Established in the 1870s, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is one of the largest and finest art museums in the United States. This museum's collection is impressive and showcases the work of such masters as Monet and John Singer Sargent. The MFA also has outstanding collections of Impressionist art, early American art and artifacts, and Asian and Egyptian art. The museum regularly hosts lectures, musical performances and films. End your visit with a refreshing coffee or a meal at one of the cafes and restaurants within the museum.
This world-famous baseball stadium has been a staple of the Boston entertainment scene since its opening in 1912. The diamond is flanked on its left side by the Green Monster, an iconic 37-foot (11.28-meter) field wall featuring a manually operated scoreboard. A unique piece of civic history, Fenway Park is one of the oldest Major League Baseball stadiums currently in use, and it proudly hosts the Boston Red Sox. With a seating capacity of over 37,000 spectators, the stadium ripples with excited energy on game days when steadfast local fans cheer proudly for the home team.
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.
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".
Just across Charles Street from the Boston Common, Public Garden is elegantly landscaped with flower beds, lagoons, walking paths and statues, including a notable monument of George Washington on a horse. Admire the natural beauty and watch as couples pose for their wedding photographs on most summer weekends. The children's story 'Make Way for Ducklings' took place here, and there is a popular sculpture of the ducklings in the northeast corner of the park. A ride on their famous Swan Boats is an essential experience for visitors.
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.
With antique brick facade set among downtown skyscrapers, any passerby can pick this building out as a relic from an earlier time. Now a museum run by The Bostonian Society, the site has a long and distinguished history. The Boston Massacre, one of the catalysts for the American Revolution, took place just outside. The Declaration of Independence was first read to Boston here on July 18, 1776. The structure served as the new state's capital until 1797. Exhibits at the museum take visitors through the stories of the revolution and the people involved in them.
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.
There are more than 100 places to eat, shop and drink at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, also known as Quincy Market. French merchant Peter Faneuil gave the hall that precedes the marketplace to his adopted home of Boston in 1742. It has been called the Cradle of Liberty because of the number of revolutionaries and abolitionists who delivered important speeches here. The hall is now a tourist center and place to shop, but public meeting facilities are still available.
Sketch comedy in the style of Saturday Night Live and Second City is performed here by this namesake improvisational group. A favorite among local comedy junkies, performances at this North End venue have an interactive environment where the talented cast brings on something new and fresh each time they hit the stage and audience participation is not only requested, but required.
The Massachusetts State House is a prestigious landmark in the state capital. This 6.7-acre (2.7-hectare) complex is home to the Massachusetts General Court as well as the Governor’s office. The highlight of its architecture is its gilded dome gleaming under the sun. The pinnacle of the dome is a pine cone, a reminder of both the importance of Boston's lumber industry during the colonial period, and the state of Maine, which was a former district of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The rich embedded past of this building makes it an essential feature on tourist itineraries.