Boston Sightseeing: 10 Places You Must Visit
Founded in 1630, Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the nation's oldest cities. Here are ten Boston attractions you need to see.
Boston was home to the infamous tea party that kicked off the American Revolution. The city was a pivotal spot for other historical events including the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Boston Massacre. Today the city sprawls over 48 square miles and is the largest city in the state. Historical events are not the city's only claim to fame. Boston has a reputation for having the best educational institutes for medicine and business. The city offers a rich culture and has the highest standard of living. Yet folks come in droves every year to experience the many attractions Boston has to offer. Here are ten places you should include on your visit.
1. Freedom Trail
Explore both the city and the history of the American Revolution on Freedom Trail. The 2.5 mile walking trail starts at Boston Common and concludes at the Bunker Hill monument. Walking the actual trail is free and easy to do. Just follow the red line on the sidewalk from beginning to end. Some of the places you will see along the way include the house of Paul Revere and Fanueil Hall. You may explore these locations for a fee. To get a true sense of history try one of the guided walking tours along Freedom Trail. Local actors dress up in historical costumes and narrate the journey for you. Ticket prices for the guided tour are around $12 per adult and $6.50 per child aged 6 - 12.
Location: 139 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116
Hours of Operation: The trail is available 24 hours a day.
2. Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
Experience what it was like on the fateful day of the Boston Tea Party. Your adventure begins on the Congress Street Bridge. You will board the one-of-a-kind floating museum. Be greeted by colonists who will guide through the events that started the American Revolution. On the tour you will experience high tech, interactive exhibits, explore restored authentic tea ships and see the infamous "Let it Begin Here" documentary. At the end of the tour you will get to throw tea overboard just like the Sons of Liberty. The tour lasts about one hour. While you are there enjoy tea time at Abigail's Tea Room and check out the gift shop. Ticket prices start around $25 per adult.
Location: 306 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210
Hours of Operation: Daily from 10am - 4pm
3. Fanueil Hall
Located in the center of downtown Boston, near the waterfront, is Fanueil Hall. This historic meeting place turned market is the most popular tourist attraction in the city. Every year over 2 million people come to the hall to shop, dine and explore the historic architecture. Visitors can buy souvenirs from specialty shops, street vendors and big chain retailers. The food court features treats from around the world at very affordable prices. And while you are shopping and dining you will enjoy the performances of the local street musicians. Faneuil Hall is free to visit and should be on your must do list of Boston attractions.
Location: : 1 Faneuil Hall Square, Quincy Market, Boston, MA 02109
Hours of Operation: Daily from 9am - 5pm
4. Granary Burying Ground
If you like the paranormal, or just exploring old cemeteries, a visit to the Granary Burying Ground is for you. The cemetery was built in 1660 and is the third largest burying ground in Boston. It was closed for any further interments in 1880. More than 2,000 slate headstones mark the graves of some of the city's most notable citizens. Granary Burying Ground was where many of the governors and mayors were laid to rest. Among the famous to be buried here are three of the signers of the Declaration of Independence; John Hancock, Sam Adams and Robert Paine. Other famous historical characters to be found include Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin's parents and even Mother Goose.
Location: Tremont St, Boston, MA 02108
Hours of Operation: Daily from 9am - 5pm
5. Fenway Park
Baseball fans of all ages need to add Fenway Park to their list of Boston places to visit. Home to the Boston Red Sox since 1912. One of the distinct features of Fenway Park is the "Green Monster". This monster is located to the left of the field and is a 37 foot high wall. If you happen to be visiting the stadium for a game stop by the Big Concourse located between Gate B and C near the outfield. The concourse features Rawling's Making of the Game booth, ballpark food and pregame entertainment. If you are visiting the park during off season you may choose to take one of the tours available. Tours are available year round and the park has different options for you to choose from. Visit http://mlb.mlb.com/bos/ballpark/tour.jsp for more information and ticket prices.
