Tucked away on the East Coast, Boston is known for many things; its Victorian-style buildings, Revolutionary-era history and rich culture are just a few of its unforgettable offerings. What most people notice when they visit, though, is the abundance of parks scattered across the city. From tree-lined boulevards to sprawling, verdant spaces, parks in Boston are all part of the aptly named Emerald Park System and are sure to add a magical element to any Boston city break.
From its colonial beginnings and revolutionary past, Boston has since been one of America’s most essential and diverse cities in the USA. Visiting Boston is great any time of year; but this year, winter just got even better! For the first time, you’ll be able to take in the fun and merriment of the holiday season on an Old Town Trolley Holiday Lights and Sights Tour! You’ll have a front-row seat as you experience the dazzling lights and splendor of the season, riding through town as carolers fill the night air with music. Add complimentary seasonal beverages and snacks, and you’re all set for what promises to be a new holiday tradition in Beantown!
As a former Colonial city, Boston’s layout still accounts for many public spaces. These were very fashionable in an era that pre-dated modern forms of transportation or communication when the citizenry would have to gather outside a public house or square in order to be informed of the news of the day, socialize or form a mob and run someone out of town. Thankfully, those chaotic days of revolution are behind this magnificent city but its residents still enjoy being out and about in the city’s many plazas, squares, and green spaces. The following are some of the best places in Boston to enjoy the outdoors.
The cobblestone streets, beautiful parks and historic buildings of the Cradle of Liberty set the perfect backdrop to celebrate a budding or long-term romantic relationship. Boston features a number of romantic things to do. Whether you are heading out to celebrate an anniversary, Valentine’s Day or just the perfect Boston date night, you can choose from simple pleasures or extravagant adventures. Locals as well as visitors can experience unforgettable outings with one of the following romantic things to do in Boston.
One of the most popular vacation destinations in the USA, Boston offers visitors an abundance of history, art, music, dining and cultural attractions. But for many, it’s the lesser known spots and points of interest that draw their attention, the less touristy places that provide totally unique Boston experiences. Check out these hidden gems in and around the city on your next trip.
The M.I.T. Museum is a window into the world of some of the latest and most exciting research at MIT. Visitors can explore over 150 years of education and research in the forefront of science, engineering, and technology. Located at 265 Massachusetts Avenue, the Museum presents an exciting array of exhibitions, covering everything from artificial intelligence and oceanography, to architecture, three-dimensional holograms, and the world’s largest collection of the much loved kinetic sculptures by Arthur Ganson.
The Gibson House offers visitors a glimpse into 19th century living in Boston’s Back Bay. As one of the Back Bay’s first residences, the Gibson House was built in the mid-19th century and remains the unspoiled residence of a well-to-do Victorian Boston family. Kitchen, scullery, butler’s pantry, and baths, as well as formal rooms and personal quarters are filled with the Gibsons’ original furniture and personal possessions. Located on 137 Beacon Street, between Arlington and Berkeley Streets, Boston.
Built in 1796 by Charles Bulfinch for Harrison Gray Otis and his wife Sally, the house is the last surviving home in what was once Boston’s most exclusive neighborhood. As a developer of Beacon Hill, Otis made a fortune, and he later served as a Representative in Congress and Mayor of Boston. The Federal Style is emulated in the home’s classic architecture and elegant furnishings.
Founded in 1636, Harvard is the oldest university in the United States. Among its graduates are seven U.S. Presidents of the United States: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama. The campus is distinguished by a diverse collection of historic buildings and the acclaimed Harvard University Museums.
Named to honor the famed Boston artist John Singleton Copley, this Back Bay neighborhood is well known for its history and iconic architectural structures. Here, you can spend the day enjoying its charms in the way of various cafes, historical points of interest and upscale shops. There is also much to do, see and explore just footsteps away. Here’s a guide to some of the top things to do near Copley Square.
Built in 1742 at the site of the old town dock, Faneuil Hall was the location of town meetings in colonial Boston. It is often referred to as “the Cradle of Liberty” because it was here that Samuel Adams, James Otis and other leaders in the American Revolution made speeches against British oppression.
TD Garden is the home arena for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League and Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association. TD Garden is owned by Delaware North, whose CEO, Jeremy Jacobs, also owns the Bruins. It is the site of the annual Beanpot college hockey tournament, and hosts the annual Hockey East Championships.
