Boston Common picture1 of 3
Boston Common2 of 3
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Key Info

Tremont Street

Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.6

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 5.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

The grounds of Boston Common started as a cow pasture in the mid-1600s. After a few years, overgrazing became a problem and the area was transformed into a British camp. After the Revolutionary War, the park became a popular locale for public speeches and rallies. Now, the Common is best known because of its status as the oldest public park in the country. You'll also find a variety of activities and events, including theater and musical performances, hosted here throughout the year. If you plan to traverse the Freedom Trail, you'll start the walk here at Boston Common.

Though some visitors said you won't find much to do in this park, Boston Common is great for picnics or a leisurely stroll. Recent travelers also noted that this site is a wonderful spot to take young children. In addition to ample running room on the park's green space, kids can play at the Tadpole Playground or Frog Pond. Frog Pond offers a spray pool during the warmer months and an ice skating rink in the winter.

Boston Common sits alongside the Boston Public Garden near the center of the city. The easiest way to get to the site is by the "T" – the Boylston Street and Park Street stations are located at the southern and eastern edges of the park – or by walking from downtown. You can also park for a fee in the underground parking garage or on the surrounding streets. The area is free to visit, but additional charges apply for food purchased at Frog Pond Café, rides on the carousel and ice skating on Frog Pond. Public restrooms are available, and in the summer, free yoga classes are offered by Frog Pond. The Common is open 24 hours a day, however, most park facilities are only open between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. To learn more about Boston Common, visit the City of Boston's website. And for more information about Frog Pond's events and amenities, check out the official Boston Common Frog Pond website.

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More Best Things To Do in Boston

Faneuil Hall Marketplace1 of 26
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum2 of 26
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Four buildings – Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market and South Market – constitute Faneuil Hall Marketplace, with the oldest being Faneuil Hall. Built in 1742 and now located on the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall has had a long and important history in Massachusetts politics. Samuel Adams once stood here to push for resistance against the British, and abolitionists and suffragists have stood on their soapboxes here. In fact, this is where Jonathan Mayhew famously challenged the Sugar Act of 1764 by proclaiming, "no taxation without representation." Since Mayhew's declaration, the marketplace has expanded to include more than 100 shops and restaurants. 

Some former visitors caution that the items sold at Faneuil Hall Marketplace are a bit overpriced. However, if you're looking to kill some time or snap some great photos, consider strolling through the market's halls. You'll also find various cuisines served in Quincy Market if you're in need of a quick bite. Keep in mind that this market gets crowded quickly (especially on weekends and in the summer), so it's best to visit during a weekday if you don't want to encounter hordes of people. 

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