The Best of Boston: 10 Essential Experiences

Public Parks

In a whirlwind trip to the city, it doesn’t hurt to slow down in one of its parks. Boston Public Gardens is home to a gorgeous lake, and in the summer you can ride one of the famous swan boats around the water. This garden is also featured in the popular children’s book Make Way for the Ducklings. There’s even a little gold statue of the main characters around the back end!

There are numerous other green places to hang out, including Boston Commons and Boston Wharf. Many of these have coveted swings (you’ll probably have to wait for a turn!), and all of them will have adorable puppies. So grab a cold drink and rest your feet while you enjoy some good old-fashioned people watching.

Alyssa Hollingsworth / Own Work

Alyssa Hollingsworth / Own Work

Boston Library

Arguably one of the most ornate libraries in the United States, this place is well worth the visit just so you can gawk. The marble architecture, painted murals, and iconic reading rooms will challenge the idea that libraries can only be musty windowless carpet-caves.

To fully appreciate the library, I recommend catching one of the scheduled tours. Check the times on the website. If you can’t make one of the normal tours work for you, definitely take a look at their self-guided tour. You’ll appreciate the art and architecture more if you know what you’re looking at, trust me!

Alyssa Hollingsworth / Own Work

Alyssa Hollingsworth / Own Work

Italian at North End

The North End is famous for its Italian population, and for its amazing restaurants. You can find some of the best pizza, pasta, and pastries in this neighborhood. There are hundreds of guides about where to eat on the internet, but I’ll add to the noise: I thoroughly enjoyed Benevento’s and Mike’s Pastry.

If you’ll be eating dinner in this area, it’s a good idea to reserve a table ahead of time. Things get pretty crowded in the evening, especially at the more popular restaurants!

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