Boston is a beautiful city filled with historic sites that helped shape colonial America. Maximize your time for sightseeing by taking Boston shore excursions with Old Town Trolley. Whether you take the 1.5 hour tour purchased from your ship excursion desk, or take the 1.75 hour tour with on-and-off privileges purchased from Old Town Trolley directly, you will have time to shop, visit Boston attractions, and find your way to some of our most famous landmarks.
Our Historical Tour is geared to all ages and takes you through Boston while recounting the history of our beautiful city. Your conductor will tell stories from the past while weaving in current events and happenings as well by mixing the old and the new.
Our Sons and Daughters of Liberty Tour is geared toward middle school students and focuses on The Revolutionary War time and history. It is an interactive tour with a costumed character on board and two stops along the way.
Housed in a dazzling edifice, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is a treasured centerpiece in Boston’s flourishing Fort Point Channel neighborhood. Featuring a glass-enclosed gallery space cantilevered over the Boston Harbor, the modern façade of the Institute provides an interesting contrast to the historic architectural designs prominent in the city’s skyline. The arrival of the museum in 2006 helped spur the artistic renaissance of this former warehouse district. The ICA sponsors a variety of dynamic permanent and rotating exhibits in its breathtaking waterfront setting.
We Bostonians take great pride in our city and its rich history, doing our best to preserve the sites and structures that have played an important role in the story of America. For over 30 years, Old Town Trolley has provided Boston sightseeing tours highlighting the best of the city. Hop aboard one of our trolleys and you’ll experience Transportainment , a delightful combination of transportation and entertainment.
Old Town Trolley Tours invites you to explore Boston’s darker side aboard the city’s only “frightseeing” ghost tour, Ghosts & Gravestones. You’ll visit the streets where the Boston Strangler once prowled and hear local tales of murder and mayhem, ghosts and ghouls.
One of Boston’s oldest neighborhoods, Beacon Hill is known for its charming, narrow cobblestone streets, federal style row houses and gaslit street lamps. It’s also considered to be one of Boston’s most desirable and expensive residential areas in the city. A visit to Boston isn’t complete without a stop here. Whether to shop, dine or wander about admiring the architecture and numerous historic sites, there are so many things to do in Beacon Hill.
The Old State House, built in 1713 on the site of the first Town House, is the oldest surviving public building in Boston. The building served as a meeting place for the exchange of economic and local news and was said to be the center of politics in the colonies. The Declaration of Independence was read from the balcony on the east side of the building, and just below it is the spot where the Boston Massacre took place. The Old State House is one of the most important public buildings in the U.S.
The Bunker Hill Monument was the first public obelisk in the United States designed to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill. The battle was actually misnamed because the majority of the action took place on Breed’s Hill and that is where the monument sits. The monument was begun in 1827 but construction had to be halted and it wasn’t completed until 1843. The architect, Solomon Willard, had the granite for the 221 ft structure brought in from Quincy, Massachusetts.
When planning your Boston vacation, keep in mind that while the city is compact and easy to get around, driving your own car is not highly recommended. The streets and neighborhoods can be jumbled and difficult to navigate, especially if you’re not familiar with them. Between the many one-way streets and the confusing layout, you could spend lots of your precious vacation time getting lost and turned around. Read on for some of the top options to get around Boston.
You’re in for an unforgettable adventure. From exceptional food, sporting events and musical venues to what we all know as the Cradle of Liberty, Boston is home to so many fascinating sights and points of interest that your toughest choice will be which ones to experience first. Read on for the most important reasons to visit Boston on your next vacation.
The city of Boston is filled with things to do from visiting popular museums to walking the Freedom Trail. Enjoy Boston’s rich history and see all the sights during your trip. After touring the major attractions, take a leisurely stroll around the Boston Public Garden or stop by for a refreshing drink at Cheers. Conveniently located near the trolley stops, these attractions are must-dos for first time visitors of all ages.
When the temperature starts to drop and the winter season begins, there’s still plenty of fun to be had in Boston. Whether visiting many of the city’s most popular indoor attractions or enjoying events and other seasonal activities, here are some of the top things to do during winter in Boston.
