Boston, maybe more than any other American city, is steeped in colonial and Revolutionary War history. It's no surprise, therefore, that its most important places have become a pilgrimage route for Americans and others hoping to learn more about the country's past.
But, more importantly, the Freedom Trail serves as an excellent introduction to today's city, linking or passing near some of the city's most popular tourist sites. Boston is simple to traverse on foot since its main attractions are close together and the T, America's first subway system, links the city's major districts.
Cambridge is located across the Charles River, an aquatic summer leisure area whose Boston side is designated as the Esplanade park. Although it is a distinct and autonomous city, Cambridge is a part of Boston and is served by the same public transportation system.
Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, two of America's most famous and significant institutions, are both located here (MIT). These, as well as the many other institutions and colleges in the vicinity, contribute to Boston's youthfulness and dynamic cultural environment. You'll never run out of things to do in Boston at night, with all of the music, theatre, and entertainment choices available, as well as the city's plethora of restaurants.
Choose the ideal time to visit Boston and then make the most of your stay with our helpful guide to the city's tourist attractions and things to do.
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1. Take a walk along the Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail is a path that leads to freedom.
The three-mile Freedom Trail takes you past 16 of the city's most important historic monuments and landmarks, as well as inside them. The line of red bricks on the sidewalk and footprints at traffic crossings make it simple to follow. Before visiting the State House, start by picking up pamphlets on the sights at the Visitor Center in Boston Common.
Old Granary Burying Ground (where Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock are buried), King's Chapel Burying Ground (Boston's oldest cemetery with the graves of Governor John Winthrop and two Mayflower passengers), Old South Meeting House (where patriots' ringing speeches sparked the Boston Tea Party), and the Old State House are all on the trail. The Boston Massacre took place on this location, which is Boston's oldest public structure.
The Freedom Trail continues through Boston's North End, past the Paul Revere House and Old North Church, and finishes in Charlestown, with the 54-gun frigate USS Constitution and the 220-foot granite Bunker Hill Monument, over the Charlestown Bridge.
2. Attend a game or tour Fenway Park
Fenway Park, dubbed "America's Most Beloved Ballpark," is one of the country's most storied sports facilities, and even if you're not a sports enthusiast, a tour of it is entertaining and informative. The Boston Red Sox's home field looks substantially the same now as it did when it first opened on April 20, 1912.
The Green Monster, a 37-foot green wall in left field, is one of its most recognized features, and the stadium also has several "old-time" baseball relics, such as a hand-operated scoreboard. It also has the smallest capacity in the Major Leagues, with just 33,871 seats available (a fact that makes tickets exceedingly scarce).
3. Faneuil Hall
Faneuil Hall, often known as the "cradle of liberty," was constructed as a market hall in 1740-1742 by Huguenot businessman Peter Faneuil and given to the city on the condition that it remains accessible to the public at all times.
Market booths still occupy the ground level, while a council chamber on the top floor served as a gathering place for revolutionaries and subsequently abolitionists in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Museum, located on the fourth level, exhibits weapons, uniforms, and artwork depicting important conflicts.
The adjacent Faneuil Hall Marketplace consists of three large halls (Quincy Market, North Market, and South Market), all of which date from the early 1800s and are now home to a vibrant mix of stores, restaurants, and exhibits.
In fine weather, street entertainers and buskers put on performances in the plaza around the market, and there are also stores offering jewelry, clothes, presents, and souvenirs, in addition to the many food booths. Some of Boston's most popular lunch spots are the market booths.
Faneuil Hall Square is located in Boston, Massachusetts.
4. Swan Boat Rides at Boston Common and Public Garden
Boston Common, America's oldest park and the start of the Freedom Trail is located in the center of the city. Various monuments including the Central Burying Ground of 1756 are located in this vast open area, which is heavily utilized by residents all year. From November to mid-March, you may rent skates to use on the Frog Pond to see the spring flowers and autumn foliage hues reflected on its surface, and in the summer, you can watch kids play about in the wading pool.
The 24-acre Public Garden, America's oldest botanical garden, and Victorian-style monuments and statues, including an equestrian statue of George Washington and popular modern bronzes of a family of ducks immortalized in Robert McCloskey's children's book Make Way for the Ducklings, are adjacent to it on the west side of Charles Street. Riding the renowned Swan Boats around the lake at the garden's center, which were originally launched in the 1870s, is one of Boston's most iconic experiences for all ages.
Boston's Public Garden is located in the city of Boston, Massachusetts.
5. Boston Museum of Fine Arts
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, one of the country's top art museums, is known for its Impressionist paintings, Egyptian antiquities, Asian and Persian fine arts, and works from ancient Greece and the Middle East.
Its most recent and crowning achievement is the creation of an entire American Wing to house outstanding collections of American paintings, furniture, decorative arts, folk art, silver, glassware, and design dating from pre-Columbian times to the Art Deco and Modernist eras, all of which are chronologically organized.
A lacquered-wood sculpture of a Buddhist Bodhisattva from the 12th century, Korean painted screens, ivory, and gold figure of the Minoan Snake Goddess from 1500 BC, and a statue of the Egyptian pharaoh Mycerinus and his wife from 2548-2530 BC are among the other highlights.
465 Huntington Avenue is located in Boston, Massachusetts.
6. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a museum dedicated to Isabella Stewart Gardner,
Stillman D. Rogers Photography | Photo credit: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is housed in a structure designed by its eccentric founder after a Venetian castle from the 15th century. Its exhibits are displayed in chambers around a four-story central courtyard filled with blooming plants and fountains.
Mrs. Gardner's particular preferences and great skill are reflected in the magnificent 2,500-piece collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture, tapestries, decorative arts, books, and manuscripts, which contributes to the museum's appeal.
A 70,000-square-foot glass-clad structure built by Italian architect Renzo Piano behind the palazzo provides fresh views for the old palazzo as well as magnificent music and visual arts rooms, enabling the museum to exhibit outstanding modern works and artists. Rather than clashing or competing with the existing structure, Piano's wing merely adds a fresh window to Mrs. Gardner's palazzo.
Through glass walls, the palace and gardens can be seen from nearly everywhere in the new structure. After seeing the museum, take a walk around the Fens, a large natural area with a lovely rose garden that blooms from June to October.
280 The Fenway is located in Boston, Massachusetts.
7. The USS Constitution and the Battle of Bunker Hill (Boston National Historic Park)
The USS Constitution, often known as Old Ironsides, is the oldest commissioned ship in the US Navy and is still commanded and crewed by Navy personnel. Visitors may walk under the desks and learn about the ship's construction and operations at sea.
The USS Constitution Museum, located across the dock, offers historical context via interactive displays that depict life on board a navy warship two centuries ago. The Cassin Young, a World War II destroyer, is another ship you may visit here.
The Charlestown Navy Yard is part of the Boston National Historical Park, and the Bunker Hill Monument and Museum, which is also in the park, is a short walk away. The 221-foot-tall granite monument stands on the summit where New England troops constructed an earthen fort preparatory to the Combat of Bunker Hill, the American Revolution's first pitched battle.
Building 22 of the Charlestown Navy Yard is located in Charlestown, Massachusetts.