If you have even a passing interest in popular culture, you’ve no doubt come across the word “Instagrammable” or “Instaworthy” or “Grammable.” This, of course, is a reference to the monolithic photo sharing platform known as Instagram. Having a compelling, follow-worthy Instagram account is far more than just sharing pics. They must be curated, relevant and shareable. From Instastories, crafty color-coding or carefully selected themes, a lot goes into having a really good Instagram account. Being that travel pics are by far the most ubiquitous type of photograph on Instagram, here are a few highly recommended locations in Boston to get your creative mojo going.
A spectacular sight to behold, the Boston Public Library, in its Renaissance Revival style, is pure architectural splendor built in 1895. The granite “palace for the people” features cathedral style reading halls and is home to a vast art collection, tapestries and of course, millions of rare books, manuscripts, and musical scores. The library is actually two buildings, the more modern one having been built in 1972. Give yourself a few hours to take in the beauty and inherent power that resonates from every towering archway to the curved, lofty, ornamented ceilings. This iconic building is considered by many to be among the greatest libraries on earth.
Visitors from all over the world travel to Boston, Massachusetts each year to discover the city’s rich history. One of the most popular places to visit is the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, an innovative and engaging museum that tells the story, with the use of live re-enactments, of the events leading up to the American Revolution. Located in the heart of the city’s Seaport District, this multi-sensory museum allows visitors to relive history, with interactive exhibits, full-scale restored 18th-century ships, and a fully immersive tour led by a passionate team of historical actors. As part of their commitment to bringing the events of this period into a sharper perspective, there is the opportunity to carouse with colonialists over a spot of tea and re-enact the Boston Tea Party itself! Commandeer one of the replica British tea ships or simply find a spot right on the harbor for some cool photo ops.
Horticulture and gardening figure largely in English culture and the Victorian era ushered in a whole new appreciation for the beautiful things that grow out of the ground. Established in 1837, the Boston Public Garden is landscaped to look decorative and flowery and, because of the new techniques of collecting, hybridizing, and propagating plants developed by the Victorians, you’ll see some rather dramatic plants and trees here. Admire the rich and unusual plants, the Lagoon, the monuments and fountains, and the Swan Boats created and operated for over 100 years by the Paget family.
The Charles River Esplanade is one of the many examples of land set aside in Boston for public enjoyment. On the Boston side of the Charles River that separates it from the neighboring city of Cambridge, you’ll find the Esplanade, a leafy, three-mile long path frequented by joggers and light walkers. As the path bends westward towards Boston University, you’ll be able to take in some sights, namely the elegant swan population embedded there. Don’t get too close with the selfies, however, as Swans can be highly temperamental. 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.
Completed in 1964, this international style skyscraper is 749 feet tall and has 52 floors. It’s the second tallest building in the city and among the top 100 tallest in the United States. The Prudential is home to the Skywalk Observatory (50th floor), which provides panoramic views of the city and is the highest observation deck in New England that is open to the public. Up at the top of the Pru, as the building is affectionately referred to, you’ll be able to see the Greater Boston area for miles in every direction.
Even for those who don’t follow sports, a day out at the old ballpark is a fun time to while away the hours with some friends. For those who do fancy themselves sports nuts, Fenway Park is a bucket list destination packed full of hardball history. The left field fence at Fenway, dubbed ‘The Green Monster’, is almost 40-feet high and over 300 feet from home plate and has been a part of baseball lore since 1912. Because of its relatively small size, however, and high demand, tickets can be tricky to get so try and purchase them well in advance. If you are fortunate enough to get tickets, try to get inside the ballpark a little early so you can take some choice snaps. You’ll have the run of the place so head down to the dugout and maybe convince ace shortstop Xander Bogaerts to pose with you!
Beacon Hill is a glorious stretch of historic houses and picturesque scenery. The one-square-mile neighborhood is lined with Federal Row style houses that were built in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Throughout its existence, many prestigious people have lived in Beacon Hill including Louisa May Alcott, Robert Frost, Daniel Webster and more. Gas-lit lanterns still light the cobblestone streets of this National Historic District and add to its charm and allure. Stroll through the neighborhood to catch a glimpse of the famous addresses, browse through a boutique or enjoy a meal at one of the fine eateries.