Location: 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA 02215
Hours of Operation: Daily from 10am - 5pm
6. Walking Tours
Taking one of the more than 34 walking tours available is great way to sightsee the city. Walking tours are guided by knowledgeable locals, often dressed in period costumes, who know the sights you want to see. You can find some free tours, tours of historical buildings, breweries and foodie tours. Here are three of the best.
Boston Tours offer free walking, or pay what you like, tours of Boston. They have a policy of letting guests pay what they think the tour is worth when it is finished. Of course, the most popular walking tour is the Freedom Trail, but other tours are available too. Boston Tours is located at 42 Robinwood Avenue, #2, Boston, MA 02116 and is open daily from 9am - 8pm.
Off the Eaten Path Tour will take you through the North End neighborhood. Similar to Little Italy in New York, the North End is rich in history, culture and cuisine. You will get to experience the neighborhood as the locals do. Your tour will stop at many of the bakeries, restaurants and specialty food stores in the neighborhood so come hungry. Tour groups are small, no more than 12 people at a time and begin at 11am everyday except Sunday. Meeting place to begin is 43 Fleet Street, Boston, MA 02109.
Boston CityWalks offers walking tours focusing on either history or architecture. They have both scheduled and custom tours available. The scheduled tours include many of the most popular neighborhoods and places such as Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Harvard Square and the North End. If there is someplace else you would like to see just let then know and they will customize a tour for your group. Boston CityWalks is located at 65 East India Row, Boston, MA 02110 but you can visit their website for current tours, prices, dates and times: http://www.bostoncitywalks.com/#_=_
7. Boston Pops Orchestra
The Boston Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1885. During its 125 year history there have been 17 conductors. The founder, Henry Lee Higginson, set out provide concerts that were light hearted and encompassed the popular music of the day. That tradition has continued and the name "Pops," short for popular, become official in the 1900's. Today the orchestra is one of the most loved of its kind. During performances you will hear a variety of styles like jazz, classical, indie rock, and big band. The symphony conducts performances at Symphony Hall year round. During warmer months you can often find them conducting free concerts in many of the local parks. Visit the website for a current calendar of show dates and times: https://www.bso.org/?brands=6425#
Location: 301 Massachusetts Ave., Symphony Hall, Boston, MA 02115
8. USS Constitution Museum
Experience what life at sea was like 200 years ago at the USS Constitution Museum. Tour the old navy ship and enjoy hands on and interactive exhibits. All Hands on Deck is fun for all ages. Take on the role of an old time mariner as you furl a sail, scrub a deck or even shoot a cannon. Old Ironsides in War and Peace will take you through the 200 year history of the maritime vessel. Discover how and why she was built and how she became famous in the War of 1812. Admission to the museum is by donation making it affordable for everyone.
Location: Bldg 22 Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown, Boston, MA 02129
Hours of Operation: Museum hours are daily from 10am - 5pm, USS Constitution hours are Thursday and Friday 2:30pm - 4pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am - 4pm
9. New England Aquarium
The New England Aquarium is one of Boston's most visited attractions. The aquarium features a 200,000 gallon Giant Ocean Tank. The aquarium is dedicated to saving endangered sea turtles. In their hands on exhibit you can experience what it's like to rehabilitate one of these unique animals. In addition to the sea turtles, you will see lionfish, jellyfish, penguins and watch sea lions and seals frolicking in the harbor. Enjoy the rush of one of the IMAX theater's 3D shows, like Great White Shark. General admission tickets start around $10.
Location: Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110
Hours of Operation: Daily from 9am - 5pm
10. Skywalk Observatory
Take in the spectacular 360 degree views of the city from the Skywalk Observatory. Towering 50 floors above the city you can see up to a 100 miles in any direction on a clear day. Located within the observatory is the Dreams of Freedom Museum. The only museum of its kind to celebrate the story of how immigrants built Boston. Visitors are given an audio tour handset that lets them explore the exhibit with separate commentary for adults and children. Enjoy an evening of fine dining while you watch the city light up at night. Ticket prices are $17 per adult and $12 for children 12 and under.
Location: 800 Boylston St #50, Boston, MA 02199
Hours of Operation: Monday - Saturday 10am - 9pm, Sunday 11am - 8pm
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