Getting to Boston
By plane, fly to/from Logan Airport. From Logan airport to Downtown/Sheraton-SIGIR: use free Airport Shuttle service to the subway(Blue Line). Take the Blue Line towards Boston and change at Government Center for Green Line. Use Green Line "E" to get to Prudential Station or Green Lines "B,C,D" to get to Hynes Convention Center. Sheraton is one block away. Estimated travel time : 45 minutes. Alternatively, a cab takes less than half an hour and costs about $30.
By train, book your ticket to South Station. From South Station use Red Line subway and change to Green Line at Park Street and follow the directions above. Estimated travel time from South Station: 30minutes. Alternatively, a cab takes 10 minutes and about $15.
By car. From North use Interstates I-91, I-89, I-93; from West use I-90 (also called "Masspike" or "Turnpike"); from South use I-95, I-93. Once in Boston, from I-90 use the Copley/Prudential exit; from I-93 take Storrow Drive and then exit at Copley.
Public transit in Boston is convenient and relatively inexpensive, and can take you directly to most everything. A single public transit agency serves the Boston Metro area, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority ("MBTA", or "the T" for short).
All MBTA services use an electronic CharlieCard and CharlieTicket system. Dispensing machines at all stations accept cash, credit cards, and debit cards. If you go straight to a dispensing machine, you'll get a paper CharlieTicket with magnetic stripe. If you have time, first ask an attendant at any underground station for a plastic CharlieCard, which is a contactless "smart card". The Card is free and will give you a discount on all subway and bus fares, and it's the only way to get free transfers to and from buses. ( Fare & Passes )
The subway is composed of four color-coded rail lines. The Red and Orange lines travel generally north-south; the Blue and Green lines travel generally east-west. Google Earth has the subway lines built into its map of Boston. Google Maps has all the Red, Orange, Green, and Blue subway stops marked with an "M" icon, with the line listed if you click on the icon. Short of particular non-touristy spots in the suburbs, the subway can get you anywhere. ( Subway Map )