What to Do, See
and Expect in Boston
by Rita Cook
Boston is a city rich with history, some of it dating back to the 1600s.
Located on the banks of the Charles River and the Atlantic Ocean, the
visitor will find Boston has an array of attractive riverside parks and
a unique skyline that fits amazingly well with the bustling waterfront
and colorful open markets.
Insider Tips on the City
Boston is a city made for walking. The narrow cobblestone streets are
the same ones the colonists walked years ago. The architecture of the
buildings and many of the churches have a history rich from the making
of early America. When taking a tour of the city, it's best to break it
up into sections. There's the downtown area with confusing and narrow
streets, but with a charm that makes Boston what it is today. Faneuil
Hall Marketplace, also known as Quincy Market, is downtown directly
across the street from Faneuil Hall, a historic meeting house. Opened in
1826, the marketplace is alive with restaurants, shops, street vendors
and performers. It is located off I-93 between Chatham and Clinton
The waterfront area offers a park appropriately named, Waterfront Park,
offering some breathtaking harbor views, shops and sightseeing tours.
Beacon Hill is the heart of old Boston. Located on Mt. Vernon Street and
Louisburg Square, stately old townhouses still remain from Boston's
first families. If the visitor is looking for Paul Revere's house or the
Old North Church, visit the North end. The visitor will find both among
the narrow red brick streets that is now a wonderful Italian-American
Things to Do
There's never a shortage of things to do when visiting Boston. In fact,
the visitor might want to pick one particular area and plan several more
trips just to see it all. In order to avoid missing the history of the
city, take the Freedom Trail and see just about every important sight in
Boston from its colonial and revolutionary past. The trail lines the
sidewalks and connects downtown Boston, the North end and crosses the
Charlestown River. Start the trail at the Visitors Information Center on
the Common. The Old Granbury Burying Ground dates back to 1660. Here the
visitor will find the graves of John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere
and the parents of Benjamin Franklin.
The Old State House was Boston's 18th century seat of government, the
building was erected in 1713. In 1776 the Declaration of Independence
was first read in Boston from the balcony at the Old State House. It
continues to be read in the same place on July 4th of every year.
No trip to Boston would be complete without visiting the Public Garden
with its graceful swan boats gently cruising the quiet pond. Adjacent to
Boston Common across Charles Street, visit the Boston Common Visitor
USS Constitution, famously known as Old Ironside, sits in
the Charlestown Navy Yard. Built in Boston in 1797, Old Ironside
has won 40 sea battles and is the oldest commissioned warship in the
There are all kinds of whale watching cruises to take in New England.
Since 1926, Boston Harbor Cruises has offered Sightseeing and
Constitution Tours, Whale Watching Tours and Boston Harbor Island
Ferries. The sightseeing tours can take up to 90 minutes depending on
which tour the visitor chooses and the whale watching tour is anywhere
from three to five hours.
What to Pack
The best time to visit Boston is in the fall. The leaves are changing on
the outskirts of the city and the weather is nice with temperatures in
the 50s and 60s. During the fall, days are usually clear and breezy.
Pack walking shoes and a light jacket that can be worn or wrapped around
The nights in Boston during the fall can dip into the 40s. Winter is
cold and it snows, sleets and ices in the city. If the visitor travels
to Boston in the winter, expect to pack warm clothes and bring
water-resistant boots for walking. Spring reaches into the 50s, but
Boston is still thawing out. During the summer, expect humidity and
temperatures in the 80s and 90s. Nights along the waterfront can still
What to Expect
Expect to have trouble maneuvering a car into some of the tight streets.
The city is compact and parking can be problematic. If the visitor can
walk, that is the recommended mode of transportation. Everyone walks in
Boston, and the many visitor information booths will supply maps. Hotels
range from old and gracious to upscale and modern. When visiting the
city, don't expect to chow only on seafood. The town is a great culinary
find with ethnic eateries. Chinatown and the Italian North End are long
established in Boston and the visitor will also find excellent Thai,
Japanese, Portuguese, Indian, Mexican and Greek food.
Hotel Arrangements in Boston