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Feb 17, 2022

The Best of Boston

Boston is an iconic city, and Bostonians often lovingly call it "Beantown" or the "Athens of America". It lies on the eastern side of the commonwealth of Massachusetts in the northeast part of the country. It offers so much for any curious visitor. You'll be spoilt for choices on what to sample in this vibrant city, and in our opinion, Boston is one of the best places to visit in the United States.

Boston has been an important global city and a thriving metropolis throughout history. Its history goes back to colonial times when the Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony and the small neighboring Plymouth Colony merged in 1636. That alliance between two religious groups would give birth to a new nation and city: Boston.

Boston today is just as vibrant a city as it was during the age of revolution. You can relive colonial traditions at the Plimoth Plantation, visit the world-class Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, or shop at Faneuil Hall Marketplace.  

What makes Boston so unique is the juxtaposition of its serious history and culture vis-à-vis its unbridled spirit of fun. While touring the Freedom Trail on your way to the Paul Revere House or The Bunker Hill Monument, remind yourself that it is, after all, just a city with a wild side.

The Freedom Trail

This famous freedom trail covers a distance of 2.5 miles and winds through the city’s downtown. It slithers through 16 locations that are nationally significant to the country’s history. You can choose the red brick trail within the Boston Common that will take you down to the Bunker Hill Monument.

The sites on this historic trail include graveyards, a historic naval frigate, old buildings, and churches. Most of the stop-overs are free to enter, and a few charge admissions, and they include Paul Revere House, Old State House that features a gleaming gold dome, and Old South Meeting House.

Faneuil Hall

Faneuil hall was built by Peter Faneuil, a notable merchant, in 1743. At the time, it was a central location for traders. It became famous due to its role in the American Revolution. As a result, it earned the affectionate nickname “Cradle of Liberty”.

On this hall is the grounds that James Otis and Samuel Adams fanned the ideas of the American Revolution by advocating for independence from Britain.

You'll find street performers, souvenir shops, and food stalls in this location. On the southern and northern marketplaces of the Faneuil Hall are numerous boutiques, retail stores, and many other shops.

You can stop by Paul Revere’s home, built in the 17th century. He was a patriot immortalized due to his popular all-night ride to Lexington, giving warning that the British were on the way.  

For lunch, grab a beer at Ned Devine's Irish Pub, or for something a little different, try Boston's first Nano Brewery, Sam Adams Brewing Tap Room. Or walk to Faneuil Hall Marketplace and explore the area, which is a stop on the city Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour or a short walk from Boston's T's Blue Line/Aquarium or Blue and Orange Lines/State Street Station.

Irish Famine Memorial

There is much more to Boston than the iconic monuments and the freedom trail. The city hosts magnificent museums, rocking nightlife, great food, and imposing architectural structures.

The Irish famine is one of the defining moments in Ireland's history and those who immigrated to the US. It was a period of starvation and disease leading to the death of millions.

Robert Shure designed the monument to commemorate thousands of Irish immigrants who died in the devastating Famine of 1845-1852. Each sculpted figure on the memorial represents an archetype from nineteenth-century Ireland—the rugged stonecutter and his family. The statues have become a local landmark sought out by locals, historians from all over the world, sightseers, and ancestors of immigrants who fought their way through poverty and famine only to find wealth and opportunity in America.

The Bunker Hill Monument

Your Boston vacation just won't be complete without a visit to Bunker Hill, the only monument dedicated to a battle that took place almost two hundred years ago. The relatively recently completed landmark was designed by one of Boston's first architects Marquis De Lafayette and had granite brought in from Quincy for its construction.

The Bunker Hill Monument stands tall in victory over the British. It has stood through the years as a symbol of victory over those loutish Brits.

Boston Tea Party Museum

Uncover the secrets of the famed Boston Tea Party as you walk through history at this fun and educational attraction. Step aboard a two-story replica of the teahouse that was once stationed in the harbor close to where it all took place. Explore interactive exhibits, films, and displays dedicated to both the event and its actors, then step out onto the Congress Street Bridge, where you'll toss authentic boxes (yeah!) into real Boston Harbor.

It’s not often that you’re invited to a party with history – but that’s exactly what you will be doing when visiting the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum.

Don't you like tea? You don't have to be a tea drinker to enjoy the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, but you certainly might be convinced to become one after you set foot aboard the two real ships that survived the Boston Tea Party in 1773. Each holds its own unique and fascinating story about the events leading up to the Boston Tea Party and the development of America's maritime trade. You'll also find modern technology, including interactive video conferences with historians, craftspeople, and other guests.

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The Skywalk Observatory

Even if you can't be up there, close your eyes, and you'll feel like you're floating about Boston. Haven't seen it yet? Take the High-Speed Elevator to the 50th floor of the Baocheng Center (Prudential Center), and have a great time.

The Skywalk Observatory is a breathtaking vantage point to take in panoramic views of Boston, the surrounding area, and historic landmarks like the Bunker Hill Monument. Soar above Boston and see the city like never before. Visitors can also visit the observatory for great sunset photos or hold their wedding ceremony.

On a clear day, you can see for miles. It is 50 floors up in the heart of the bustling city of Boston, providing views in all directions -- north to the Blue Hills, east to the Atlantic Ocean, south to Long Island, and west to New Hampshire and Vermont. You may catch sight of Boston's famous Duck Boats or an America's Cup yacht as they glisten in the harbor breeze.

The observatory offers spectacular 360-degree views of Boston and Cambridge. It's completely enclosed by glass so that you won't miss a minute of the city skyline. It's a great place to take breathtaking photos or just relax with a snack. The Skywalk is undoubtedly the best way to view Boston – beat the crowds and experience the skyline in comfort, safety, and style.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

From speeches and writings to awards and photographs, the JFK Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to preserving President Kennedy's legacy. Learn about President Kennedy's life from his childhood in Boston through his years as a student at Harvard University and his early career as a journalist. You’re invited to experience the rich history of one of America's most beloved presidents.

In one of the most defining moments in American history, President Kennedy's speech on October 22, 1962, brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. The Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum invite you to walk in his footsteps through a journey of self-discovery to see how history was made from an intimate perspective and how it can still affect you today. The museum offers the gift of storytelling… imagination at its best, and the power to decide for yourself.

Discover The Abandon Tunnels

The underground world of abandoned subway tunnels under City Hall Plaza in downtown Boston juxtaposes the busy city life above. Bostonians were stunned back in 1897 when the nation's first subway line opened as an alternative to crowded streets and horse-drawn carriages. After opening newer lines and better stations, this line was eventually abandoned in 1963.

Old structures and relics, including signs of the old Scollay Square station, were discovered along the way when the city opened the tunnels for tours during Boston Preservation Month. And although no tours are scheduled in the near future, you can still learn about this part of Boston’s history through city historians.

Final Take

Boston, one of America's oldest cities, is a place where old meets new. From its historic role in the American Revolution to Boston Public Garden's famous swan boats, it maintains its rich history while offering a vibrant, thriving community with diversity and culture.

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Things to do in Boston