Living Boston’s Past in the Present
Imagine sitting in a quiet pub in Boston only to have Paul Revere sit down next to you and order a pint.
Nestled all over Boston lies history preserved throughout time. The Green Dragon Tavern became known as the “Headquarters of the Revolution” according to Daniel Webster. Faneuil Hall held town meetings where Samuel Adams led cries of protests against the taxes on the colonies. Each building is more historic than the last.
Monuments, statues, and landmarks stand in dedication throughout the Public Gardens and the city itself, commemorating all of the ground-breaking events that have happened in the city.
Each neighborhood in Boston brings the city together as a whole while offering unique experiences exclusive to each. There are historic landmarks where tourists and native alike are able to learn something new and appreciate the value it gives to the nation. While the Freedom Trail Walking Tour runs through a number of these neighborhoods, those who are less keen on tourist attractions are able to enjoy the city as a local rather than a tourist by visiting native-known locations.
The Granary Burying Grounds, dating from 1660, is one of the first stops on the Freedom Trail. The graveyard contains the resting places of many famous revolutionists including Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and Robert Treat Paine. The old stones show the evolution of tombstone iconography and symbolism, changing with the ideals of the passing years. Visitors are able to pay their respects while learning about Boston’s historical lineage and its place in the Revolution.
Currently a marketplace, Faneuil Hall started out as the scene of excited public meetings. Patriots, such as Samuel Adams, used it as a platform to lead protests and give impassioned speeches. Those walking the Freedom Trail are able to appreciate the imposing façade of a building that became known at the “Cradle of Liberty.” In addition, Quincy Market alongside Faneuil Hall is an indoor/outdoor shopping area that many visitors are keen to see.
For those looking for the less conventional, the Custom House Observation Deck offers a bird’s eye view of the city. Part of Marriott’s Custom House Hotel, it is a neoclassical designed clock tower, claimed as the 17th tallest building in the city. The tower has a 360° observation deck on its 26th floor which is open to the public.
On the north side of the city along the banks of the Boston Harbor and the Mystic River lays Charleston. It is home to the U.S.S. Constitution which is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world, the Charlestown Navy Yard, and the Bunker Hill Monument. As the last stop on the Freedom Trail, the Bunker Hill Monument is a 221-foot tall obelisk. Visitors are able to climb close to 300 steps in order to see the view from the top. The site commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill and took 17 years to complete.
Most recognized as the home of Fenway Park, Fenway-Kenmore also houses the Museum of Fine Arts and Symphony Hall. Additionally, the nation’s first public school Boston Latin School also calls this location home. Take a tour of Fenway actually to go on the field to experience a different view.
Considered one of the country’s top art destinations, the Museum of Fine Arts updates with ever-changing exhibits so there’s always something new to explore. They have a notable collection of Monets along with many other Impressionist and Post-Impressionist pieces.
For an insider Boston experience, the Fogg Museum is Harvard University’s oldest art museum, opening in 1895. Its Italian Renaissance courtyard is surrounded by galleries containing art from the Middle Ages to the present. It also contains a terrific collection of Impressionist paintings and a large number of Picasso’s works. In addition, sister museums, Busch-Reisinger and the Author M. Sackler, show select works from the Fogg, as well.
Other Notable Attractions
The Union Oyster House is the oldest restaurant in the country. Serving authentic New England staples such as oysters on the half shell, clam chowder, and boiled lobster dinners since 1826. Since then, its stalls and oyster bar still stand in their original positions. Notably, Daniel Webster was a constant customer.
The Green Dragon Tavern served as a meeting place for patriots such as Samuel Adams and Paul Revere among other founding fathers. There they could secretly discuss and organize calls for action. Their meetings led to many famous historical events, such as the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere’s midnight ride to Lexington. The current Green Dragon is an enhanced replica of the original, demolished in 1854. It offers contemporary amenities for visitors while continuing historic traditions.
The Prudential Center and Copley Place offer shopping and dining experiences. A must see, the Skywalk Observatory is housed on the 50th floor of the Prudential Center. On the 52nd floor is the classy venue, Top of the Hub. Stop in for a delicious meal and a range of drinks along with a brilliant view of the Back Bay area.
These are just a handful of the historical and locally-visited places to visit in Boston. Discover many more locations on your next adventure. Plan a spontaneous trip and check some of these out!