Boston is an exciting city full with treasures....
There is no way to miss the Freedom Trail in Boston. It is a 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km) red-lined route through downtown Boston that will lead you to 16 historic sites. Start at the Boston Common Park and stop along the route at historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace, where you can take a break and breathe in a bit of history.
Across from Faneuil Hall you’ll find Quincy Market, home to the world-famous food colonnade. It can be crowded and touristy, but it’s a must-see when visiting Boston. Get your chowda - as the Bostonian say, the famous clam chowder soup from the Boston Chowda Company, or enjoy a quick and delicious snack from one of the thirty eateries there. Afterwards, continue on the Freedom Trail or walk to Boston's waterfront to shorten the route.
If you are up for a walk try the Harborwalk. It is a 47-mile (76 km) long public walkway that hugs the shoreline and connects the waterfront neighborhoods to Boston Harbor. The views are terrific, and many interesting points are along the way. A complete map with points of interest can be found here.
If you don’t have the time for a harbour cruise tour, take advantage of public transportation with the MBTA water shuttle to Charlestown. It offers beautiful harbour views and only takes 10 minutes! You can hop on the ferry for a round-trip tour, or hop off and walk over to the USS Constitution and Bunker Hill Monument, two historical sites of the Freedom Trail. The ferry operates from Long Wharf (South) just next to the New England Aquarium.
Boston's Back Bay
Boston's historic 19th century Brownstones can be seen on Newbury Street, a popular destination for tourists and locals with scores of shops and restaurants. You may want to stop at Copley Square to see the beloved Boston Trinity Church with its beautiful interior. The stained-glass windows and the magnificent decorations on the walls are well worth a visit.
Across from Trinity Church is the Central Boston Public Library at 700 Boylston Street. The Public Library is a real treasure of Boston with amazing architecture, art and history. Look into Bates Hall, an enormous room with floating ceiling beams. Take time to visit the courtyard, which is particularly impressive and hidden from the hustle and bustle of the city and where you can enjoy a cappuccino in the Library café.
Not afraid of heights? Visit the Skywalk Observatory, located on the 50th floor of the Prudential Tower, for breathtaking views of Boston, Cambridge and beyond (An audio guide is included with admission). The 'Top of the Hub' restaurant is perched on the 52nd floor. If you're not into crowds, you might prefer lunch, since the restaurant can be crazy busy in the evening. Access the observatory and restaurant from the Prudential Center Mall located at 800 Boylston Street through the tower lobby and use the elevators. You'll find Duck Tours departing from the same location for a touristy, noisy, but oh-so-much fun jaunt on the Charles River in an amphibious landing vehicle.
On the other side of the Charles River is Cambridge, known for its famous Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Harvard Campus invites to take a stroll to experience the flair of history. The official Harvard tours depart from the Information Center and are guided by Harvard students. If you don't have much time, visit the campus on your own and download the audio files.
Don't miss the Harvard Book Store located across the university at Harvard Square. It is a spectacular bookstore with a great selection on nearly every conceivable subject. The store interior is reminiscent of 'Good Will Hunting' and 'Love Story' – two great films that took place at this elite university.
Near Harvard Square's main street is one of Boston's best bakeries, Mike's Pastry, at 11 Dunster St. The bakery offers the best Cannolis ever. Don't miss it! And the Cambridge shop isn't as crowed as the one in North End.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is packed with treasures. As the fifth largest museum in the US, it houses collections from around the world, totaling over 450,000 unique works of art. Be sure to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit and the works of the American painter, John Singer Sargent. The museum is located at 465 Huntington Avenue.
A hidden treasure is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, found at 25 Evans Way, near the Museum of Fine Arts. During her life, Mrs. Stewart Gardner amassed a collection of some of the world's most important artwork, with pieces of significance from Europe, Asia and the Americas. Her collection is found in a charming Venetian villa.
The New England Aquarium is one of the premier visitor attractions in Boston - not hidden, but still a treasure. The museum is located at 1 Central Wharf, near Long Wharf and close to the Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall Marketplace. The Aquarium's centerpiece is the four story, 200,000-gallon giant ocean tank, home to more than 1,000 Caribbean reef animals.
Anonther nice place to stay indoors is the Museum of Science. Visitors of all ages are invited to engage with science, technology and engineering via dynamic programs, presentations and interactive exhibits. The museum is located at at the Charles River (1 Science Park).