Getting Around in Historic Beantown

Getting There: American, Northwest and United air lines fly direct from Los Angeles to Boston. Advance purchase tickets are about $400 round-trip. Regular fares can go up to $1,200.

Getting Around: Boston is the original cow town--literally.

Its layout follows old cow paths and the roads are vaguely marked if marked at all. Traffic is a mess. Heed the desk clerk at your hotel: Park the car and take the "T," a clean, safe subway and (it figures) the oldest in the country. Cost is 75 cents a ride and most hotels and motels will give you a map of the system. If you're out after 1 a.m., when the T shuts down, cabs start at $1.50 plus $1.80 a mile.

Accommodations: Staying in the center of the city is a good bet. It's safe and you'll be in walking distance of most places you want to see. Unfortunately, rooms in town are expensive--daily rates over $150 are frequent.

Recommended: Copley Square Hotel, 47 Huntington Ave. at Copley Square, (617) 356-9000. Some rooms under $80.

Others: Lennox Hotel, 710 Boylston St., Back Bay area, (617) 536-5300. Rates are $100-plus.

The Copley Plaza Hotel, 138 St. James Ave, (617) 267-5300. Historic hotel opened in 1912. Rates are $150-plus.

Seafood: All-around best bet is the legendary Legal Sea Foods (there's one at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, 50 Park Plaza, and another at 5 Cambridge Center in Cambridge). The long lines (they don't take reservations) attest to the quality. Entrees run $10-$15 and dress is casual.

If you want a view, try Jimmy's Harborside, 242 Northern Ave. Recommended is finnan haddie (smoked, creamed haddock). Jackets are required after 5 p.m. and entrees run $10-$15.

For those who like hole-in-the-wall places try No-Name Restaurant, 15 1/2 Fish Pier. Lots of fried shellfish and it's bring your own bottle. Prices start at $5. And, by the way, for non-Yankees: scrod is young cod; schrod is young haddock.

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