Been There, Never Done That: Four Hours in Boston

Category: Acclaro News, Culture

From lush green parks and myriad museums to captivating street performers and delectable gastronomy, there’s a lot to see in the unofficial capital of New England. Here are seven recommendations from our Boston translation team for your brief sojourn:

1. Boston’s Emerald Necklace

Need to walk off the post-meeting tension? This is just the place. Boston’s Emerald Necklace consists of a 1,100-acre chain of nine parks linked by parkways and waterways. This linear system of parks and parkways was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted to connect the Boston Common, which dates from the colonial period, and the 1837 Public Garden along the Muddy River and Leverett, Willow, Ward’s and Jamaica ponds through the Arnold Arboretum to the great country park — Franklin Park. As the name indicates, the Emerald Necklace is lush and verdant, a refreshing oasis for escaping the pressures of urban business culture and reconnecting with nature.

2. Boston Common and the Public Garden

Want to spend more time in beautiful outdoor Boston? Come here. This is the heart of Boston, the oldest public park in the U.S., and it’s the place that people go to play, soak up the sun and just relax. Take a spin on the Swan Boats, or stroll over to the Public Garden to enjoy the formal plantings and many statues. What are the ducklings wearing today? The Nancy Schön bronze ducklings, inspired by Robert Mc Closkey’s book Make Way for Ducklings, are often dressed up in local sports gear, Easter bonnets, etc.

3. Street Performers at Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Experience a festival every day! Faneuil Hall Marketplace features jugglers, clowns, magicians, mimes and musicians who will captivate you with their jaw-dropping stunts, musical acts, and mind-boggling balance routines. Prepare to be wowed by these one-of-a-kind shows, performed along the famous cobblestone promenades.

4. The Freedom Trail

Due to its size, Boston is a very accessible city. Its reputation as a walking city relies on the creation of one of America’s first historic walking tours, The Freedom Trail. The Trail, marked by a red line, takes you to 16 historical sites, including the Old North Church, and covers two and a half centuries of America’s most significant past. You can take a self-guided tour or one of the many tours available through the National Park Service. Just off the Freedom Trail is the Union Oyster House, “America’sOldest Restaurant”, serving up Boston’s famous baked beans. (Boston isn’t referred to as “Beantown” for nothing!)

5. Newbury Street

Boston’s “most enchanting street,” Newbury used to be part of the Boston Harbor (and was underwater!). If you enjoy European architecture, retail therapy and people watching, or if you just wantto relish some tasty bites in the afternoon sunshine, this is your spot. High-end shopping and dining are among the specialties, but you can also head to the more budget-friendly Trident Booksellers and Café for some quiet book browsing and a darn good meal.

6. The Museum of Fine Arts

Today, the MFA is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world; the collection encompasses nearly 450,000 works of art, so there’s always something new on view. More than one million visitors each year experience art from ancient Egyptian to contemporary, special exhibitions, and innovative educational programs. The museum has undergone significant expansion and change in recent years; 2010 marked the opening of the Art of the Americas Wing, with four levels of American art from ancient to modern. Bonus: No general admission fee is required on Wednesdays from 4:00pm – 9:45pm.

7. Harvard Square, Cambridge

While technically not Boston, Harvard Square is only about a 10-minute subway ride from downtown. Here you will find a bustling neighborhood of shops, eateries and of course lots of Harvard and MIT students. Jump on the T (Red Line) to Central Square where you’ll find a plethoraof bars and restaurants that cater to a younger crowd, with some fantastic livemusic venues. Or go two stops out of the city to Davis Square in Somerville for a quieter version of Harvard Square, that is beautiful, fun and eclectic.

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