Your Guide to PAX East 2012

PAX East 2012 is upon us, and gamers across the country are packing their bags and heading off for Beantown once again for three days of games, music, comics, and friends. If you’re coming to Boston this weekend, congrats! You clearly have exquisite taste in entertainment and possibly serve as a Justicar of Awesome.

As GamerNode’s resident Bay Stater and PAX veteran, I’m here to help you make the most out of your weekend. If you’re new to the show, don’t worry! This guide should answer most, if not all, of your questions!

Now I know you’re excited to head out the door and hop on your plane/train/bus, but there are a couple of things we need to go over so you don’t end up in Boston with three suitcases and only $20 to your name.

Luggage & Clothing

You’re going to want 1 medium-sized suitcase and 1 backpack for this weekend. Use your backpack primarily for non-essentials, like your handhelds, chargers, and a book or two. You’re also going to want to keep a copy of your boarding pass/tickets in there as well while you travel. Make sure you leave plenty of room in your backpack – that bag is going to be a hell of a lot heavier by the end of the weekend. Obviously, the suitcase is where you put all your toiletries and clothes. Long pants/jeans and t-shirts should make up most of your wardrobe, but it wouldn’t hurt to bring a zip-up sweatshirt or light sweater for those colder walks in the city. Oh, and be sure to bring a slightly-nicer-than-just-a-tee-and-jeans-but-not-business-casual outfit. You may not need it, but it’s there if you want to look nice at a restaurant or function.


You’re going to be on your feet about 80% of PAX and walking an average of 2-3 miles a day. That’s not including time away from the show for parties, food, commuting, etc., so a comfortable pair of shoes will go a long way this weekend. You don’t need to go out and buy a new pair just for PAX, but you may want to invest in some cheap insoles if you’ve had your current sneaks for a while.


Your debit card is a wonderful thing, but unfortunately, not everyone at PAX accepts them. While you’ll be able to use your card more often than not, it’d be wise to bring between $100-$150 in cash, just in case. If you’re worried about having a lot of money on you, store it in your room, and carry a little bit at a time. Be sure to withdraw the cash before you leave – ATMs around the center have high fees and are completely drained by the end of Friday.

These directions are for people coming to the Center for just one day OR for people staying in hotels close to the Center (Westin, Seaport, and Renaissance). You’ll be able to reach other hotels using these directions with slight variations.

Driving In

Driving through Boston is a terrifying prospect, and should be avoided at all costs. Many of the main roads were originally built for the occasional horse and carriage and not for today’s SUVs. Plus, parking rates in the city are astronomical, with spaces few and far between. You’d be a lot better off taking the commuter rail into the city.

The T is Boston’s subway/bus system, with stations branching far outside of Boston providing easy access to the city. Parking rates vary from station to station, but are never more than $10 a day.

If you’re coming into Massachusetts from the west, southwest, or Vermont, hop on the Mass Pike and ride it all the way to Exit 22 (Grove Street). The Riverside Station will be right down the road and provides daily parking for $5.75/day. Ride the Green Line to Park Street Station, then hop on the Red Line to South Station ($2 fare total). From here, you can walk to the Center (15 min), or skip the walking in favor of the Silver Line Bus.

If you’re driving up the coast line through Rhode Island, drive to the Providence Station (rates vary) and take the rail to South Station ($7.75/ticket). From here, you can walk to the Center (15 min), or skip the walking in favor of the Silver Line Bus.

If you’re coming in through New Hampshire or Maine, drive to the Lowell Station ($5/day or $10/night). Take the Green Line to North Station (1.50/ticket), then get off and walk 30 min to the Center.

Flying in

Logan International Airport is the first/last stop for the Silver Line Bus which will bring you from the airport to the hotel area in about 20 minutes. Make sure to get off at the World Trade Center on Seaport Boulevard. You’ll be plopped right in front of the Seaport and Renaissance hotels; the Westin is just down the road.

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Author: Dan McKenney View all posts by

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