Things to Do in Boston - page 3
Located in Boston, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is an art museum and exhibition space that has seen a number of changes over the years. It was founded in 1936 as the Boston Museum of Modern Art and has undergone both name and location changes since. It currently sits in the South Boston Seaport District, where it was built in 2006 and designed with the idea of “from the sky down,” with contemplative space for viewing contemporary art, and “from the ground up,” with areas for public enjoyment.
The ICA is 65,000 square feet, and its design resembles a dramatic folding ribbon with a cantilever that reaches to the water’s edge. Galleries have movable walls and ceilings with adjustable skylights. The Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater seats 325 people and is located on the second and third floors. The Charles and Fran Rodgers Education Center is a two-story education center, which includes Bank of America Art Lab.
An athenaeum is defined as "an association of persons interested in scientific and literary pursuits, meeting for the purpose of mutual improvement; a literary or scientific club." The Boston Athenaeum was founded in 1807, placing it among the oldest independent libraries in the country. For more than 200 years, it has proven a vital cultural and educational institution for the city. Today it houses more than 600,000 titles, including a sizable circulating collection, a children's library, multiple reading rooms for newspapers and magazines, and ample quiet spaces. The public is welcome to view the first floor and exhibition gallery, while a membership is required to visit all remaining floors.
Non-members interested in exploring and learning more of the building's history can take a weekly Art and Architecture Tour which is open to the public. The 40-minute tour focuses on theimportance of the Athenæum’s architectural history as well as its fine arts collection.
Martha's Vineyard gained national attention as the setting for the movie Jaws in the 1970s, but notable figures were spending their summer soaking up the sun on this picturesque island long before the movie. The third largest island on the East Coast, Marthaâs Vineyard is situated off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.
The areaâs history is rich. Originally inhabited by the Wampanoag people, today a small population still resides on the island. It was also once a whaling center and now subsists almost entirely off of tourism, as the vast majority of inhabitants are summer vacationers. The island is well known as a celebrity summer vacation spot, and aside from the numerous beaches, vacationers also enjoy horseback riding, charter boat fishing, golfing, bicycling and hiking, among other activities. Martha's Vineyard gained national attention as the setting for the movie Jaws in the 1970s.
Located in Plymouth, Mass., Plimoth Plantation serves as a living museum to accurately represent the first colony of English settlers who arrived in the New World in the 1600s. As an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum is a culmination of extensive research from artifacts such as personal written accounts from the original Pilgrims, historical artwork and archaeological studies.
The museum has three separate sites: Plimoth Plantation, the Mayflower II and the Plimoth Grist Mill. The main site boasts a working English village complete with historical interpreters who follow the 17th-century way of life to a tee, complete with appropriate attire and accents. They approach Plimoth Plantation visitors as though they are strange but welcome outsiders to their home. The interpretation of village life follows a nine-month timeline from March through November 1627, and the months loosely correspond to the time of year the museum is open today.
Perhaps no place in New England has been as prominent and influential for the history of the country as Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Founded in 1620, it's officially the oldest municipality in the United States and has, for almost 400 years, been "America's Hometown". History buffs will appreciate Plymouth as a place of many "firsts" in the nation. It was the sight of the country's first Thanksgiving Day feast and famous Plymouth Rock was the landing point for the first Pilgrim settlers. For the second half of its history, Plymouth has remained a vital hub for fishing and shipbuilding along the South Shore of Massachusetts. Yet it still maintains much of its small town roots and classic New England charm. Today, it’s perhaps the largest, most well-known and prosperous tourist destination in the entire state.
More Things to Do in Boston
For fans of the popular television show Cheers, Cheers Boston (formerly the Bull and Finch Pub) is a mandatory pilgrimage. Visitors, though, should be aware that the bar inside doesn’t look like its famous TV alter ego, but that shouldn’t deter anyone from stopping for a beer and soaking up the bar’s inspirational setting. Plus, the bar is in Beacon Hill, one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city.Cheers Boston really is an authentic neighborhood pub. It’s a place where the staff banters with Cheers fans and visitors, while serving up good pub grub and a frothy pint of beer. While you’re here, you can even pick up a few souvenirs. If you don’t make it to this pub, there is a replica of the TV version of Cheers in the Quincy Market.