Spring is in the air! And you know what that means – warm days filled with sunshine, inviting you to get out and enjoy all there is to do and see in Boston. Read on for some of the top things to do in Boston during spring. Take a Ride on a Swan Boat . Nothing says “welcome spring!” like the opening of the Swan Boats at the Boston Public Garden. It has been more than 130 years since the Swan Boats made their first voyage on the beautiful waters of the lagoon. This family-owned business has been welcoming guests for generations and is one of the city’s most unique and beloved traditions.
If you’re heading to Boston with family, great fun is in store for everyone. The Cradle of Liberty is a wondrous place where old and new mesh beautifully and history and culture abound on every corner. There are a ton of things to do with kids including attractions, sights, museums, and activities throughout Boston. Looking for the most efficient and entertaining way to visit many of the things to do in Boston with kids? Look no further because Old Town Trolley Tours offers parents a relaxing way to tour all the best attractions in Boston for kids. Parents don’t have to worry about searching for directions to the New England Aquarium, driving to the Museum of Science, or finding parking while traveling from all of Boston’s best attractions. Our hop on and hop off trolley tours allow the parents to concentrate on having fun with their kids instead of worrying about logistics. There are so many awesome things to do with kids in Boston!
Residents of Boston typically flee the city during the Labor Day Weekend to Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard for the last holiday celebration of the summer. This makes it a great time for vacationers to visit Boston with less traffic and easier access to the attractions. Check out some of the things to do in Boston during Labor Day weekend:
Our mission at Old Town Trolley Tours is to provide the Best Sightseeing Tour for new and historical attractions in Boston. Many visitors are interested in seeing all the colonial sites and taking an Old Town Trolley Tour is the most efficient way to accomplish that goal. This guide will help you plan your vacation around the oldest attractions in Boston and give you insights on which trolley stops are most important to visit.
Your friends who have traveled here might say you need more than 2 days in Boston to see all the best attractions, but many of the attractions only require 30 minutes to an hour for a tour. This means that you can easily visit five Boston attractions per day and still have time for three leisurely meals; and we all know how important it is to eat the great food in Boston! Here’s a recommended itinerary from our travel planners who know all the shortcuts.
The city of Boston is one of the most visited destinations in the country and with good reason. Millions of people come each year to experience the rich heritage that comes alive on practically every corner, the abundance of cultural attractions, entertaining venues and diverse dining scene. If you only have one day to explore Boston, jump on the Old Town Trolley and follow these recommended stops to see the best of the city.
The Sports Museum is located on the 5th and 6th floors of the TD Garden. This Boston attraction features exhibits organized by sport, including hockey (Boston Bruins, Hartford Whalers, and Olympics), basketball (Boston Celtics), football (New England Patriots), and baseball (Boston Red Sox). Concourse galleries also feature boxing, rugby, soccer and artifacts from the Boston Marathon. The museum has life-size statues of Carl Yastrzemski, Bobby Orr, Larry Bird, and Harry Agganis, an old Boston Garden hockey penalty box, and thousands of other items.
One of Boston’s premier concert venues, the Pavilion, is open seasonally from May through October. From Tony Bennett to K.D. Lang to Bonnie Raitt to Jay-Z; they have all played at the Bank of America Pavilion, and this year’s lineup looks just as exciting as past years. With a perfect Boston Harbor location and many outstanding “sea oriented” restaurants located nearby, as well as a cutting edge New York style steakhouse, Del Frisco’s, spending an evening in the Seaport District can be a real Boston experience. When the concert is over, visit Harpoon Brewery and Beer Hall just 100 yards away from the Pavilion.
In June of 2004, the Boston Convention Center opened near the South Boston Harbor and Boston’s World Trade Center. Boston’s Convention Center is the largest in New England, offering 516,000 square feet of exhibit space, 300,000 square feet of function space, and a 40,020 square foot ballroom overlooking the city skyline and Boston Harbor. The space had originally been planned to house a stadium for the New England Patriots but concern over traffic prevented its construction.
Boston Children’s Museum is the second oldest and one of the most influential children’s museums in the world. For over 100 years it has been engaging children in joyful discovery experiences that instill an appreciation of our world, develop foundational skills, and spark a lifelong love of learning. The Museum’s exhibits and programs emphasize hands-on engagement, learning through experience, and employing play as a tool to spark the inherent creativity, curiosity, and imagination of children. Designed for children and families, Museum exhibits focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math), environmental awareness, and health & fitness.
