Boston Travel Guide

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Boston Travel Guide

Boston Local History

Less than four years after the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth, Boston was settled, led by Reverend William Blaxton in 1624. From the beginning Boston was the centre of Puritan culture and life in the New World.

Being intellectual and theocratic the leading men and women of early Boston society followed Biblical law. In 1635 the Boston Public Latin School was established and continues to be an elite public high school today.

Having had its fair amount of ups and downs since its establishment it remains today New England's largest and most important city.

The city's ethnic and economic profile was significantly altered in the 19th century with the arrival of thousands of Irish immigrants and was furthermore diversified in the 20th century when many more people arrived from Italy, the Ottoman Empire and Portugal.

Boston Attractions

Top Attractions

Beacon Hill - Put on a pair of sturdy walking shoes and wander around the narrow streets of this district to admire the brick and brownstone architecture of yesteryear. This is the home of the Old State House. Depending on where your wandering takes you, you could be walking past the former homes of Louisa May Alcott, Henry Kissinger or Edwin Booth. One of the oldest Black churches in the country, known as African Meeting House is at No 8 Smith Court.

Chinatown along Washington Street and the Massachusetts Turnpike - This thriving, close-knit community is constantly growing bigger. It is also home to Vietnamese and Cambodian residents as well as the original Chinese.

Commonwealth Museum 220 Morrissey Blvd. This museum has videos, slide shows and a number of interactive exhibits on people, places and politics. In the archives look up the passenger lists for the ships that arrived in Boston from 1848 to 1891. This is all fascinating information and the staff are on hand to help you with any queries you may have.

Harvard University Art Museums 32 Quincy Str. And 485 Broadway These three very impressive museums cover everything from Italian Renaissance artwork, to Dutch and Flemish painters, Asian, ancient and Islamic art, Korean ceramics and much more. The list just goes on and on. If you feel a little daunted by all this, there are a number of guided tours daily, with people who really know what they are talking about.

L'Espalier Fancy French restaurant in the Back Bay neighborhood. Often recognized as the best fine dining restaurant in Boston.
submitted by KS, 02/09/08

Boston Shopping

Downtown Crossing along Washington, Winter and Summer Streets - This is one of Boston's oldest shopping areas. Apart from numerous clothing and shoe stores, you will also find department stores Filene's and Macy's and two major bookstore chains, Barnes and Noble and Filene's Basement.

Coolidge Corner A popular shopping area with loads of small boutiques and antique shops.

Boston Activities

Children's Museum 300 Congress Street When you spot the 40-foot-high red and white milk bottle, you will know that you have, almost, arrived. This charming museum has something for everyone, including the adults. There's the New Balance Climb, incorporating problem-solving and motor skills, Science Playground with physical experiments and much, much more. This is definitely the place to go if you are travelling with kids.

New England Aquarium Central Wharf Any questions you or the kids may ever have had about the ocean will be answered at this amazing Aquarium. Ever seen a baby penguin? How many fish are in the sea? This is the place to get the answers.

Cabot's Ice Cream Parlour 743 Washington Street For the best old-fashioned hot fudge sundaes this ice cream parlour will have you and the kids coming back for more.

Boston Parks & Gardens

Public Garden Arlington, Boylston, Charles and Beacon Streets - The country's first botanical garden is in bloom for at least half of every year. It is the best known park in, probably, the whole country and certainly in Massachusetts. The beginning of spring coincides with the pedal-powered Swan Boats return to the lagoon. They are loads of fun in a relaxed sort of way.

Boston Common Charles Street This is the country's first public park. Purchased in 1634, it now appears to be a bit run down but fun can still be had in the Frog Pond, splashing around in summer and skating in winter.

Arnold Arboretum 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain. Founded in 1872 this beautiful park set out over 265 acres of land contains ornamental trees, shrubs and vines from all over the world. In Spring the area is ablaze with blossoming flowers, with a wonderful scent in the air.

Boston Beaches

Carson Beach This is a very popular beach, often crowded in the summer, with Lifeguards, restrooms and free parking. A beach where the 'in' people hang out.

Pleasure Bay Beach South Boston - Another popular beach, that is often overrun in summer, and is safe and clean with lifeguards, restrooms and free parking.

Boston Restaurants and Bars

Boston is renowned for its seafood. Scrod or schrod is a term used for fresh white-fleshed fish, usually served in filets. The local shellfish includes clams, lobsters, oysters, scallops and shrimp. Famous for its New England clam chowder, this is a white soup served with fresh clams and cream. If you are after the clams, but not the soup, ask for steamers which is a soft shell clam, cooked in the shell.

Brown bread, which is more like a steamed pudding is made of wholewheat and rye flour, cornmeal, buttermilk and raisins.

Boston cream pie is a layer cake sandwiched with custard and topped with chocolate glaze. Extremely good for the waistline.

Boston Restaurants

Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe 429 Columbus Ave. For a great brunch try out their blueberry waffles or any other of their great waffle treats.

Intrigue Boston Harbor Hotel A scrumptious, reasonably priced brunch can be found at this establishment. Very casual and laid-back, the food is great, including waffles, fish and beefsteaks.

TGI Friday's 26 Exeter St. If you're eating with the kids, this is the place to take them. The kids receive a package with balloons, crayons, colouring book, peanut butter and crackers, including a surprise gift, while Mum and Dad order the pizzas, pastas, sandwiches or waffles.

Border Cafe 32 Church St. Having been going for the past 20 years, patrons loiter at the bar for hours to get a place at this buzzing restaurant. The menu includes Mexican, Cajun, and Caribbean specialities. Try their chorizo appetizer, enchiladas, tacos or shrimp. All good and delicious, but make sure you get a table downstairs, in order to be able to talk to whoever you are with.

Boston Bars & Clubs

Avalon 15 Lansdowne Street This multilevel building houses a full concert stage, private booths, large dance floors and a great light show. Loud, noisy and full of life, this place really rocks. This is no place for sweat pants and jeans. The dress code is strictly jackets and shirts with collars.

Bill's Bar 5 ½ Lansdowne Street For reggae on Sunday and hip-hop on Tuesday, this is the place to be. For the rest of the week you can hear the locals and up-and-comers. A great young crowd with an amazing beer menu.

Casablanca 40 Brattle Street Just a jump away from Harvard University, this legendary watering hole is a favourite for students and professors, especially at the weekends. Good food, good music and the place to be seen.

Limbo 49 Temple Pl. - On the top two floors you will find the bar and restaurant and downstairs is where you will find the beautiful people listening to jazz, blues, hip-hop and soul.

Boston children's activities

Children's Museum 300 Congress Street When you spot the 40-foot-high red and white milk bottle, you will know that you have, almost, arrived. This charming museum has something for everyone, including the adults. There's the New Balance Climb, incorporating problem-solving and motor skills, Science Playground with physical experiments and much, much more. This is definitely the place to go if you are travelling with kids.

New England Aquarium Central Wharf Any questions you or the kids may ever have had about the ocean will be answered at this amazing Aquarium. Ever seen a baby penguin? How many fish are in the sea? This is the place to get the answers.

Cabot's Ice Cream Parlour 743 Washington Street For the best old-fashioned hot fudge sundaes this ice cream parlour will have you and the kids coming back for more.

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