The city of Boston has long had close ties to the water, and one of the modern developments along the waterfront is Rowes Wharf, built on a historic battery.
Rowes Wharf was built in 1987, and the most visible parts of the development are the massive Boston Harbor Hotel and the arch-covered passageway through the hotel that feeds onto Boston Harbor. There are restaurants, bars and shops, and during the summer a floating stage just off the shore is set up for concerts and movies. The wharf is also a hub for water transport, including water taxis to and from Logan Airport. The first construction in this area was in the 1660s when South Battery was built to protect the city. John Rowe bought the property a little more than 100 years later, building the first Rowes Wharf. By the 20th century, the wharf had become run down enough that it required a major overhaul.
Like so many towns in Massachusetts, Concord was the cornerstone of some of the most significant moments that helped shape U.S. history and independence. It was among the first settled outposts of the Massachusetts Bay Colony by English settlers and one of the first interior towns in the state. Perhaps just as important is the town’s rich literary history. During the mid-1800s, it emerged as the epicenter for a period of American history called “The Flowering of New England.” It was during this time that the country’s greatest literary minds rose to fame, including Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott.
Today, Concord affords visitors a wealth of must-see attractions, all of which celebrate its storied past. The Battle Road Trail preserves the original site of Paul Revere’s capture, the Bloody Angle that served as an ambush point for colonists, and the home of Captain William Smith of the Lincoln Minute Men.
The Hard Rock Café Boston has been providing good food and music in Boston’s Faneuil Hall entertainment district since its debut in 2003. Faneuil Hall is Boston’s premier entertainment district, close to popular sites such as Paul Revere’s house, the New England Holocaust Museum, and the Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
Be sure to enjoy the Hard Rock’s signature food offerings, found at cafes around the globe. The cafes feature classic American fare, for which prix-fixe options are also available. The Hard Rock Café in Boston has over 16,000-square feet of space, with 514 seats in the restaurant area. The Cavern Club features live music and holds special events. Like other Hard Rock Cafes around the world, the Hard Rock Café Boston features music memorabilia on the walls. Be sure to tour the restaurant and see the unique guitars, platinum records, and more.
Seemingly every city in Massachusetts holds a sort of historical significance, but few are as well-known as Lexington, one of America's oldest towns. Dating back to 1642, it's best known as ground zero for the American Revolutionary War, where the first shot was fired in 1775.
Armchair historians will relish the town’s rich history, which can be seen on just about every building, every street and in every park. Minute Man National Historical Park is a commemoration of the first battle of the American Revolutionary War, while the Revolutionary Monument is one of Lexington's most significant points of interest and the oldest war memorial in the United States. It is also the final resting place for colonists killed during the Battle of Lexington.
Old Sturbridge Village is one of several living museums throughout Massachusetts and includes a working farm, three hydro-powered mills and almost 60 vintage buildings. A cast of interpreters in full costume roam the village, interacting with visitors to help gain an appreciation of New England life as it was some 200 years ago. The village is an incredibly popular attraction for tourists and armchair historians, as well as a major field trip destination for area schools.
The grounds are separated into three distinct areas, each providing a unique glimpse into various aspects of the life of early American settlers. The Mill Neighborhood consists of several commercial buildings, including a sawmill and gristmill, centered around an onsite millpond to generate power.
Sometimes the best of a place is featured by its shopping, and Boston is as cosmopolitan a city as the next, so one might expect premium shopping while visiting. Some of us, however, also are on the look out for a deal, and if that’s the case, then turn your sights toward Wrentham Village. This premium outlet shopping mall has some of the best names in fashion at amazing prices.
Featuring designer name outlets is part of the attraction, but what sets Wrentham Village apart is its abundant diversity – jewelry, accessories, housewares, gift and specialty items, and a widely-loved food court make this shopping experience. Find Brooks Brothers, Adidas, Coach, Cole Haan, DKNY, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th and more here at Wrentham Village.
