One of the oldest cities in the USA, Boston has a wealth of sights for tourists, both inside and out, for all budgets. The city has a good transport network, though as a fairly compact city, walking is an option also, and just perfect for The Freedom Trail. This 2.5km path passes 16 of the city’s historic sights, starting at the Tourist Information on Boston Common and taking in burial grounds, churches and the site of the Boston Massacre.
A number of the buildings on the trail are of historical interest, including the Old State House, which was the seat of the British Colonial government until the American Revolution, and Paul Revere house, which is the oldest in Boston, dating back to 1680. The Freedom Trail also includes the USS Constitutional, the oldest warship in the USA, undefeated in 42 battles and never captured by the enemy.
So much of Boston’s history surrounds its part in the American Revolution, both as a catalyst but also in the case of the Bunker Hill monument, as a memorial to events. There are 294 steps to the top of the obelisk, however the view from the top is supposed to be worth it!
The anti-English sentiment that bubbled under the surface in Boston affected every aspect of life, including shopping, with the meeting room above the Faneuil Market used by American patriots to encourage the feeling of freedom among the people. This led to it receiving the nickname ‘the Cradle of Liberty’.
Boston though is a city of contrasts and the historical architecture is not the only thing tourists flock to see here, as the city is also home to a number of more modern, eye-catching buildings. These include the City Hall, designed in the ‘brutalist’ tradition of repeated geometric shapes and exposed concrete. Less controversial but equally modern landmarks include the Prudential Centre and Tower, and the glass John Hancock Tower, which at 60 storeys, is the tallest building in Boston. The slightly smaller Prudential Tower is the one to head for if you fancy a birds eye view of Boston, as it as a public viewing area. If you’re concerned about all this climbing and walking, make sure you arrange some affordable travel insurance before you go!
You may be forgiven for thinking that with so many buildings, Boston’s green space is few and far between, however the city has a number of public gardens and areas, including Copley Square, Boston Common and the Public Garden, with their Swan Boats on the lagoon.
The watery attractions don’t end there though – Boston is also home to the New England Aquarium, with its Giant Ocean Tank and Myrtle the green sea turtle. As a coastal city, Boston is ideally placed for such an attraction, and no visit would be complete without visiting one of the Wharfs – the historic Long Wharf or the modern Rowes Wharf, known as the ‘Gateway to Boston’.
Boston truly is a city with something for everyone, with many things to see and enjoy for free, all within a fairly small, but well-connected area.