OT Conference Series: Where To Stay

Hey readers, and welcome to the first installment of the OT Conference Series! If you are planning on attending the AOTA Conference in Boston, MA this year, then this blog series is for you. This post is all about where to stay while you are here, taking into account how you will get to and from the conference every day. If you haven’t booked a hotel room yet, now is the time to do so! The conference is March 26-29, 2020 and it is located in the Seaport at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

To be honest, the Seaport is not the easiest area to get to via the train (AKA “the T”), so I will be suggesting hotels that are near the convention center and some that are not in the Seaport but are not too difficult to get to. Keep in mind when you are deciding where to stay that it will be March in New England. There is no guarantee what the weather will be like and therefore you may not want to have to travel far to get to the conference – especially if you are wearing heels or carrying a poster. We could be trekking through a foot of snow, or it could be 60 degrees and sunny. Let’s hope for the latter! Here are some suggestions.

Hotels in Boston Seaport

The Westin Boston Waterfront – This hotel is very close to the convention center. They might even be connected. (3 minute walk)

Aloft Boston Seaport District – This hotel is also very close to the convention center and across from one of my favorite attractions, the Lawn on D. (9 minute walk)

Seaport Hotel – This hotel is located a little closer to the harbor. (6 minute walk)

Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel – This hotel is also located right near the harbor. (8 minute walk)

Hotels Outside of the Seaport

Intercontinental Boston – 16 minute walk, 5 minute drive, or 14 minutes on the silver line

Hilton Boston Downtown/Faneuil Hall – 21 minute walk, 6 minute drive, or 17 minutes on the silver line

Hyatt Regency Boston – 17 minute walk, 6 minute drive, or 19 minutes on the silver line

AC Hotel by Marriott Boston Downtown – 29 minute walk, 5 minute drive, or 25 minutes on the silver line

Courtyard by Marriott Boston Downtown – 27 minute walk, 10 minute drive, or 20 minutes taking a bus

And more! The hotels I listed were the ones closest to the Seaport, so when you are looking for a hotel, check how to get to the convention center from that hotel. Be sure that you are able to get there either on the T, walking, or Uber/Lyft fairly easily. Unfortunately, the Seaport is only accessible via the T on the silver line, which goes through South Station to the airport. Other areas of Boston, however, are very accessible on the T!

Boston Neighborhood Guide

If you choose to go the Airbnb route or choose a hotel that isn’t quite as close to the convention center, here are some tips on how to get to and from certain areas of Boston and the convention center. I hope you find this helpful when you are choosing a place to stay!

Back Bay – Ahh my beloved Back Bay. I love this area of the city and spend most of my time here. If you don’t stay here, I will definitely be recommending some things to do in this area while you are visiting. Back Bay is home to Commonwealth Avenue, which has beautiful tree-lined streets and iconic brownstone buildings. In Back Bay you will also find Newbury Street (lots of restaurants and shopping) and the Charles River Esplanade. To get from Back Bay to the convention center via the T, you will need to take the green line inbound to Park Street, switch to the red line to South Station, then switch to the silver line (SL2) to the World Trade Center. From Park Street, you can either switch to the red line or walk 10 minutes to South Station (sometimes the time is the same).

North End – The North End is home to lots of Italian restaurants. Definitely check out this area one night for dinner! To get from the North End to the convention center via the T, you will need to take the green line inbound to Park Street, switch to the red line to South Station, then switch to the silver line (SL2) to the World Trade Center. From Park Street, you can either switch to the red line or walk 10 minutes to South Station (sometimes the time is the same).

Beacon Hill – Beacon Hill is home to quaint brick streets… and lots of hills. To get from Beacon Hill to the convention center via the T, you will need to take red line inbound to South Station, then switch to the silver line (SL2) to the World Trade Center.

Fenway – Fenway is just past Back Bay and home to the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park. To get from Fenway to the convention center via the T, you will need to take the green line inbound to Park Street, switch to the red line to South Station, then switch to the silver line (SL2) to the World Trade Center. From Park Street, you can either switch to the red line or walk 10 minutes to South Station (sometimes the time is the same).

Cambridge – Not actually part of Boston, Cambridge is across the Charles River from the city of Boston. Cambridge is home to MIT and Harvard. To get from Cambridge to the convention center via the T, you will need to take the red line inbound to South Station, then switch to the silver line (SL2) to the World Trade Center. There are not too many T stops in Cambridge.

Somerville – Somerville is also not actually part of Boston and has limited T stops. To get from Somerville to the convention center via the T, you will need to take the orange line inbound to Downtown Crossing, switch to the red line to South Station, then switch to the silver line (SL2) to the World Trade Center. From Downtown Crossing, you can either switch to the red line or walk 5 minutes to South Station (sometimes the time is the same).

East Boston – This area would not be very convenient to get to the conference. To get from East Boston to the convention center via the T, you will need to take the blue line inbound to State, switch to the orange line to Downtown Crossing, then switch to the red line to South Station, then switch to the silver line to the World Trade Center. Another option is to take the blue line inbound to Aquarium, walk 15 minutes to South Station, then take the silver line (SL2) to the World Trade Center.

Charlestown – This area also would not be super convenient as there are not many T stops in Charlestown. To get from Charlestown to the convention center via the T, you can walk to North Station (depending on how far you are staying, it will be around 20 minutes), take the green line inbound to Park Street, switch to the red line to South Station, then switch to the silver line (SL2) to the World Trade Center. From Park Street, you can either switch to the red line or walk 10 minutes to South Station (sometimes the time is the same).

Downtown/Financial District – This area is closest to Seaport and most convenient via the T. All you have to do is walk to South Station then take the silver line (SL2) to the World Trade Center.

South Boston – While South Boston is very close to Seaport, there are not many T stops. Of the T stops that are there, they don’t go directly to the convention center. If you stay here, be prepared to walk or Uber/Lyft.

South End – The South End is not the same as South Boston. The South End is more west, near Back Bay. To get from the South End to the convention center via the T, you will need to take the silver line (SL 4 or 5) inbound to South Station, then switch to the silver line (SL2) to the World Trade Center.

Brookline – Also its own city and not part of Boston, Brookline is a really nice area to stay. Your commute will be a little longer as it is further west, but it may be cheaper than staying in Boston. To get from Brookline to the convention center via the T, you will need to take the green line inbound to Park Street, switch to the red line to South Station, then switch to the silver line (SL2) to the World Trade Center. From Park Street, you can either switch to the red line or walk 10 minutes to South Station (sometimes the time is the same).

Keep in mind that the cost of renting a hotel or an Airbnb will go down if you split it with friends or colleagues! Plus, the conference is much more fun when you experience it with friends. Another thing to think about is buses. I never take them, but I know they are an option in the city and may be a more convenient way to get to the conference. Thanks for reading!

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