In addition to its historical attractions, Boston’s harbor-front development provides plenty of other activities for visitors to enjoy. The Freedom Trail focuses on the city’s revolutionary past. Boston’s oldest sector is its North End, now the Italian quarter. Boston Common is as old as the city itself – having provided a huge central green space where the city’s cattle and sheep grazed. North and north-east of the Common is Beacon Hill, the city’s historical center of wealth and power. South of the Common are Chinatown and the Theater District.
Although the Charles River separates Boston and Cambridge, for the visitor they are really one city. Harvard Square – on the Cambridge side – boasts historic buildings clad in ivy, as well as an array of cafés, eateries, shops and bookstores. Charlestown has an Irish-American community and is where shipbuilding was once the major industry. The USS Constitution – better known as ‘Old Ironsides’ – is docked here and is open for tours. For panoramic views of the city, the Prudential Skywalk observation deck provides the most breathtaking views.
Concord, which is just 22 miles northwest of Boston, is a less tourist driven, more stereotypical New England town – combining historical interest with small town charm. A visit to Concord can include a stop in Lexington for a full day’s excursion. The first American victory in the American War of Independence was here, at North Bridge – with the ‘shot heard round the world’. Cape Cod is a popular area for visitors as well, a 65-mile long peninsula dotted with numerous villages and hundreds of miles of varied and beautiful sandy coastline. Many of the villages are quintessential New England – with a rural feel, cozy pubs and great, fresh seafood.
Boston is surrounded by water and many favorite activities include a sail on the Charles River or a tour around Boston harbor. The harbor is home to dozens of islands that are easily reached from the city’s waterfront. You’ll find splendid ocean views, rocky beaches, nature walks and hiking trails in this national park, formed by thirty-four islands in the outer harbor.