Bostonians can thank Oliver Wendell Holmes for a nickname that stuck. He dubbed the State House “the hub of the solar system” back in 1858, and people still call Boston “the hub of the universe” today.
So why is this relevant for tourists? Boston is an awesome place to live, but it’s also a great place to visit. Now that visiting season is gearing up–the three months it’s actually warm and pleasant here–it’s a good time to take a look at ten must-see highlights.
- Fenway Park. The oldest baseball park in the country, and the home of the Boston Red Sox. Tickets are hard to come by, but you can try www.stubhub.com or at least take a tour of the park and grab a beer at Boston Beer Works.
- Newberry Street. Perfect for people-watching and window-shopping. Set yourself up at a café like Sonsie and watch the world go by.
- Public Garden. Especially if you’ve got kids along, you can’t miss a ride on the swan boats and a visit to the duckling statues made famous in Robert McCloskey’s MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS.
- Canoeing on the Charles River. Rent a canoe or kayak for an hour or more and paddle along the river between Boston and Cambridge: http://www.paddleboston.com/main.php
- Museums. Depending on what type of peeps you come with, consider hitting the Boston Children’s Museum, the Science Museum, the Museum of Fine Art, or the Aquarium.
- Freedom Trail. Don’t miss the trail marked in red paint that leads you to many of the historic sites from the American Revolution: http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/ Visit everything from the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown to the Paul Revere House and Old North Church in the North End, then treat yourself to a delicious cappuccino and tiramisu in Caffe Vittoria on Hanover Street or have a pizza at the famous Pizzerina Regina on Thatcher Street.
- Quincy Market. Tourists love Quincy Market with good reason. Fun shops and a whole hall full of tasty restaurants on one end, and the historical Fanueil Hall (also on the Freedom Trail) on the other. Head around the corner for a fresh Guinness at the Purple Shamrock or raw oysters at the (likewise historical) Union Oyster House.
- Chinatown. Right beside the theater district you’ll find scores of authentic restaurants, bakeries and shops well worth a visit.
- The T. Boston is a very walkable city, but don’t miss a ride on our subways that also go above ground in places. One of the best views of Boston is when crossing the river to Cambridge on the salt-and-pepper bridge.
- Trolley tour or duck boat. A great way to get your bearings in the city when you first arrive, but make sure you get off it and into the streets yourself when you finish!