Paul and I have English visitors staying with us this week — his aunt and uncle, Penny and John, who have never been to the U.S. before.  Paul is quite the energetic tour guide, and they’ve covered a lot of territory since arriving on Tuesday.

If you prefer to do your touring over the course of, say, two years while in graduate school (or even if your time will also be limited), you may want some suggestions of what to see.  Fortunately, my Admissions pals have volunteered to supply the blog with their ideas!  I’m going to start with Jeff, whose list happens to include Penny and John’s plan for today while Paul and I are working.  Jeff (who enthusiastically ignored my suggested word limit) writes:

How does one keep a blog entry concise when there is so much to be said about the topic?  While you are visiting or studying at Fletcher, there are many things to do on this side of the river, but you also need to take time to visit the other side (Boston).  I’m sure the ideas that immediately come to my mind are already on your radar screen, but I would be remiss if I failed to mention the Freedom Trail.  I love walking, and Boston is a walking city.  The trail covers many of the attractions you’ll want to see while in town, from churches to parks to graveyards to shipyards; it’s a great 2.5 mile walk around the city.

If you are more of the museum type, one of my favorites is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  Aside from the great artwork, the building itself is a sight to see — custom built with a beautiful garden courtyard in the middle.

Another place I enjoy visiting with out-of-town guests is the Samuel Adams Brewery, located in Jamaica Plain. (Jamaica Plain is a neighborhood of Boston only a few T stops away from downtown.)  The brewery tour lasts about an hour, a $2 donation is suggested, and tours culminate at the pub located inside the brewery with a few free samples.  While in the area (if you like nature), a stop at the Arnold Arboretum is a must.  The Arboretum is 265 acres, open from sunrise to sunset year round, with seasonal activities, walking tours and, of course, beautifully manicured trees and flowers.

Last, I would like to give a plug to the Boston Harbor Islands, made up of 34 islands, including 35 miles of undeveloped shoreline and 1600 acres of land.  If you are in town during the spring, summer or fall, and have a free day, you can hop on a ferry to one (or more) of the islands to hike, picnic, explore, kayak, fish, or swim.  Plus, there are two national historic landmarks on the islands:  Fort Warren is located on George’s Island and Boston Light is located on Little Brewster Island.  Only a few of the islands are accessible by ferry, while some can only be reached by taking a special tour.  However you get out there, it’s a nice way to take in a different view of Boston.

One last thing:  RESTAURANTS!  There are too many favorites to mention here.  Just stop by my office when you’re visiting, and I’ll be happy to chat.  Restaurants and food are among the most frequent topics of conversation between members of the Admissions staff.

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