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Post-Conference Exploring ~ Boston

Conferences don’t have to be all work and no play

Business travel often takes us to new cities and states outside our regular travel zone. Too often it’s a swoop in, attend the conference and hop back on that plane to wing your way back home. How sinful that we don’t take an extra day before or after to at least see the local sights and taste the local flavors – or make a long weekend of it. Clearly the host community is well set to share their local restaurants, craft brews, it’s harbor front or mountainscape – they want you to explore! stroll the Boston HarborWalk Trail (click any photo to enlarge)I know the local economies appreciate our dollars being spent there.

Recently, we had the great opportunity to add a few days to our conference travel and spend it exploring Boston and Salem, Massachusetts. This was a conference on a scale we’ve never attended before with 26,000+ attendees arriving in Boston for 3 days at the Inbound Marketing conference. Think on that … 26,000+ attendees from around North America and the world; a powerful community learning experience Boston is well suited to host.

Take the time to break out of conference mode and see the sights

We arrived in Boston the day of the conference. Grabbing a cab from the airport to our hotel – The Boston Westin Waterfront – gave us a teasing glimpse of the waterfront area, it’s walking trails and vibrant city buzz. We were hooked and knew we wanted to get out and explore more.

Sam Adams Statue at Faneuil Hall, BostonAs conference schedules usually are, they are packed from morning til evening with activities designed to entertain right within the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center – let me say a convention facility that easily welcomes and hosts a group of our size.

We had one night free that allowed attendees to get off site into the city and partake of the local restaurants and waterside pubs – and we did! With sessions ended and our laptops docked, we hit the streets. Knowing time was of the essence and we could only get a sample flavor of Boston, we headed for Boston Commons to pick up the Freedom Trail. Heading north towards the Historic Downtown we passed centuries-old cemeteries, the Old Corner Bookstore, the Boston Massacre Site, Faneuil Hall, and the Paul Revere House – filling our history fix.

One of the best pizza’s you’ll ever taste – EVER!

on a quiet unassuming street cornerOur goal was Regina Pizza in Boston’s North end – one of the oldest pizza places in Boston, circa-1926. The reviews were almost too good to be true – USA reporting TripAdvisor reviews elevating it to #1 in the country – and it was even a top mention in Viators North End Pizza Walking tour. Sounded like a great place to check out.

Off on a side street corner in Boston’s North End neighborhood sits the nearly century old pizzeria. A simple neon sign outside marks the place – oh, and the lineup (a good indicator)! After a short 15 min wait, we were taken inside to a crowded no frills, diner-style eatery. Paper plates and plastic cutlery were given out with the menu. The menu selection was amazing with pizza combinations that were not your typical pizza selection and the prices were lower than I expected. Hand-tossed, brick oven pizzas were being made to satisfy – and oh my heavens … truly one of the top 3 pizza’s we have EVER eaten!truly one of the top 3 pizza’s we have EVER eaten (probably top 2, but I like to leave room for interpretation)! Both our Mediterranean (vegetarian) and our Giambotta were divine and completely devoured; paired wonderfully with the Italian Chianti.

Please, please, please … if you ever get the chance to visit Boston, seek out the Regina Pizza on Thatcher St and nosh some truly best-ever pizza. No frills, paper plate and plastic cutlery pizza awesomeness!

Gustatorily satisfied, we strolled the Harborwalk Trail back to our Westin hotel ending our night with a local brew.

Where to stop for a drink near the Boston Convention Center

Even attending a conference, there’s time to gather with co-workers and new peers for drinks and connections. Boston has any number of options within a short walk of the Convention Center to enjoy as your day ends. Here’s a few we partook and will recommend:

Hotel, conference, home

Conferences don’t have to be a no-travel zone. I challenge you on the next conference to an area you’ve not visited to break out of the “conference-only” mode and take an evening or an extra day at the end to see what lies outside the conference center and hotel walls – extra bonus if you make it a long weekend!  

The Boston Westin Waterfront was a fantastic base for our conference stay. Luxuriously appointed and modernized, being attached to the conference venue made it very convenient … too convenient to not even step outside and enjoy a breath of the great Boston weather.

the Inbound Conference at Boston's Convention & Exhibition CenterThe Boston Convention and Exhibition Center offered over ½ million sq feet of conference facilities that easily welcomed our 26,000+ attendees. From headline speakers to trade show and session breakout spaces and lots of food halls and vendors, the convention space had everything to engage the masses with no reason to explore the city.

Our agenda of the Inbound Marketing conference was scheduled morning to night to engage and inspire. Networking events, headline speakers and nightly entertainment were scheduled to make sure time and money was well spent.

  • It takes effort and will to find a suitable gap in the scheduling to take a night out on the town.
  • It takes forethought and planning to schedule an extra night to take in some sights and local happenings.
  • It takes motivation and interest to have your partner join you at the conference and make a long weekend of it. Accommodations are already covered with the conference. Flights and food for the days of the conference are getaway expenses. Maybe 1 vacation day after the conference. A long weekend makes a mini getaway with your partner a chance to explore somewhere new pretty inexpensively.

Post-conference getaways

The GoGirlfriend team loves to add an extra day to conference travel and explore something new. Here’s just a few of our post-conference getaways we’ve enjoyed.

I’m sure there’s any number of conference locales that offer that long weekend getaway opportunity. Tell us your favorite post-conference make-it-a-long-weekend getaway.

Where’s your favorite make-it-a-long-weekend getaway after a travel conference or cross-country meetings. Drop a comment below and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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