10 or more people through contacting the inn at
1-508-675-7333 or via e-mail