Lives in Chicago, Illinois
Since Aug 2014
25-34 year old female
Living Abroad - Family Travel - Health, Culture, & Travel Writer - Foodie - Blogger - Mom
Historic Walking Areas
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Architectural Buildings, Observation Decks & Towers, Shopping Malls
Arenas & Stadiums
Universities & Schools, Historic Sites
Wander into the narrow brick and cobblestoned streets of Beacon Hill, and you will find yourself surrounded by Federal-style row houses and mansions that date back two centuries. This residential neighborhood is a designated Historic District, a National Historic Landmark, and home to the Massachusetts State House and several small museums, including the Museum of African American History.
The Freedom Trail, probably the most-mentioned Boston attraction, is famous for a reason. This 2.5-mile route takes visitors to 16 of the city's main historic sites! Among them are Boston Common, Faneuil Hall, the home of Paul Revere, and the USS Constitution. Give yourself plenty of time – there will be lots to see along the way!
The New England Aquarium is home to hundreds of marine species, from intimidating sharks to adorable penguins. The aquarium schedule is full each day with a variety of animal presentations, so be sure to check what's happening during your visit.
The North End is home to Boston's Italian community, and accordingly, dozens of authentic family-owned Italian eateries. Here, you simply must sample the pasta and the pizza, or at least grab a gelato or cannoli pastry as you explore the neighborhood. The streets are narrow and seem to be bustling at every time of day.
The serene ponds, weeping willows, vibrant flowers, and street performers in this botanical garden are a draw for travelers and locals alike. Located in the center of downtown, the Public Garden can be a great place to relax with a book, enjoy a picnic, or simply walk through en route to your next destination.
Newbury is Boston's quintessential shopping and dining destination. Located in the mixed commercial-residential Back Bay neighborhood, it's packed with trendy shops – ranging from upscale boutiques to independent bookshops to thrift stores – all housed in the ground floors of beautiful brownstones. Newbury is also known for its outdoor dining – along with some of the best people-watching in the city.
When in Boston, be sure to make your way to the top of the Prudential Center Tower. On the Skywalk, you can get a panoramic view of the city, with an audio guide that tells you about the famous landmarks as you view them from up high. Alternatively, enjoy the scenery from the upscale restaurant and bar, 'Top of the Hub'.
The Museum of Fine Arts, or MFA, showcases a comprehensive art collection and is widely considered one of the top ten art museums in the country. In 2010, the museum opened the new American Wing, with art spanning hundreds of years of American history, from before Columbus to the present day.
Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox since 1912, has all the cheerful essence of a classic American ballpark. Of course, the best way to see the park in its full glory is to attend a game there, but if you don't have time, or aren't in town during season, you can opt for a tour of this colorful stadium, or you can even get some great photos just by walking around the perimeter.
A big name across the river in Cambridge, MIT provides the kind of modernist architecture you may expect from a top school in the sciences. Its surrounding area offers scores of trendy bar and restaurant options, with equally minimalist and inventive decor. You'll find the greatest concentration of food and drink options at One Kendall Square, which is counter-intuitively half a mile away from the T's Kendall Square stop.
Spread over three floors, this museum has hundreds of exhibits on topics ranging from dinosaurs to electricity to the human body. Fun and informative for both children and adults, the museum also houses an IMAX theater and an observatory, which is open on clear Friday nights (8:30-10 pm) from March to November.
The oldest university in the country, prestigious Harvard University is renowned both for its intellectual elite and iconic red-brick buildings. A stroll through Harvard Yard, the main student thoroughfare, will leave you feeling inspired (and maybe studious), and after you've acquired some intellectual fuel, you can find sustenance at one of the scores of restaurant bars, trendy fast food options, ethnic eats, and independent cafes in the area.
Harpoon Brewery, which produces the well-loved Harpoon beers, shouldn't be missed by travelers interested in the beer production process - or just in trying new and inventive beer styles! The brewery offers tours on the hour every afternoon, but even without the tour, the large beer hall is a lot of fun, with experimental beers on tap that are unavailable elsewhere. Of course, the classics are available as well, as are soft pretzels and inventive dipping sauces.
For a modern art experience inside and out, definitely make time for a visit to the ICA. With a relatively small permanent collection (the ICA only started collecting art in 2000) the Institute of Contemporary Art dedicates itself to incredibly varied visiting exhibitions by talented contemporary artists. It also hosts scores of events, including First Fridays concerts and parties, which are incredibly popular with local 20- and 30-something professionals – and often themed according to the art on exhibit.