Where you’ll find things steeped in history.
As the capital, and biggest city of Massachusetts, Boston has no shortage of awesome things to do. It’s also one of the oldest cities in the entire United States, so no matter where you go you’ll find things steeped in history. Whether you’re visiting just for the day or for longer, here’s a list of our top five must-do’s and must-sees in Beantown.
1. Admire Some Art at the Museum of Fine Arts or the Isabella Gardner Museum.
Hours: Sat-Tues 10am-5pm, Wed-Fri 10am-10pm
Hours: Closed Tues, Other days 11am-5pm
While most people think of New York as the art capital of New England, you shouldn’t disregard Boston so quickly. It has a few great art museums, but the two you should definitely check out are the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The Museum of Fine Arts is actually one of the oldest art institutions in the country (are we seeing a trend yet), and it’s Art of the Americas wing is one of the most celebrated collections of American art out there. A few blocks away you’ll find the absolutely gorgeous Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The museum is designed to look like the Palazzo Barbaro in Venice and houses Isabella’s impressive collection of Italian art.
2. Explore your Science Side at the New England Aquarium or Museum of Science.
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun 9am-6pm
Hours: Sat-Thur 9am-5pm, Sun 9am-9pm
Both the Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium are important Boston landmarks. The Museum of Science is home to over 700 interactive exhibits and presentations on anything from anatomy to earth science. They have occasional rotating special exhibits that are fun and educational for all ages. The museum also houses the Charles Hayden Planetarium for those who have a love of astronomy. If you’re a fan of marine sciences, then the New England Aquarium is a must see. It has a ginormous, four story fish tank full of beautiful sea life that you can spend hours ogling at. They also have your typical stingray touch pool and an awesome penguin habitat that’s their star attraction.
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 11am-7pm
Faneuil Hall Marketplace consists of four buildings, Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market and South Market. Faneuil Hall is the oldest and has had a long and important history in Massachusetts politics. Samuel Adams actually once stood there to push for resistance against the British. Quincy market is a lively marketplace full of interesting souvenirs and an abundance of culinary options from all over the world. The North and South Markets hold many shops like Urban Outfitters and American Eagle if you want to do a little shopping. This area is also great if you want to go out at night with friends, as there are multiple bars that are worth checking out.
Whether or not you’re a baseball fan, you have to check out Fenway Park. What makes it so special is that it is one of the last two “old-school” ballparks in Major League Baseball (the other being Wrigley Field in Chicago). The Green Monster (the super high left field wall) and its scoreboard are two of the most famous pieces of Fenway. While most ballparks have electronic scoreboards now, Fenway still has one that is all posted by hand. Many a homerun or line drive that would normally have cleared the walls in other ballparks fail to make it over the Green Monster. Babe Ruth of the Yankees was the first opposing player to hit a home run over it, but don’t let Boston fans hear you talk about the Yanks or you’ll be in for some nasty remarks.
Hours: Everyday 9am-5pm
If you’re a history buff, or just love JFK, this museum is a must. It’s in the Dorchester neighborhood, so a little off the beaten path but well worth it for its collection of artifacts, photos and videos about the Kennedy’s. The building itself sits right on the water and offers a lovely view of the city skyline. You’ll see things from both his presidency and his more personal life, like a display on the late Jackie Kennedy Onassis that includes some of her famous outfits. They even have his 26-foot sailboat, and a recreation of the television studio in which he debated Richard M. Nixon in the 1960 election.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Boston? Share with us in the comments.