Security Musings

Security Musings

SANS Insider Guide to Boston

This is a fact filled introduction to of one of the greatest cities in the U.S. as we look forward to returning this year for SANS Boston 2010. By the way, some of the facts are pure fiction especially any references to base 16; hope you do not mind, and this should not be used as a primary source.

Other Related Articles in SANS Insider Guide to Boston

Insider's Guide to Touring Boston

By Stephen Northcutt
Version 1.1

Insider's Guide to getting around in Boston

Specialty Tours

  • Looking for something Dark, Decadent and Delicious? Try one of the Boston Chocolate Tours. You mean there is more than one? Uh Huh, My favorite is the Harvard Square Tour, you haven't tasted chocolate until you have visited LA Burdick. These are all walking tours, if you prefer, there is a Boston Trolley Chocolate Tour.
  • Boston Duck Tour. Great way to enjoy the end of the day cruising the streets of Boston and eventually into the Charles River while getting to hear exciting stories about Boston’s history! Tickets are about $30.00 and you may want to book in advance, they sell out from time to time.
  • With the rich history of Boston, it is no surprise that they have Ghost tours. All Boston Tours is a middleman that can sometimes save you a few dollars. Trusted Tours is a similar operation.
  • Photowalks is a guided photo tour. I have been on two fairly serious photo campaigns in Boston and it is MUCH more effective when you have a trained spotter. Otherwise you are walking, trying to shoot and trying to locate the next great shot. Hint, there are a lot of reflective new glass office buildings close enough to historical sites that you can get the reflection of the historical site in the shiny new building.
  • Like riding bikes? Boston's downtown bike shop can hook you up!
  • Walking tour, Boston Underfoot, see the big dig, learn about the history of manholes

Overview Tours, see a bit of everything

  • Nothing paints tourist on your forehead like riding around in a big orange fake trolley car, but hey, if you are a tourist who cares, no one knows your name anyway, Boston Trolley Tours.
  • Want to ride a boat, everything from the harbor to whale watching is available from Boston Harbor Cruises.

Walking and Self Guided Boston Tours

  • Boston by foot, is a paid, guided, walking tour led by volunteer guides, got kids, check out the Little Feet tour.
  • Boston Harbor Walking Tour Use the link to download and Audio Guide and best of all it is free.
  • Very popular neighborhood, Four Point Channel Audio Guide ( learn about Lucky's Lounge and see the scene in the Departed where luck runs out for Martin Sheen) Free
  • iPhone GPS guided tour of Boston $.99
  • iPhone GPS Tour, Detailed tourist map with all of Downtown Boston's major historical monuments, museums, parks, tourist attractions, roads, public bathrooms, subway stops, and more. Free
  • Boston GPS Tour, Declaration of Independence, Boston Tea Party and probably the new Tea Party as well, Boston Massacre, Freedom Trail which is a must see according to Bill Brenner, Boston Common home of the Swan Boats, Boston Public Garden, Walking Tour, GPS Tour $7.95 (Highway robbery *grin*)
  • If you do not suffer from color blindness you can actually do Freedom Trail low tech, just follow the red six inch strip or buy a guide.
  • JFK's Boston Tour, (would need a car) $5.95
  • The Go Boston Card is priced on a sliding scale allows access to 70 attractions
  • The Old State House is not to be missed if you have an interest in history

Insider Suggestions for Tours

  • Outside of Boston, Eric Hacker recommends history buffs take a quick trip to Salem, MA is excellent for learning about early America. Only a half hour train ride from Boston's North Station, Salem has numerous places to visit. See the Peabody Essex Museum, the Witch Dungeon Museum and the House of Seven Gables. Stay away from the Witch Museum though.
  • Andrew Williams suggests if you stick around for a couple of extra days and want to get out of the city, try Nantasket Beach: It's not the quaint type of beach (although the beach itself is really nice). It's a boardwalk kind of beach. Think arcades, tube tops, and the occasional knuckle head. For food, try Jake's . Great, fresh, authentic New England Seafood overlooking the harbor. As with most destinations outside the city, you'll really need a car. Without traffic, Nantasket is about a 45 minute drive. It's one of the only beaches in the area that has public/pay parking. Most of the others require resident stickers and have no open/public options