Housing the Museum of Fine Arts, Faneuil Hall, and high-ranking educational institutions (Harvard among them), Boston is a cultural and intellectual hub for locals and foreigners, with incredible museums (over 60), churches, and educational centers. But that’s not all. An excellent spring destination, Boston has as much to offer outdoors as it does indoors. With something for everyone, here are six mandatory places to see in Boston.
1. Boston Public Garden
The Boston Public Garden, the first public botanical garden in America, certainly is a must-see! Its lavish greenery & vibrant floral patterns, peaceful lagoon, and plentiful monuments and fountains testify to its Victorian influence, transporting you back to a long-gone era as you stroll along its decorative pathways. To fully immerse yourself in the historical scene, take a ride aboard the pedal-powered Swan Boats, which have been functional since 1877.
2. Boston Commons
A testament to Boston’s rich history, the Boston Common, founded in 1634, has long been the site of historical change. It was here that the Colonial militia prepared for the Revolution, George Washington celebrated the United States’ independence, anti-slavery meetings were held, and, eventually, Martin Luther King’s civil rights rallies took place. Numerous plaques are stationed around the park commemorating its long, detailed history. While you’re here, check out the Frog Pond, one of the most popular landmarks in the Common – which doubles as a skating rink in the cooler months and a tranquil, reflective pool in the warmer months. Bring a blanket and some snacks and have a picnic!
3. Walk the Freedom Trail
No trip to Boston would be complete without taking a walk down in history on the Freedom Trail. Comprising 16 significant landmarks, each a milestone itself in Boston’ history (from an English colony to political freedom) this 2.5-mile-long pathway snakes its way around several neighborhoods. Whether you want a guided tour or prefer to explore it at your own pace – the choice is yours. Along the way, you can expect to come across the Massachusetts State House, Granary Burying Ground, Kings Chapel, Faneuil Hall, and the Benjamin Franklin Statue – just to name a few.
4. A tour of Harvard University
Boston is a world-class educational hub with over 50 colleges and universities in the city and greater metropolitan area, (including Cambridge), making Massachusetts the state with the highest number of most educated people in the U.S. and the greatest concentration of living Nobel laureates. Harvard’s global reputation precedes it, worldwide recognized as an exceptional and prestigious institutions, alongside bearing the title of the oldest university in America. At least a quarter million college students from around the world study at Harvard, making up 20% of the city’s population, as per the Boston Globe.
You have to take a tour, even if you’re not planning to go study here. So much to see/ and learn. Harvard also boasts a marble dragon statue, built in Beijing in honor of the university’s 300th anniversary and donated by its Chinese alumni; alongside the famous Out of Town Newsstand, a Cambridge landmark, which has provided Harvard professors and students with global newspapers and magazines since 1955.
5. Stroll Around Boston’s Lovely Beacon Hill
For another trip back in time, visit Beacon Hill, one of Boston’s oldest neighborhoods. With its winding cobblestone streets, vintage gas lit lamps, and federal-style houses, this district is a historical and architectural heaven. A visit to Beacon Hill wouldn’t be complete without a shopping trip on Charles Street, which boasts plenty of antique shops, boutiques, and stationery stores, as well as the popular children’s store Red Wagon. Louisburg Square, one of the city’s most expensive places to live, is also worth a walking tour – having housed some famous historical figures over the ages, including author and critic William Dean Howells and author Louisa May Alcott. And while you’re there, take some “instagramable” pictures at the famous Acorn Street – one of the country’s most photographed streets.
6. Art at its highest degree
Boston is home to one of the best symphony orchestras in the country and one of the world’s best ballet companies. The Boston Symphony Orchestraand the Boston Ballet attract talent from around the world and regularly put on internationally-acclaimed productions and festivals. The ballet team masterfully executes a range of performances, from classics like the “Nutcracker” and “Swan Lake” to contemporary dance that pushes boundaries and leaves viewers pondering the power of the abstract. They put on shows regularly, so it’s always worth taking a peak and considering spending an evening in the city’s majestic theater district. The symphony orchestra provides another option to experience a profound night out in Boston. Additionally, every year the Boston Pops score the background to the 4th of July fireworks display from the Hatch Shell to create a truly momentous event for anyone lying on a blanket near the river. So there’s even more reason to come during one of Boston’s prettiest months.
No matter your type, Boston is jam-packed with activities and opportunities – particularly, though not exclusively, for the historically and educationally inclined. From touring open, wonderful parks to strolling around the country’s most prestigious university, there’s lots to look forward to when spending some spring days in Boston.