After a quick visit to Massachusetts, I’ve put together a short list of things to do in Boston. The city is quite compact and tourist-friendly so it’s possible to pack a lot into a day if you’ve got some commitment! One of the most enjoyable things is walking around and getting a feel of the city, which is a lot more European than some of the other US cities. Although, a word of warning, it can get bitterly cold!
This is the most popular tourist attraction in Boston and it’s a must for any traveller who wants to understand a bit about the city and its place in American history. The trail is a path through the city that takes walkers past important sites. You can do it yourself for free or you can do a guided tour. The best place to start is at Boston Common and follow the red brick (or occasionally red paint) trail. By the time you get to Quincy Market you’ve seen a lot of the sites, but you can continue the walk for another mile or so from there to see a few more things if you’ve time.
JFK Presidential Library and Museum
It’s not always top of the lists for Boston tourist attractions but it was the highlight of my visit to the city. The building is at the University of Massachusetts campus just south of downtown and has a great exhibition about the life of JFK. It uses videos and historical items tells you about his early years in politics, the campaign for presidency and some of his achievements in office. There’s also an exhibition about Jackie and hher life in the White House.
You can get there by catching the metro to the UMass/JFK station on the red line and then getting the free number 2 bus. There is an entry fee of $12 for adults.
Drink a Samuel Adams
This is a true Boston beer and, after a busy day of sightseeing, it’s the perfect way to refresh. It’s named after Samuel Adams (of course), not just because he was such an important figure in the American Revolution and Boston Tea Party, but because he was also apparently a brewer.
There are plenty of watering holes in Boston that give you a choice of either ye olde English or American sports bar – and they all serve Sam Adams!
It’s worth a trip out to one of the world’s most famous universities not just so you can say “I went to Harvard” but because it’s got a great atmosphere and some really interesting architecture. The campus itself is quite large and spread out but you can just wander through and pretend you’re a student. Harvard Square is where all the cafes and restaurants are and it’s a great place to stop for a drink or a bite to eat. There are also some great bookshops there. MIT is not too far away and that’s also worth a trip if you’re a bit more of a scientific geek than a business of political nerd.
If you’re in Boston during a Red Sox game then this is a must. They take their baseball very seriously and you’re going to get one of the best atmospheres of any crowd in the USA. Fenway Park is the oldest Major League Baseball stadium still in use and, in fact, the oldest venue used by any professional sports team in the country.
You can get there on the Metro’s green line. If you can’t make it to the stadium on game day or if the Red Sox are playing anywhere else in the country, the atmosphere at the bars in the city are also a fantastic and truly Boston experience.
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