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.
At the beginning of the 20th Century, heiress and philanthropist Isabella Stewart Gardner built a home modeled after a 15th-century Venetian palace. Gardener was a great patroness of famous artists such as James Whistler and John Singer Sargent. She also acquired European masterpieces, and her palace is now a museum filled with works by Titian, Matisse, Rembrandt, and Raphael. The courtyard of the museum is a lush oasis filled with beautiful plants and flowers.
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.
Boston Common is one of America's oldest park in the heart of Boston, offering recreation opportunities and a glimpse into history through numerous monuments to the past. Designated as public space in the 1640s, British soldiers later camped here during the Revolutionary War. Part of the Freedom Trail, the park adjoins the Massachusetts State House and Beacon Hill. A favorite spot is the Frog Pond, which doubles as an ice skating rink. The park is the beginning of the Emerald Necklace, a seven-mile (12-kilometer) string of local parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, a popular landscape architect.
If you plan on visiting the USS Constitution at the Charlestown Navy Yard, the USS Constitution Museum is a must-see, located adjacent to the ship. Come and discover what life was like for the crew that served on Old Ironsides. Take a trip into American history learn about life on the sea, the Revolution, and the War of 1812. A fun, educational experience for the entire family. Be sure not to miss the gift shop so you can take a piece of history home with you!
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.
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.
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.