Things To Do In Boston

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Boston is not just a center for baseball, old buildings, museums, and renowned universities. It is also the location of the first public library, subway system, and Public Park. The Boston Public Library is a beautiful monument of faith in progress through knowledge. When visiting it, do not bypass the courtyard and the reading room. When not at the library, venture onto the premises of the Boston Public Garden, which was a former swamp turned into a park in 1837. It is also the first botanical garden constructed in America, overflowing with flowers and plants of all kinds. Here you will find over 100 varieties of trees, including magnificent foliage that border around the Lake Ducks. It's not just plants. However - there are also sections for birds (ducks, swans) and squirrels. Walk the gardens and take a tour of the Swan Boats - in operation since 1877 - a true cultural icon of the city.

Things To Do in Boston

When To Go:

The best time to visit the city is during the summer and the fall (June to November). The gentle fall climate makes touring around and strolling on the city streets a delight. Despite the fact that the mid-year high season gets huge groups of sightseers and expensive lodging rates, the walkway bistros, the ball games and the open air musical shows make it worth the effort. 

The winter season (December – February)  is very cold, so pack a warm layer of clothes and a couple pairs of boots if you are visiting at this time. It is likely you will see Boston sprinkled (or inundated) with snow. The bright side of traveling during the winter season; you may get huge discounts on lodging rates. The spring season (March – May) is also an ideal time to visit because it is when the temperatures range between 30 and 60 degrees.

Things To Do in Boston

These are the favorite things to do and attractions to see in the city of Boston...

 

Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts is a modern museum that includes 3 levels and a mezzanine basement. The collections are divided by geographical area (European Art, Art of the Americas, Asian Art, Oceanic, and African), and time period (Art of the Ancient World, Contemporary art). There are also temporary and special exhibitions. The museum also features the culture of the ancient Samurai. Here you will find  by showing a vast collection of costumes - glitzy and colorful- worn by mannequins displaying elaborate fight scenes (beautiful figures of horses, which are also decorated with colorful armor). There is also a series of gleaming katana, hats of all kinds, and jewelry. At any time, you can find a fascinating exhibition of jewelry, musical instruments, prints, and photographs.

Museum of Fine Arts

The museum is structured based on time and geography. The themes are developed vertically so each level has the same time for different geographic areas. As for collections, you will find several paintings by the French Impressionists, but there are also Americans artists that are often unknown in Europe. These painters chose to stay in France during the late 1800 and early 1900’s to "breathe" better.  The impressionist painting technique was so revolutionary and amazing it is no wonder why it is featured in the museum. You can also find several paintings by Italian Renaissance artists, Flemish painters, and even more American painters. One painting to look out for is John Singer Sargent – his piece,“The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit” – is simply  fantastic. You will also find Egyptian artifacts and artifacts from the war of independence from Britain. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston holds an excellent collection of modern works and more and definitely should not be missed.

 

Boston Public Garden

Walking through these perfectly manicured gardens, meticulously kept by the residents of the city is an experience to see. The Boston Public Garden and its well-tended  lawn is perfect. While there, you will find dogs playing with their owners, people doing gymnastics, and community minded caretakers that have respect and love for the city- set against a beautiful Boston skyline.  As a public garden, it is not very big, but it is easy to find. You will not hear the noise of traffic or the honking of horns - only the birds singing and the laughter of children playing. It has a number of gardens, an extremely charming bridge, a lake where you can canoe and a space for skating (including ice during the winter). It is well worth the time to get there!

Within its perimeters, you have direct contact with nature, beautiful trees, water, animals, grass, and lovely flowers. It is worth spending the afternoon lying on a towel or mat on the lawn, enjoying the scenery, reading a book, or chatting with friends or your special someone. The charming atmosphere somewhat resembles London parks. 

Boston Public Garden

The Boston Public Garden is next to the Boston Common and its main entrance is at the opposite end of Commonwealth Avenue. The garden has alleys running through the site going in several directions and a lake where you can take boat rides. The Boston Public Garden is part of the Emerald Necklace, a line of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted to encircle the city. Prepare your camera and memory card because this site is full of wonderful photo opportunities. 

 

Boston Public Library

Bostonians take pride in having the first public library in America. Some historical editions of Shakespeare are there, as well as a section on Joan of Arc, and music by Mozart. The most impressive part of the building is Bates Hall, located on the second floor. It hosts a grandiose reading room accentuated by high ceilings and a rounded roof.  The Boston Public Library building is a work of art, painstakingly decorated inside and out.

Boston Public Library

The first public library in the United States is an incredible monument with impressive architecture, free Wi-Fi access and guided tours. There are varied hours, depending on the day of the week. Exhibitions are held in different rooms and there is also a charming internal garden and cafeteria.  The landmark building is located in the vicinity of Copley Square, an area that invites studying and reading. The library was opened to the public for the first time in 1854, and it is the first institution of the municipal council that was free. Currently, it has 23 million items, including books, manuscripts, maps, musical scores and prints. 

 

North End

The Boston area as a whole is fantastic, and if you are interested in taking a walk through the city, be sure to visit North End.  Here there are several restaurants offering outdoor activities, primarily on weekends. The neighborhood is Italian, but there are plenty of other options for food. This side of the city is more popularly known as the neighborhood of immigrants. There are some historical sites, such as the Boston Stone and Paul Revere's house, but it is mostly known  as area of the city where Immigrants resided. At first it was the Irish, which still own some pubs in the area, and then it was the Italians.