Located on the Congress Street Bridge, the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is an interactive, high tech, floating museum. Unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before, this unique museum sits on a barge in the water, includes tours on restored tea ships and a stunning, interactive documentary that immerses you into the events that led up to the American Revolution. Touch, feel, see and hear what the patriots felt when their passions and angers flared at the injustice of taxation without representation. Participate in multi-sensory exhibits, witness dramatic reenactments by professional actors and historians and discover the true story behind the Boston Tea Party.
Founded in 1660, the Granary Burying Ground is the third oldest burying ground in Boston. During the Revolution, the area where the Park Street Church now stands had been used to hold grain, which is the reason for the burying ground’s name. Located on Tremont Street, the following famous individuals are buried in the Granary Burying Grounds: Peter Faneuil, Sam Adams, Crispus Attacks, John Hancock, James Otis, Robert Treat Paine, Paul Revere, and members of Ben Franklin’s family.
The Park Street Church was founded in 1809 by 26 locals who were mainly former members of the Old South Meeting House. The church became known as Brimstone Corner, possibly because the area was used for the storage of gunpowder during the War of 1812. In 1816, the Park Street Church joined the Old South Church and formed the City Mission Society, which served Boston’s poor. The church was the site of many firsts, including the nation’s first Sunday School in 1818, first prison aid in 1824, and William Lloyd Garrison’s first public statement against slavery in 1829. Park Street Church can be seen from the various surrounding neighborhoods because of its steeple, rising 217 ft. high. Open to visitors summer time only.
Dedicated in 1806, the African Meeting House is the Oldest African American Church and was the First African Baptist Church in the United States. Over the years it also served as a school and a community meeting place. It was here that William Lloyd Garrison founded the New England Slavery Society, making it the center of the abolitionist movement. In 1972, the building was acquired by the Museum of Afro-American History and it was restored in 1987. Today, the museum commemorates African American history from slavery to the abolitionist movement, with a focus on educational equality.
The Old Corner Bookstore, located on the corner of School and Washington Streets, was built in 1718 as an apothecary shop and residence. During the 19th century, it housed the Ticknor and Fields Publishing House and later became the literary center of Boston. Authors such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau brought manuscripts here to be published. It is now known as the Globe Corner Bookstore and specializes in New England travel books and maps. Before the Old Corner Bookstore was built, the original building was the home of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson, who was condemned for her dissent from Puritan orthodoxy.
Established in 1635, the Boston Latin School was the first public school in America. By inviting boys of any social class to enter, the school set a precedent for tax-supported public education. The Boston Latin School’s curriculum is inspired by the 18th century latin-school movement, which centered on the idea that study of the classics was the basis of an educated mind. Some of the school’s most famous students were Ben Franklin, Samuel Adams, Henry Ward Beecher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Hancock, and Leonard Bernstein. A statue of Benjamin Franklin keeps a watchful eye on the site and a mosaic on the sidewalk behind King’s Chapel marks the spot as well.
The Black Heritage Trail features various homes, memorials, and sites that are significant in the history of Boston’s 19th century African American community. The first slaves arrived in 1638 and by 1705 there were over 400. At this time there were also the beginnings of a free black community in the North End, and by 1790, the time of the first census, Massachusetts reported no slaves. The trail includes the Robert Gould Shaw & the 54th Regiment Memorial, first black regiment, the George Middleton House, the oldest home built by African Americans on Beacon Hill, and the Phillips School, one of Boston’s first schools with an interracial student body.
Kings Chapel is a Christian Unitarian church located on Tremont and School Streets. The church was organized in 1686 as an Anglican Church. In 1785 it became the oldest member of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the first Anglican Church. Beside the church is the Kings Chapel Burying Ground, which was Boston’s only burial ground for 30 years. Many historical figures are buried here, including John Winthrop, the colony governor, William Dawes, who rode with Paul Revere on the Midnight Ride, Mary Chilton, the first woman off the Mayflower, and William Emerson, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s father. The original building was a wooden church built in 1688 and it was replaced by the current stone building in 1754. The bell was hung in 1772 and was recast by Paul Revere in 1814; it still rings at services today.
