One of the oldest and most historical cities in the U.S., Boston today is also the unofficial capital of New England. Planners devising either pre- or post-meeting itineraries have visitor options in Boston and its surrounds as rich as the tapestry of Colonial America. The Langham Boston, the luxury 318-room hotel in the former Federal Reserve Bank of circa 1922, suggests the following itinerary.
Day 1: Hollywood and Harvard
More than 400 movies and television shows have shot in Boston, aka “Hollywood East," and a two-hour walking tour with On Location Tours brings attendees to familiar sights and sites in films like The Departed
and The Thomas Crown Affair
The world-famous Union Oyster House is Boston’s oldest restaurant and has been in continuous service since 1826. Enjoy the popular clam chowder before savoring a main course of either New England cod or pan-seared haddock, followed by Boston cream pie for dessert. www.unionoysterhouse.com
Take the outbound Red Line on the “T” (Boston’s subway) to Harvard and experience a student-docent-led tour around the university’s campus. Cover 400 years of Harvard's illustrious history in 70 minutes and learn factoids like the statue of John Harvard really isn’t him! www.trademarktours.com
Day 2: Head for the (North) Shore
Arrange for a group bus transfer to the Great House in Ipswich, MA. Attendees can peruse the grand public entertaining and private living spaces in what was once industrialist Richard T. Crane’s summer retreat. The English-mansion-style home is located on The Crane Estate, where the 2,000-foot-long Grand Allee, lined with spruce trees and classically inspired statuary, makes a great event space. www.craneestate.org
Let attendees stroll through Rockport, MA, on the tip of Cape Ann, viewing quaint art galleries and picking up treats and souvenirs in little picturesque candy stores and shops. Continuing on the movie theme, Rockport is also the filming location where Sandra Bullock made her boat getaway in The Proposal.
It’s time to get spooky with a visit to Salem, MA, and its Salem Witch Musuem, which offers a half-hour presentation about the 20 people who were accused of witchcraft and put to death in 1692. Then let the group hop on the public ferry back to Boston, run by Boston’s Best Cruises, and enjoy a windswept ride with the best view of Boston Harbor. www.bostonsbestcruises.com
Day 3: Historical Meals
Get the day off to a relaxing start with the Harmony Massage at the Chuan Body + Soul spa at The Langham Boston. Inspired by Chinese acupuncture and Swedish massage, the treatment lasts a full 60 minutes with a focus on the body’s pressure points, capped off by a cleansing ritual. http://boston.langhamhotels.com
Get a taste of colonial and presidential history at Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, MA, the birthplaces of John Adams, the second U.S. president, and his son, and sixth president, John Quincy Adams. Board a trolley to Peacefield, the home that John Adams’ wife, Abigail, had expanded unbeknownst to him and became the future home of John Quincy. A flower garden and 14,000-volume library also are on the grounds. www.nps.gov/adam
Excite attendee taste buds with authentic Italian cuisine like bruschetta, lobster ravioli, and canolis with a group dinner in Boston’s Italian-American enclave, the North End. With cozy, maze-like streets, North End is filled (and filling!) with trattorias, bakeries, bars and cafes, and salumerias.