Making the World Accessible with the new TravelEZ
By Garrett Weinstein, TravelEZ
AAll work and no play? I hope not. If you're traveling to Boston for the Abilities Expo, you better carve out some time to explore one of the country's most interesting and historic cities!
Boston has a ton to offer but knowing where to go is key. Boston is also an historic city, meaning that many streets, restaurants, and attractions are difficult to access or not ADA compliant. Worried that accessibility might be a problem? Worry no longer!
TravelEZ publishes detailed travel guides for Boston that only include fully accessible destinations in: The North End, Harvard Square, The Back Bay and Fenway Park.
Tour Harvard Square with this Accessible Itinerary
Here is an excerpt from a TravelEZ Guide for Harvard Square, one of Boston's most exciting and beautiful neighborhoods.
Total Time: 5 hours
Total Distance: 2 miles
- Arrive via car at Harvard Square Parking Garage.
- Arrive at the T Stop to schedule and take the Hahvahd Tour to discover Harvard Yard and surrounding area. [1 hour]
- Arrive from The Harvard Shop (where the Hahvahd Tour ends) to Russell House Tavern for a delicious afternoon brunch or lunch! [1 hour 15 min]
- Head on over to the Harvard Art Museums to appreciate one of Boston's best art collections. [1 hour 30 min]
- Move along Massachusetts Ave. towards L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates (feel free to stop along interesting shops along the way!) where you are guaranteed to taste some of the best hot cocoa and chocolate in the country in a quaint café atmosphere! [30 min]
- Return to Harvard Square Parking Garage to leave the area.
- On your way out of town, take the detour to Mt. Auburn Cemetery to drive through and observe one of America's prettiest cemeteries. [45 min]
Restaurant: Russell House Tavern
($$, 4 Stars on Yelp, 4 Stars on TripAdvisor)
Russell House Tavern is rated one of Cambridge's best restaurants (Zagat, TripAdvisor, Yelp) and is conveniently located in the very heart of the Square (seconds away from the fully accessible T Stop)! An awesome American-themed (and pizza-diverse) menu coupled with perfect accessibility, a beautiful atmosphere, and friendly staff make this a top-notch option.
Phone: (617) 500-3055
Attraction: Harvard Art Museums
Technically a collection of three separate museums, The Harvard Art Museums offer an amazing collection under one roof ($15 Adult Admission). Exhibits showing pieces dating back to over 2,000 years ago and coming from all parts of the world, this museum has a ton to offer. The museum's self-guided tour takes most 1.5-2 hours to view the entire collection, but you can take however long or short your heart desires! Educational staff throughout are always available to answer whatever questions you may have. There is also a café on the first floor in case you want refreshments or a little snack at any point!
The museum is totally accessible, including easy ramp access to each entry, elevator access to each floor, centrally located seats on each floor, accessible restrooms and water fountains, wheelchairs and walkers for loan in the entrance and comfortable climate-controlled temperatures. It is 7 minutes on foot/in wheelchair from the heart of Harvard Square. If you are driving, we recommend accessing via the Quincy Ave. or Broadway. If accessing from Quincy Ave., there is an easy drop-off area outside the lane of traffic immediately in front of the ramp entrance. This street also includes two designated accessible parking spots directly across from the ramp entrance. If accessing from Broadway, read the information from the museum's website listed below:
From their website: "Visitors arriving via paratransit van or similar are recommended to use the entrance on Broadway, which allows a right-side exit from the vehicle. Accessible parking is available in the Broadway Garage, located at 5 Felton Street. (Please note that the garage has a 6 ft. 8 in. height limit.) Parking permits can be purchased online; visitors without an assigned code can use "Visitor to Campus" as their department and 7700 as their department code in the online ordering system."
Phone: (617) 495-9400
Hotel: The Charles Hotel
(4½ Stars on TripAdvisor)
The Charles is one of the most impressive and luxurious hotels in Cambridge. While pricier than other sleeping options, this hotel is the most conveniently located (three blocks away from the center of Harvard Square, overlooks the pristine Charles River) and the prettiest near the Square. It is especially accessible, featuring convenient parking options, valet parking, a spacious and open layout, and extremely helpful staff to name a few benefits.
The hotel offers 13 ADA compliant rooms (all king-size beds), three of which have roll-in showers. Additionally, there is a suite available that is ADA compliant and has a roll-in shower.
The hotel is home to a list of three separate restaurants in its interior (Benedetto, Noir, and Henrietta's Table). Legal Sea Food's Restaurant and Corbu Span and Salon share the courtyard with the hotel as well.
Phone: (617) 207-6880
TravelEZ Accessible App and Content Expansion on the Horizon
TravelEZ ("Travel Easy") is a startup whose motto is Making the World Accessible. TravelEZ provides curated accessibility guides for destinations, choosing the best, most accessible destinations a city has to offer!
TravelEZ is also in the process of developing an app that will be the TripAdvisor of accessibility—highlighting access info for hotels, restaurants and attractions. The app will be available for iPhone in early 2019 with content for Boston and NYC, and will continue to expand to other cities thereafter.
Have any questions, comments, or suggestions? Email TravelEZ founder Garrett Weinstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author:
Garrett Weinstein is the founder of TravelEZ, a startup focused on making travel easy and accessible for anyone with high accessibility standards (slow walkers, wheelchair users, etc.). Garrett is from Baltimore, a recent graduate from Tufts University in Boston, and now resides in New York City.Pre-Register for Abilities Expo Today...It's Free!