Faneuil Hall Marketplace#1 in Best Things To Do in Boston
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.
The marketplace welcomes visitors Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. (Restaurant and store hours may vary, so it's best to consult Faneuil Hall Marketplace's website before you visit.) To reach Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which sits just south of the North End in downtown Boston, travelers can take the "T" to the Aquarium, Haymarket or Government Center subway stations. Eight bus routes stop a block away on Congress Street, and a parking garage can be accessed on Broad Street. If you want to save on parking, consider purchasing your ticket online in advance for a discount. No fees apply to enter any of Faneuil Hall Marketplace's buildings, and free tours and performances are occasionally provided in South Market and outside Faneuil Hall.
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#2 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
After Isabella Stewart Gardner's husband died in 1898, the art enthusiast bought land in Boston's Fenway area to open a museum to display her impressive collection of Italian art. The museum, which was fashioned after the Palazzo Barbaro in Venice, was completed in 1902, at which point Gardner moved in to the fourth floor and began installing her collection. Today, you can visit this Boston museum to get your fill of the Italian masters, such as Raphael and Titian. The building also showcases a cache of beautiful furniture, photographs, sculpture and rare books straight from Europe. In 2012, the museum unveiled a new wing designed by acclaimed Italian architect Renzo Piano. The most recent addition includes a glass atrium, greenhouses and landscaped gardens.
Recent museumgoers said the collection captures Gardner's penchant for art, architecture and horticulture through its diverse displays. Though some previous visitors described the museum as a bit of a hodgepodge rather than a cohesive layout, many praised the property's vast collection of artifacts and intimate atmosphere. Also, remember to turn off your camera flash before entering since flash photography is not permitted inside.
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