The Museum of African American History is New England’s largest museum dedicated to telling the story of organized black communities from the Colonial period through the 19th century. A variety of exhibits, programs, events and educational activities are presented that showcase the stories of black families – from how they lived, educated their children, worshiped, worked, created artwork and how they organized politically to advance the cause of freedom. Located within the African Meeting House, which is the oldest African Meeting House in America and inside the Abiel Smith School, which was the first building in the country constructed for the sole purpose of housing a black public school, the buildings themselves are a big part of the rich heritage and incredible past of the African Americans in New England.
As the oldest large free-lending library in America, the Boston Public Library was designed as a “palace for the people.” The McKim building includes a children’s room, the first in the country, and a sculpture garden with an arcaded gallery surrounding it. When facing the Copley Square side, the library façade resembles a 16th century Italian palace. Bates Hall is the library’s magnificent reading room, named after the library’s original benefactor Joshua Bates.
In the distinctive gold-domed building atop Beacon Hill, the past meets the present. On weekdays, you can discover Massachusetts’ history on a free tour of the center of the state government. The building, completed in 1798, was designed by Charles Bulfinch to replace the Old State House.
In addition to housing the state government, the State House also displays various portraits of governors, murals depicting the state’s heritage, and statues inside and on its grounds. The building is recognizable because of its dome sheathed in copper and covered by 23 karat gold, as seen in the film The Departed.
Boston Common was established in 1634 and is on the List of National Historic Landmarks. Today, this expansive green space is the starting point of the Freedom Trail and the anchor of the Emerald Necklace, a system of connected parks that winds through various Boston neighborhoods. Its long history includes being used as a campgrounds for British Troops, the site of public executions and the place where several notable visionaries and leaders gave legendary speeches including Martin Luther King Jr., Pope John Paul II and Gloria Steinem. Today, Boston Common is still a place for many public gatherings, festivals, events, concerts and sports as well as a pleasant place to jog, bike and walk while enjoying the pretty scenery. Located at the foot of Beacon Hill.
Copley Square, named after the American portraitist John Singleton Copley, is a historic focal point of this busy commercial area. A bronze statue of Copley can be found on the northern side of the square. Nearby Boylston Street offers shopping and attractions plus Newbury Street features upscale boutiques and restaurants in its quaint 19th century townhouses.
One of the oldest libraries in the United States, the Athenaeum was founded in 1807 and is an exclusive club of sorts in which a membership is required to use the many magnificent resources of this institution. But feel free to visit the first floor of this historic building that is open to the public and is home to an art gallery with a variety of rotating exhibits. Marble busts, porcelain vases, oil paintings, books and more are a delight to browse through and view. There’s also a children’s room with cozy reading nooks that overlook the Granary Burying Ground.
Built in 1805 and renovated in 1830, the Nichols House Museum was constructed by architect Charles Bulfinch. The museum takes its name from Rose Standish Nichols, who lived in the house between 1885 and 1960, and represents the lifestyle of the American upper class during that period. The Nichols House Museum offers a room-by-room tour of the four-story row house, which is decorated in original furnishings.
Charles River Esplanade is one of the many examples of land set aside in Boston for public enjoyment. During the summer you can catch a free concert or play at the Hatch Shell, or watch the rowers practice in the Charles River as you stroll in the park.
Louisburg Square was designed as a model for town house development in the 1840’s but the square was not replicated because of space restrictions. Today, the area is one of the most prestigious addresses in Boston. The homeowners, not the city, own the square and the oval park. Statues of Columbus and Aristides can be seen on the north and south ends, donated by a Greek merchant in 1850. Residents in the square have included author and critic William Dean Howells, the Alcotts, including author Louisa May Alcott, and currently Secretary of State, John Kerry.
The Charles Street Meeting House in Beacon Hill is a historic church that was built in 1807. Its first congregation was the Third Baptist Church, which baptized its members in the Charles River. Before the Civil War, the church was an important site for the anti-slavery movement, used for speeches by Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth. The building is currently used for commercial purposes.
The campus of this world renowned science and technology institution extends more than a mile along the Charles River Basin. The school was founded by William Barton Rogers in 1861, with the founding philosophy of “learning by doing.” During WWII, the school served as a federally funded research and development center. In 1916, George Eastman donated the funds to build a new campus on the Cambridge side of the Charles River.
The Christian Science Plaza is the location of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, one of the largest churches in New England. The plaza consists of 14 spacious and serene acres, paved in brick and granite, with orderly rows of trees, buildings, stone benches, a large reflecting pool and a circular fountain. The Mother Church, built in 1894, consists of a Romanesque Church Edifice with a bell tower and stained glass windows, and the larger Church Extension, added in 1906, is a mix of Renaissance and Byzantine architecture.
