Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that this East Coast vacation destination belongs in the history books. Whether you’re traveling to Boston for a weekend getaway or an extended family stay, there is plenty to see and do.
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1. For the architecture
Boston is home to some of the most notable and distinctive architecture in North America. Visit Copley Square in the Back Bay neighborhood for an impressive view of Trinity Church, the Boston Public Library, and the John Hancock Tower. This isn’t the only neighborhood that features incredible architecture, however. Stoll along the cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill for a look at the Massachusetts State House, or head over to the Old North Church to see the famous wooden spire where Paul Revere received the “two by sea” signal that sent him on his midnight ride in 1775.
2. For the art
If you’re interested in art, Boston is your city. Containing more than 450,000 works of art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest museums in the U.S. Some highlights of the collection include a number of French impressionist paintings including works by Monet, Manet, and Van Gogh, and a large selection of Egyptian artifacts. The Institute of Contemporary Art, located in the South Boston Seaport District, features exhibits by emerging artists as well as a space for contemporary performance art.
3. For the history
Boston has been the location of many of the most important happenings in the history of the United States. You can start your tour of Boston’s history with a walk along the 2.5 mile Freedom trail (start from the Boston Common) and continue on to visit sites like John Hancock’s home or the most picturesque street in America (Acorn Street).
4. For the shopping
5. For the ocean
Where else can you see a whale against the backdrop of a gorgeous city skyline? Situated on Boston Harbor, the city is a great launching point for a day of seaside exploration—in fact, the harbor is a great place to play all on its own, and the water is quite clean thanks to the Boston Harbor Cleanup Project. To get out of the city, head down to Long Wharf for a ferry ride to either Spectacle or Georges Island.
6. For the universities
As much as Boston is a hub of cultural and historical significance, it has also served as a home to some of the country’s most influential colleges and universities. Take a tour of some of these halls of higher learning with a visit to Harvard Square (home not only to Harvard University, but also more than 300 registered street performers) or the MIT museum (where you can see some of the most exciting innovations and ideas that will change the future).
7. For the sports
Major League Baseball’s oldest ballpark, Fenway Park, is home to the much-beloved Boston Red Sox. Despite its record-breaking sellout streak, tickets are often available on the day of the game. If you’re visiting during the winter months, you can the Boston Celtics play at TD Garden.
8. For the dining
Even if munching on baked beans doesn’t appeal to you, Boston is home to some excellent restaurants, including a wide variety of excellent seafood. Chow down on clam chowder or boiled lobster, or if sea creatures don’t suit your fancy, Boston has a number of multi-ethnic fare.
What are your favorite reasons for visiting Boston?