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".
With a planetarium, an IMAX movie theater, and a two-story Van de Graaf generator capable of producing 2.5 million volts of electricity, the Museum of Science is truly impressive. Children love the interactive discovery center, live animal exhibit and the dinosaur exhibit with fossils and life-size models. These and the hundreds of other exhibits make this museum one of Boston's top attractions. This educational and entertaining museum is perfect for the whole family.
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.
Arnold Arboretum, a botanical garden, located in Jamaica Plain, is the crown jewel in Frederick Law Olmsted's Emerald Necklace, which is the chain of Boston parks that he created. The manicured grounds, under the management of Harvard University, are filled with exotic flora that are tagged with species and genus names for the eager amateur botanist. The annual 'Lilac Sunday' during the second week of May draws thousands of visitors to enjoy the beauty of over 500 lilac bushes.
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.
The intersection of Devonshire and State Street is a significant location in Boston history. In 1770, an armed collision between the British army and the colonists leading to the loss of lives further provoked the American Revolution. A circular pattern of cobblestones outside the Old State House commemorates these fallen men. Take the Freedom Trail for a glimpse of this tragic incident and other iconic events.
This historic church, built in 1749 and part of the Freedom Trail, has the distinction of being the first Anglican congregation in the American colonies. Then, in 1785, it became the first Unitarian church in the country. There is still an active congregation that uses the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. The interior is considered a paragon of Georgian architectural design. The 18th-century bell from England tolls even today. The church also has an historic cemetery. Although the church doesn't charge an admission fee, offerings will be appreciated.
At the heart of Massachusetts' academic circle in downtown Boston, Suffolk University is recognized as one of the city's most prestigious institutions. Originally founded as a law school, its academic umbrella now goes on to include the Suffolk University Law School, the College of Arts & Sciences, as well as the Sawyer Business School. Myriad educational buildings dot its extensive campus that stretches from downtown Boston to the Beacon Hill neighborhood. Some of these include the Nathan R. Miller Hall, the Modern Theatre, the Ridgeway Building and the Somerset academic building.
Famous for its wonderful display of 17th century history and art, Blackstone Block Historic District is a place which reminds you, of all that is gone and which will be cherished. The cobbled street and the rustic surroundings are just a few of the alluring features. There are quite a few places you can visit like the Union Oyster House—a must for all seafood aficionados and the Union Oyster House Tavern—one of the oldest establishments famous for quenching anyone's thirst for food, drink or good music. These are just two of the gems, from the multitude found at this treasure trove of dining sites. Visit this Historic District and you will surely be transported to an era of beauty and elegance.
Granary Burying Ground, a historic cemetery established in 1660, is the final resting place of many notable figures of the American Revolution. Besides famous patriots such as Samuel Adams and Paul Revere, the graves of the Boston Massacre victims (and Elizabeth "Mother" Goose herself) are among the more renowned in the graveyard. Located on the Freedom Trail across from the Park Street Church, this cemetery is a piece of Boston's varied history, and worth a visit. Wander the haphazard rows and see if you can recognize some of the thousands of names.