Steeped in history, this is one of Boston's most beautiful neighborhoods. Home to statesmen, artists and intellectuals, "The Hill" is also the site of the State House, which is the beginning of the Freedom Trail. Lovely cafes and majestic brownstone buildings line the narrow, cobblestoned streets next to the Boston Common, America's oldest urban park. At the bottom of the hill, along Charles Street, are several antique shops and boutiques to pick up unique souvenirs. This charming neighborhood has managed to preserve its history without becoming artificially quaint. Another important and most visited feature of Boston is Acorn Street. This street is surrounded by beautiful colonial-style houses, giving it an earthy feel, which will transport you to the era gone by.
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.
Bunker Hill Monument commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill, where the famous command "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes" was issued. Local lore makes much of the battle's misnomer; the battle actually took place on Breed's Hill. To keep the guidebooks simple, Breed's Hill was renamed Bunker Hill, and the original Bunker Hill was flattened. Many visitors end their Freedom Trail tour here. Ambitious visitors may climb the 295 steps to the top.
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.
One of the most famous Ivy League Universities in the world, Harvard is every aspiring academic's dream destination. Established in the year 1636, Harvard is the oldest college in the United States by a country mile. Its collegiate school, initially known as 'New College', primarily served to instruct clergy members, and continued in this vein until the early periods of 18th Century. Throughout the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s, Harvard's reputation has only grown, as did its offerings and concentrations. Harvard broke with tradition in 1977, when it merged with Radcliffe college, essentially making it coeducational. Today, Harvard remains one of the most prestigious learning institutions in the world, and the red bricks of Harvard Yard are a Boston landmark. Its campus covers nearly 210 acres (85 hectares) and is home to numerous heritage sights such as the John Harvard statue, Massachusets Hall, Widener Library and Harvard Yard.
Beyond the borders of the Back Bay is a friendly neighborhood that features exciting, trendy shops, theaters and restaurants on tree-lined streets of brownstone buildings. Culinary explorers will enjoy eating along popular Tremont Street, and even the tiniest streets of the South End district are full of cafes and bars. The Aquitaine French Bistro serves French cuisine in elegant surroundings. Head to the Delux Cafe & Lounge for a great atmosphere, lots of locals, and hearty hamburgers and pizza. The forever trendy Club Cafe has a hopping after-work crowd and fun theme nights.
One of the United States' oldest cities, Boston was established in 1630 on the Shawmut Peninsula by Puritans from England. It was the staging ground for several pivotal events through the course of the American Revolution like the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston, and continues to be defined as one of the country's most forward-thinking cities. Home to several prestigious colleges and universities, Boston is also a world leader in the fields of education, entrepreneurship and innovation. But to understand the city today, it is important to recognize its past. The Freedom Trail winds its way through the city, linking 16 historic sites including the legendary Faneuil Hall. Today, the city is known for its passion for sports, its thriving arts scene and varied culinary realm. Home to the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins, not to mention several varsity teams, it's common to see people animatedly debate the merits of their favored sportsmen and it's hard not to get swept up. When it comes to food, seafood is king - from oysters on the half shell and clam chowder, to cod and steamed lobster, the best can be had at the Seaport District. For traditional Italian, few can beat the North End while Chinatown is the place to sample pan-Asian cuisine. For the more artistically inclined, a visit to the Fine Arts Museum, the Boston Opera House, the Boston Ballet and the Symphony Hall will not disappoint.
Home to a myriad of pleasures and delights, Downtown Boston lies at the epicenter of the city's rich and vibrant cultural scene. The neighborhood is so much more than just the city's largest commercial district, with a little something to appeal to the varied tastes of the many who call this city home. Trendy boutiques and department stores are interspersed in between restaurants that offer a full spectrum of gourmet delights, alongside fast food joints and old school eateries that serve up delicious comfort food. Live concerts, Broadway musicals, theater and dance are all par course, while the nightlife scene is just as varied with everything from laid-back bars and glitzy nightclubs to choose from. Downtown Boston is also home to a number of the city's most popular attractions including Fenway Park, the Common, Boston Public Garden, and historic buildings such as the Old State House. A walk along the Freedom Trail is a must for history buffs, particularly those with an interest in American history. With so much and more to capture your imagination, a trip to Downtown Boston promises to be one that you will cherish for a long time to come.
Park Street Church is a stop on the Freedom Trail, down the hill from the State House. Built in 1810, the basement served as a gunpowder storage depot during the War of 1812. Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison gave his first anti-slavery speech here, and the Granary Burying Ground, where many famous early Bostonians are buried, is just steps away. The Federalist brick-and-wood building features a steeple and granite steps. The church houses an active parish.
Built in 1896, Steinert Hall was built by the piano company M. Steinert & Sons and was on the street once called "Piano Way." This historic building has a Beaux Arts-style, but the building is really known for it's auditorium that's four stories below ground. This underground concert hall has curved walls and witnessed some of the top performances in the early 1900s. The auditorium has been closed since 1942, but it is currently being renovated with plans to reopen it to the public.