Want a city that mixes history with the hip, contemporary with the quaint? Where cobblestone streets meet glass enclosed shopping galleries, where the Freedom Trail’s landmarks stand beside trendy restaurants, where new high-tech campuses brush shoulders with some of America’s most prestigious universities? Then Boston is a must!
Explore architecture and works of art at the renowned Museum of Fine Arts, where tours in multiple languages are offered; or discover avant-garde art at the Institute of Contemporary Art on Boston’s waterfront. The Boston Public Library houses more than 6 million volumes and equally enthralling are its murals, frescoes, paintings and sculptures. Another gem is HH Richardson’s masterpiece, Trinity Church, consistently ranked among America's most significant architectural landmarks.
Take in a music, art or cultural festival. Wander Boston’s quintessential Beacon Hill neighbourhood full of Greek Revival and Federal-style homes, exquisite squares and historical sites. Stroll Boston Common and the Public Garden, including a ride on the pedal-powered Swan Boats. Take a tour by foot, trolley, bike or boat. There are tours for all interests: historical, food and wine, architectural, film, the harbor islands, and even tours for little feet.
Children will delight in exploring the Boston Children’s Museum, where “don’t touch is never heard”; discovering the mysteries of the sea at the New England Aquarium, and seeing the wonders of the world at the Museum of Science. Kids of all ages will get a kick out of Legoland Discovery Center, rides on the carousels, and splashing in the spray pools and fountains along the Greenway, the city’s new urban parkland.
Everyone will enjoy Boston’s lively waterfront, whale watches and sunset sails. Wind your way through Harvard Yard or the mile-long campus of M.I.T. Boston’s distinctive shopping districts allow visitors to browse in glass- enclosed arcades, stroll open-air marketplaces (most notably Faneuil Hall Marketplace), and meander Newbury Street’s chic boutiques and eclectic Harvard Square (which is not square at all). Undertake some outlet shopping at nearby centers. Regardless of where you shop, you’ll appreciate the tax exemption on all clothing valued under $175.
Boston is also a sports town, and whether you’re an avid fan or casual spectator, enjoy rooting for the home team at professional and collegiate games. If you can’t make it to a Red Sox game, tours are available year round of America’s oldest ballpark.
Sit front row and center for a Broadway musical, classical ballet or a night at the Symphony. Music of all genres can be heard on any night. You can catch the hottest big name performers or trending new talent. Comedy clubs, improv theatres, dance and night clubs also offer evening and late night entertainment.
Boston dining is its own destination. Area chefs outdo themselves with signature specialties made from the freshest local ingredients. The local seafood is spectacular, no matter how it’s prepared. Contemporary cuisine, classic New England fare with a twist and a diverse mix of ethnic dishes make for unparalleled meals. Spicing up the culinary calendar, twice a year, in March and in August, Dine Out Boston is on the city’s menu. Area chefs prepare prix fixe meals at deliciously discounted prices.
Boston, Massachusetts Highlights
- Locals know the forecast by the color of the lighted spire atop the old John Hancock building- it also indicates if the red Sox won or lost at Fenway.
- Free Art & Architecture Tours of the Boston Public Library
You might be surprised by...
The best bicycle tours in the USA. And a shared bicycle system so you can come and go from 140 locations in Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville.
Don't leave without tasting...
Lobster, fried clams, New England Chowder, Boston Cream Pie and a glass of Sam Adams or Harpoon beer. Try out America’s oldest restaurant—and a seafood landmark—Ye Olde Union Oyster House.
Where locals go to relax
Locals have lots of favourite pubs to hang out at; Cheers (on which the TV show was based) on Beacon Street remains a favourite for visitors. They also head to the downtown and waterfront parks: the new Rose Kennedy Greenway and Columbus Waterfront Park, the Charles River Esplanade and the seven miles of ‘Emerald Necklace’ parks that wind through Boston. Boston Harbor Islands (a 10-minute ferry ride) and the serene Public Garden.
Top photo opportunities
You pick: the Charles River looking back at Boston with sailboats in the foreground or the Boston waterfront with yachts and cruise ships. Skywalk Observatory, Custom House and Castle Island, also offer dynamic views.
The Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the New England Aquarium, the Old State House (first British government seat of power), the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, the Museum of Science, Institute for Contemporary Art and the Harvard Museum of Natural History-especially the glass flower exhibit-and there are more than 25 others!
Your child will always remember...
The Boston Children’s Museum and following the red-brick line of the Freedom Trail along the city streets (and the constant stream of snacks available at pavement pushcarts!). Fenway Park, Legoland, Swan Boats, Duck Tours and the Mapparium, a larger than-life hollow glass globe, where you can journey to the center of the earth.
Want to stay up late?
Next door to Fenway Park (home of the Boston Red Sox baseball team) is Lansdowne Street, with everything from jazz to blues to piano to an acoustical guitar clubs. Harvard Square, Faneuil Hall Marketplace and the emerging Seaport District with the latest bar and restaurant hours in the city.
Stuffed lobster toys, a Red Sox hat, a Boston Bruins puck, a New England Patriots jersey, a Harvard T-shirt.
Don't overlook this...
Wonderful heritage parks include the New England Holocaust Memorial, the Chinatown Heritage Park, the Armenian Heritage Park and the Black Heritage Trail & the Boston Equality Trail.
- Assembly Row (7 minutes from Boston)
- Greenway Market
- Faneuil Hall Marketplace
- Wrentham Fashion Outlets (170 shops)