If you’re in Boston, you are at the epicenter of American history. With today’s new normal, there are still plenty of social distancing approved activities that are well worth exploring. Luckily, Boston has plenty of fun social distancing approved options available to enjoy. Whether it be visiting a historical landmark or strolling a lush garden, there’s a ton of social distancing approved activities worth discovering. Here are just a few of the exciting options around Boston that are also practicing proper social distancing protocols.
There’s no better way to see all the best of Boston than on a tour. One of the most well liked tours in the city is the Old Town Trolley Tour is now open. We’ve been transporting visitors to 100 different points of interest for more than 30 years. The tour is fully narrated by a local historian who shares amusing anecdotes and interesting facts about Boston. If you want to see Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere’s house, the Boston Massacre Site, and any of the other famous Boston sights, the Trolley takes you there. You can enjoy each stop for as long as you want because we have trolleys coming and going all day. It’s convenient, easy and a great way to stay out of the crowded parking lots.
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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 open-air tour, led by a passionate team of historical actors. As part of their commitment to bringing the events of this period into perspective, there is the opportunity to carouse with colonialists over a spot of tea and re-enact the Boston Tea Party itself!
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.
Harvard Square is an intellectual and offbeat area with a mix of languages, ages, and cultures. Its streets are lined with coffeehouses, independent bookstores, cinemas, and music stores that are open right now. The centerpiece of the area, Harvard University, is the oldest institution of higher learning in America, established in 1636.
Its long list of famous alumni includes seven presidents of the United States. The campus is distinguished by a diverse collection of historic buildings. For information, visit the University Events & Information Center on Massachusetts Avenue.
Boston museums are slowly reopening, and many that are open right now are suited for all ages and offer an air-conditioned retreat on a warm summer day. Some of the most popular are the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science, and The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. Each of these museums offers permanent, temporary and interactive exhibitions. Many of them also have special summer events, live performances and activities for the whole family.
The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a mile-and-a-half long daisy chain of parks and green spaces in the heart of Boston that puts people in touch with the beauty of nature amidst an urban metropolis. One of these is Chinatown Park. A lovely oasis at the southern end of the Greenway, this one-acre linear park contains design elements drawn from Asian traditions and artwork. Designed by Carol R. Johnson and Associates, it contains a serpentine walkway edged by bamboo within bright red sculptural elements and a unique fountain that suggests a waterfall and shallow riverbed. This is a great place to watch some serious street chess, satiate your appetite with one of the many savory offerings available in the vicinity or just Zen out.
Old Town Trolley Tours invites you to explore Boston’s darker side aboard the city’s only “frightseeing” ghost tour, Ghosts & Gravestones is now open in Boston. Prepare yourself for an evening of fun, scares, and ghost stories guided by a 17th century gravedigger. You’ll visit the streets where the Boston Strangler once prowled and hear local tales of murder and mayhem, ghosts and ghouls.
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 open and 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.
Comprised of 16 places of interest, each one a milestone in the evolution of Boston from English colony to independence, the Freedom Trail is an essential component of any trip to Boston. This historic attraction literally lays out Boston’s colonial history before you on the very streets where the city’s most transformative events unfolded several hundred years ago.
As with many of the historic cities in the United States, Boston has its share of ancient churches that are open to the public. A visit to the city isn’t complete without a stop into at least one of them and of course each offers sanctuary from the sun. The Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Old South Church, and Park Street Church (open summer time only) are the most popular churches. The magnificent architecture of these buildings and their fascinating history will undoubtedly astound you.
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.