President John F. Kennedy's memory is sacred in the minds of many Americans. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, a glass pavilion designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, is dedicated to his memory. Visitors are transported back to the darkest days of the Cold War. A short film recounts JFK's deeds in his own words while the authentic photos and exhibits evoke the brief period in White House history that nostalgic Americans refer to as "the days of Camelot".
An integral artery of downtown Boston, Freedom Trail is a winding path coursing through some of the most significant landmarks of the country. Dotted along the trail's course is a troupe of sites which have been the brewing grounds for iconic events like the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere's Midnight Ride. Upheld by the Boston National Historic Park and the Freedom Trail Commission, it is dotted by a tracery of churches, graveyards and buildings commanding monumental significance. Some of the important sites studded on the trail are the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, Old North Church, Old South Meeting House, USS Constitution, Copp's Hill Burial Ground and Paul Revere's House. The trail often commences from Boston Common, meandering up to the Bunker Hill Monument. Voyaging proudly through the city's expanse, the Freedom Trail tells stirring tales of the country's glorious past.
This century-old Italianate structure of bronze doors and grand marble staircases, Boston Public Library was the first free municipal library in the nation. The library's first building on Mason street was a former schoolhouse, which opened in 1854. Having received an authorized decision, the library's then commissioners located a new building for the library on Boylston street. Thus, the Copley Square location became home to the library in 1895. Expanding the Copley Square location in 1972, McKim building was constructed. In this National Historic Landmark, you can find collections of maps and prints, rare books and manuscripts and fine mural series. The Boston Public Library offers daily tours highlighting famed central library buildings and art works within, like the ones by John Singer Sargent.
One of the oldest public parks in the country, The Boston Common Frog Pond is a concrete formation and a water pool in summer, but in winter it turns into a 16,000 feet (4876.8 meters) outdoor skating rink. On crisp Boston nights, there may be nothing better than a twirl on the ice beneath the trees of the Boston Common and the lights of downtown skyscrapers. You may even have an audience; crowds often gathered on the rail around the pond to watch the skaters glide.
Commonwealth Museum exhibits some interesting documents and legal records belonging to the State. The museum's education department offers lectures encouraging the use of material from the archives. A special exhibit entitled 'Highway to the Past' is dedicated to the archeology of the Big Dig. Many of the artifacts uncovered during the digging are also on display.
Within this 1888 carriage house on the grounds of the Larz Anderson Park is one of the country's oldest private collection of antique automobiles. Little red Corvettes, big Cadillacs, traditional Fords and old-fashioned Studebakers are on display here. A couple of imported Italian vehicles have found their way into this exhibition. Check out this priceless collection, created for those who appreciate anything with four wheels. Learn how the role of the automobile has shaped our society and grab some replicas of vintage cars from the store before you leave.
The Old South Meeting House was originally built as a church by Puritans in 1729. This building went on to play an important role in the American Revolution as a gathering point for those seeking American independence from Britain. On December 16, 1773, over 5000 colonists met here to protest a tea tax. From the meeting, these protesters went to the waterfront and tossed crates of tea into the harbor. The act later came to be known as the Boston Tea Party. An in-house shop in the museum basement has small articles of the historic events that occurred here, as well as copies of books and documents of historical importance.
Museum of African American History is dedicated to chronicling the contributions of African Americans to New England during the American Colonial era. In addition to displaying artifacts, the museum holds classes, workshops and day camps dedicated to educating people about the African American experience. Properties maintained by the museum include the African Meeting House on Beacon Hill and the African Meeting House on Nantucket. The museum also runs the Black Heritage Trail.
Paul Revere was a Boston native and local silversmith renowned for his role in the American Revolution. On a night back in 1775, he left home to warn fellow rebels Sam Adams and John Hancock that British troops were headed to Lexington to arrest them. That night was immortalized by Longfellow's poem, "Paul Revere's Ride." The house was built in 1680 and bought by Revere in 1770. It just escaped the wrecking ball when Revere's descendants recovered the property in 1902. Now a national historic landmark, the building is one of the oldest in downtown Boston and reminiscent of colonial America. It opened its doors to public-viewing and displays an unique assortment of personal belongings and memorabilia.
Since opening in 1969, New England Aquarium, a waterfront landmark, has become one of Boston's biggest tourist attractions. One of its most famous exhibit, the massive 200,000-gallon Giant Ocean Tank, has a simulated Caribbean coral reef in which sharks, sea turtles, moray eels and tropical fish cruise by crowds of children pressed in awe against the glass. Other marine galleries contain piranha, sea otters and three species of penguins. As if all that weren't enough, this aquarium also offers whale-watching cruises, seal shows, and has its very own IMAX Theater.