NBA / Jun 1, 2010 / 4:30 pm

A Tour Of Two Cities: Boston vs. Los Angeles

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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  • sam

    honestly boston has far less to do. faneiul blows. especially in regards to food, weather, and cultural activities. LA is far superior to Boston. Boston has better seafood though.

  • Celticsdada

    For young people, of course LA is more attractive and has way more things to do. The beaches are much better, you can actually go into the water, unlike Boston and its Atlantic Ocean the water is freakin’ freezing.

    Like the author stated if you like history, and for the older folks, Boston is the place to go

  • http://www.LakersNation.com Lakers Nation

    just like the Finals, it’s no Contest . . . LA has the Lifestyle Everyone Aspires for!

  • RapTOr

    I plan on moving to LA after school primarily for the sushi… not that Toronto is lacking in any way in the sushi scene, but I know LA is sushi central

  • boto

    I’m frankly a bit surprised that a lot of the “experts” are picking the Lakers to win the finals. I understand the revenge motive, but Boston has a chip on their shoulder too. No one is really talking about Kobe’s shooting. Against the Suns, he was shooting out of his mind. He did all his damage from the perimeter though. Traditionally he’s always been a pick your poison type of player that could hurt you from inside and out. I’m sure Boston can live with him taking jumpers with a hand in his face. Also, no matter how much Gasol says he’s ready this time, he’s not a physical player by nature.

    On the other hand, KG is a step slower than he was even in 2008. I think they’ll miss James Posey and Leon Powe and those other guys. Hopefully Nate has some 40 point games in him.

    I think homecourt means much more to LA than Boston. If they can snatch it from Cleveland and Orlando, they can snatch it from LA too.

  • Tom

    This is apples and oranges. Boston is tiny compared to LA, so of course it’s not going to offer as much. And it’s true that Boston can’t compete in terms of weather, clubbing and cosmetically enhanced cleavage. But I do dispute the notion Boston isn’t a ciry known for ‘cultural activities’. Boston/Cambridge is one of the educational hubs of the world and Harvard and its museums are well worth a visit. Boston also has excellent art museums and a world-class symphony. Best of all, it’a a great walking city, so in one day one can go from shopping on Newbury Street, to the Museum of Fine Arts, to Fenway to catch a game and then over to the trendy South End for dinner, all without taking the endless car rides LA is known for.

  • A.R.

    @ Boto

    sorry but this is the laker’s turn this time around. i know how dangerous the celts are and they’ve been playing very well but they haven’t done anything the lakers couldn’t do. the Lakers beat a better Magic team last year in the finals and could of taken out the Cavs as well. Add that to Kobe’s motivation and Gasol’s redemption mixed with Bynum’s presence LA is taking this one.

    Aside from that I currently live near LA and i have been to Boston and I have to say LA hands down! Forgive me for not being affected by Boston’s “historical” figures but that place is boring.

  • Ike

    “For a good meal, DEFINATELY check out the…” Wow. Seriously dime? That’s just a shame.


    Heard Boston’s southside is lovely this time of year. A must-go place for tourists and Laker fans.


    I’d say hit Roscoes, but that may be too hood for some folks.

  • http://prickymart.blogspot.com Russ

    Actually The North Church signaled to Paul Revere – not the other way around. “One if by land, two if by sea” – as dictated by the number of lights lit from the church. Paul Revere actually didn’t signal much of anything as he was caught right after leaving Lexington – two other gentleman named Prescott and Dawes were more successful. Anyways. The history in Boston is like no other city. It’s where it all started.

    Was just in Boston, it is a great city. The “T” is really easy get around on and you can get just about anywhere quickly and easily. I second the car being useless notion. There is a bike tour that I would recommend over the tired Duck Boat Tours that is operated by Urban Adventures.

    Food. Cafe Polonia on Dorchester is one of the best places I have ever ate at. Authentic polish food – took me back to the days of making home-made perogies as a kid with my parents. Aceituna Cafe by Harvard Square is pretty decent and cheap for Mediterranean fare. Harvard Gardens on Cambridge isn’t bad. Stay away from Grotto.

    And as far as women go, I actually saw substantially more attractive females in Boston in 4 days than I did in my last 2 weeks in San Diego. Everyone is getting fat there for some reason. I hate LA in general because of the traffic and level of all sorts of unattractive human qualities present there – but I always have love for Cali on the sole premise of the glorious In N Out Burger!