Known for its role in the American Revolution, some of the most prestigious universities in the country, and clam chowder, the city of Boston has a rich cultural history that stretches back to the 1600s. To get a sense of this history, start your visit at one of the most famous landmarks in the city—Boston Common. This 50-acre park is the oldest in the United States and has hosted numerous concerts, protests, and gathering places for speakers over the years, including Martin Luther King Jr. Originally a cow pasture as well as a notable stop on the Freedom Trail, Boston Common has seen the evolution of the city over hundreds of years.
Another great way to learn about Boston’s history is by exploring some of the city’s many museums. The Museum of Fine Arts is home to a collection of art ranging from ancient Egypt to the contemporary period, with pieces hailing from all around the globe. For contemporary art enthusiasts, the Institute of Contemporary Art is a must-see. The ICA’s modern building is a work of art in itself, located on a harbor in Boston’s Seaport District and featuring an angular exterior and radical open-design interior space. Also notable is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which displays the art collection of the museum’s namesake and includes iconic works by Botticelli, Fra Angelico, and Titian.
Boston is a city of distinct vibrant neighborhoods and spending a day exploring the different districts on foot is just as enriching as any museum visit. Walk the brick streets of Little Italy in North End, passing by Paul Revere’s house and stopping for a taste of pasta, olive oil, coffee, and other Italian specialties from the neighborhood’s many bakeries and cafes. Venture to Back Bay for views of Victorian-style brick row houses and great shopping. Reach back in time in Beacon Hill, a historic central neighborhood that’s been home to numerous famous Bostonians, including author Louisa May Alcott, as well as the site of many stops on Boston’s Black Heritage Trail.