Some possible stuff to do in Boston for people visiting us
Once you get to our condominium, look at all the Boston books on the bookshelf near the TV. You might carry the AIA Architecture Guide with you. The Whitehead book (I think that's his name) on the topographical history of Boston is a real eye opener about how the city of Boston developed. There are also Boston maps on the desk in the living-dining room and on the bedroom bookshelf bottom shelf.
If you like walking, the walking the Freedom Trail gets you to many key historic places. See: http://www.nps.gov/bost/home.htm There various ways to do this. I think the Freedom Trail starts on the Boston Common at the visitor center on Tremont Street, a couple of blocks from the intersection of Park Street and Tremont (take the Green Line from near our place to the Park Street station). You can also walk a shorter version called the Heart of the Freedom Trail, which I think starts at the National Historic Park Center on State Street behind the Old State House.
For several years (some years ago) Sara gave historic/architectural tours of Boston By Foot. These are typically excellent, by volunteer guides who must really know their stuff (vs. the made up history you get on some of the motorized tours). See: http://www.bostonbyfoot.com/.
Sara's or my favorite historic sites in order might be (and mostly for architectural reasons):
On or near the Freedom Trail
- Old North Church
- Kings Chapel
- the ship "Constitution"
- Old South Meeting House
- The Old State House
- Faneuil Hall
- Paul Revere House
- Kings Chapel Burial Ground
- Copp's Hill Burial Ground
- the Boston Atheneum (a private library) is interesting to look at; I'm not sure if they let visitors in, but they might; it's on Beacon Street between the State House and Kings Chapel
In Back Bay
- Trinity Church
- New Old South Church
- Boston Public Library (old building)
- The is an excellent view from the top of the Prudential Center
- The Mapparium at the Christian Science Center is a must-see sight for me (at the Christian Science complex is just across Huntington Ave. from our condo); also the cathedral is worth seeing.
- Walk along the Commonwealth Mall, Beacon Street, or Marlborough Streets between Arlington St. and Mass. Ave. for interesting Victorian era architecture, Boston style.
- This is worth seeing, I believe, but takes a trip to a separate location from all other Boston sights; if it's not rush hour, it's probably best done by car rather than by subway and bus
- Walking around this area is also interesting, and you will be close to it at various points
- Boston's Museum of Fine Arts (10 minutes from our condominium out Huntington Ave.) is one of the country's great art museums
- There are also important fine art museums at Harvard:
- While at Harvard, the Ware Collection of Glass Flowers in the Botanical Museum of Harvard University is unique! The flowers were made in Germany.
- The MIT Musuem is also unique, especially the art of Arthur Ganson, if you like whimsical mechanical devices.
- Institute of Contemporary Art -- in the Seaport District
Some restaurants within a few blocks walk of our place.
- Lucca (or Luca?) on Huntington – wonderful Italian, sort of expensive
- Thornton’s on Huntington – closest to the apartment, good enough, not expensive
- Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe on Columbus – interesting and not expensive – cash only
- SRV on Columbus (near Massachusetts Ave.) – excellent, not too expensive
- Café Madeleine on Columbus – good pastries, e.g., croissants, but more for takeout than eat in
- Flour bakery (across the street from the Sheraton and Hilton hotels (on the third corner of the intersection) – good sandwiches, soups, etc.