Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston.
One of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston was founded on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England. It was the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston. Upon U.S. independence from Great Britain, it continued to be an important port and manufacturing hub as well as a center for education and culture. Its rich history attracts many tourists, with Faneuil Hall alone drawing over 20 million visitors per year. Boston’s many firsts include the United States’ first public school, Boston Latin School (1635), first subway system, the Tremont Street Subway (1897), and first public park, Boston Common (1634).
Here are the must visit places to visit in Boston…
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km) path through downtown Boston, Massachusetts that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States. Marked largely with brick, it winds between Boston Common to the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown. Stops along the trail include simple explanatory ground markers, graveyards, notable churches and buildings, and a historic naval frigate. While most of the sites are free or suggest donations, the Old South Meeting House, the Old State House, and the Paul Revere House charge admission. The Freedom Trail is overseen by the City of Boston’s Freedom Trail Commission and is supported in part by grants from various nonprofits and foundations, private philanthropy, and Boston National Historical Park.
The Freedom Trail was conceived by local journalist William Schofield, who in 1951 suggested building a pedestrian trail to link important local landmarks. Boston mayor John Hynes decided to put Schofield’s idea into action. By 1953, 40,000 people were walking the trail annually
2. Oyster Union House
Ye Olde Union Oyster House, open to diners since 1826, is amongst the oldest operating restaurants in the United States of America, and the oldest that has been continuously operating since being opened. It is located at 41-43 Union Street, Boston, Massachusetts. The building was listed as a National Historic Landmark on May 27, 2003.
The Union Oyster House has a number of famous people in history as diners, including the Kennedy clan and Daniel Webster. Webster was known for regularly consuming at least six plates of oysters. Perhaps most surprising, in 1796 Louis Philippe, king of France from 1830 to 1848, lived in exile on the second floor.
The food is traditional New England fare, including seafoods such as oysters, clams, and lobsters, as well as poultry, baked beans, steak and chops. The toothpick was said to have been popularized in America starting at the Oyster House
3. Bell in Hand Tavern
So much history! This tavern has been around since 1795 and is the oldest bar in Boston!
Bell In Hand Tavern has plenty of tricks up its sleeve — it’s got everything from comforting dishes like clam chowder, to DJ-fueled dance parties, to a record for being the longest continuously run tavern in the US.
It is a historic site that is at home along the Boston Freedom Trail where it parallels Union Street in Government Center north of Faneuil Hall and south of Haymarket. It sits near the Oyster House which is allegedly the first restaurant in the country.
4. Boston Waterfront & Harbor
Boston Harbor Waterfront is such a lovely place to relax on a summer sunny day.The walk on the waterfront is so pleasant. It is a busy place on a weekend during summer time. There are benches by the waterfront where we can enjoy the weather and watch the boats. This is the major attraction of Boston. Also there are plenty of restaurants and local eating places around. Quincy market is the near by and it has many attraction, shopping and entertainment around. Lobster and crab roll were the best ones to have there
The sea, stunning architecture, the wharf, historic monuments etc combine to give you a good, visual feel of a superb combination of natural beauty & man-made beauty!
5. Mike’s Pastry
Mike’s is the most popular of Boston’s North End bakeries and a place you must visit at least once when seeking Italian pastries.
Mike’s Pastry is often crowded; lines form at the register and extend onto the street, and for good reason- Mike’s makes amazing Italian pastries. King of the cannoli, Mike’s makes them in many flavors: ricotta cheese, chocolate cream, chocolate chip, and hazelnut are just a few. If flaky, creamy homemade cannolis don’t sound tempting enough, browse the cookie selection, try the sugary-sweet cinnamon twists or order a lobster tail. Then grab a seat and dig in because once you’ve seen and smelled the sweet concoctions in the cases, you won’t be able to wait. Luckily, Mike’s makes a mean cappuccino to sip alongside while you enjoy your Italian treat.
6. Alden & Harlow
Alden & Harlow is one of those cool spots where you just feel like you fit in. From the inviting bar that runs the length of the restaurant to their mix of high-top and low-top dining tables you’ll feel at home at Alden+ Harlow. The menu is meant to be eaten tapas style with about three plates needed per person to create a full meal. Loaded with creative interpretations of local fare, you’ll find the flavorful bites will fulfill your sense elf taste as well as quell your hunger.
I met my blogger buddy Dolphia and her husband Matt for brunch at this interesting brunch place recommended by them
7. Harvard Square
Harvard Square is a triangular plaza at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Brattle Street, and John F. Kennedy Street, near the center of Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. The term “Harvard Square” is also used to delineate the business district and Harvard University surrounding that intersection, which is the historic center of Cambridge.Adjacent to Harvard Yard, the historic heart of Harvard University, the Square (as it is sometimes called locally) functions as a commercial center for Harvard students, as well as residents of western Cambridge and the inner western and northern suburbs of Boston
8. The Harvard Student-Led Walking Tour
The Official Harvard tour departs from the Harvard Information Center, in the Smith Campus Center. The tour is student-led and comprises an outdoor walk through Harvard Yard, providing a history of the university, general information, and a unique view on the student’s individual experience. The tour is around one hour long, and completely free of charge. There is no pre-registration for general visitors, however tours are capped at 35 attendees. Registration begins for each tour one hour prior to departure time.
9. Back Bay
In Boston’s Back Bay you can find everything you may be interested in. The beautiful Newbury street, The Prudential Center, Copley Place, Copley Square, and more. It is a walking distance to downtown Boston, to the public gardens and to the Charles River. Many universities, a couple of museums, famous old churches – so much to see and do.
10. Amorino Icecream
The rose-shaped gelato is perfect for pictures. Highly recommend the mango flavor. Really tastes just like a mango. The gelato macaroons are a must-try!
11. Boston Public Library (BPL)
This is the first free library in the United States and the founders spearheaded this idea so that everyone has access to education.
The murals, art, marble, and even the floor have some significance which you will learn about on the tour. Super great place to visit especially if you go on the tour for all the bibliophiles, art lovers, and those who just love libraries!
Bates Hall is the epitome of a reading room. High arched and grilled windows, coffered ceilings that remind me of a basilica in Rome, and rows and rows of tables with green traditional incandescent banker’s lamps. In its vastness and grandeur, you can’t help but stop all conversation when you enter. The room evokes tranquility and a duty of silence.
Remember to visit the courtyard too. The open-air courtyard is based on the Palazzo della Cancelleria in Rome, designed in the style of a Renaissance cloister with an arcaded promenade. In the middle of the courtyard, there’s a fountain with a bronze statue (“Dancing Bacchante and Infant Faun” by Frederick William Macmonnies). It is perfect for relaxing, reading, studying, and talking with friends. There’s a restaurant that overlooks the courtyard called the Courtyard Restaurant, which offers an afternoon tea service. In the summer, the courtyard holds free concerts.
BPL offers free daily tours to the public by trained volunteer guides. These tours last about an hour and if you have less than 8 people in your party, you don’t need a reservation. If you’re in Boston, I highly recommend a visit to the BPL.
12. Boston Duck Tour
Don’t leave Boston without doing a Duck Tour Tickets are readily available and you can join the tours at The Prudential Bldg or The Aquarium. Round about $45.00 a head.
Great way to see the Boston sights and to drive up the mighty Charles river.
Guides are great, informative, irreverent and funny – money well spent.