Things to Do In Boston

Boston is a city steeped in history and delicious food. Whether you want a guided journey on the Freedom Trail or a gustatory tour of the city’s neighborhoods, here’s what can’t be missed.
By: Amanda DiGiondomenico
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Boston Public Garden

The first public botanical garden in America, Boston Public Garden was established in 1837, and it continues to bloom today with a gorgeous array of seasonal flowers. Snap a photo with the garden’s famous Make Way For Ducklings statue, then, if weather permits, go for a ride in one of the garden’s iconic Swan Boats.

Black Heritage Trail

Follow the Black Heritage Trail to discover the history of the city’s African-American community in the 19th century. The trail starts at the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial and 54th Regiment Memorial -- which honors the first black regiment recruited in the North during the Civil War -- and continues to 13 other sites.

Bunker Hill

The Bunker Hill Monument marks the spot where the newly formed colonial army fought the British in 1775. Colonel William Prescott, whose statue stands in front of the moment, led the colonial army in the Battle of Bunker Hill -- the first major battle of the American Revolution. Visit the Battle of Bunker Hill Museum, located right across the street, to learn more about this fateful day.

Charles River

The 80-mile-long Charles River offers Bostonians a tranquil respite from the city’s bustling streets. From kayaking and rowing to sailing and even swimming, the Charles keeps the city’s residents active. There’s also a bike path that runs along the river’s shores, for those of you who’d rather stay dry.

Cheers Restaurant

The original "Cheers" bar -- known as the Bull & Finch Pub before Hollywood came calling -- is located on Beacon Street and served as the inspiration for the 1980s sitcom. The Hollywood set was modeled after the interior and the building served as the stand-in for the exterior shots. Head “where everybody knows your name” for a burger and a brew.

Faneuil Hall

A trip to Boston isn’t complete without a visit to Faneuil Hall, where you can pay homage to Samuel Adams, who gave many of his speeches here. This lively marketplace has been serving the city as a meeting hall since 1742, but today its wares are a little more eclectic -- offering shopping, dining, street performances and even pushcarts featuring the work of New England artisans.

Fenway Park

While in Boston, you’d be remiss not to pay a visit to “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.” Take in the park’s history -- Fenway’s first Opening Day was in 1912 – while you enjoy some peanuts and honest-to-goodness Cracker Jacks. Tours are available, too, so you can get up close and personal with The Green Monster.

Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long red walking path just waiting to be explored. With 16 stops at historic sites, from Old North Church to King’s Chapel, the Freedom Trail is a great starting point for visitors who want to see the full array of Boston’s history. Just follow the red line to explore it at your own pace, or get the full experience with your very own 18th-century guide.

Harvard Yard

Right across the Charles River in Cambridge, the 22 acres of Harvard Yard sit regally within its 27 gates. The oldest part of the Harvard campus, Harvard Yard is an ideal spot for a little peace and quiet (and people watching!). Stop by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology or the Harvard Museum of Natural History for a little Ivy League education.

Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stuart Gardener was an art collector in the late 1800s to early 1900s, and she managed to amass a collection of American, Asian and European art that holds its own next to the Museum of Fine Arts, just a short walk away. She established the museum in 1901, creating an intimate, home-like setting for her art. And if your name is Isabella, you’re in luck, because your admission is free!

Museum of Fine Arts

One of the largest museums in the U.S., the MFA welcomes more than a million visitors a year to its extensive collection of world-class art and artifacts. Step through its columned entrance to marvel at the nearly 450,000 works of art.

North End

The North End is the city’s oldest neighborhood, and you can see its history in the narrow sidewalks and streets not exactly made for driving. It’s here that you’ll find the Old North Church and Paul Revere’s House. But look no further for delicious, authentic Italian cuisine. Stop by Bova’s Bakery any time of the day or night -- they’re open 24 hours a day! -- for family-made Italian pastries.

Paul Revere House

Built in 1680, the Paul Revere House was the home of the famous patriot during the American Revolution. This National Historic Landmark is now a museum that’s been restored and preserved to maintain its 17th-century charm. There’s also a 900-pound bell in the courtyard that was crafted by the Paul Revere and Son foundry.

Samuel Adams Brewery

If you’re 21 or over, ride the T over to Jamaica Plain for a tour of Sam Adams Brewery, where you’ll not only learn about the process of brewing beer, you’ll get a pretty satisfying beer tasting out of it too. Don’t forget to take home your complementary tasting glass!

South End

Visit the well-manicured streets of the South End, a vibrant neighborhood that’s home to “Restaurant Row.” The stretch of Tremont that has earned this moniker is home to restaurants ranging from Thai to French to Ethiopian and everything in between. If you’re unsure about what to do for dinner, head straight to the South End.

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