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Sites and Attractions

Here are some websites you might want to visit to help you explore the city of Boston during your stay. The historic city of Boston is filled with museums, parks, theaters, and neighborhoods that are sure to inform, entertain, and interest you. Be sure to visit Beantown’s favorite attractions like:

Adams National Park

Adams National Park is comprised of the birthplace homes of Presidents John and John Quincy Adams; the Old House, home to four generations of the Adams family; and the Stone Library. Many park programs and special events are offered to give kids of all ages an opportunity to picture themselves in the past and see themselves in their nation's future. Contact the park for dates and details.

Black Heritage Trail

The Black Heritage Trail is a 1.6 mile walking tour encompassing the largest collection of historic sites in the country relating to the life of a free African American community prior to the Civil War. The history of these buildings and sites is national in scope and significance. The museum of African American History (MAAH) treasures its resources and tells remarkable and vivid historical accounts about the lives of free African Americans and white abolitionists whose efforts changed a nation.

Boston Children's Museum

The Children's Museum is unlike any other, designed specifically to help children understand and enjoy the world in which they live. The museum provides real objects, direct experiences and enjoyment that foster learning, in an informal environment. Home to Arthur's World, the Smith Family PlaySpace, and sponsor of the annual Big Apple Circus, the museum is Boston's best place for kids ages 0-10 and all the adults in their lives!

Boston Duck Tour

"One big splash and the rest is history!" This fully narrated historic tour, takes place in authentic WWI amphibious vehicles through the streets of Boston and into the Charles River. The fun begins as soon as you board! Operating seven days a week, the tours depart every 30 minutes starting at 9am and the last tour leaves an hour before sunset. Departure Locations: Outside Prudential Center and Museum of Science. Rain or Shine!

Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area contains some 34 islands lying within Boston Harbor. The islands range in size from less than one acre to 214 acres and together embrace 1,600 acres of land over an area of 50 square miles. The mission of the park is to make the island system an integral park of the life of the surrounding communities and region, and to protect the islands as a resource of national significance, while improving public knowledge and access for education, recreation, and restful solitude within an urban area.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is a specialty museum and non-profit educational institution on Columbia Point in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, next to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on the University of Massachusetts Boston campus.

Franklin Park Zoo

Opened in 1913, this 72-acre site nestled in Boston’s historic Franklin Park features an array of wildlife from all over the world. Come face-to-face with an African lion in the Kalahari Kingdom, visit Masai giraffe and Grevy’s zebra of the Giraffe Savannah and discover the Tropical Forest, home to western lowland gorillas, lemurs, mandrills and much more! Be sure not to miss the Tiger Tales exhibit or Butterfly Landing, open seasonally from mid-June through mid-September (weather permitting).

Boston National Park - Freedom Trail

Most of the Boston National Historical Park sites are connected by the Freedom Trail. Recognized as a National Recreation Trail, the 3-mile trail is a walking tour of 16 sites and structures of historic importance in downtown Boston and Charlestown. Ninety-minute tours begin at the Visitor Center at 15 State Street and cover the heart of the Freedom Trail from the Old South Meeting House to the Old North Church.

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)

Founded in 1936, The Institute of Contemporary Art is the oldest non-collecting contemporary arts institution in the United States. Through a comprehensive schedule of exhibits of local, national and international significance, and educational outreach, film series and gallery talks, the museum provides the public access to contemporary art, artists, and the creative process. The museum strives to share the pleasures of reflection, inspiration, provocation, and imagination that contemporary art offers by providing public access to art.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

This 15th century Venetian palace created at the turn of the century by Isabella Stewart Gardner, houses more than 2,500 art objects, among them works by Rembrandt, Botticelli, Raphael, Titan, and Matisse. Interior flowering courtyard and outdoor gardens are known for their botanical beauty. Guided Tours are given Tue-Fri at 2:30pm. The museum hosts three special exhibitions per year. Enjoy concerts from September through May. The Cafe offers a full bistro style lunch.

John F. Kennedy Library & Museum

Enjoy the permanent exhibits at the JFK Library including: Attorney General Robert Kennedy - exploring the close relationship between the President and his brother and Robert's work as Attorney General. Step back into the recreated world of the early 1960s and experience first hand the life and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. Period settings from the White House and 25 multimedia exhibits create a stirring account of President Kennedy's thousand days in office. Housed in a striking building designed by I.M. Pei, the national memorial to President Kennedy sits on a 10-acre waterfront site on Columbia Point offering panoramic views of Boston's skyline and Harbor Islands. The library and museum offer special events and programs year round.

Massachusetts Archives

To ensure the preservation and accessibility of the records of government. To provide assistance to government agencies. To provide leadership to ensure the preservation and accessibility of Massachusetts's historical heritage. To develop appreciation of the value of historical records. The Massachusetts Archives serves the Commonwealth and its citizens by preserving and making accessible the records documenting government action and by assisting government agencies in managing their permanent records. The Archives provides leadership in preserving historical records and ensuring that those records are known and valued by citizens, students, and scholars.

Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts offers one of the greatest gifts Boston has to give - Discovery. For young and old, for first-time visitor and familiar friends, every turn yields a new experience. Each piece is a passport to a time and a place that will inform, enlighten, and inspire.

Museum of Science

The Science Museum is a world-renowned educational institution with over 400 interactive participatory exhibits featuring live animal and physical science demonstrations, courses, traveling exhibits, a computer center, the Mugar Omni Theater, and Charles Hayden Planetarium. 600 interactive exhibits let visitors explore the world around them, daily live presentations, science theatre and 15 foot lightning bolts. The museum offers a number of special exhibitions & theater shows throughout the year.

The Swan Boat

The Public Garden, established in 1837, is the first public botanical garden in the United States. Today, with its plant material chosen for ornamental excellence as well as its botanical diversity, it forms a green and flowering oasis in the heart of a great metropolis. No visit to Boston would be complete without a stroll in the Garden which is maintained by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department in cooperation with the Friends of the Public Garden. Take a self guided walking tour, or take time to sit on a bench, during any season, and you'll come away with a wonderful sense of this city sanctuary.

USS Cassin Young, Charlestown Navy Yard

Maintained and staffed by National Park Service staff and volunteers, Cassin Young is an example of the type of ship built, repaired, and modernized in the Charlestown Navy Yard. The ship also provides a more modern contrast to USS Constitution and is a memorial to destroyermen and the ships they served on. Boston National Historical Park Rangers present scheduled tours of this WWII Destroyer.

The historic Charlestown Navy Yard is located in the shadow of Bunker Hill. Visitors to the yard will enjoy tours onboard the USS Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship, and USS Cassin Young, a World War II destroyer. Tours are also available at the Commandant's House. This elegant mansion was home to Navy Commandants and their families from 1805 until 1974.

This page was last modified on March 25, 2019
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