1-day Itinerary in Boston
Explore the best things to do in Paris in 1 day based on recommendations from local experts.
- 1#6View all Photos...
Though the Boston Public Garden sits right next to Boston Common, the two are actually quite different. The public garden is newer (established in 1837) and holds the distinction of being America's first public botanical garden. Flowers and trees are beautifully organized and kept in quality condition throughout. You can see the colorful arrangements and exotic trees from the 4-acre pond in the center of the garden before taking in the lagoon by Swan Boat. Additionally, the park houses two of Boston's most iconic statues: "Make Way for Ducklings" (a bronze sculpture of a duck and her eight ducklings) and the George Washington Statue (which shows America's first president riding on a horse).
Visitors looking to relax after sightseeing will enjoy Boston Public Garden. Recent travelers said you'll find plenty of shade beneath the park's trees, which comes in handy on hot summer days. Plus, you'll likely spot some ducks and geese swimming around the Public Garden's lagoon. And if you have a few dollars, past visitors recommended taking a 15-minute ride on a Swan Boat. The large paddle boats cost $4 to ride (or $2.50 for kids ages 2 to 15); travelers with Go Boston Cards ride for free. Swan Boats are available between mid-April and mid-September.
You'll find the Boston Public Garden surrounded by the city's Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Chinatown-Leather District and downtown neighborhoods. The park sits next to the original Cheers restaurant that inspired the famous TV show. To get to the Public Garden, visitors can take the Green Line to the Arlington "T" station. Several bus stops are also located within walking distance. An underground parking garage is offered on-site (fees start at $12 for up to an hour of parking), as well as metered street parking. The Public Garden is free to visit and is open 24 hours a day, but bring cash if you plan on riding on a Swan Boat. Additional facilities, such as restrooms and cafes, are not available in the park. For more information about the Boston Public Garden, visit the City of Boston's website.5 minute walk
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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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Stretching 2½ miles, the Freedom Trail weaves past 16 of the city's most historic sites, including Faneuil Hall Marketplace, the Paul Revere House and Old North Church. Taking in all of the trail's attractions requires at least half a day (and some comfortable walking shoes), but you can easily plot points of interest before you begin your jaunt from Boston Common.
Though most recent visitors agreed the trail is easy to navigate on your own, some culture hounds said joining one of the walking tours with the 18th-century costumed Freedom Trail Player tour guides offers an informative, 90-minute introduction to Boston's revolutionary roots. If you have a Go Boston Card, standard guided tours are covered by your pass.
To reach Boston Common and start your trail tour, take the Red Line or Green Line to Park Street Station and head to the Boston Common Visitor Center. Some guided tours start a few stops into the route at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Limited street parking is offered in the area, so leave early if you plan to drive. Tours operated by the Freedom Trail Foundation are available daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Most tours cost $12 to $20 per person (discounted rates are available for seniors, students and children ages 6 to 12). If you choose to do a self-guided tour, a smartphone app is offered on the Freedom Trail's website for $4.99. Walking the trail is free, though some attractions along the trail do charge admission fees. If you're interested in other ways to see Boston, see four other top tours locals recommend.
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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.5 minute walk
- 5#13View all Photos#13 in BostonMonuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPENDMonuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND...
Gaze up at the six 54-foot-tall glass towers that comprise the New England Holocaust Memorial, and you're bound to be awestruck. Erected in 1995, each haunting tower is etched with numbers – the 6 million numbers represent the Holocaust's victims, while the towers represent the six major death camps. There is also a granite path covered in quotes from survivors that leads visitors inside the towers.
Recent visitors described walking through the columns as an emotionally charged and unforgettable experience. Plus, the monument's location next to Faneuil Hall Marketplace make it extremely convenient to see.
The New England Holocaust Memorial, which is free to visit 24 hours a day, resides in Carmen Park in downtown Boston. You can get to the memorial by taxi, car, bus or subway. The closest "T" stations are Haymarket and Government Center, and a parking garage is available just south of Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Groups with 10 or more people can request free guided tours through the memorial's website.5-10 minute walk
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For a glimpse of what life was like in the late 1700s, head to Paul Revere's former residence in the North End. The house, which is situated on the Freedom Trail, offers insight into how homes looked in Revere's time (it's even filled with period pieces, including fine silver). Inside, history fans can admire the building's sweeping beams, spacious fireplaces and some original furnishings owned by the Revere family.
If you like American history, former travelers said you'll enjoy seeing the Paul Revere House. This house is small, though, so don't allot more than an hour to tour the property. Also, arrive early if you don't want to deal with crowds.
The Paul Revere House sits within walking distance of Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Old North Church, as well as the Haymarket and Aquarium "T" stations. Street parking is limited in the North End, so it's best to use public transportation or a taxi to get to here. Entry costs $5 for adults, $4.50 for college students and $1 for children ages 5 to 17 and includes a self-guided tour of the home. (Admission fees are covered for travelers with Go Boston Cards.) The property is open daily (excluding select holidays and Mondays in January, February and March) and hours depend on the season. Generally, the house welcomes visitors from 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 or 5:15 p.m. A gift shop is available, but there are no additional facilities on-site. For more information about the house, visit its website.5 minute walk
- 7#8View all Photos#8 in BostonChurches/Religious Sites, Historic Homes/Mansions, SightseeingTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPENDChurches/Religious Sites, Historic Homes/Mansions, SightseeingTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND...
Most people who know anything about American history have heard of Paul Revere's famous midnight ride, when he rode through town to warn people about the arrival of British troops. Before heading off to Lexington, Revere gave orders at Old North Church. Robert Newman – the church's sexton – and Captain John Pulling Jr. – the church's vestryman – then climbed the steeple and held two lanterns as a signal (from Revere) that the British Regulars were indeed coming, but by sea.
The church itself, which is officially named Christ Church, is filled with beautiful relics from the past, including North America's oldest set of change ringing bells and chandeliers brought in from England in the early 1700s. The pews have a long history as well; Pew No. 54 was reserved for the Revere family.
According to past visitors, this North End attraction offers great insight about Boston's colonial roots. Guides and displays are informative and knowledgeable. In fact, some even claim that this historic landmark is the best stop on the Freedom Trail.
Old North Church sits on Salem Street near the Boston Inner Harbor. The historic sight is about a 10-minute walk from the Haymarket and North Station "T" stops, and a bus stop for the No. 4 bus is located within a couple blocks. Old North Church's visiting hours vary depending on the season; from April to mid-November, it welcomes visitors from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and from mid-Novemer to the end of March it's open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission for adults costs $8; youths between the ages of 6 and 18 get in for $4. Children 5 and younger enter for free. If you're interested in attending church services, drop in on Sundays at 9 or 11 a.m. (attending a chuch service is free). In addition to the church's exhibits, you'll find restrooms, gardens and specialty shops on the property. Check out the Old North Church website for more information.
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