Mixing the Past and Present: Hanging Out in Beantown
So while you're here, mix work with fun. Visit the shops, take in the scenery and see some of the great historical landmarks that this town is known for.
The Story Behind the Beans
Boston got its Beantown nickname due to the popularity of baked beans in the city during the early 1700s. At the time, Boston was flowing with molasses. Slaves in the Caribbean grew sugar cane that was then shipped to Boston to be made into rum and sent to West Africa. Bostonians would bake the beans in molasses for several hours to create the famous Boston baked beans.
To sample the dish, visit Durgin Park located in Faneuil Hall Marketplace or Union Oyster House located at 41 Union St., on the Freedom Trail, one block from Faneuil Hall.
The Freedom Trail. This 2.5-mile trail highlights 16 historical landmarks throughout the city of Boston. A red brick or painted line guides the trail and connects the landmarks. You can take a self-guided tour of the trail or hop on a costumed guide tour through the Boston Common Visitors Center at 147 Tremont St. or the Bostix Booth at Faneuil Hall. Some of the highlights of the tour include the Boston Common, site of the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere's House and the Bunker Hill Monument.
USS Constitution and Charlestown Navy Yard. The USS Constitution was first launched in 1797 as one of the six ships ordered for construction by George Washington and is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. The ship is nicknamed "Old Ironsides" because cannon balls couldn't infiltrate its thick hull. The Navy Yard is assessible from the ferry that leaves from Long Wharf.
Bunker Hill Monument. The 221-foot-tall monument stands at the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution. There are no elevators in the monument. Visitors can climb the 294 steps that lead to the top.
Beacon Hill. This residential neighborhood is known for its architecture and picturesque brick row houses. Prior to the American Revolution, Beacon Hill was a pasture land and was then developed in the 1790s for Boston's richest families.
Boston Public Library. The library was the first publicly supported municipal library in the United States. It's the third-largest library in the United States and allows all adult residents of the state to borrow books and conduct research. The library is located at 700 Boylston St.
Paul Revere's House. This national historic landmark is downtown Boston's oldest building. The house was built in 1680, and Paul Revere owned the home from 1770 to 1800. Tours of the house are self-guided along with illustrated text panels and museum interpreters.
Boston Common. The oldest park in the country and also the starting point of the Freedom Trail. The park is 50 acres and the anchor of the Emerald Necklace, a system of connected parks that go through Boston. Cattle grazed the Common until 1830 and public hangings took place there until 1817.
The State House. Tours of the State House are offered weekdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tours last 30-45 minutes and include an overview of the history and architecture of the State Capitol.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace. For 250 years Faneuil Hall has been a central eating and entertainment point in Boston. Everyday jugglers, clowns, magicians, mimes and musicians gather outside the marketplace to entertain the public. The marketplace is home to 17 restaurants and 40 different eateries. For shopping, Faneuil Hall has more than 100 shops along with a variety of carts and kiosks. The Bull Market is home to the world's first fleet of 43 unique pushcarts.
Swan Boats. The Swan Boats have been a part of Boston Public Garden for over 130 years. Boston Public Garden was the first botanical garden in the United States. The Swan Boats have been depicted in stories such as "Make Way for Ducklings" and "The Trumpet of the Swan." The boats are open seven days a week. The Swan Boats take a 15 minute ride around the Public Garden lagoon.
New England Aquarium. The aquarium is known as one of Boston's main attractions and opened in 1969. The aquarium started a new program this winter called "Turtles Uncovered: Get Beneath the Shell." The program features a turtle trail with six stops that have live turtles. Live animal presentations are available, and visitors can also learn how the aquarium rehabilitates sick and wounded turtles at the Aquarium Medical Center. The aquarium is located at 1 Central Wharf.
Museum of Science. The museum is home to the Butterfly Garden, a warm conservatory filled with plants and free-flying butterflies. The museum also features a series of daily live presentations, Omni films, Planetarium shows and 3-D Cinema shows.
Fenway Park. The home of the Boston Red Sox opened on April 20, 1912. The ball park's famous Green Monster was originally planned not as target for home-run hitters but to keep nonpaying customers out of the park.
Hatch Shell. Boston's outdoor concert venue that is located next to the Charles River Esplanade in downtown Boston. The venue hosts free outdoor events throughout the summer, including Boston Pops concerts, 4th of July fireworks, movies and concerts.
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Dedicated to the 35th president, the museum showcases the life, leadership and legacy of President Kennedy. The library is one of the 12 Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The museum has three theatres and 25 multimedia exhibits.
Boston Duck Tour. Tour Boston in a World War II-style amphibious landing vehicle. The tour shows city sites such as the State House, Bunker Hill, Newbury Street and Quincy Market. The tour ends with a splash into the Charles River.
The South Boston area that surrounds the Hynes Convention Center offers a variety of restaurants to choose from.
The Barking Crab: 88 Sleeper St.
The Daily Catch: 2 Northern Ave.
Yankee Lobster: 300 Northern Ave.
Panasia: 414 West Broadway
Teriyaki House: 32 West Broadway
Blue Wave: 343 Congress St.
Fargo's Deli Of Course: 451 D St.
Fresh City: 2 Seaport Lane
Salsa's Mexican Grill: 118 Dorchester St.
Amrheins: 80 West Broadway
Boston Beer Garden: 732 East Broadway
The Playwright: 658 East Broadway
Shenanigans: 332 West Broadway
Aura/Seaport Hotel: One Seaport Lane
Morton's: Two Seaport Lane
Salvatore's: 255 Northern Ave.
Sauciety/Westin Hotel: 425 Summer St.