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Local Scoop: Ten Things locals like to do in Boston

So you’re heading to Boston for a week, and you want to know how Bostonians do the town. This guide will help. Here are the top ten attractions residents of Boston rate as their favorite way to spend time.

1. Say ciao to chow in the North End: Some of the best Italian cuisine west of Naples is whipped up in restaurants in Boston’s oldest neighborhood. Cobblestone streets, historic sites including Paul Revere’s Old North Church and fantastic food are a can’t-miss mix.  For a delicious dinner, seafood at a Back Bay bistro is a close second. Restaurants to consider include 80 Thoreau in Concord, Area Four in Kendall Square, Bistro du Midi in Back Bay, Blue Ginger in Wellesley and East by Northeast in Inman Square.

2. Combine Red hots with the Red Sox: Does it get any better than Red Sox baseball and hot dogs at Fenway Park?  If you’re a baseball fan, a game at this iconic park supersedes who wins or loses. What’s a close second for sports nuts? Watching the Celtics play hoops on the parquet floor of the TD Banknorth Garden, known locally as “the Gah’den.”

3. Indulge in sax and violins: The Boston Symphony Orchestra has been consistently rated as a top-five attraction for the locals. Boston is a smart town. The symphony delivers smart music. It’s a perfect match. Go online for ducats the minute you know you’ll be in Beantown because the BSO is a tough ticket. The Boston Pops at Symphony Hall is a very hip alternative. The Boston Lyric Opera Company, Boston Baroque and Opera Boston are great options too.

4. Take a stroll in the Arnold Arboretum: The park is part of the famous “emerald necklace” of Boston. The country’s oldest tree park boasts 265 acres of hardwoods that deliver perfect conditions for a pleasurable ramble from early spring until the last of the colorful leaves fall in autumn.

5. Waste time on the waterfront: Finding the most enjoyable way to pass the time is the whole point when you’re taking a break from the grind, right? The waterfront entices with gorgeous views, excellent eateries, wonderful watering holes and superb shopping. It’s the whole package.

6. Bask in the beauty of Boston Common: Boston’s oldest park has something to offer in every season. Picnic on the broad greens in summer, ice skate on Frog Pond in winter, and enjoy the sounds and smells of nature whenever you set foot in this urban paradise.

7. Trick the kids into learning: The Boston Museum of Science is one of the top hands-on museums in the world. You and the kids will start learning the moment you set foot inside, and you’ll have a great time doing it. It’s the perfect antidote for a rainy day in the Hub. The Boston Children’s Museum is a stout second in this category.

8. Exercise in the Esplande: The Charles River Esplande is a hot spot for bicyclists, bladers and power walkers. The Hatch Shell in the park is the oft-used bandl shell of the Boston Pops.

9. Find something new on Newbury Street: This shopping district has something for everyone from upscale, buttoned-down, Boston business attire to quirky, fun threads for the next great party. Trendy salons blend with shops offering sensible yet sophisticated shoes.

10. Toast the town: Boston has exceptional nightlife, and you’ll find it in full swing in every neighborhood. Local favorites include the Gypsy Bar, Top of the Hub, 6B Lounge, 21st Amendment and Silverstone Bar & Grill. For authentic Irish pubs, you can tip a pint of Guinness or Bass at McGreevy’s, The Black Rose, Kinsale Pub, Eire Pub, Crossroads Pub or many others.