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 this breathtaking waterfront setting.
Located across the Charles River from Boston, Harvard Square is a popular meeting place in Cambridge situated just outside the gates of Harvard University. Harvard Square draws history buffs as well as those fascinated by its art, food and cultural scenes. The backdrop for scenes from numerous books, films, and television, Harvard Square celebrates a wide variety of bookstores, eateries, music venues, and theaters. It welcomes more than eight million visitors annually who frequent its quaint coffeehouses, fine dining establishments, and eclectic boutiques.
Faintly reminiscent of an Italian piazza or part of the network of waterways common in Venice, this wide reflecting pool is a great place to downshift, decompress, and watch all the people go by. The Back Bay skyline is mirrored on the surface of the pool and the grounds of the Christian Science Plaza where the pool is located are kept impeccably landscaped. Food trucks are often seen here, so grabbing a tasty bite while you try and figure out the proper angle from which to take a pic is a possibility.
The Back Bay was an early planned fashionable residential district, based on Baron Haussmann’s plans to remake Paris. As the tidal flats were slowly filled in, beginning at the edge of the Public Garden and extending westward, residential construction advanced on filled-in lots as they became available. As a result, Back Bay, when viewed in block sequence, illustrates the changing tastes and stylistic evolution of American architecture over the course of the mid- to late 19th and early 20th centuries. When the sun is shining and the magnolias are blooming, it’s hard not to imagine yourself suddenly transported to Western Europe. At nightfall, the twinkly lights wrapped around the tall trees framing the long pedestrian street known as the Commonwealth Mall lend an air of magic to the neighborhood.
The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is a linear park that stretches from TD Garden and the North End to Chinatown. Connecting Downtown and the waterfront, the Greenway offers visitors an array of attractions making it a prime Instragrammable spot including: art installations, an outdoor beer garden, weekly markets, and gardens. The Greenway has grown to be a place where residents and visitors gather to relax and have fun and offers intriguing events all year long.
Located at the heart of Boston, Copley Square is one of the city’s optimal spots for outdoor entertainment and architectural diversity. The historic Trinity Church, the John Hancock Tower – Boston’s tallest building – and the main branch of the Boston Public Library neighbor Copley Square making it an ideal spot for a photo op.
Coined one of America’s most beautiful streets, Beacon Hill’s Acorn Street is a must-see for avid Instagrammers. The narrow cobblestone street that rests on a fairly steep slope is lined with charming, federal townhomes. As the area retains much of its original Greek and Victorian architectural structures, it’s no wonder Acorn Street is one of Boston’s most photographed spots.
Isabella Stewart Gardener was a wealthy intellect who enjoyed collecting and preserving artwork and manuscripts. Located in Back Bay Fens, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum houses Gardner’s personal collections, including Vermeer’s “The Concert” and Rembrandt’s “Self Portrait.” In addition to vast collections of artwork and manuscripts, the Gardner has both indoor and outdoor gardens, making it an ideal spot for photos and sightseeing. Throughout the year, the Gardner offers patrons concerts and an array of community engagement events for people of all ages.
This is considered to be one of the best Hop-on Hop-off tours anywhere in the world by Forbes and we believe to be the best way to get to all the great photo locations on your must-see list. With the aid of our highly knowledgeable and personable guides, you’ll have 18 different stops to explore from Faneuil Hall to the Back Bay and places in between that are just begging to be photographed. One-day and two-day passes are available, so you can sightsee on your schedule. Also, it’s important to remember that you can disembark at any of the designated stops and explore at your leisure. When you’re ready to continue with the tour, simply pick it up where you left off and away you go!
The city of Boston is densely populated, bustling with activity and one of America’s great big metropolises. Finding something that’s Insta-worthy here won’t be difficult. All you have to do is point and shoot. Happy gramming!