With the Lakers and Celtics battling for the 12th time in the NBA Finals, the rivalry is as much about the two teams as it is about the two cities. L.A. and Boston are both major markets, but the two cities are quite different. So as the Finals approach, we profile the two cities for fans of the opposing team making the trip.
For a Lakers fan visiting Boston for the Finals, there is plenty to do. Boston is a city full of history and one can explore that history in any number of ways. People can visit the Old North Church where Paul Revere signaled “the British are coming,” and they can walk on the Freedom Trail which includes: the Old North Church, the Massachusetts State House, and Bunker Hill Monument among other attractions. In addition to walking the Freedom Trail, history buffs can take in a tour of the city from a duck tour on the Charles River and around Boston Harbor, or walk around Boston Common, Boston’s version of Central Park.
For those not historically inclined, there is plenty of other activities for you. Faneuil Hall is a shopping and eating destination for all, and included among the unique Boston shops and eateries is a statue of Red Auerbach smoking his signature victory cigar. If you are going to Boston for the NBA Finals, odds are you are a big sports fan, so checking out a Red Sox game at Fenway Park is a must. The place is packed every night, the atmosphere is great, and it is one of baseball’s crown jewels. If the Sox aren’t in town, then taking a tour of the ballpark is the next best thing – it takes you from the press box to the Green Monster. As a sports fan you should also check out Harvard Stadium built in 1903. While over by Harvard, one might also want to check out the campus of the nation’s most prestigious university, and surrounding Harvard Square for lots of bars and local shops.
For a good meal, definately check out the North End located right near the TD Garden for great Italian food (I’d recommend Pizzeria Regina), or you can check out the Bull and Finch Pub which served as the basis for the hit TV show Cheers. To get around the city, walking is your best bet, as there is plenty to see everywhere. If you get tired of walking, there is always the famed subway line known as “The T” to help get you around. Traffic is aplenty in Boston, so driving a car is not recommended if you don’t have to.
Unlike Boston, where most of the tourist sites are located in a small radius of one another, the places and people worth seeing in L.A. are scattered all over in the Metropolis. While not as historically inclined as Boston, L.A. prefers to make its name with glitz and glamour. Touring L.A. starts with Hollywood, making a stop to Mann’s Chinese Theater and the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a must. There you can take pictures with the stars and see how your hands match-up versus those inducted into the Walk of Fame. Nearby is the Kodak Theater, annual host to the Oscars. One must also check out the views of the Hollywood sign while in the neighborhood.
For those who love the beach, there is plenty of that in the L.A. area. Santa Monica is a blast with the pier and endless bike trails and blue ocean. Also in Santa Monica is the Promenade with street performers and music always going on. For a more high-end beach, north toward Malibu is really nice, and then there is Muscle Beach in Venice Beach, home to an interesting crowd of people at all times.
Westwood and the UCLA campus are an up-scale neighborhood that can be fun to walk around, and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena should be checked out. In other sports, the L.A.-area has two teams the Dodgers and the Angels, both of which are pretty good, and whose ballparks are nice. If you decide to take in an Angels game, Disneyland is right nearby, and other theme park attractions around L.A. include Universal Studios and Warner Bros.
To eat, there are plenty of places to go from ethnic neighborhoods like Koreatown to upscale places like Brentwood. Food is aplenty in the area and that is always good for everyone. Getting around requires a car and traffic can be pretty bad, but because of how stretched out L.A. is, a good public transportation system is not something the city currently has.
What city do you like more?
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