Maybe it’s the beautiful brick architecture, the deep American history or the cultural activities – wherever you go in Boston, you will be surrounded by a special charm.
It is a place of lush green spaces where locals and visitors alike can unplug from their hectic lives and reconnect with simple pleasures. The best way to see the parks, historic sites and iconic views of Boston is on foot. The city offers many attractions close to one another, so you will always find something interesting along the way.
Boston Common and Boston Public Garden
Boston Common is one of the most popular places in the city to enjoy fresh green space. Completed in 1634, Boston Common covers an area of 20 hectares and is the nation's oldest city park. Walk west from Boston Common and you’ll come to the 9-hectare Boston Public Garden and its iconic lagoon with the famous swan boats. The boats have been around for more than 100 years and are a Boston tradition.
The two parks are surrounded by Beacon Hill, hands-down one of Boston's most charming neighborhoods with its cobblestone streets and houses with brick façades.
Walking around the Boston Public Garden
Charles River Esplanade
The Esplanade is a three-mile public recreation area along the Charles River. You can walk, jog or cycle along the riverfront trails or go boating on the water. If you’re traveling with children, there are several parks and a wading pool in the summer months. In the fall months, it’s easily one of the most beautiful places in the city.
Cycling break on the Charles River Esplanade
Rose Kennedy Greenway
Another must-visit is the Rose Kennedy Greenway, where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll or picnic. Along with food trucks, there is also a mini-library – a small wooden box with a variety of books for the public to enjoy. After reading the book, just put it back in the box. Interestingly, the greenway is completely organically maintained and is one of just a few organic urban parks in the country.
Freedom Trail Walking Tour
The 4-kilometer Freedom Trail walking tour starts in Boston Common and leads you to many historical spots, ending with the USS Constitution and Bunker Hill Monument. Take a 90-minute tour with the guides, who play historical figures from the American Revolution who have time-traveled from the 1700s.
One of the stops on the Freedom Trail is Faneuil Hall. It was in this building that the independence of the United States began to take shape. Adjacent to it is the Marketplace, a major center of trade in Boston’s past and present. This place is visited by thousands of people every day, going around local shops and souvenirs stalls.
Sunny day at Quincy Market, adjacent to Faneuil Hall along the Freedom Trail
Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area
Get out of the city by ferry and head out to the Boston Harbor Islands National Park, which is made up of 34 islands and peninsulas. Within 30 minutes, you are surrounded by nature. Two of the most popular islands to visit are Georges Island, which was used as a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp during the American Civil War; and Spectacle Island, which has some of the best views of the Boston skyline.
Boston Harbor Islands Ferry in Boston, Massachusetts
Views of Boston Harbor, Seaport District
There’s nothing more pleasant than patio dining while watching boats on the water. Along the South Boston waterfront on the Boston Harbor, the Seaport District will make such a dream come true. Enjoy a very relaxing lunch watching sail boats and fishing boats.
People Watching, Boylston Street & Newbury Street
Boylston Street and Newbury Street are happening places. Day or night, weekday or weekend, they’re always filled with people. Almost all the restaurants have outside seating, so if people-watching is your idea of a great view, you’ll find it in this popular spot.
The Skywalk Observatory
Head up 50 floors to the Skywalk Observatory in the Prudential Center to get a great view of this historic city. The views over Boston are incredible. From here, look down to see Fenway Park Stadium, the oldest professional ballpark in America; the gold-domed Massachusetts State House; the Christian Science Mother Church; Old North Church; and the Emerald Green Necklace, a chain of nine green parks strung together by trails and waterways.
Aerial view of Boston and the Charles River from the Skywalk Observatory
The Boston Skyline on a Duck Tour
Check out the Duck Tour for an entertaining tour of the city in a World War II-style amphibious vehicle. The excursion is as unique as the vehicle you take it in! You’ll see all of the city’s most recognizable, historic and notable landmarks, with interesting facts provided along the way. Don’t be surprised when the “duck” drives right into the Charles River!