The Symphony Hall in Boston, Massachusetts is considered one of the top concert halls in the world because of its impressive acoustics. The Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops share the hall. The Symphony Hall was designed through a collaboration of architects McKim, Mead and White and assistant professor of physics at Harvard University, Wallace Clement Sabine. Sixteen Greek and Roman statue replicas line the walls of the hall and Beethoven’s name is inscribed over the stage. The Symphony Hall’s organ, a 4,800 pipe Aeolian-Skinner, is also considered to be one of the best in the world. It was installed in 1949 and is autographed by Albert Schweitzer.
The Mary Baker Eddy Library is a three-story, stained-glass globe with a thirty-foot glass bridge passing through the center. Travel to the center of the world and experience the Mapparium’s three-dimensional 1935 map, with a presentation including words, music, and LED lights to illustrate the development of ideas over time. The Monitor & Quest Galleries, the Hall of Ideas, and interactive exhibits are also open to the public.
Isabella Stewart Gardner, a patron of the arts, established the museum in 1903 when her own property on Beacon Hill became too small for her growing collection. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was designed as a replica of the 15th century Venetian style palazzo. Because Gardner disliked the cold, impersonal experience that museums usually offer, she chose the palazzo-style, a design which provides natural light and garden views. The museum, a must-see Boston attraction, features three floors of galleries surrounding a garden courtyard. The collection includes paintings, sculpture, tapestries, furniture, and decorative arts spanning 300 years, from locations around the world.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is one of the largest museums in the U.S., housing the second largest permanent museum collection in the Western Hemisphere. The museum is affiliated with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and the sister museum, the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts, in Nagoya, Japan. The Museum of Fine Arts offers a fine permanent collection from the masters of American painting as well as a vast selection of works of art from all important periods; it also hosts special exhibits on loan from around the world.
Copley Square, named after the American portraitist John Singleton Copley, is a historic focal point of this busy commercial area. A bronze statue of Copley can be found on the northern side of the square. Nearby Boylston Street offers shopping and attractions plus Newbury Street features upscale boutiques and restaurants in its quaint 19th century townhouses.
Learn about Copley Square in Boston with our complete information guide featuring historical facts, map, pictures, and things to do nearby.
Named for Captain Cassin Young who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the attack on Pearl Harbor, the USS Cassin Young (DD – 793) is docked adjacent to Old Ironsides. Built in 1943, she was. The ship served during World War II and the Korean War. The destroyer saw action off Tinian, the island the Enola Gay took off from to drop the first atomic bomb, as well as Okinawa and Iwo Jima. One of only four Fletcher-class destroyers still afloat, she was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
Boston’s Museum of Science, located on the Charles River Basin, has over 500 interactive exhibits and a variety of live presentations throughout the day. The museum also features a planetarium, New England’s only domed IMAX, a theater of electricity with one of the world’s largest Van de Graaff generators, and exhibits from the original Computer History Museum. Beginning with a collection of men sharing scientific interests in the early 1830’s, the museum still houses some of the artifacts that were originally stored and displayed.
The historic landmark pub was transformed from a long-standing neighborhood gathering spot for locals into one of Boston’s must-see stops for visitors after gaining notoriety as the location of the popular 1980’s TV sitcom, Cheers. The Cheers Pub was founded in 1969 and was discovered in 1981 by Hollywood couple Mary Ann and Glenn Charles. During their visit, they photographed the interior and exterior of the pub, which they gave to the set designer back in Hollywood to replicate for the set of the show. Cheers premiered on NBC in 1982 and remained on the air for 11 seasons, receiving over 100 Emmy nominations over the years. The pub eventually changed its name to Cheers to avoid confusion.
The landscaped, 24-acre Boston Public Garden, established in 1837, was the first public botanical garden in the U.S. The Public Garden contains lovely manicured paths, the famous “Make Way for Ducklings” statues, a 4-acre pond with swans and a variety of other birds, and several memorable statues throughout. You can enjoy a leisurely ride aboard the Swan Boats, pedal-powered gondolas which have been in operation during the summer months since 1877.
