Boston, one of America’s oldest cities, is well known for its history, universities, baseball and seafood. The list below covers some of the city’s famous sites as well as lesser-known attractions worth a visit!
Faneuil Hall Marketplace, conveniently located in Downtown Boston behind the historic Faneuil Hall, is a classic stop for foodies. The marketplace is appealing to locals and tourists alike, and its four buildings house an abundance of restaurants, pubs, and food vendors. The food and shopping alone is enough to draw visitors, but the buildings are also notable for their architecture and picture-worthy cobblestone streets!
Image source: Christopher Chan via Flickr
Sites all over Boston are known for being the first of their kind in America, and though the city isn’t responsible for the country’s first domestic beer, both the Samuel Adams Brewery and Harpoon Brewery have played key roles in generating an interest in craft beer across America. Both breweries were established in the mid-1980s and have since grown to be well known and loved. Today, each opens its doors to the public for behind-the-scenes tours, where a guide discusses the brewery’s history and provides samples of its beer.
Image: Samuel Adams Brewery Tour by levydr722 via Flickr
A visit to Boston simply wouldn’t be complete without visiting The Freedom Trail, a collection of 16 preserved historic landmarks located along a walkable marked 2.5 mile path. The sites include:
The Boston Common – the oldest public park in America.
Kings Chapel – originally built in the late 1600’s, the church’s current structure was constructed in 1754 and is still in use today.
Faneuil Hall – the meeting hall on the second floor was the site of many important gatherings in American history and is still notable for many political meetings today.
Image: Faneuil Hall by Mark via Flickr
The Battle of Bunker Hill Monument and Museum – commemorates one of the first major battles of the Revolutionary War.
The USS Constitution – a 44-gun frigate that was in active service from 1797 through 1855 and the world’s oldest commissioned warship still floating today.
Image: USS Constitution sails into Boston Harbor by Official U.S. Navy Imagery via Flickr
The Freedom Trail isn’t the only must-visit attraction for visitors to Boston. Your tourist mission to this city would not be accomplished without stopping by Fenway Park, which at 101 years old beats Wrigley Field as the oldest Major League Baseball stadium! Concerts by the Boston Pops Orchestra delight music fans by featuring a wide variety of popular numbers.
Image: Boston Pops by Lorianne DiSabato via FlickrJust across the river in the city of Cambridge, visitors can see the world-famous universities of Harvard and MIT! Last but not least, sightseers will revel in the 450,000 pieces of art held at the Museum of Fine Arts!
Image: MFA by Angelique Eeek via Flickr
For those looking to dine off the beaten path, food tours are a really great way to sample a variety of tastes you might not otherwise try while on vacation. Knowledgeable guides provide historical commentary as they lead the way, allowing tour goers to absorb the full flavor of the city. It’s not uncommon for locals to be seen on these tours, and they often come home with a new perspective on their hometown!
Boston is lucky to feature a variety of food tours, with themes to suit every palate. Some focus on the tastes within individual neighborhoods, such as the North End, South End, and Chinatown — while others focus on cuisine type, such as dessert, pizza, and seafood!
Image: Chinatown Gates by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism via Flickr
Boston is full of iconic taverns that were once frequented by many of the men who built the United States. Though many taverns claim the title of oldest tavern in Boston, the Warren Tavern is most frequently given the honor. This Tavern was built in Charlestown in 1780, just after the Battle of Bunker Hill, and was a favorite watering hole of George Washington!
Other notable taverns include:
Green Dragon Tavern (1654) – this watering hole is notable for being frequented by the Sons of Liberty. Though it would appear to be the oldest of the bunch, most don’t consider this to be the case, because it is not in its original building or location.
Image by Patrick Nelson via Flickr
Bell in Hand Tavern (1795) – despite moving locations in 1844, this establishment also claims to be the oldest continually operating tavern. It is notable for originally being owned by Boston’s last town crier and at one point only serving ale.
Jacob Wirth (1868) – this restaurant is known for brewing their own beer, and remaining open during prohibition when they sold beer at the legal 3.2 percent alcohol.
Amrhein’s (1890) – Though older establishments exist, it is worth it to stop by Amrhein’s to view the oldest hand carved bar in America and Boston’s first draft beer pump.
For those not up for crawling the bars alone, there are several guided tours that visit these historic watering holes and tell their stories!
The Charles River, both scenic and full of recreational opportunities, is a Boston attraction not to be missed! Sites along the river include the Charles River Esplanade and an abundance of historic boathouses and bridges.
The most notable recreational opportunity on the Charles is rowing. The sport gets much of its fame from races around the UK, but it also has an extensive history in the city of Boston. Each October, The Head of the Charles Regatta takes place on the Charles River, and this year (2013) marks the race’s 50th anniversary! The race is great for spectators and is also notable for being the largest two-day rowing event in the world. Visitors can also try their hand at rowing on the Charles year-round through programs offered at the Boston Rowing Center.
For those looking for something a bit less physically intense, but still wanting to get out on the water, Charles River Canoe & Kayak is a great alternative offering both rentals and paddling tours!
This article was produced by Christina Loiacono. Christina is a travel enthusiast and contributor at http://blog.zerve.com. Boston is one of her favorite places to visit, as she developed a love for the city while rowing on a crew team during college.