Even if you live or work in Boston, try this: Pretend you are a visitor from, say, Keokuk, Iowa, and look at Boston with your eyes wide open. Drop in at the visitor s center on Boston Common, walk the Freedom Trail, take a Duck Tour (www.bostonducktours.com ) or trolley tour (www.historictours.com/boston ). See if you don't gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of a city you only thought you knew.
This fall, there will be new things to experience as well: the waterfront Institute of Contemporary Art will open, as will new restaurants and art exhibits. Why, there will even be a new
Book a hotel package. There are plenty to choose from, and you can find various specials by visiting the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau site at www.bostonusa.com . For instance, the Onyx, a boutique hotel near Faneuil Hall Marketplace, has a $299 package that gets you a night's accommodations, breakfast for two, and two GoBoston cards that provide entrance to more than 60 attractions (although, of course, you won't have time to see them all). Call 617-557-9955 or visit www.onyxhotel.com . Use reference code PB01.
If you're already thinking Christmas, the Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers has a ``Radio City Rockettes" package for Dec. 16 that includes a night in a newly renovated room and two good seats to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the Wang Center. The rate is $269.
Call 800-225-2008 and mention rate code RADIO. The website is www.bostonparkplaza.com .
Take a harbor cruise. The Odyssey, a mega-yacht that leaves from Rowes Wharf, has begun its Oktoberfest sailings, with autumn decor, entertainment, a German buffet menu and German beer, plus a harbor view of autumnal Boston. The three-hour cruise is available Sundays-Wednesdays and costs $55 a person.
Call 888-741-0281 or visit www.odyssey.com .
Hop on a bicycle. Urban AdvenTours provides guided bicycle tours of the Boston area, including a Flagship Photography Tour, Art and Architecture Tour, and City View Tour. Everything is kept green because an Urban Mobile, a truck that runs on vegetable oil , is used to deliver the company's fleet of bikes. Customers can now request a tour departure from their hotel. Tours are 2 1/2-3 hours and cost $60 to $75.
Call 800-979-3370 or visit www.urbanadventours.com .
Dine delightfully. McCormick & Schmick's at the Park Plaza is partnering with neighboring Lyric Stage Company of Boston on a dinner theater package. Try the $30 all-inclusive three-course, pre-theater menu at the restaurant and save $5 at the theater by mentioning McCormick & Schmick's. Lyric Stage Company, two blocks from the restaurant at 140 Clarendon St., has opened its fall season with ``1776," running to Oct. 14.
Call 617-585-5678 or visit www.lyricstage.com .
And then there is that perennial favorite, the Langham Boston's Chocolate Bar , which opened its 18th season yesterday with a new theme: Chocolate Bar Three. The menu features three categories of milk, dark, and white chocolate desserts, with more than 60 new dishes as well as an add-on Chocolate Fusion Menu. The Chocolate Bar is open every Saturday noon-3 p.m. through June 23. The cost is $28 for adults and $14 for children.
Call 617-956-8751 or visit boston.langhamhotels.com .
PEI will hold a bargain hunter's delight, the ninth annual 70 Mile Coastal Yard Sale, Sept. 23-24, through the southeastern portion of the province. There will be more than 140 yard sale sites plus food and music along the way. One question, though: Since Canada uses the metric system, why isn't this Prince Edward Island event called the 112 Kilometer Coastal Yard Sale?
Visit www.woodislands.ca/yardsale .
When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy; solo travelers will usually pay more. Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Contact Richard P. Carpenter at email@example.com.