The Old South Meeting House was the largest building in colonial Boston and stands today as a symbol of the right to free speech and free assembly. The most well known meeting that took place here was held by the Sons of Liberty on December 16, 1773. The discussion in protest of the British tax on tea led directly to the Boston Tea Party, which took place later that very evening. 5,000 colonists gathered in the Old South Meeting House that day, an example of one of the larger crowds that could not have been accommodated by Faneuil Hall.
3Stop 3open Closed on Mondays during the off season.
Launched in 1797, the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship still afloat. Crisscrossing the globe, this three-masted frigate participated in the Barbary War off the coast of North Africa and sailed the Caribbean in search of pirates. She earned her nom de guerre Old Ironsides during the War of 1812 when enemy cannonballs bounced off her resilient wooden hull. Docked in the Charlestown Navy Yard, the famous ship is a floating museum open to public. It is also a stop on the on the Freedom Trail and the Old Town Trolley.
The gravestones in Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, Boston’s second oldest burying ground, tell the story of the population of the North End in colonial times. Originally known as Windmill Hill, the hill took the name of William Copp, a shoemaker who donated the land for a burying ground in 1659. It is the place of rest for thousands of artisans, craftspeople, and merchants. Some of the well known individuals are Increase and Cotton Mather, of the family of ministers, Robert Newman, sexton of the Old North Church at the time of Paul Revere’s ride, Edmund Hart, shipyard owner and builder of the USS Constitution, and Shem Drowne, the artist who made the weathervane for Faneuil Hall, among others.
Officially called Christ Church, the Old North Church is the oldest church building in Boston, a National Historic Landmark, and a stop on the Freedom Trail. Built in 1723, the Old North Church was inspired by the works of Christopher Wren, a British architect. It is most commonly known as the first stop on Paul Revere’s “Midnight Ride,” where he instructed three Boston Patriots to hang two lanterns in the church’s steeple. The lanterns were used to inform Charlestown Patriots that the British were approaching by sea and not by land.
Built in 1680, the unimposing wooden house at 19 North Square is the oldest house in downtown Boston. The 3-story building was the home of silversmith and Boston Patriot Paul Revere from 1770-1800, previously housing the parsonage of the Second Church of Boston. Revere sold the house in 1800 and it became a tenement with the ground floor used for shops and various businesses over the years. In 1902, Revere’s great-grandson purchased the property and restored it so that it could be opened to the public. In 1908, after restoration by architects and preservationists, the Paul Revere House opened to the public as one of the earliest historic house museums in Boston and the U.S.
The New England Aquarium, situated on the scenic Central Wharf, has more than a dozen exhibits that highlight hundreds of different species from around the world. Attracting 1.3 million visitors each year, the Boston Waterfront attraction recreates natural habitats ranging from reefs and tide pools to rocky shorelines. In addition to its exhibits, the aquarium offers Whale Watch excursions that take visitors 30 miles east of Boston to Stellwagen Bank where you can see whales, dolphins, sea birds and other marine life. The aquarium also has an IMAX® Theater that features films of animals and their habitats, 3-D movies and first-run feature
On March 5, 1770, the tension from the British military occupation of Boston escalated into the event now referred to as the Boston Massacre. There was heavy military presence in downtown Boston in order to maintain control over civilians and to enforce the Townshend Act. Various brawls between soldiers and civilians had taken place; but the evening of March 5th was the first to result in civilian deaths. Today the site of the massacre is marked by a cobblestone ring on the traffic island at the intersection of Devonshire and State Streets.
Boston Harbor Cruises has been introducing visitors to the Boston Harbor since 1926. Today they are New England’s oldest and largest cruise company. Boston Harbor Cruises offers Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Lighthouse, and Sunset Cruises, in addition to fast ferries for private functions and general entertainment. Boston Harbor Cruises also runs The Landing, Boston’s only fully outdoor patio bar and a great spot to enjoy drinks and the view of the Boston harbor. There’s no reason to trek to Boston’s Historic Ballpark when you can catch a Red Sox game on TV from the waterfront!
One of Boston’s most well known historic sites, Faneuil Hall Marketplace was constructed in 1742 and served as a marketplace and meeting hall since it first opened its doors. Named after the wealthy merchant who provided funding for the hall, Peter Faneuil, this significant structure has been the site of many important and inspirational speeches by famed Americans, including Samuel Adams. When visiting Boston, a stop here is definitely a must do.