North End

The North End is where you will find most of the cantinas and pizzerias in Boston although some of them are very expensive and you will be in long lines for dinner every day. But it is still worth a visit because scenery and diverse ambiance.

It is accessible from the center of the city through the Green Metro Line at the Haymarket Station. Choose a good pair of walking shoes and warm casual clothes because there's plenty to see. Keep an eye out for Little Italy, the North Market, Quincy, South, Faneuil Hall, the Aquarium, and the Government Center.  If you bought a ticket for the subway, you can take a boat ride across the bay and see the bay side of the city within ten minutes.

 

Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is easy to find and offers a simple, but comprehensive overview of the sights in Boston. Information about the individual stations are available everywhere including the starting point (Info Center Boston Common). Tourist can explore the trail on their own and enjoy highlights presented throughout.  If you have enough time, try the Inner Harbor Ferry Tour. You can take the path to Faneuil Hall, go to the aquarium, or take the ferry to the USS Constitution (with an excellent view of the city from the water).

Freedom Trail

Once done, you can just go the same way back again and refresh yourself or simply observe the feel and atmosphere of the city. It is a stimulating walk with multiple opportunities to discover the historical sites of the American Revolution that began in Boston. Wear great walking shoes and enjoy the ride!

 

Fenway Park

Fenway Park is the oldest ballpark in the United States, and for that alone it is worth a visit. The atmosphere is very different from that of other modern stadiums in America and from the outside you will definitely feel like you are in front of something "old", in a good way, of course. Although it is not certainly the largest, it is impressive and its green color distinguishes it and gives it a certain uniqueness. Inside, it has maintained it "old style" while still being comfortable. 

Fenway Park

There are a variety of shops, places to eat and drink, and a big screen and scoreboard. With the large screen, you will never miss any of the important details of the game.  If you are a baseball fan, be sure to experience the green monster or just enjoy hearing the sound of the ball connecting with the bat. Take a tour and see the red seat of Ted Williams, a piece of Red Sox history. You can also catch a live game, but try to find seats with an excellent view - some seats are obstructed.

 

The Institute of Contemporary Art

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) overlooks the waterfront and is designed to host exhibitions and national events with galleries that are modular and column-free. They have glass walls and high ceilings against polished concrete floors. It is about three times larger than the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and it exhibits works by renowned masters such as Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Cindy Sherman. It is designed to mix different architectural themes of the modernist quest towards an advanced and flexible container for exhibitions and art events.

The Institute of Contemporary Art

From the outside, the building appears cubic, covered with a top band of vertical panels of glass and jutting overhang on the right bank of the port of Boston. It also has a wooden deck that runs along the waterfront and fits into the volume of the ICA, creating, at first, a beautiful public walkway that continues ideally within the floor. The wall and the ceiling of the auditorium join the outside of the structure, projecting the coated wooden bottom, which protrudes from the water with no visible support. At the center of the suspended volume it drops down, (it looks like a skylight upside down) to a media library with wood paneling. Remarkable is the colorful mural by Chiho Aoshima, in addition to works that explore the new frontiers of the image. Contemporary art can be "tricky" especially at the beginning, but going to Boston and not seeing this gem of architecture and contemporary art is really a crime!

 

Back Bay

Back Bay

Back Bay is one of the most contemporary communities in Boston. It's famous for the brown brick houses, for historic buildings, the shops of Newbury Street and the Prudential, which offers shopping at its best. It is a good place for viewing the city and the bay. Back Bay lies between the South End and the Charles River Esplanade and is easily accessible from the heart of Boston.  It has streets bustling with commerce, several restaurants, and, of course, beautiful Commonwealth Avenue, which is great for walking.

 

Charles River Esplanade

The Charles River Esplanade is another beautiful park in Boston, located on the bank of the Charles River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean separating the cities of Boston and Cambridge. The park is in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. It's a beautiful walk; you can start at the Science Museum and walk all the way to the vicinity of the Boston University Bridge. Along the way, there are many playgrounds for kids and places to rent boats. 

Charles River Esplanade

From this side, you can admire the beautiful views and pure nature atmosphere of Boston. It is a lovely place both in summer and winter. This esplanade is always full of attractions and grace – and is an ideal place to watch the sunset and beautiful people of Boston.

 

USS Constitution

The experience of climbing aboard a real ship is hard to duplicate. At the USS Constitution, admission is free and although everyone has to go through a rigorous inspection and frisking before being allowed to enter the ship, the attraction is really worth it. The visual for the deck is kind of cool, but it is more fun to go down to the lower floors and see the ships of the era and the artifacts used by the maritime industry. You must reserve about an hour to explore the vessel and understand its history. There are soldiers on board that will take time to explain some details of the history of the ship and if you get here early, you can also witness the raising of the flag. A tour of this massive ship is very educational and interesting.

The USS Constitution is a frigate whose construction is dated back to the 1700s. It was named and inaugurated by President George Washington. It has actively participated in several battles and it is one of the most historic ships of the US Navy fleet. It now serves as the museum of maritime and political history in Boston. 

USS Constitution

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when considering a tour of Boston. First and foremost, avoid the month of February because the winter season offers limited things to do. The rest of the seasons are more comfortable and spectacular, especially during the when the verdant green atmosphere of Spring and tolerable dry season in the summer and fall.  

Visit Boston and be prepared to explore and learn everything on foot, especially along the historical and significant points of interest in the city, like the Freedom Trail, Cradle of Liberty, Fenway Park, and ICA.  You may get tired, but it is definitely worthwhile. The best advice is to start at the Freedom Trail and go all the way to the end. In Boston, you will find the story of the American history that you may not find in history books.  

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