The iconic building blocks of childhood are now more than just an afternoon activity, thanks to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center of Boston. Families with children between the ages of 3 and 10 will find even more of what they love at this popular themed destination that’s dedicated to the colorful blocks that have been inspiring youth to create for decades.
Whether it’s touring the LEGOLAND Factory to learn how this American favorite is made, experiencing the multi-sensory wonder of a 4-D film or building a car to race at the LEGO Racers: Build and Test site, there’s plenty to keep kids busy and entertained. The jaw-dropping Master Builder Academy will also inspire youth to imagine and create thanks to impressive examples of LEGO construction at its finest!
Like most Six Flags parks, Six Flags New England is a combination theme and water park that’s billed as the "Thrill Capital of New England." When the short summer months heat up in the northeast, it’s a welcome oasis for visitors, and located just a mile from the Connecticut border, it’s a popular destination for Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts residents.
The big draw at any Six Flags park is, of course, the thrill rides. The crown jewel, BATMAN: The Dark Knight, takes visitors on a 55-mile-per-hour blast up to 12-story heights and drops more than 110 feet in a matter of seconds. In the summer months, visitors flock from hundreds of miles to enjoy Six Flags’ incredible Hurricane Harbor, a water park that offers everything from relaxing pools and meandering lazy river rides to high speed water slides and group rafting adventures.
With a history spanning 350 years, Boston is one of the most influential and interesting cities in the United States, welcoming over 12 million visitors a year. The city was home to the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party, while several Revolutionary War battles were fought nearby. Today, the largest city in New England is known for its fine cultural institutions, world class universities and champion sports franchises in addition to its significant role in American history.
Your cruise ship will dock at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal on the South Boston waterfront. Many cruise lines offer shuttles into the city center, but taxis are readily available as well. You can also catch Silver Line bus SL2 or SL3 to the South Station of the Boston T (subway). Another option is to head into the center on foot, about a 30-minute walk along Northern Avenue.
Burial Hill is a historic cemetery in Plymouth, Mass., that dates back to the 1620s, making it one of the oldest remaining cemeteries in America. It sits atop a beautiful hill with views of Plymouth Harbor and is an ideal spot to relax and contemplate the last few centuries of American history.
Many notable historic figures are buried here, including Mary Allerton, the last surviving Mayflower passenger; Plymouth colony governor William Bradford; and Squanto, a Native American guide who played a critical role in the Pilgrims’ survival after arriving in North America. None of the original wooden gravestones remain, but stone markers have been used here since the mid-17th century, many of which still mark the final resting places of the country’s original settlers. The last burial occurred in 1957, and the land has remained frozen in time since.
Just an hour’s drive from Boston, you’ll find the beautiful New England grove of Willard Brook State Forest. Escape the busyness of Boston in less than an hour, and discover the rugged New England beauty the area is famous for. The Willard Brook State Forest is over 2,500 acres of classic New England forest, surrounded by babbling brooks, creeks and streams, which makes for an absolutely spectacular fall showcase come October. June, however, is when the mountain laurel blooms, and when the snow falls, visitors enjoy miles of cross-country ski opportunities. Others come year-round simply to enjoy the serene escape provided by this wooded wonderland.
With over 19 campsites, a group Yurt, numerous swimming and fishing opportunities, miles of hiking, mountain biking and horse trails, this is a popular escape for those in the Boston area looking to get out and explore the softer side of nature.
Nearby New York City may be more well-known for theater, but Boston has its own thriving Theater District, too.This is where you can see not only Broadway shows but also smaller productions. There's a great deal of variety in what you can see, including musicals, avant-garde productions, opera and comedy. Some are Broadway hits, while others may be well on their way to Broadway fame.
The historic neighborhood wasn't always focused on the theater—in fact, plays in Puritanical Boston were illegal. The law changed in 1792, and Boston's first playhouse opened the following year.
Things to do near Boston
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